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Old 02-26-2008, 06:33 PM   #1
Apr 2007
Posts: 127
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The brewpub in question is Franklin's in Hyattsville, MD on Rt. 1. Had their "Best Bitter", which is a new-ish recipe for them. The beer had a weird earthy, almost moldy flavor. But "moldy" is too string a word; it wasn't gross or objectionable, but unusual.

So what do you think this flavor is? It could certainly be one of the hops used, but which one? I've never come across this flavor in any other commercial brew before. Or do you think it's something else, like bad beer in the lines?

It was unusual, I don't know that I'd have it again. Other than the weird earthy taste, it was quite a nice bitter. I'll probably try to track down their brewmaster next time I'm there.

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Old 02-26-2008, 07:25 PM   #2
Oct 2007
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Perchance they could have used pride of ringwood, an Australian hop that is being put to use during the shortage.

Also, they could have thrown in some oak cubes or oak chips while fermenting to get a nice brett character. Perchance was it aged in oak barrels, was this a new beer or an older beer. When was it brewed how old was it etc.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:13 PM   #3
May 2007
Cary, NC
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An ESB you say? Perchance it was served on cask? If so it may have oxidized a bit, adding some of character you perceived.

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Old 02-26-2008, 08:15 PM   #4
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Nov 2007
Portland, ME
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maybe they need to clean their hoses in the tap system.

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Old 02-26-2008, 08:20 PM   #5
Jan 2008
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I'm not sure if this is what you're describing, but every now and then I used to get a beer that tasted drastically different and the only words I could think to describe it were "earthy" and "clay-like". I couldn't decide if it was a good flavor or a bad flavor....then I was reading about off-flavors and the phrase "wet cardboard" came up....I immediately knew that was what I was tasting but couldn't describe. Maybe that's what you tasted??

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Old 02-26-2008, 08:40 PM   #6
Jan 2007
Near Detroit
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Most english hops taste at least a little earthy to me. Fuggles actually tastes like mud in my opinion

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Old 02-26-2008, 08:47 PM   #7
Apr 2007
Posts: 127
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Yeah, these are all good possibilities. My first thought was of course the hops, it isn't necessarily bad, but different. It isn't a very woody flavor and it isn't what I'd normally think of as brett either. my best guess is a funky hop.

It'd be very interesting if they were using Pride of Ringwood.

Like I said, I'm definitely gonna ask about their recipe next time I'm there.

I was never this curious about this stuff before I started brewing!

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Old 02-26-2008, 08:50 PM   #8
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Jul 2006
Bee Cave, Texas
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I have learned to ask for a "Tiny Taste" of any craft beer before I go ahead and plop down 4 to 6 bucks for a pint. Most every place sells tasters or samplers, but I ask for a about a tablespoon and so far every place has provided the tiny sip.

So far, I've only turned back about 8 beers over the last year or so, but it still saves from having to choke down a beer that does not work for ya.

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