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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Bitter Beer Face or Why the Bitter Beer
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:23 AM   #1
Matt Up North
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Default Bitter Beer Face or Why the Bitter Beer

This is a general thing that I have found with a lot of beer commercially sold. When they make an IPA it is super bitter hoppy and not aromatic hoppy. Instead of taking and making a balanced beer with maybe 2/3 of the hops in the bitter and the rest in aromatic, they are making it 90% bittering.

For example, if you are looking for 65 IBU's, look into putting 40 as a bittering addition at 60min. Don't put 60.

Moving away from the IPA, there are many people out there trying to bitter the hell out of all of their beers just to continue on the trend (or to stand out...meh). It always amazes me to sit down and drink something where it is way overpowering bitter.

I just had a flight at the Bear Republic. It was enjoyable. They make a bunch of different beers from Lagers to Okoberfest to IPA to Imperial Stout. I did the smaller flight of 13 instead of 16 (skipped their specialty barrel aged beers). Some of them were less memorable, some more so. I noticed a few though that were just over bitter. Malty, sure.

I get the same thing from a bunch of other breweries as well and just don't understand why they do it. Now everyone has their own taste buds, but I prefer mine to be able to enjoy a couple beers and not get overpowered by bitter hops.

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Old 03-04-2009, 04:36 AM   #2
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<------ hop head

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Old 03-04-2009, 04:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Matt Up North View Post
I get the same thing from a bunch of other breweries as well and just don't understand why they do it.
They do it because there is a market for it. It seems like what you are running into are highly hopped beers that don't have the malt body to support the bitterness. Call it the hops Arms Race if you will but lots of drinkers want ever increasing hop punch and the breweries are there to make products to sell. I'm with you in that to me a lot of these brews with the combination of high alpha hops and weak malt presence creates little more than an alpha acid delivery system.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:40 AM   #4
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I guess that's the nice thing about 1500 breweries to choose from.

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Old 03-04-2009, 04:44 AM   #5
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Most of the breweries who make high-IBU IPAs also make many other craft beers across a range of styles. And ultimately, what's so wonderful about home brewing is that you can customize your own recipes however you please until you end up with a drink that is perfect for your tastebuds.

I enjoy IPAs a lot and don't mind them bitter, but I also drink a lot of lighter beers like Wits and Koelsch that have little hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. If I had any requests for commercial beers, it would be less high alcohol brews and a larger variety of full-flavored beers in the 4-6% range in styles that aren't commonly available in the U.S.

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Old 03-04-2009, 06:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
If I had any requests for commercial beers, it would be less high alcohol brews and a larger variety of full-flavored beers in the 4-6% range in styles that aren't commonly available in the U.S.
I'd like that as well.. but the reality is, when I see a 4%ABV six pack for $6 and I can get something twice as strong for the same price... well.. it's hard to justify...
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:21 AM   #7
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I'd like that as well.. but the reality is, when I see a 4%ABV six pack for $6 and I can get something twice as strong for the same price... well.. it's hard to justify...
Huh what? You shop for beer by the ABV? That just seems weird to me; I look for things that look tasty. If you want ABV, get a bottle of vodka and have a shot at the start of the night or something.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:28 AM   #8
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wtf? where can you get a 6 pack for $6? Any craft beer out here in CO is $8-$12/er

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Old 03-04-2009, 07:10 AM   #9
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I feel this way too, but I understand it is only my personal taste. When I brew my beer, it's balanced...that's how I design my recipes or tweak other's. However, variety is the spice of life and I enjoy a good bitter brew every now and then. More importantly, since I am not the only beer drinker out there, is that some people prefer beers that favor bitterness over maltyness. Nothing wrong with it, just personal taste. And breweries market to that segment, just as much as they market to any other. I guarantee you almost every brewery out there has a hefeweizen, a lager, a pilsner, brown ale, or cream ale that is a "crowd pleaser". Light on the hops, featuring the malt, and goes down smooth. But to forget about the bitter american stout, or the super-hoppy IPA, or an over the top barleywine would be a fatal mistake in a craft brewery.

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Old 03-04-2009, 08:08 AM   #10
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Huh what? You shop for beer by the ABV? That just seems weird to me; I look for things that look tasty. If you want ABV, get a bottle of vodka and have a shot at the start of the night or something.
I guess you're right. I wouldn't avoid it because it's low ABV... I just wouldn't buy it more than once. I buy barley wines because I don't have to age them for 6 months to a year like my homebrew. With lower ABV beers, I don't have that problem, so I'm far more likely to buy a single 6er, drink it, and sit down to try and figure out a clone....

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wtf? where can you get a 6 pack for $6? Any craft beer out here in CO is $8-$12/er
Well, I paid $7 tonight, but it was for a 6er of Big Foot Ale, so I don't mind so much. I guess most of the ones out here are $7-10...
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