I want to like hops

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DrunkinIrish

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My favorite beers are stouts, I like the sweet bread like flavors. But I feel like something is missing from my beer drinking experience because my pallet is not fond of hops. What are some good beers to drink or brew to familiarize my pallet to hops?
A question for the hop heads out there, were always a fan of hops or was it more of an acquired taste?
 

Jmarsh544

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In my experience it was an acquired taste. I started out with some well balanced pale ales, i.e. Mirror pond, and it grew from there. You can ease into it with some slightly hoppy stouts.


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max384

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I used to hate hoppy beers. I remember taking a sip of my first IPA and dumping the rest. I was a big fan of your typical light american lager (hell, unlike many here, I still like the occasional BMC, especially on a hot summer day), and didn't like much else. However, I slowly started trying more and more beers, and developed a taste for stouts, porters, pale ales, and even started liking the hoppier IPAs. Now, I love a good hoppy IPA, and whenever I go somewhere and order a beer, an IPA is my go-to beer.
 
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DrunkinIrish

DrunkinIrish

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In my experience it was an acquired taste. I started out with some well balanced pale ales, i.e. Mirror pond, and it grew from there. You can ease into it with some slightly hoppy stouts.


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That's what I wanted to hear. I hear so much about how the different kinds of hops can really change the characteristics of your beer and would really like to experience that side of the beer world, but as it stands drinking an IPA is how I would imagine drinking cat piss just because it is to strong of a flavor for me.
 

wtfDean

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try brewing beers with a single hop variety with increasing amounts and methods (late hopping, dry hopping, etc) to find the floral/bitter balance that you prefer. this can really help you develop your palate for particular varieties as well. one day you'll be able to recognize which hop variety was used in a new beer you try.
 

uatuba

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I'll tell you what worked for me. I got a cold, and the already sweet taste of all the grossness that is associated with a cold plus the sweetness of the stouts I usually preferred made me almost gag...it was just p too sweet at the time. I couldn't really taste anything BUT the sweetness. So I saw some Hopsecutioner at the only beer Store around that sells anything that's not SN Pale, Sam Adams, or BMC. I went for it, and I actually enjoyed it.

My last few batches have been IPAs.


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Brewmenn

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I've always liked the hoppy beers. It's the stouts that I have a tough time liking.
 

And1129

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I've eased into it. I like IPAs and hoppy beers a lot, but my favorite beers are still Porters and Stouts. I've found that there are definitely hop varieties in beer that I like, and there are certain types of hop flavors that I don't care for. My advice would be to ease into it with some hoppy pale ales, like said above, but also look to try diffrent single hop beers when you see them. There are a lot of 100% cascade, 100% Amarillo, 100% Citra, 100% Simcoe beers out there. Sample them all! Maybe you will find you love Cascade but can't stand Simcoe, like me, or something like that...
 

Disintegr8or

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I used to hate hoppy beers. I remember taking a sip of my first IPA and dumping the rest. I was a big fan of your typical light american lager (hell, unlike many here, I still like the occasional BMC, especially on a hot summer day), and didn't like much else. However, I slowly started trying more and more beers, and developed a taste for stouts, porters, pale ales, and even started liking the hoppier IPAs. Now, I love a good hoppy IPA, and whenever I go somewhere and order a beer, an IPA is my go-to beer.
Exactly my story.

Try a Sweetwater or Bells Two Hearted IPA OP. They are nice and balanced.
 

yeahfairly

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It was definitely an acquired taste for me. When I was a teen and up until I was 23 or 24, I was not a beer fan. Once I acquired the taste, I was an avid miller light fan up until my early 30's. In my mid 30's I lived in the Balkans for 4 years. I drank nothing but Beck's and Carlsberg for 4 straight years and I haven't drank an AB, Coors, or American mass produced low budget beer since.

If you want to build a palate for hoppy beer drink SN Pale Ale and Guinness Irish Stout. You'll get there pretty quick!
 

unionrdr

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When I first got into this,I was drinking the usual BMC's. I liked pale ales that didn't use "C" hops,that is to say,Columbus,cascade...any hop that had that characteristic grapefruit flavor. you could try brewing a pale ale with German noble hops,as they're spicy,herbal but on the smooth,light side. Also stirling,east kent golding,earthy fuggle,perle Are a bit more subdued. New Zealand hops have tropical,oaky,berry,citrus flavors to them & are really different. Citrus as in lemon & lime.
As I started trying new styles to brew,I got to liking hops more. To the point where I now like those bitter,yucky IPA's. I guess one just has to grow into them.:mug:
 

Homercidal

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Get a 6-pack of whatever IIPA you can find. (I'd recommend Hopslam, but chances are you are out of luck for this year now.) and drink one a day until the 6-pack is gone. Then go back and pick up a 6-pack of IPA (I recommend Bells Two Hearted) and try them. I am betting you will find the hops are now a more manageable.

Once you get past the bitter, and learn to taste the HOP FLAVOR you will start enjoying them. But you have to get past the bitterness first.

And it's true. Everyone Becomes a Hophead.
 
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DrunkinIrish

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Get a 6-pack of whatever IIPA you can find. (I'd recommend Hopslam, but chances are you are out of luck for this year now.) and drink one a day until the 6-pack is gone. Then go back and pick up a 6-pack of IPA (I recommend Bells Two Hearted) and try them. I am betting you will find the hops are now a more manageable.

Once you get past the bitter, and learn to taste the HOP FLAVOR you will start enjoying them. But you have to get past the bitterness first.

And it's true. Everyone Becomes a Hophead.
I will give this a try
 

WissaBrewGuy

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This is a great story for me. My first craft beer was a Dale's Pale ale. Before then I really liked Grolsch and Blue Moon but had never tried anything that assaulted my palate quite like Dale's. I took one sip of this beer and thought the bitterness was alcohol. I showed all of my friends most of which thought it was also really intense. The point is Dale's Pale ale is a serious beer but one I learned to love and it really got me started on my love for hops. Good luck finding your version of Dale's Pale ale! Hell, Dale could convert you too. Good luck and have fun!
 

TheZymurgist

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From the conversations I've had, I think it's the bitterness that most people don't like from hoppy beers, and many hop bombs are too heavy (IMO) on the bitter side. I prefer low to moderate bitterness with the smack-you-in-the-face late hop additions and dry hopping.

If that's the case for you, I'd stay away from Sierra Nevada. They are really heavy on bitterness. Unless, of course, you're going Homercidal's route, and just desensitizing yourself. If that doesn't work, try easing into it. Find some good balanced pale ales, and work your way up to the more hoppy IPAs.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Definitely aquired. IPA's used to feel like I was drinking the equivalent of paint stripper.

I am still not as fond of the hoppier beers enough to consider myself a hop head. But I do like the occasional one.
 
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DrunkinIrish

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If that's the case for you, I'd stay away from Sierra Nevada.
Sierra Nevada was of course first IPA that I tried, my description of it to my swmbo (who doesn't like beer, but always wants to know how I like the new ones that I buy or brew) was that I would rather have drank warm cat piss.:cross:
 

yeahfairly

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Sierra Nevada was of course first IPA that I tried, my description of it to my swmbo (who doesn't like beer, but always wants to know how I like the new ones that I buy or brew) was that I would rather have drank warm cat piss.:cross:
Haha....... Cat Pee....... and hoppy beers taste better chilled! SA Boston Lager, Goose Island Honker's Ale and SN Pale Ale were the hoppy beers I cut my teeth on. If you will drink one of the "Criminally Insane Elf" barleywines just prior to a hoppy beer it will go down like spring water!:tank:
 

GilaMinumBeer

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It is ironic tho', my all time favorite hoppy beer is Flying Dog Double Dog. First one of those I drank I was ready to dump it but decided that since there was only four of them, and given the cost for four, I'd choke through them.

Now, that is just about the ONLY excessively hopped beer I crave. And I haven't seen it on the shelves in years.
 

cluckk

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There are many excellent styles where hops only play a supporting role. Try brewing some of them. I'm not a hop head either, and have several favorites. Scottish ales all use very little hops. If you want something of a farmhouse flavor without the hoppiness try Bier de Garde. There is also Irish Red Ale and if you want something American try a malt forward Amber Ale. Most Belgians also concentrate on maltiness.

As for developing your pallet, IPA's aren't the way to go--that's like throwing a nonswimmer in the deep end. Try something that is more manageable, like an American Pale Ale, a Saison, or even an English bitter. Remember also that each hop has its own quality. There may be a hop that you like more than another.
 

flars

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My favorite beers are stouts, I like the sweet bread like flavors. But I feel like something is missing from my beer drinking experience because my pallet is not fond of hops. What are some good beers to drink or brew to familiarize my pallet to hops?
A question for the hop heads out there, were always a fan of hops or was it more of an acquired taste?
Miller Genuine Draft used to be the hoppiest beer I drank. Unfortunately all the hops were for bittering. No aroma or flavor. Really affected the stomach.

My first hoppy brew was Northern Brewers American Amber Ale. Three ounces of Cascade hops. I liked it. Main on hand beer now.

Started trying out pale ales and IPAs after brewing the amber. Hometown doesn't have a very good selection. Most beers sold are BMC.

Point Pale Ale was not bad for some hop flavor, but flavor is a little muddied, not as clean as the amber ale I brew.

New Belgium Ranger IPA has a nice balance of hops and malts for a clean taste and good body. Paired nicely with a seasoned steak I had recently.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a pleasant session beer.

New Glarus Moon Man is not bad. A session beer designed to appeal to a wide range of beer drinkers without offending.

In my very limited experience I would recommend for a brewing starter NBs' American Amber Ale. Purchasing New Belgiums' Ranger IPA and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

If you have a store where you can buy single bottles go that route instead of 6-packs or cases.
Anyone want eleven bottles of Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale, free.
 

kyt

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I don't like hops, in addition to being allergic to them. Naturally I can drink BMC with no problem, but IPAs will shut my face down in minutes.
I also think hops smell like sh1ty skunks. In my homebrews I use BeerSmith2 to cut the hops back while staying in the style.
For me, I like the malty flavor more, and think hops ruin beer. And make my face itchy.

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bajaedition

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I do not consider myself a hop head at all

given my choice I will go for a well balance lager or a malty ale

however I do appreciate hops and will grab a Arrogant Bastard to start a session, I just tend to gravitate down to less hoppy beers

then I think Dead Guy Ale is a good beer also

But given the choice between an IPA and a German Lager, Give me the Marzen

Guess it is just a personal thing,
 

Fennis

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It took me a little while to enjoy hoppy beers, but now I love them. I am not sure if you have a specialty beer store in your area or a bar/restaurant with a lot of beers on tap, but going somewhere and having someone knowledge about beer would be a big help in guiding you towards beers with a bigger hop profile.

I would look for a pale ale, amber ale, or even an english special bitter. They are going to be somewhat more balanced in hop and malt flavors with the hops edging out. For me, the breakout beer was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Now that I love big, hoppy IPAs, its rather tame in comparison, yet when I first tried it I thought it was intense. The hops are forward, but in a good way and really introduces you to one of the big craft brew hops, Cascade which you will find in many brews.
 

Jayhem

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You need to start with a nice hopped up amber or American Pale Ale. It is definitely an acquired taste in much the same way that your first beer (probably some light beer back as a teenager) tasted horrible, right? haha.
 

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If you already like stouts, try Bell's Expedition Stout, Great Divide's Yeti, or Sweetwater's Happy Ending. They're very hop forward stouts, but they're all pretty intense all around. These three would definitely be in my top 5 all time favs, out of everything I've tasted.
 

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I really like the flavor and aroma of hops way more than the bitterness. An IPA slammed with fruity hop flavor can seem way less bitter than the raw IBU number.

Brew an APA with a 15 IBU bittering addition and another 20 IBUs from flavor/aroma hops 20 mins and later. Use fruity-floral hops like armarillo, Citra. Cascade, crystal, simcoe etc.


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casesensative

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It's definitely an acquired taste. Id recommend starting with some IPAS with lots of citrus flavored hops. Something similar to Cigar Citys Jai Alai and Invasion...

Victory Hop Ranch is probably my favorite readily available IIPA right now. That new Sweetwater Whiplash is really tasty and cheap too, and you can probably find that at your local Publix.
 

FB12

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I used to hate hoppy beers. I remember taking a sip of my first IPA and dumping the rest. I was a big fan of your typical light american lager (hell, unlike many here, I still like the occasional BMC, especially on a hot summer day), and didn't like much else. However, I slowly started trying more and more beers, and developed a taste for stouts, porters, pale ales, and even started liking the hoppier IPAs. Now, I love a good hoppy IPA, and whenever I go somewhere and order a beer, an IPA is my go-to beer.
Same story pretty much. Miller, a few imported lagers, and wheat beers were my staples for years. Then i fell in love with SN Pale Ale. Evolution turned me into a hop junkie!! Now they're growing in my yard & i actually paid $20 for the last 6 pack of Hopslam at the store yesterday! Can't believe i did that! Heading out now to brew a wonderful IPA. :tank:
 

40watt

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You may never be a hop head. I've gone away from hops a bit.

I started with craft beer twenty years ago, and loved a hoppy pale ale. I even enjoyed some IPAs. Over time I gravitated more towards well balanced German lagers and especially English ales. Then Belgians and now sours with little or no hops.

In your brewing use hops as they were intended, to balance sweetness and protect from microbes. As you brew more styles you will start to appreciate hops.
Then brew something with lots of hop character and not so much jarring bitterness.
You may really like it. You can decide where to go from there.
 

Schol-R-LEA

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My own tastes are admittedly quite broad, being fond of most styles when done well, but I have always favored malty beers over hoppy ones. My own best beers are a dry stout, a tripel, and an EIPA, the latter much more malt forward than typical of the style while still being recognizable as an India Pale Ale. The latter also uses EKG exclusively, which makes for a well-rounded if rather expensive example of the style.

Man, I need to brew that one again some time soon...
 

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I will mirror those above me that have said it is an acquired taste. For me one of the beers I enjoyed was New Belgium Snow Day (now apparently not brewed, those jerks!) It was the prototypical brown with high hop notes. What does this have to do with what everyone else has said? Nothing, other than don't stress it. Take some suggestions here and there for beer to try that is of the pale/ipa/double ipa sort but don't stress over it. You may never find you enjoy hop forward beers. That's okay. I found that I personally enjoyed trying beer to just try beer. I've grown on sours for example by not pounding every example I could find, I tried them as I came across them. Force feeding yourself anything is a bad idea. Some people like stouts, some like ipa's more than anything else. Enjoy what you enjoy, tis part of the reason of making your own stuff.

However if you want to try some hop forward beers my suggestion is to see if you've anything local to your area you can get fresh, and/or try a mixed six pack of whatever you can find that is fresh.
 

Clonefan94

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My first venture into hops, was a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. First couple times I had them, I liked them, but they were even a little over hopped initially for me. I think hops are an acquired taste just for the fact that the more I drank them, the more I craved even more hop character. If you really want to get into the hops, the key is to work your way in slowly, over time. Eventually, I think you'll be looking for more of that kick. SNPA is a good introduction to the world of hops, imo.
 
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DrunkinIrish

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Thanks for all the advice. The next time I make it out to my local store thet sells make your own 6ers, I plan on picking up some pale ales and the like to kind of broaden my palette. Who knows maybe I will pick up a full ipa and try it after a few home brews, you know to take the edge off.

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I'm an exception to the usual I suppose. The first IPA I ever tasted hooked me immediately. I loved it. It was like the essence of what I liked about beer was suddenly revealed to me.

I still drink non-hop forward beers, and enjoy them quite a bit. But my brew day today was a perfect example of how my tastes drive me. I had a questionable starter for a Trappist Ale that I've been feeding for a week to get built up. It just wasn't performing to my satisfaction. I has planned to brew the Trappist ale today, instead I said "the heck with it" lets brew an IPA instead. And so I did. I reasoned with myself like this, I love a good IPA, but I only sometimes like a Trappist beer. So why bother with this starter that is acting funny? Heck, make an IPA.
 

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I think 2 examples that are better than SNPA are Deschutes Mirror Pond and Portland Brewing's MacTarnahan's. They have hop flavor but aren't as bitter AND they don't knock you down with aroma.

Find a bar with a lot of taps and try a bunch of samples. Cheaper Han the make your own 6 packs.

Avoid IIPAs and DIPAs and even IPAs and focus on pale, amber, and American reds.
 

seajellie

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Yes - find a lot of taps in a bar and sample. It might not be the hops and bitterness in general - it might be that you just haven't had the right one for you yet. For years I was wondering what all the fuss about hoppy IPAs and IIPAs was about. Then I had a perfect Pliny on tap. I got it, immediately.

Meanwhile, all the other big names I had tried before that perfect pliny, still taste like dogdodo to me. It's not an acquired taste to me at all. Some are great, most are not. To me.
 
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