Brewed an Ordinary Bitter...

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3 Dawg Night

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...about six weeks ago, and it might be one of the most enjoyable everyday beers I've ever had. Just nice and balanced. I could drink a LOT of this beer. I expect it to go quickly!

The recipe is based on "No Ordinary Bitter" from Brewing Classic Styles by Palmer & Zainasheff.
 

Cellar_Dweller

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It's weird to me that this style hasn't been promoted in the US as a standard everyday drinking beer yet. Marketing teams can surely find a way to make it seem like an American style to the public, if that's even important. It's so easy to make and so very much more delicious than any Bud or Coors etc. product . I guess it's more expensive to produce than our pale lagers? Cool, but there must be some middle ground between Bud Light and imports or craft beer where this sort of drink could shine. I'd buy the **** out of it.

Well not actually me, since I make car loads of it as it is. Got one in the tank as we speak. Bitter is the most crushable beer I've ever made.

But surely, once people taste it, they'd want more. Because, well, you can actually taste it. You don't have to stifle a bunch of mediocre flavors with near freezing temps for it to be enjoyable. I lived in England for a time, and it was something else just plucking beers right off my kitchen counter to drink with no refrigeration other than the low temps in my drafty flat. Only time I drank properly refrigerated beer was the odd Guinness at the local pub.
 

BongoYodeler

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It's weird to me that this style hasn't been promoted in the US as a standard everyday drinking beer yet. Marketing teams can surely find a way to make it seem like an American style to the public, if that's even important. It's so easy to make and so very much more delicious than any Bud or Coors etc. product . I guess it's more expensive to produce than our pale lagers? Cool, but there must be some middle ground between Bud Light and imports or craft beer where this sort of drink could shine. I'd buy the **** out of it.

Well not actually me, since I make car loads of it as it is. Got one in the tank as we speak. Bitter is the most crushable beer I've ever made.

But surely, once people taste it, they'd want more. Because, well, you can actually taste it. You don't have to stifle a bunch of mediocre flavors with near freezing temps for it to be enjoyable. I lived in England for a time, and it was something else just plucking beers right off my kitchen counter to drink with no refrigeration other than the low temps in my drafty flat. Only time I drank properly refrigerated beer was the odd Guinness at the local pub.
I have just a few more pours of the Best Bitter I brewed a while back. Trying to save a couple pints for my son to try, he'll be flying out here in two weeks. You're absolutely right - so easy to make and so damn delicious. And I believe it was one of the cheapest beers I've ever brewed. I will definitely brew it again soon.

Taken a few weeks ago...
723392-62993CCA-5FEE-4069-8F03-80E02E9E317E.jpeg
 

eshea3

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One of my favorites. I travel to the UK 2-3 times a year and often visit a pub every day for a pint or two. I try to brew my version here, but nothing I do can match a proper cask ale on a hand pump. Sadly much of the American public rejects this style and it is not commercially viable in the US.

My favorite examples of bottled versions in the US are Double Barrelled Ale from Firestone Walker and Powder Monkey from Heavy Seas. Both have a higher ABV than a true ordinary bitter, but are excellent beers.
 
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3 Dawg Night

3 Dawg Night

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I good ordinary bitter is an amazing beer along with a well-made mild, Both are commonly overlooked styles.
I haven't had a well-made mild yet, but that's my fault. The one that I tried was one that I brewed, and it just wasn't great. It's definitely a style that I want to try again with a better recipe!
 

rmr9

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The only thing that holds me back from brewing more bitters is that I feel compelled to put them in cask and serve with my beer engine but they don’t stay fresh longer than 2ish weeks max with a cask breather. It’s hard to go through 5.5 gallons of beer in that timeframe on my own!
 
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I love bitters and milds! Such underappreciated styles by most people these days. I make a killer strong bitter that's reminiscent of Fullers ESB. I made a 5.5 gallon batch and it lasted just over two weeks from the moment I said it was clear and ready to go.
 

Miraculix

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I brewed ordinary bitters 20-25 years ago in my first brewing phase and now in the last 4-5 years. Your average American beer drinker hears "bitter" and shies away. I have had to explain countless times that they aren't bitter really.
Well... Germans do not even know that bitter is actually a type of beer (I certainly did not when I came to Britain).
 

easttex

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It's weird to me that this style hasn't been promoted in the US as a standard everyday drinking beer yet. Marketing teams can surely find a way to make it seem like an American style to the public, if that's even important. It's so easy to make and so very much more delicious than any Bud or Coors etc. product . I guess it's more expensive to produce than our pale lagers? Cool, but there must be some middle ground between Bud Light and imports or craft beer where this sort of drink could shine. I'd buy the **** out of it.

Well not actually me, since I make car loads of it as it is. Got one in the tank as we speak. Bitter is the most crushable beer I've ever made.

But surely, once people taste it, they'd want more. Because, well, you can actually taste it. You don't have to stifle a bunch of mediocre flavors with near freezing temps for it to be enjoyable. I lived in England for a time, and it was something else just plucking beers right off my kitchen counter to drink with no refrigeration other than the low temps in my drafty flat. Only time I drank properly refrigerated beer was the odd Guinness at the local pub.
There's an English-oriented brewery near my house. They never put Bitters on tap because the owner claims people don't buy them. Evidently the American drinking public doesn't understand what a Bitter is. So the brewery calls them "Pub Ales" instead and sells the hell out of them. Go figure....
 

Miraculix

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There's an English-oriented brewery near my house. They never put Bitters on tap because the owner claims people don't buy them. Evidently the American drinking public doesn't understand what a Bitter is. So the brewery calls them "Pub Ales" instead and sells the hell out of them. Go figure....
That's the spirit!
 

NSMikeD

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I spent 6 months working in London, I have to reevaluate my thoughts on bitters. I like British beers. Sam Smith nut brown ale is one of my favorites and I've brewed many brown ales, porters and stouts. But the brew coming out of the warm tap at the pub nearest the office was "chewy" with a sharp bitter bite. I think it was just the combination of temp, thick mouth feel and that bitterness I wasn't accustom to threw me off. I think I will give the stye enough shot.

Of course, this Yankee would smile at the Ice cold Guinness appearing on taps throughout the city (American culture spreads like a virus).
 

duncan_disorderly

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There's an English-oriented brewery near my house. They never put Bitters on tap because the owner claims people don't buy them. Evidently the American drinking public doesn't understand what a Bitter is. So the brewery calls them "Pub Ales" instead and sells the hell out of them. Go figure....
We even have that here in England with mild ales. If you call a beer a mild it doesn't sell. So breweries call them something else. So in Manchester we have Hydes Black and Holts Black. Both dark milds obviously.

But has anything better than English Bitter ever emerged form England?! I've hit my 60s and it's been my favourite English thing ever since I was a teenager.

What's your favourite thing to have come out of England?!

Like @Miraculix I like English and American pale ales and alternate between them but my American pale ales are mostly like English bitters with US hops, and around 4 to 4.5%. And I often use a blend of English and US hops in these beers, it works great for me.
 

Miraculix

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We even have that here in England with mild ales. If you call a beer a mild it doesn't sell. So breweries call them something else. So in Manchester we have Hydes Black and Holts Black. Both dark milds obviously.

But has anything better than English Bitter ever emerged form England?! I've hit my 60s and it's been my favourite English thing ever since I was a teenager.

What's your favourite thing to have come out of England?!

Like @Miraculix I like English and American pale ales and alternate between them but my American pale ales are mostly like English bitters with US hops, and around 4 to 4.5%. And I often use a blend of English and US hops in these beers, it works great for me.
Same for me, except that I like my APAs with clean yeast and my English bitters can have yeast that can be as expressive as it gets. But does not have to, sometimes I love a Nottingham bitter. That is really the beauty about bitters, they are just beautiful.

I remember The first time I was standing in front of the beer shelve in Sainsburie's, looking at all those British bottles, reading labels, thinking.... "Why on earth do these weirdow UK people write bitter on their beers?! Yes beer is bitter, suuurpriiise?!!!" ...... luckily nobody was around reading my thoughts :D

...at least I hope so.
 
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duncan_disorderly

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I bottle most of my beers and, whilst you can't beat a really good cask bitter, a bottle conditioned home brewed bitter is still a mighty fine thing. And cask is variable in quality.

Yeast wise I don't use Chico much any more. I'm using both Muntons Premium Gold and Verdant a fair bit. Separately and together. I've got a ruby ale with WLP005 that needs bottling, I like to use expressive English yeast sometimes but not all the time. The Muntons is good for both US and UK ales, a good workhorse that's not very estery but not clean like Chico.
 

Miraculix

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I bottle most of my beers and, whilst you can't beat a really good cask bitter, a bottle conditioned home brewed bitter is still a mighty fine thing. And cask is variable in quality.

Yeast wise I don't use Chico much any more. I'm using both Muntons Premium Gold and Verdant a fair bit. Separately and together. I've got a ruby ale with WLP005 that needs bottling, I like to use expressive English yeast sometimes but not all the time. The Muntons is good for both US and UK ales, a good workhorse that's not very estery but not clean like Chico.
Sounds like I should give the Muntons gold a try. Next bitter will be with liquid yeast though, if my parcel from UK with the chevallier malt makes it to my house.
 

duncan_disorderly

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I'm pretty sure Muntons Premium is a form of Nottingham but it's a bit different to the Lallemand and Gervin versions, in my experience. I find beers made with those need a few weeks to lose a bready dry yeast flavour. Muntons beers are ready quickly, no flavours I want rid of. It's a good bottling yeast too, I get good consistent carbonation and a clear pour.
 

faithie999

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...about six weeks ago, and it might be one of the most enjoyable everyday beers I've ever had. Just nice and balanced. I could drink a LOT of this beer. I expect it to go quickly!

The recipe is based on "No Ordinary Bitter" from Brewing Classic Styles by Palmer & Zainasheff.
would you mind sharing your recipe?

thanks!
 

Steveruch

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Sounds like I should give the Muntons gold a try. Next bitter will be with liquid yeast though, if my parcel from UK with the chevallier malt makes it to my house.
You can find chevalier malt in the U S. I got some from Hopcraft at a decent price.
 

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HB honey porter. AIH all grain kit, not as dark as I thought. Very crushable though!
BCB5F52A-DDD7-438C-AB4B-DEC4F1618983.jpeg
 

Doctordregz

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I have just a few more pours of the Best Bitter I brewed a while back. Trying to save a couple pints for my son to try, he'll be flying out here in two weeks. You're absolutely right - so easy to make and so damn delicious. And I believe it was one of the cheapest beers I've ever brewed. I will definitely brew it again soon.

Taken a few weeks ago...
View attachment 806898
 

Doctordregz

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That’s a a beautiful looking pint, I have the same problem here in France, ive managed to turn a couple of the locals onto bitter, but theyre not too keen on overly hoppy beer, although they are all over the IPA’s (Bottled) I serve my beer at room temp but in a pressoir with a dirt floor and no windows!
 

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dwhite60

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It's weird to me that this style hasn't been promoted in the US as a standard everyday drinking beer yet. Marketing teams can surely find a way to make it seem like an American style to the public, if that's even important. It's so easy to make and so very much more delicious than any Bud or Coors etc. product . I guess it's more expensive to produce than our pale lagers? Cool, but there must be some middle ground between Bud Light and imports or craft beer where this sort of drink could shine. I'd buy the **** out of it.
Many years ago AB bought Bass and Co. Took about a year before good ole AB turned Bass Ale into Bud, basically. I emailed them and complained. They of course said nothing had changed and it was still the original recipe. No, I think.

For bitter to get popular here it's going to be the smaller breweries to do it.

I'm not sure AB still makes their version of Bass Pale Ale.
 

hout17

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Many years ago AB bought Bass and Co. Took about a year before good ole AB turned Bass Ale into Bud, basically. I emailed them and complained. They of course said nothing had changed and it was still the original recipe. No, I think.

For bitter to get popular here it's going to be the smaller breweries to do it.

I'm not sure AB still makes their version of Bass Pale Ale.
They do I had some last November.

55854-PXL-20211115-220747130.jpg
 
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