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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Experimental Beers
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:30 PM   #1
hoptualBrew
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Default Experimental Beers

I feel like fewer and fewer breweries nowadays (& homebrewers to an extent) are brewing crazy off the wall "food in a glass" beers. Recently I had a Cucumber Saison from Cigar City Brewing that really made me think. It was literally cucumber salad in a glass.. not anything what you would expect in a nice saison. Other breweries are doin similar stuff with Apple pie beers etc.

At what point does it become silly? And at what point do these non-reinheistgebot beers mask up the actual beer & brewing process of the beer itself? I honestly can't hold breweries in high regard that cannot produce excellent to-style beers. Anyone feel similar?

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Old 07-14-2012, 12:02 AM   #2
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I brew beers that are exactly in style and I also brew outrageous beers that don't match any style. I enjoy beers from breweries that follow either approach. The craft beer world is much better with both approaches and all that fall in between.

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Old 07-14-2012, 12:13 AM   #3
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The jury is still out for me.

I've had that cuke beer, and thought it was pretty good - happen to like cukes tho. (Have you tried Hendrick's gin yet? Or a Cucumber martini - 2/3 extra dry white vermouth, 1/3 dry saki garnished with a cuke. I promise you will feel like you are standing in a garden at sunrise, smelling cukes covered in dew).

In most fields, I stick with the classics. I don't smoke many cigars that have not been around for about 25 years. There are a few newer ones that have made it into my (very seldom) rotation, but by and large I am not an experimentor with cigars. Or scotches.

Coffee and beer, that's a different story. I order green coffee beans from all over, experiment with the roasting process and blends of each, and come up with some damn good cups of joe.
Beer... maybe there is room for both? At least for now while it is sort of popular? Frankly I don't have as refined a palate for beer (yet) as the other vices that might kill me. And coming into the game just about 3 years ago makes the learning curve difficult because what one brewer calls an IPA is so different from the next, then the next. Which one is the "classic?"

Heck, with that I'm starting a thread for people to weigh in on just that. Maybe it would be a good poll thread after we get some responses.

Cheers-

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Old 07-14-2012, 12:16 AM   #4
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+1 on Hendricks. I dont always drink Gin but..... ahh you get it.

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Old 07-14-2012, 01:19 AM   #5
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I'm not totally sure where your coming from or going to...
At first it seems you wish people experimented more, then it seems you'd rather they just brew a good basic beer.

Anyway, my opinion, like many others on this site seem to share...
brewing is making a "food", so like cooking, or baking... there are the basics.
Great "cooks" master the basics (techniques, execution, following a recipe and having it turn out as intended, etc.)

...and great "chefs" are masters of the basics as well, BUT...
they "understand" food, flavors, ingredients, techniques, and what they do at a "different" level.
They can look at a pile of misc. ingredients and "create" a great meal with what ever it is they have to work with.
(within reason obviously)... but they know through experience and intuition developed from experience...
what will work together and what won't.

There are those "good cooks" that think of themselves as "chefs", take away the recipe and they will likely "mimic" a recipe they know.
They will try "off the wall" stuff and "wing it". Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

The true "chefs" will take a few of the available ingredients and "make a recipe".
If the ingredients are limitless, they'll contemplate the best way to create what the want to make...
already "knowing" what it is they are going to make and how it will taste.

I don't think brewing beer is any different.

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Old 07-14-2012, 01:35 AM   #6
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Terrapin Brewery In Athens has some "side projects" they put out

http://terrapinbeer.com/brew/

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Old 07-14-2012, 02:54 AM   #7
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Unless it's a competition, style is insignificant.

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Old 07-14-2012, 03:16 AM   #8
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I don't think I care about their ability to brew to style, but their ability to make a quality product. Personally I think Southern Tier's approach to flavor is ham fisted and that their beer is gross, but I also think their non-crazy normal styles are gross. I also think the DFH's regular beers are too sweet and therefor I don't care for most of their extreme offerings. On the opposite side, I don't think Jolly Pumpkin could actually brew anything to style in their brewery, but everything they do is quality and their experimental beers are wonderful. The Italian brewers like Baladin, Birriifico, and Birra del Borgo use some off the wall ingredients in most of what I've seen, but it's a solid product despite any specific style.

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Old 07-14-2012, 04:34 AM   #9
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Hey, every style was extreme at one point or another! Think of the guy who first decided to throw hops in a beer. Everyone else before was non-Reinheitsgebot. Of course, there was no Reinheitsgebot at that time...

I respect brewers that brew classic styles, and I respect brewers who go off the wall, as long as the brewers make good beer.

But for the OP, I wouldn't worry. I think craft beer is in a bit of a bubble, and when it pops, the hipsters who go nutso for all the newest crazy releases will find some other obsession to chase. The best of the experimental brewers will survive, but all the also-rans will suffer.

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Old 07-14-2012, 05:25 AM   #10
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i too had the cucumber saison-... as i read the first line i was eager to reply w/ a suggestion to try the cuccmber saison-... then came the second line!

i like beers that are to style-... to learn about different "takes" on the same style.

i also like the crazy "because i can" beers aswell. i feel that someone can take one or two ingrediants from that beer and put it in a classic style to make their own "twist".

i feel both are absolutely necessary as some of the commercial classics can become mundane after awhile and the crazy beers can blur the lines of what beer styles actually are to the point where there is confusion amoungst all.

i've found that i don't care for most DFH's beers unless "min" is in the title. i was also very disappointed when i had their chiccory stout. i was expecting to be able to pinpoint any of the flavors described on the label. while it wasn't a bad beer, it still didn't taste like anything described on the label. i could only pick out one or two. to me that would seem a bit misleading.

i guess it's kinda like concept cars. the one you saw at the autoshow was amazing (it had everything) but the one that will wind up on the showroom floor in 8 years will be just another (insert car model here) w/ one or two pieces derrived from the original concept car.

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