I'm only replying to this because the title of the thread made my laugh a little.
Everytime I think about upcoming trips and what beers I wanna brew for them, I go with what I know and what I've done plenty of times. This way there will be no surprises and I can anticipate for the most part how it should come out.
I'm not against experimentation or trying new brews at all, but when I've got my families opinion of my brewing abilities on the line I go with something that won't fail.
Oh, also, my first attempt at a big beer was a drastic failure. It wasn't even my attempt but I was helping out a seasoned brewer as we tried to make a custom recipe. I'm sure it'll be ok in about six months but it's swill right now.
I'm yammering on a bit now, too much blackberry wheat, my personal ringer, everyone loves it, but I get to drink it all the time. muahahahhaha.