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Old 03-23-2009, 12:56 AM   #1
MSAstoria
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Default Beer tasting course

So I have this project in mind to put together a beer tasting menu. The idea would be to highlight distinctive aspects of beer--i.e., malty vs. bitter, strong hop aroma, estery, etc. I want to use it as an educational tool to introduce less-refined beer palates to some of the beer basics.

I have beers I've brewed that can stand in for some of the elements I'm going for (like my extra-phenolic Belgian dubbel), but I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for commercial beers that would work. I'm going for one beer that clearly highlights each of the following qualities (and chime in if there's a category I'm missing!

Malty
Bitter
Hoppy
Estery
Phenolic

Thoughts?

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Old 03-23-2009, 01:10 AM   #2
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Malty - Pete's Wicked Red
Bitter - Any ESB off the shelf (Fuller's maybe...)
Hoppy - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Estery - Bell's Oberon or another wheat beer
Phenolic - I dunno

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Old 03-23-2009, 01:16 AM   #3
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I would through in a "big" beer also to show how extreme beers can get to the point they have sherry or port like flavors. Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre is one or if you can get it Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter.

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Old 03-23-2009, 03:05 PM   #4
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The choices are endless, although I don't consider Oberon to be particularly estery.

Bell's two hearted would be good for an IPA, which is plenty of hops, but SNPA is a prety hoppy Ale too.

There are so many styles to choose from. This seems to be a pretty broad range of tastes, with so many sub-styles to choose from. You could delve further by comparing different hops tastes, differences in yeasts and malts too.

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Old 03-23-2009, 03:20 PM   #5
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Are you going by mouthfeel or by name. I mean, bitter is a type of beer, though at the same time a Pale Ale has a bitter flavor. Also there are a bunch of beers that feature Malty to some style, though I personally think that East Coast and German Beers feature it really well.

Malty - Scottish Ale
Bitter - SNPA (bitter to the mouth, not bitter by name)
Hoppy - IPA that smells of hops
Phenolic - Not sure what you mean by this, Wit can be either estery or phenolic

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Old 03-24-2009, 01:45 AM   #6
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By "bitter," I mean the flavor, not the style. I want to gear this towards people who may not know a whole lot about beer, but want to explore what's out there. So this would be meant to introduce them to broad flavor profiles.

You could definitely take a deeper cut on a more advanced tasting flight by doing a range of different hops or different kinds of yeast; that would be really cool. But for an intro, I'm thinking just the basics.

Fuller's ESB is a great choice for bitter (the flavor, rather than style); it's bitter, but without much hop aroma. I want to draw the distinction. Harder to find a hoppy beer (in terms of aroma) that isn't also super bitter. I mean, 60-min. IPA will beat you over the head with hops, but it's also damn bitter. SNPA, too.

I was thinking of a white for a phenolic flavor--obviously a less estery one, to draw the distinction.

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Old 03-24-2009, 01:58 AM   #7
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Although I haven't had a chance to read through it yet, you might pick up Randy Mosher's new book, Tasting Beer. It has sections on food pairings, etc...

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Old 03-24-2009, 03:11 AM   #8
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Soooo many choices...

Malty: try Avery's Ellie's Brown. Great chocolate and nut flavors for pairing with richer flavors and meats.

Bitter: I too think the best ESB money can buy is Fullers. Absolutely fantastic.

Hoppy: Dogfish Head 60 Min. IPA is a hop-slam. Bells Two-Hearted is another fantastic brew.

Same concern about esters and phelonic as Matt.

I might try to narrow it down as well. Maybe pick a type of food--fish, meat, poultry, chocolate--and pair different beers with different ways to prepare the food.

Garrett Oliver's Brewmaster's Table is the ultimate for pairing...

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