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Old 02-04-2010, 03:45 PM   #11
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You can always do a SESH beer.

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Old 02-04-2010, 03:51 PM   #12
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would have to agree with the crazy canuck! I've been teaching some home brewing classes in my little town here and I would say half the students ask be about all the cherry chocolate double stouts, and vanilla raspberry porters, ect. I tell them to lean to brew a classic style, get your techniques down, MAKE A GOOD BEER, and then experiment with off the wall combination. They also seem upset at me when I tell them I hardly ever in my ten years try to brew these beers. I had one student attempt to brew a Berliner Weiss on his second batch, he asked for pointers and I told him to brew something a little easier so he wasn't disappointed (he never even had a commercial Berliner). Needless to say when he gave me one to try I was honest with him and told him it was not very good, you live and learn.
I am a traditional English ale guy, who also loves German beers; call just old fashion or that’s but me boring what I like. That being said I do brew Belgians, and American styles but the majority of my beers are English.
I was going to write a blog some time back about the extremeness (is that a word) of American beers, I do appreciate some of them but it seems everyone is getting in on the act and not really putting out the best products. Growing up on east coast Dogfish Head was always available and as far as my drinking history goes were the first extreme beers to be put out. They do it well, but they also strike out sometimes. So if they can miss I think others who are throwing one of these beers into their lineup will also have a hard time.
I am a tradional English ale guy, who also loves German beers, call me boring or just old fashion but thats what I like. That being said I do brew Belgians, and American styles but the majority of my beers are english.
I was going to write a blog some time back about the extremeness(is that a word) of american beers, I do appreciate some of them but it seems everyone is getting in on the act and not really putting out the best products. Growing up on east coast Dogfish Head was always available and as far as my drinking history goes were the first extreme beers to be put out. They do it well, but they also strike out sometimes. So if they can miss I think others who are throwing one of these beers into their lineup will also have a hard time.

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Old 02-04-2010, 03:57 PM   #13
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There was a great article in BYO a few months back on Mild ales. The author was praising the simplicity and session quality of Milds, and lamenting the fact that there are not too many session strength beers in the market (below 4% and easy to drink in quantity). He also said that as craft brewers, we had to push the limit, to go over the top to find our limit. The beginning of the craft movement was to make beer as different from BMC as possible. While there will always be room for the giant Oak Aged Imperial Stouts and other over the top beers, I think the craft movement on whole is starting to embrace session beers.

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Old 02-04-2010, 04:10 PM   #14
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http://sessionbeerproject.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:15 PM   #15
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The American craft beer umbrella contains the best and worst beers I've ever had. Extremeness probably has a lot to do with that. My biggest bone to pick is with shifting definitions. Today's Pale Ale is what an IPA used to be. And today's IPAs make the old Sister Star of the Sun recipe took tame. Many stouts are stouter than their old imperial brethren. And you certainly can't trust fruit to be subtle anymore. I love trying new beers but the noise to signal ratio in American craft brewing is huge and only getting larger. For every great craft beer I find, there are 5 or 6 others that are decent at best, and 3 or 4 that make me wish I had just bought a 6er of Coors instead.

I'm all for being as simple or extreme as you'd like. This is America, right? But what I don't like is pushing the boundaries and not being clear about that on the packaging. Dogfish does a great job of letting me know right from the start that they're a little extreme. Dale's Pale Ale? That should be labeled an IPA before someone puts their eye out.

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Old 02-04-2010, 04:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gannawdm View Post
Aren't SMaSH recipes all grain? I haven't ventured into all grain yet.

Sure, but some of the online companies also have nice, single-malt extracts. I know Northern Brewer was selling a Pilsner and a Munich liquid extract. Could use those for a SMaSH.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batinse View Post
They remembered classic styles like the Oatmeal Stout.
First, I think that it was Samuel Smith who reintroduced the Oatmeal Stout, and they're a British company, assuming they ever stopped making them.

Second, I like simple beers, that's what I brew, and I think that a lot of other people do too, but you're going to see a lot of posts about extreme beers on forums and the like because that's what gets the attention.

Finally, I think that the urge for extremes is a newbie sorta thing. I see it in a lot of different hobbies, the people who are new want to explore, try new things, set their mark. They really don't understand things completely, or see the challenge in truly doing something simple well, instead of something complex poorly. A triple vanilla chocolate chili IPA sounds as hard as a "boring" brown ale, but a LOT more interesting.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:48 PM   #18
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When I think weird/clusterf*ck beers, I think Dogfish Head. And some of their weirder ones are VERY miss. But - they're cool to try, and they open the market for other breweries to experiment. DuClaw in MD recently released Colossus in 22 oz bottles. It's a 20% "hybrid ale" (how the brewery describes it), and it's got honey, spices, they used like 3 different yeasts to get it to 20%....and it's surprisingly good. I don't go in for a bunch of spices in my beer (strong ones I mean, orange peel and coriander don't count here), or anything that's super sticky sweet. But it was an experiment gone right, and I get to enjoy it (only because I didn't pay for it - $20 for 22 oz!!! Still cheaper than Utopias.)

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Old 02-04-2010, 04:54 PM   #19
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There's obviously room in the market and in drinkers' palattes for both. Good old Sam Adams Boston Lager is a pretty straigtforward beer, and Utopias is about as extreme as it gets. I tend towards the simpler styles (best beer I've had in a LONG time is Dale's Pale Ale), but there are some interesting things done in the "extreme" end of things too.

I'm not quite sure what my point is...

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Old 02-04-2010, 05:45 PM   #20
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I'm don't typically care for beers with added ingredients (unless it's an Imperial Stout), but my favorite styles are big Stouts, big IPAs, and Irish Reds. I don't care for Hefes too much, they're just kinda "meh", Pils are always bland and boring to me. I like big flavor. I'm with you on beers with all kinds of other random ingredients, however, if it's just grains, water, hops, and yeast, I don't care for bland and boring. I want flavor and complexity. Do you eat a burger with nothing on it? A plate of rice and nothing else?

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