The Beer Thread

Mike Stand

Silver Member
I'm all about the German beers these days, and British. I've done several tours in Belgium, and can never quite get the hang of the beer-- too alcoholic, and what you said MS. I am a fan of Orval, and some of the blondes-- Grimbergen, Tongerlo. Belgian pubs have their own style and vibe, which I really like.

I'm also totally not into my own regional thing-- pretty much totally fed up with citrusy unbalanced IPAs, and the fact that they're 90% of what's available.
Yep, it's becoming citrussy IPA overkill recently...
 

lsits

Gold Member
I'm just not into the hopped-up beers that are so popular. It seems that IPAs are all the local microbreweries are serving. I've been home-brewing for the past year and a half. My go-to has been the Scottish Ale with a little extra DME (Dry Malt Extract) thrown in to get the ABV (Alcohol By Volume) up to around 4 1/2%. My last batch was an American Red ale that I think tasted better than the Red Trolly Irish red ale from Karl Strauss in San Diego. It's nice being able to open a bottle of something you can't find in a store. My next batch is going to be a cream ale. Why? Why not.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Interesting thread-I've never been much of a beer drinker-prefer distilled spirits. However, my son-in-law drinks a lot of IPA which I told him "just don't float my boat" so he turned me on to Gulden Draak (a Belgian beer) to try and man I loved it-very tasty with lots of flavors and I like the boosted alcohol (didn't even notice it till I realized I was polluted).
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Had a Guinness 'Dublin Porter' yesterday. Not impressed. Weak, thin and didn't taste of much at all. Thought it would be a little thicker and closer to their stout.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Had a Guinness 'Dublin Porter' yesterday. Not impressed. Weak, thin and didn't taste of much at all. Thought it would be a little thicker and closer to their stout.
I think all of their new "alternatives" to the Guinness classic stout are pretty gross. Not sure if I've tried them all but did not like what I've tried.

Love me the original, though.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I think all of their new "alternatives" to the Guinness classic stout are pretty gross. Not sure if I've tried them all but did not like what I've tried.

Love me the original, though.
I had their 'Original' variant and it was fine.

I don't mind Guinness as a gateway stout but I've had much nicer stouts that are a lot more distinctive. Lancaster Black was my favourite stout but I can't really get it here down south.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
I don't mind Guinness as a gateway stout but I've had much nicer stouts that are a lot more distinctive. Lancaster Black was my favourite stout but I can't really get it here down south.
We hosted a Burns supper earlier this year and Brother bought some Scottish stout that he thought looked good. My poor sister in-law tried one and was blown away "This is better than Guiness!" I guess that was the only stout that she had ever had before. Oh my sweet summer child...

On the subject of Hoppy beers, I am a fiend for hops. When I play a gig at a local bar, for my first beer I always ask "What do you have that's hoppy?" I had a very tasty Lagunitas seasonal on Saturday night.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
I like anything in the Amber Ale category. IPAs - no way - they taste like a pine tree to me.

Most of the time I'll settle down with some Irish whiskey... any Irish whiskey!
 

crispycritters

Senior Member
I prefer darker beers - ales, stout or bitter, I'm happy enough drinking pretty much any of them. I don't go for the maniac strength brews - anything from 4 - 5% ABV seems to hit the spot.

The only beer I avoid in the UK is lager, as most British lagers are pretty awful that's probably no great loss. One thing I can't figure is why we are so close to Europe with several countries that produce stunning lagers and pilsner and all we seem to be able to produce is pale imitations (insipid piss)).

The other thing I can't understand is why in some countries it seems compulsory to chill beers almost to freezing, are you scared of actually tasting something? Maybe you've accidentally bought some Brit lager by mistake, my advice would be not to chill it, just pour it down the sink.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
We hosted a Burns supper earlier this year and Brother bought some Scottish stout that he thought looked good. My poor sister in-law tried one and was blown away "This is better than Guiness!" I guess that was the only stout that she had ever had before. Oh my sweet summer child...

On the subject of Hoppy beers, I am a fiend for hops. When I play a gig at a local bar, for my first beer I always ask "What do you have that's hoppy?" I had a very tasty Lagunitas seasonal on Saturday night.
Well if you're doing Burns night, see if you can get hold of some Highland Park 12 Scotch. Perfect for the toast to the haggis. Glemorangie isn't bad either, and there are a few other single malt whiskies that are decent - Jura isn't bad.

In the same manner as many haven't really tried many ales, I'm not really up to speed on lager. I will confess almost total ignorance but I do know horrible cheap crap when I see it and avoid furiously...

Crispy, I'm sure that there are some great UK lagers, I'm just not sure what they are or how to find them...
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I prefer darker beers - ales, stout or bitter, I'm happy enough drinking pretty much any of them. I don't go for the maniac strength brews - anything from 4 - 5% ABV seems to hit the spot.

The only beer I avoid in the UK is lager, as most British lagers are pretty awful that's probably no great loss. One thing I can't figure is why we are so close to Europe with several countries that produce stunning lagers and pilsner and all we seem to be able to produce is pale imitations (insipid piss)).

The other thing I can't understand is why in some countries it seems compulsory to chill beers almost to freezing, are you scared of actually tasting something? Maybe you've accidentally bought some Brit lager by mistake, my advice would be not to chill it, just pour it down the sink.
When it's over 100 degrees outside, and no air conditioning in the house, you'll understand why we drink our beer so cold. I actually do like my strong IPA stuff a little chilled, but not so cold that I can't taste it. I'll even drink it warm if I have to. But crap beer like Bud Light, I consider more like beer soda, I like it ice cold so that I really can't taste it too much and a can goes down in two or three big gulps.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I had their 'Original' variant and it was fine.

I don't mind Guinness as a gateway stout but I've had much nicer stouts that are a lot more distinctive. Lancaster Black was my favourite stout but I can't really get it here down south.
I keep hearing that too, but I've still not found many true guinness alternatives. Other stouts all seem to need coffee or chocolate or any number of weird flavors... Or they aren't as thick, don't have the same "smoothness", and so on.

So while I definitely drink other stouts to check them out, few have me coming back like the old standard.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
When it's over 100 degrees outside, and no air conditioning in the house, you'll understand why we drink our beer so cold. I actually do like my strong IPA stuff a little chilled, but not so cold that I can't taste it. I'll even drink it warm if I have to. But crap beer like Bud Light, I consider more like beer soda, I like it ice cold so that I really can't taste it too much and a can goes down in two or three big gulps.
I went to burning man back in 2012, and one of the experiences I remember over others is when a guy came up as we were packing everything to go. As you may be aware, the nevada desert flats can get a little hot, dry and dusty. Anyway, this mysterious stranger walked up and had come bearing gifts. A cooler full of dry-iced Tecate.

I hate that beer... But on that day, it was the sweetest thing I had ever tasted. It had such amazing flavors and was so refreshing, my memory is very vivid on that.

Now I've tried it a few times since and it was as disgusting as ever.
 

Mike Stand

Silver Member
I keep hearing that too, but I've still not found many true guinness alternatives. Other stouts all seem to need coffee or chocolate or any number of weird flavors... Or they aren't as thick, don't have the same "smoothness", and so on.

So while I definitely drink other stouts to check them out, few have me coming back like the old standard.
I know what you mean, many beers just don't get the balance right.

An understated "hint" of coffee aromas is fine, a full on taste of extra strength fresh black coffee is just uncalled for.

Same with the balance between body, texture and freshness. It has to be right.

Lack of balance is my main criticism of most beers.

I've tried the odd stout that pleased me but I'm afraid I don't recall the names.
 

Mike Stand

Silver Member
Yeahhh I'm kind of a lightweight-- prefer lower gravity quaffing beers.

And did you know it's not a great idea to ask for something not too high in alcohol in Belgium? They kind of laugh at you. I had to order a Tripel to redeem myself.
I said it once, I'll say it again.

Higher alcohol content does not equate to higher quality. I don't know how this trend to higher ABV has taken hold of the beer world. In wine, people look for all round balance. Should be no different for beer or any other drink or food.

Also, low ABV does not equate either to non-descript quaffing beer. I recently tried a 3.5% mild (or was it a stout?) that was just fantastic.

Alcohol plays a part in the aromatic composition of a drink, it's not something which can be dissociated from the tasting experience. If the balance is not right the alcohol will overpower the subtler aromatic qualities and compromise the overall finesse and balance. In wine, when the alcohol is apparent in the tasting the French say the wine is "hot". Admittedly, the heat in wine or beer will be much much subtler than in spirits with 40% ABV.
However, it is there and a seasoned drinker, cough, taster who pays attention will eventually become aware that the "character" of some beers is heavily reliant on high ABV.

Over 200 posts on DW and never got into a fight... now I'm getting all heated over a beer thread. Sheeesh... guess I need a cold one.... but not chilled, that's just wrong! And the boxing gloves are back on.... :)
 

Mike Stand

Silver Member
The only beer I avoid in the UK is lager, as most British lagers are pretty awful that's probably no great loss. One thing I can't figure is why we are so close to Europe with several countries that produce stunning lagers and pilsner and all we seem to be able to produce is pale imitations (insipid piss)).

The other thing I can't understand is why in some countries it seems compulsory to chill beers almost to freezing, are you scared of actually tasting something?
I was surprised, even taken aback, to find an increasing availability of German pilsners and lagers in many traditional UK pubs. But like you say, the typical UK lager is awful stuff which has clearly been designed for mindless binge drinking. The continentals have shown that this kind of light, crisp, fresh beer can have some character and be of decent quality. No wonder real beer fans are catching on.

On the main road between Sheffield and Manchester, going through the Peak District, there's a cosy old Inn and pub. Went in there and to my utter surprise saw Veltin's on tap!

As for chilling drinks beyond all reason, it's not just beer.
Champagne as well as many white wines are commonly served at such a low temperature that the aromas and taste are completely supressed, leaving little more than the sharpness of the acidity.

I'll concede that some beers in some climates are just meant to be chilled because by the time the bottle's out of the fridge and has been opened and served the beer has already gained 5°C.
 
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