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Post 11 Feb 2013, 12:18 pm

How about a new general topic I know is close to many of our hearts?
I hosted a beer tasting at my house last July and now have suddenly become some sort of defacto expert on beer (I do not claim to be, this is what has been foisted upon me by others).
Anyways, I went to a beer tasting party over the weekend where I did help out and we had a grand time (It was a church group, who knew those Lutherans loved their beer so much?)

Between mine, the one over the weekend and the MANY beers I have "sampled" over the ages, what a great topic to discuss????

I am no beer snob but am rapidly getting there, my tastes have not gone too far into the really obscure stuff and it seems most of the really highly rated beers are not in my wheelhouse just yet (although your taste buds do change over time) I seem to enjoy the Amber hued beers yet not the "red beer/ale" category quite as much? (seems odd to me). Some of my favorites:
Sam Adams, Boston Lager
Brooklyn Brewing, Brooklyn Lager
Great Lakes, Eliot Ness
Otter Creek, Copper Ale
Ithaca Brewing, Cascazilla
Troegs, HopBack Amber

speaking of HopBack Amber, just out is this beers "sister" beer, "Nugget Nectar"
It scores through the roof everywhere I see it, I picked up ONE bottle to try it out ...meh, it was ok.
While visiting my daughter in San Diego we went to Stone Brewery and their Arrogant Bastard was pretty darned good stuff as well but it was a small taster sample only, I keep meaning to grab a six of that some time soon to fully test.

Any others care to share???

I
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Post 11 Feb 2013, 12:35 pm

oh, I forgot
At last weekends tasting I "discovered" a Belgian Ale that was pretty good, I have never been a big fan of Belgian beers as seems to be the rage of late. "Palm Export"
it was quite crisp, clear and tasty ...not my favorite, but it surprised me.
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Post 11 Feb 2013, 1:11 pm

Great topic. I've been trying lots of IPA's lately. Love the hops. Here are some of my favorites:

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Bell's Two Hearted Ale
Stone IPA
Bear Republic Brewing's Racer 5 IPA
Boulevard Brewing Double Wide IPA

Some really good non - IPA's:

Founders Breakfast stout (actually, great)
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Boulevard Brwing Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad
Boulevard Brewing Long Strange Tripel

I received the four Boulevard beers in a gift pack for Christmas. They were all outstanding.
I've heard Pliny the Elder is fantastic but it's only available on the west coast. I was in San Diego last month and couldn't find it anywhere. Bummer.
Last edited by SLOTerp on 28 Aug 2013, 11:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post 11 Feb 2013, 1:34 pm

If you are a hophead, I suggest you check out Troegs HopBack Amber (or their stronger Nugget Nectar)
...not an IPA but it sure does taste a lot like one, it's an Amber ale that is flowed over a bed of hops so it gets that hoppy taste while having a smoother taste! And Troegs is around the corner from you in Hershey PA

I see Stone on your list ...one of those we tested and it too was quite good
Some local IPA's up here you may like are from Southern Tier Brewery, I like all of their IPA's
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Post 11 Feb 2013, 1:52 pm

Is IPA just the generic tag for real ales that you use in the States ? It obviously stands for 'India Pale Ale' and represents a particular type of ale here, but I've noticed that Americans often seem to use it as a catchall term for ales generally (either that or it's the only type of ale you brew over there, which I guess is possible).
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Post 11 Feb 2013, 2:13 pm

no, not a catch all at all. Over here these seem (to me) to be that original brew only they seem to have really been hopped up more than the original. Sure all IPA's are hoppy but of late they really have gone overboard on hops (not always a bad thing mind you but you need to be a fan of that funny little flower and I don't think anyone starts there, it is certainly an acquired taste.
at least that's my take..
The difference between Beer, Ales and Lagers
All are "Beer"
Ales are top fermented at a higher temperature
Lagers are bottom fermented at a lower temperature
generally ales are stronger, more hoppy, more aromatic, Lagers are more malty, more bready, and a bit more clear. But these are very general and you can find plenty of exceptions in both versions!
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Post 11 Feb 2013, 3:06 pm

GMTom wrote:If you are a hophead, I suggest you check out Troegs HopBack Amber (or their stronger Nugget Nectar)
...not an IPA but it sure does taste a lot like one, it's an Amber ale that is flowed over a bed of hops so it gets that hoppy taste while having a smoother taste! And Troegs is around the corner from you in Hershey PA

I've had the Troegenator Double Bock and was quite impressed. I plan on getting around to more of their offerings.

I see Stone on your list ...one of those we tested and it too was quite good
Some local IPA's up here you may like are from Southern Tier Brewery, I like all of their IPA's

I'll look for them next time I'm at Total Wine & More. They've got a huge selection of beer with hundreds in the 'make-your-own-six-pack' section. And it's right across the street from my work!
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Post 11 Feb 2013, 3:24 pm

Sassenach wrote:Is IPA just the generic tag for real ales that you use in the States ? It obviously stands for 'India Pale Ale' and represents a particular type of ale here, but I've noticed that Americans often seem to use it as a catchall term for ales generally (either that or it's the only type of ale you brew over there, which I guess is possible).

IPA's are probably the most common type of ales brewed in the states. That's probably followed by Belgians although wheat's may overtake those during the summer. Less common are the stouts, porters, reds, and whatnots.

Of course, the biggest selling beers are still those piss-water lagers* brewed by Bud/Miller/Coors.

*Which will do in a cinch at summer picnics & ballgames.
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Post 11 Feb 2013, 4:49 pm

We have a bewildering variety of pale ales where I come from. It's difficult to recommend any though because the pubs where I drink tend to change them from one week to the next so quite often you'll have a really nice pint and then never see it again. Sheffield has a thriving real ale scene atm, with a number of small breweries based in the city which keep on brewing up new varieties. It's a bit of a boomtime for ales right now, after many years in the doldrums.

If you want to try something very different I'd recommend seeing if you can get a beer called Badger's Golden Glory. It's my favourite beer currently, really smooth and with a distinct taste of peaches that you'd think wouldn't work in a beer but actually tastes delicious. Doubt you can get any over there though.
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Post 12 Feb 2013, 6:53 am

"piss water lagers" ...agreed if you simply are talking about the big adjunct brewers (Bud, Coors, Miller, Labatt, etc) But these should not lead you to believe all lagers are piss water!
Try "Eliot Ness" by Great Lakes Brewing, it's a Vienna Lager and is really quite good!
Brooklyn Lager is also pretty darned good (and is a realllly nice beer to have on hand for those who may not share your wild side of beer, this one should appeal to the crap beer fans and start them on their way to leaving those bad beers behind?)
and Bock Beers, those are lagers as well! mmmmmm
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Post 12 Feb 2013, 7:53 pm

I am a big fan of Great Lakes Fitzgerald Porter. Love the coffee taste to it.

Recently had a Sam Adam's winter sampler. It included the Boston Lager and the Winter Lager but also had their White Christmas Ale, Old Fezzy Wigs Ale, Chocolate Boch and Holiday Porter. All of them were delic.
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Post 13 Feb 2013, 6:20 pm

Has anyone heard of a Sam Adams Cream Ale? I had one in Williamsburg, VA on a hot humid day. Best beer I have ever tasted.
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Post 14 Feb 2013, 7:00 am

Haven't had that one, Brad. I bought the winter sampler last year and remember Old Fezzy Wig as being top notch.

I went to the local beer shop yesterday and purchased a mixed-6, all IPA's or DIPA's and a 22 oz. Avery's Maharaja on the recommendation of another customer. I tried the Lagunitas IPA last night - good but perhaps a bit too light for winter. Maybe I'll try it again in the summer.
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Post 14 Feb 2013, 8:49 am

I've always been partial to piss water lagers, on draft. It's such a shame too: this amazing beer store opened kitty corner from me, and I did try a few things, but most of them had too much . . . of something. I would have enjoyed a six of MGD more than anything I got there. It's just wasted on me.

http://www.cityswiggers.com/
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Post 14 Feb 2013, 1:53 pm

There is nothing wrong with liking whatever it is you happen to enjoy! I have troubles myself with a great many reviews that tout this or that as being so good when I think, "meh"

But one thing I do think likely, if you start to experiment with different beers and styles, you will almost certainly notice your tastes changing, soon you will hate the old "piss water" you like now. But the key (I think) is to do this gradually, you want to take small steps and find what styles you enjoy and eventually you may find something you detest today among your favorites a few years later.

Do yourself a favor and try a few beers with this baby step in mind
Sam Adams Boston lager is pretty darned good while not being "too different" from what you like now. (or even a sampler pack!?)
Saranac offers some variety packs that I don't much care for any longer but at one time, they were that step better that I enjoyed back when.

Even steps within the huge beer family might be worth trying
for example, I really don't mind Michelob "Amber Bock" or Coors "George Killians" both are pretty good and a mild step up from your beloved MGD