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Beers/ales/Lagers from your past that you want to/have tried to clone...

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seatazzz

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Got to thinking about this the other day. Way way back in the day (I'm thinking mid-to late eighties here) before the craft beers really started exploding, we didn't have much choice, other than the AB/InBev usual suspects, or stupidly expensive imports. Killian's Irish red, anyone? My first husband absolutely adored Miller Genuine (hah!) Draft, while I was more partial to Moosehead. I've found a clone recipe of it and want to do it one of these days. Another one (albeit kind of silly) is the beer my dad drank when I was a little girl in Utah; Burgie. From what I remember (over 45 years now) it had a nice fresh taste that was better than Budweiser, although 3%ABV as all beers in Utah had to be.

So, what beers from your past have you wanted/tried to clone? Not thinking historical beers here, just what you enjoyed in your youth that you want to have again. Bonus points to anyone who has made a clone of Schmidt's (known as Animal Beer in my far distant youth) or Busch or Natty Light. Extra bonus points/gold stars for recipes. Go!!!
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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Schmidt’s, I used to drink that One in my 20s and Strohs both were inexpensive and didn’t taste like Bud. As far as cloning them I have no interest. A coworker had given my hubby a gift of Kwak one year for Christmas and we enjoyed the smoothness of it. I did come pretty close cloning that one In a side by side tasting.
 

bobeer

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we mostly drank malt liquor back in the day which i'd never try to brew myself because most of it was pretty horrible. I think Micky's and Elephant were probably the best tasting ones. Coors original was another go to as well as MGD and Yuengling. Once we tasted that sweet amber lager from Pottsville, Pa nothing tasted the same again. Then we found SNPA and it was all over. Maybe if I ever get the ability to lager I'll look into doing Yueng'er clone.
 

Brooothru

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As a teen (18) growing up on the Missouri side of the Kansas-Missouri border in the 60s, we used to make frequent trips West across the river to get 3.2% Coors. First, you couldn't buy Coors East of Kansas, and second, you couldn't buy beer in Missouri unless you were 21. A regular twofer!

Fast forward to the present day. Say what you will about the hype, etc. This was a beer of my youth! So clone it I did. And I continue to keep it in the rotation, most recently last April. Well, actually it's a Coors Light clone which more closely replicates the 3.2 ABV we used to get, but it's very close. I go to great pains to closely match the ingredients right down to the floor-malted Moravian malt and the Wyeast 1217PC limited release "Rocky Mt. Lager" yeast. I find it indistinguishable from the 'Silver Bullet' in side by side comparison.

My Dad used to like Falstaff and Hamm's, or if he'd worked some overtime that week, Schlitz. I'm not quite willing to go that far Old School.

Brooo Brother
 

Elric

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Maudite and Fin du Monde were really my first introductions to the world of craft beer and I am strongly thinking of trying to attempt to make my own copies of them sometime in the near future.
 

bracconiere

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i was a 'lamer' when i was a kid, so the 'cool' kids wouldn't let me have any beer. i started making my own at 18 or so, and never want it to be the same twice!

if anything, i'm drinking a "Guieness light" as i type this....
 

ebbelwoi

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I spent some time in Germany in my teens. My first beer was a Coors in the US, and then my second through 300th were German beers. My favorite brands were Alpirsbacher and Dinkelacker. I've tried cloning Alpirsbacher Pils, with a recipe I found on maischemalzundmehr, but I have no idea how close it is to the original, because I haven't had it in over 25 years! I'm planning to make a CD-Pils clone in the near future, under the same circumstances.
 

kestrelbrewing

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One of the first craft breweries in the DC area in the early 1990s was Old Heurich. There was the prerequisite family story about an ancestor who'd owned a brewery pre-prohibition and a claim that these were the original recipes … . Ultimately, the beer was quite good and it would be fun to try remaking it. I believe that had two beers, an ale and a lager, but that's relying on my less than perfect memories of a product I consumed to excess with predictable results.
 

Nate R

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Got to thinking about this the other day. Way way back in the day (I'm thinking mid-to late eighties here) before the craft beers really started exploding, we didn't have much choice, other than the AB/InBev usual suspects, or stupidly expensive imports. Killian's Irish red, anyone? My first husband absolutely adored Miller Genuine (hah!) Draft, while I was more partial to Moosehead. I've found a clone recipe of it and want to do it one of these days. Another one (albeit kind of silly) is the beer my dad drank when I was a little girl in Utah; Burgie. From what I remember (over 45 years now) it had a nice fresh taste that was better than Budweiser, although 3%ABV as all beers in Utah had to be.

So, what beers from your past have you wanted/tried to clone? Not thinking historical beers here, just what you enjoyed in your youth that you want to have again. Bonus points to anyone who has made a clone of Schmidt's (known as Animal Beer in my far distant youth) or Busch or Natty Light. Extra bonus points/gold stars for recipes. Go!!!
Henry Weinhardt's Private Reserve... good beer, and we got it cheap.
My roomates and i had a jokes about Killian's Irish Red... mostly how it exited the body. Bad experiences with that one.
I had the luxury of growing up in Northern Cali, so even at 18, 19... in the late 90's... a keg of SNPA in chico was about the cost of a keg of Bud.
Thoose days are gone!
 

NTBeer

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Like Hoppy, a ton of fire brewed Strohs - what beer doesn't use a fire? Used to get Rhinelander in renewable bottles for like $6 a case to. But what I think I'd like to clone is my grandmother's beer, Blatz. Off to find a recipe!
 

wsmith1625

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Coors Extra Gold was the first beer I enjoyed before I could legally buy beer. I thought it was a premium beer because it was "Extra Gold". It probably was an improvement to my Dad's Meister Brau, which we joked was made with Barnegat Bay water. I later moved onto Molson Ice, probably because it was higher ABV than most beers at the time. I definitely won't be trying to clone any of these.

Fast forward a bit, I used to really enjoy Goose Island Honkers Ale. This was before I knew what an IPA was, and when most liquor stores were just starting to carry them. I definitely would like to clone that beer, especially since Goose Island stopped making it a few years ago.
 

Hanglow

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I started drinking in the mid 90s, two of my favourite beers then were Maclays 80/- and also Deuchars IPA was a really good, nationally available ale. Unfortunately Maclays is no more and Deuchars has gone through a number of different owners, if memory serves it started to go downhill about 20 years ago. It' still nationally available but is a pale shadow of its former self.

I haven't actually tried to clone either exactly despite having the recipes, I have done a number of brews inspired by them though
 

ebbelwoi

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Used to get Rhinelander in renewable bottles for like $6 a case too.
Rhinelander and Wisconsin Club was $3.99, and Black Label was $4.99. In college we used to use the empty cases as furniture, then when we moved out, we'd take 'em back a week before moving day, and get enough money from the deposits to buy a few more cases.

s-l400.jpg
 
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OldDogBrewing

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I don't like to clone anyone as I want my beer to have my style, but I've been inspired by Westmalle for my Tripel and recently I've researching on replicating the taste of Blanche du Hainaut from Brasserie Dupont, again, I don't want a clone, I want something that is refreshing and smooth as that one is, their beer is back soured with lactic acid and that's something I won't be doing
 

Beer666

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has to be Troi Pistoles. Man i miss that beer.
 

John Coo's Brews

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Beers from that far back bring back good memories and good times, if not neccesarily memorable beers. Rolling Rock long necks, direct from the Latrobe, PA brewery at the beach during spring break - for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The "Study Hall" restaurant on Friday afternoons, cutting classes, and enjoying a hot pastrami and several Beck's Dark lagers (probably one of the first imports I tried). Just to name a couple. Most of the beers available to me then were lagers, and I've never had the desire to try to duplicate them - the ales, and most recently the Belgian ales, I've come to appreciate over the course of 45 years is what originally drew me to brewing and continues to be my focus.
 

Brooothru

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I don't like to clone anyone as I want my beer to have my style, but I've been inspired by Westmalle for my Tripel and recently I've researching on replicating the taste of Blanche du Hainaut from Brasserie Dupont, again, I don't want a clone, I want something that is refreshing and smooth as that one is, their beer is back soured with lactic acid and that's something I won't be doing
Your post got me to thinking. I kinda' thought I was that way, too. But this thread started me on a search of beers I've brewed in the past (my records only go back as far as 2000, which is when I really started getting serious about brewing), and I set about to analyze what I brew and why I brew it. Maybe I'm over-thinking the whole thing, but I did see a pattern. I didn't think I was cloning beers when in fact that exactly what I was doing.

What I set out to do when I decide to brew something (anything), the motivation is generally, "I liked that beer I had the other day. That type of beer would be good right about now until 5 gallons run out." So I set out to discover what malts and hops were in it that made it taste so good, and that usually leads to brewing that style with typical methods specific to my equipment and procedures. If it turns out well, I'll tweak it a bit to try to improve it next time. After a few iterations I'll either give up and move on to something different (the next shiny object syndrome) or I'll be pleased and put it in the rotation. That means kicking some brew out of the lineup, so it'll usually be a one-for-one stylistic elimination; i.e., an ale for an ale, an IPA for an IPA, etc.

After looking at my brew sessions over the last year to 18 months I saw many familiar style beers that were derivative of commercial beers "except for...." So are they clones (duplicates), or am I trying to replicate (create a beer that's very similar to the original, but not quite the same) something I'd previously enjoyed? Is it a copy or an inspiration? If I go to Ruth's Chris or Del Frisco's and have the filet of my dreams and then attempt to prepare it on my Weber grill at home, am I trying to "clone" that steak or trying to produce something similar that I enjoyed? I always thought that whenever I used a clone recipe it was a starting point to expand on and adapt it to my process. But after looking at the recipes I've brewed and re-brewed with 'refinements' I see that I've continually gotten closer and closer to the brewery's original.

My most recent session last week was an attempt to recreate something akin to the original 1990 Stone IPA. Stone is continually modifying their recipes, using what's available, economically viable, or trending as "hot." New Belgium does the same (remember the original "Ranger"? I sure do). The point is, you're mostly "cloning" a perpetually moving target, especially as it applies to craft brewing which by its nature and clientele needs to be trendy and flexible to keep up with what is "in" at any point in time. I get that and accept it, but I really miss the original Stone and Ranger beers. So looking back, I'm glad I struggled to copy the originals of those two beers, along with Coor's Light, and, as it turns out, many others.

So to answer the OP's question I guess I'd have to say emphatically, "Yes, in fact all the beers I have brewed are clones of beers from my past." I just never thought of it that way before.
 
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Nate R

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Your post got me to thinking. I kinda' thought I was that way, too. But this thread started me on a search of beers I've brewed in the past (my records only go back as far as 2000, which is when I really started getting serious about brewing), and I set about to analyze what I brew and why I brew it. Maybe I'm over-thinking the whole thing, but I did see a pattern. I didn't think I was cloning beers when in fact that exactly what I was doing.

What I set out to do when I decide to brew something (anything), the motivation is generally, "I liked that beer I had the other day. That type of beer would be good right about now until 5 gallons run out." So I set out to discover what malts and hops were in it that made it taste so good, and that usually leads to brewing that style with typical methods specific to my equipment and procedures. If it turns out well, I'll tweak it a bit to try to improve it next time. After a few iterations I'll either give up and move on to something different (the next shiny object syndrome) or I'll be pleased and put it in the rotation. That means kicking some brew out of the lineup, so it'll usually be a one-for-one stylistic elimination; i.e., an ale for an ale, an IPA for an IPA, etc.

After looking at my brew sessions over the last year to 18 months I saw many familiar style beers that were derivative of commercial beers "except for...." So are they clones (duplicates), or am I trying to replicate (create a beer that's very similar to the original, but not quite the same) something I'd previously enjoyed? Is it a copy or an inspiration? If I go to Ruth's Chris or Del Frisco's and have the filet of my dreams and then attempt to prepare it on my Weber grill at home, am I trying to "clone" that steak or trying to produce something similar that I enjoyed? I always thought that whenever I used a clone recipe it was a starting point to expand on and adapt it to my process. But after looking at the recipes I've brewed and re-brewed with 'refinements' I see that I've continually gotten closer and closer to the brewery's original.

My most recent session last week was an attempt to recreate something akin to the original 1990 Stone IPA. Stone is continually modifying their recipes, using what's available, economically viable, or trending as "hot." New Belgium does the same (remember the original "Ranger"? I sure do). The point is, you're mostly "cloning" a perpetually moving target, especially as it applies to craft brewing which by its nature and clientele needs to be trendy and flexible to keep up with what is "in" at any point in time. I get that and accept it, but I really miss the original Stone and Ranger beers. So looking back, I'm glad I struggled to copy the originals of those two beers, along with Coor's Light, and, as it turns out, many others.

So to answer to OP's question I guess I'd have to say emphatically, "Yes, in fact all the beers I have brewed are clones of beers from my past." I just never thought of it that way before.
Amazing post. Well said, and i think it may sum up why a lot of us brew. Well written.
 

bobeer

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Henry Weinhardt's Private Reserve... good beer, and we got it cheap.
My roomates and i had a jokes about Killian's Irish Red... mostly how it exited the body. Bad experiences with that one.
I had the luxury of growing up in Northern Cali, so even at 18, 19... in the late 90's... a keg of SNPA in chico was about the cost of a keg of Bud.
Thoose days are gone!
Went to Chico State for a bit back in the early 2000's and it was cheaper to drink than it was to eat in that town and the beer was in every nook and cranny of the town. It was wonderful.
 
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Late '80's...Pete's Wicked Ale. The flagship was a brown ale and it was amazing, but the Rally Cap was really good and the Strawberry Blonde was the basis for Wild Strawberry Blonde recipe here on HBT. It was my recollection of what it tasted like. It was the best summer beer. I miss Pete's.
 

Corey61753

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Old Style. I grew up going to baseball games at Wrigley Field. In hs we would buy someone's beer in exchange for getting us beer. Great memories!
 
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seatazzz

seatazzz

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Late '80's...Pete's Wicked Ale. The flagship was a brown ale and it was amazing, but the Rally Cap was really good and the Strawberry Blonde was the basis for Wild Strawberry Blonde recipe here on HBT. It was my recollection of what it tasted like. It was the best summer beer. I miss Pete's.
Dammit I forgot about old Pete's! I loved that brew!
 
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seatazzz

seatazzz

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Old Style. I grew up going to baseball games at Wrigley Field. In hs we would buy someone's beer in exchange for getting us beer. Great memories!
My ex husband grew up on the South Side; we went back and visited a couple times while still married, and Old Style was a great beer back then. I've seen it out here a few times in specialty stores but haven't bought it. Good beer.
 

porterguy

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Like Hoppy, a ton of fire brewed Strohs - what beer doesn't use a fire? Used to get Rhinelander in renewable bottles for like $6 a case to. But what I think I'd like to clone is my grandmother's beer, Blatz. Off to find a recipe!
Hope you post your Blatz recipe and results (if you find it and make it). I remember my parents drank that when I was a wee tyke (mom being from Wisconsin). It came in short, like Red Stripe still does.
 

porterguy

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Rhinelander and Wisconsin Club was $3.99, and Black Label was $4.99. In college we used to use the empty cases as furniture, then when we moved out, we'd take 'em back a week before moving day, and get enough money from the deposits to buy a few more cases.

View attachment 704152
I believe "Old Wisconsin" was only $2.99 a case, which was affordable even on a college budget. Black Label was "the good stuff" at that $4.99 price.
 

ebbelwoi

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There was an Old Wisconsin? How did I miss that one? o_O We only bought the Wisconsin Club a few times, if they were out of Rhinelander and Black Label. I think we even bought the "It don't git no better'n dis" Old Milwaukee returnables at an astounding $6.99 if we were feeling like big-shots. We'd get the cans if we were going on a road trip.

wisconsin club.jpg


I don't think I'll ever be a good enough brewer to clone those beers.
 
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Hope you post your Blatz recipe and results (if you find it and make it). I remember my parents drank that when I was a wee tyke (mom being from Wisconsin). It came in short, like Red Stripe still does.
It's still around! I have 1/2 of a 24 in my fridge in SC. I picked it up just outside of Detroit in August!

MC
 
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Not from my misspent youth, but I've been trying for a few years to design a recipe to match Lion Stout, which IMO is a perfect stout. Getting closer and closer.......
 

Dog House Brew

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Maudite and Fin du Monde were really my first introductions to the world of craft beer and I am strongly thinking of trying to attempt to make my own copies of them sometime in the near future.
FYI, You can find WY3864 right now if you hurry. I just ordered a fresh pack this week. It was their Pc offering and is almost gone in most places.
 

Mutant

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Beers from that far back bring back good memories and good times, if not neccesarily memorable beers. Rolling Rock long necks, direct from the Latrobe, PA brewery at the beach during spring break - for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The "Study Hall" restaurant on Friday afternoons, cutting classes, and enjoying a hot pastrami and several Beck's Dark lagers (probably one of the first imports I tried). Just to name a couple. Most of the beers available to me then were lagers, and I've never had the desire to try to duplicate them - the ales, and most recently the Belgian ales, I've come to appreciate over the course of 45 years is what originally drew me to brewing and continues to be my focus.
Rolling Rock Pony Bottles by the case
 
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In college, there was a pub called Spike's which gave out little punch cards, "Beers Around the World." If you hit 40 countries, you got a plaque on the wall. My plaque is the same as my signature line below. In any case, I have to go with Guinness as my favorite young adult beer. I loved the dry, slightly sour, bitter and roasty flavors. I am trying to do another stout this Saturday the 7th, as my last two batches both got infected and had to be tossed. Not any of my other beers, just my stout, go figure.
 

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Theakstons Old Peculiar clone is in the Speidel as we speak. Drinking on a Paulaner hefe clone now. Tried to clone Sammy Smiths Pale but I over hopped a bit. Spent a lot of time working in Houston In the early 2000s. Used to drink Bellhaven Scottish ale at the Richmond Arms pub. Tried a clone kit of that from AHS but I don’t think it was that close to what I remember. Did a Moreland‘s Old Speckled Hen a while back that was great. When I was a youngster, we drank mostly regular Michelob. May try that one sometime since you can’t get it anymore.
 

Mutant

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In college, there was a pub called Spike's which gave out little punch cards, "Beers Around the World." If you hit 40 countries, you got a plaque on the wall. My plaque is the same as my signature line below. In any case, I have to go with Guinness as my favorite young adult beer. I loved the dry, slightly sour, bitter and roasty flavors. I am trying to do another stout this Saturday the 7th, as my last two batches both got infected and had to be tossed. Not any of my other beers, just my stout, go figure.
Is that 40 countries in one night, or over a longer period of time? College has different standards
 

Mutant

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I would always like to repeat my Vienna Beer awarded 'Double Gold' for a score of 44. That was a great beer. I didn't even win the competition, so somebody had a higher score than that.
 

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Rainier/Olympia were staples of my youth. Followed by the original Ranger IPA (New Belgium)
 
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