What Should I Brew My Dad, Who Doesn't Like "Ales" - Home Brew Forums

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Old 03-15-2011, 05:38 AM   #1
Oct 2010
Berkeley, CA, East Bay, CA
Posts: 62

First, I cannot and will not Lager.

My family will be visiting from the East Coast in the Fall for the first time since I've started brewing (and moved from OR to CA). My Dad doesn't like a lot of my favorites (Ninkasi, DFH, Rogue, IPAs, dark/heavy ales), but does drink mass-micro-craft beer (Sam Adams, other random specialty beers that often suprise me).

When I tried to have him nail down his taste he finally said "I don't think I like Ales". I quickly realized thats not quite what he meant, as it is obviously too general. He doesn't like many beers that are called 'Ale' (Brown Ale, Red Ale, Dark Ale, maybe Amber Ale?).

He doesn't like overly bitter beer, IPAs, esp. hoppy IPAs. He doesn't like 'dark (ale) beers', but he does like heavy (desert-ish) Stouts and maybe some less bitter porters. I think he likes a good deal of wheat beer, though I'm not really into wheat (but I'm trying...) so don't know/remember (but it'd make sense being sweeter and all). Generally he is fine with lagers/pils/etc, but I wouldn't say 'likes' them. I'm going to ask him to elaborate more next time we talk.

I want to brew something high-gravity to sit it bottles for a while anyway (stout, barley wine, double-ale, ?), and thought a wheat was a good bet for him, and a chance for me to try something new (that I'm trying to "develop" a taste for). Any direction for wheat I should consider? I know Wheat Brews are pretty fast/fresh, so I might practice on one or two and brew a fresh batch for when they come.


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Old 03-15-2011, 05:54 AM   #2
Mar 2009
Virginia Beach, Va.
Posts: 88
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You might try a steam beer...

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Old 03-15-2011, 06:03 AM   #3
Dec 2008
Yankee Hill, CA
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:10 AM   #4
Zamial's Avatar
Apr 2010
Posts: 3,183
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Yep, we all know this guy for me it is my Uncle. He is never going to let me live down giving him some Ruination. IMO you have 3 brew options:

The Wheat - These are typically fast to brew and best fresh, there are a few examples of an aged wheat but for the most part these need to be drank sooner than later.

The Stout - Try a big Chocolate monster Stout. Chocolate is a 50/50. Some love it others do not. It may be cheaper to buy him a Young's Double chocolate Stout to see...

A Cream Ale - This is about as close as I will probably get to trying to make a BMC. BeirMuncher's cream of 3 crops would be a good place to start. These can be aged.

The thing is I think "these guys" are trying to get you to brew X BMC beer or something similar. When it does not taste like X then they do not like it. Some people do not like any flavor at all and no matter what you brew they will not like it.

The last time my Uncle was about for a beer, he retold the Ruination story for the umpteenth time (How I made him drink some rancid horrible beer) and then looked at me and said,"Bottle me up some of what she likes, while pointing to SWMBO, if she likes it, so will I."

On the ride home she states that my Uncle has no idea what he is talking about because she LOVES Stouts, specifically Chocolate/Coffee stouts. She now has it in her head that they will share some stouts next time...WATCH OUT LAGER BOY, THAT BEER HAS FLAVOR!

IMO I say look at the cream ale...
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:14 AM   #5
biochemedic's Avatar
Jun 2010
Carnegie, PA
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Originally Posted by greenfrog5 View Post
I want to brew something high-gravity to sit it bottles for a while anyway (stout, barley wine, double-ale, ?), and thought a wheat was a good bet for him, and a chance for me to try something new (that I'm trying to "develop" a taste for). Any direction for wheat I should consider? I know Wheat Brews are pretty fast/fresh, so I might practice on one or two and brew a fresh batch for when they come.

Your description of your dad liking wheat beers, yet mentioning high grav agers made me think of this new beer from Terrapin...it's truly awesome, one of the most unique new beers I've tried in a good long while (not to mention something that I'm sure will age well...I have a couple saved in this process now). They describe it as a 'wheat wine', but it's also brewed with honey (unfortunately, no idea of the proportions) so it's kind of a braggot too, I guess. Perhaps you could look into finding/putting together a clone recipe something like this?
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:36 AM   #6
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Mar 2010
Binghamton, NY
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SWMBO's father only like Labatt Blue, basically a BMC lager but slightly more flavorful. I brewed a version of Biermuncher's Cream of Three Crops (http://bit.ly/fuLuXO) with about 1.5 pounds of rice (no corn) and he loved it. I just was sure to keep the temps low and used a clean yeast, s05 in my case.

I actually liked it so much I brewed up another one recently with a bunch more flavor hops.

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Old 03-15-2011, 06:36 AM   #7
Oct 2010
Berkeley, CA, East Bay, CA
Posts: 62

Thanks all for the feedback! Never heard of braggot, but it certainly sounds interesting. My Dad is by no means BMC... More like "Sam Adams, Heiniken, Blue Moon". I'm pretty sure he'd love a Chocolate Stout, and I plan on having one aged by then anyway.

I've heard of this Cream Ale around a lot too (especially for converting BMC drinkers to craft). I can't say I remember having one, any suggestions available on the west coast? Definitely going to look-into/try that braggot/mead/beer thing too.

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Old 03-15-2011, 07:24 AM   #8
Golddiggie's Avatar
Dec 2010
Posts: 11,995
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I would look at some cream ale recipes (as already mentioned), maybe some English pale ale's (less IBU's than the US versions), a strong Scotch ale could be a good match too. For braggot's, they can be tricky buggers. You'll end up using a really good amount of honey in them (typically they're at least 50% honey if not 2/3 honey 1/3 grain)... If you're thinking of going down that route, I'd make at least one batch before you make the one for your father to try. They could also need a decent amount of time to age before being really ready for drinking (6+ months) due to the amount of honey and high ABV... I do plan on making one, eventually, but I want to get some other brews done first. Plus, I'll want to secure a place to age it for the long term.

An old ale could be another option for you... Usually in the 6-9% ABV range

Strong Scotch ale's are usually in the 6.5-10% range...

I made one old ale so far, that's turned out really smooth. It's been in bottles almost three weeks, so it's almost time to chill one down to try. Depending on how it is carbonated will determine how I adjust the recipe for the next time...

I think you could make at least one batch of anything but a braggot before his visit. I would really do one batch, see how it is, and if it's not what you think he'll want, you'll still have time to adjust the recipe and brew it again in time.

Are you brewing all grain or extract? I'm a bit biased on the side of all grain. I think you have a better chance of getting cleaner flavors that way. With less chance of getting any of the off flavors that you could get from extracts. Besides, if I was brewing something for MY father, I'd want it to be the absolute best thing possible. Unfortunately, that's something that I'll never be able to do.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:16 PM   #9
Oct 2009
Tallahassee, FL
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:10 PM   #10
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Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
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Originally Posted by tallybrewer View Post
LOL! Maybe...

Cream Ale might be great, or a Wit (I like them).

I remember when I gave some ruination to my BIL. You shoulda seen the shape his neck went when he took his first drink!

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