Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > The Homebrewer's Board

Is Beer Getting too Boozy?

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David in MN:

--- Quote from: Smurf Hunter on April 08, 2018, 10:40:29 PM ---Yes.  I really appreciate trappist ales, and if it's a special occasion or I'm someplace that has a noteworthy beer available I'll indulge.
Though those are not "lawn mowing" or poolside beers for me. I drink the doubels and trippels like I would sip bourbon.

While I like a good balanced IPA, they have gone overboard.  That style has been beaten to death, and distorted from it's original form.  When I home brew I rarely make IPAs as they are too common. Instead I go for "weird" like a saison, or a really clrisp czech pilsner with saaz hops.

--- End quote ---

I started brewing 15ish years ago and did the high gravity IPA for a while. But I was topping out at 7%. Did some barleywines up to 12% because I liked the challenge to brew. I still love saison, hefe, and all manner of high gravity Belgian ales. But I serve them in wine glasses and warn guests. A quad can be good but at 14% and chewy it's something to take time with.

It's always been a joke with beer people that we get ourselves in trouble drinking strong Belgian ale. We've all had a mistake with Duvel or Delerium. IPA was supposed to be a thirst quencher, not a haymaker. The Brits are legend for their moderation.

I'm not all fuddy duddy. If you get the chance to try Surly's 'Todd the Axe Man' IPA at 7.2% you should. It's a great beer (100% Golden Promise for the brewers) and I love it. But it's $4 per can and has a skull on it. You know you're getting a big beer. Even when I brewed them I used an ESB yeast and did some oak aging to get a really funky flavor and the higher gravity helped. But it was a different time when I was the weird guy for dry hopping (or even keg hopping) and wood aging and getting all kinds of funky stuff going. The current breed are all hops with no malt to support them, no yeast, and very little interesting flavors.

Smurf Hunter:
Funny,  my last home brew batch was based on a traditional London Brown Ale.  It was a session beer before there was a term for it ;)
Think it comes in around 3% ABV or so.  I used maris otter for my base malt.
Here's a decent summary of the style and some recipe ideas:  https://learn.kegerator.com/london-brown-ale/

David in MN:
Maybe what's upsetting me is the "West Coast Pale Ale" phenomenon. Some are incredible like Sierra Nevada Winter. Some have no balance like Sierra Nevada Torpedo. I'm trying not to pick on certain breweries who have almost no balance. One might rhyme with cone and sink in a pond.

I have no problem doing a flight of JW Lees harvest ale and comparing vintages. Fun. But as a homebrewer I can taste when there are a plethora of cheap hops tossed into a cheap malt bill and serves the people who like bitter boozy beer. I've had barleywine like Tom Hardy or Anchor. It's a different creature. You literally can't have more than one. Balance.

Smurf Hunter:

--- Quote from: David in MN on April 11, 2018, 05:34:52 PM ---Maybe what's upsetting me is the "West Coast Pale Ale" phenomenon. Some are incredible like Sierra Nevada Winter. Some have no balance like Sierra Nevada Torpedo. I'm trying not to pick on certain breweries who have almost no balance. One might rhyme with cone and sink in a pond.

I have no problem doing a flight of JW Lees harvest ale and comparing vintages. Fun. But as a homebrewer I can taste when there are a plethora of cheap hops tossed into a cheap malt bill and serves the people who like bitter boozy beer. I've had barleywine like Tom Hardy or Anchor. It's a different creature. You literally can't have more than one. Balance.

--- End quote ---

People think I'm BSing when I can tell beer made from malt extract vs all grain.  I've never guessed wrong.

Also, it's hip to have brew pubs in tourist areas.  It doesn't matter if there's a local heritage of brewing.  Just like selling hot sauce in Chicago - did they really grow those habernos locally?
At least in my region hops are a huge cash crop and our tap water is decent (only people I've heard criticize were Alaskans accustomed to glacier ice melt. We have WAY too many craft breweries and even more brew pups who lack distribution (the regulations are light for that). But when a brewery pops up in Nevada, they have neither hops, barely or even water really,  so my impulse is a gimmick brand.

Sailor:
Any IPA around 4% is a session beer these days. 

I like them around 6-7.  The higher ones I do not care for. 

Another annoying trend, charging the same for a 4 pack that used to be a 6 pack. 

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