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All About Beer


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Stone

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Posted 13 August 2002 - 06:47 PM

The current issue of "All About Beer" magazine, contains an interesting Buyer's guide for Beer Lovers, describing over 400 British and North American Ales. It describes general styles, i.e., Amber, Bitters, Pale Ale, and specific beers, such as Red Tail, Sunset Red Ale, etc.

#2 prasantrin

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 04:49 PM

Since I don't have access to the above magazine, i'll ask a Buyer's Guide kind of question.

I hate beer, but I think I should like it. So I want to try to drink more of it, or at least learn to appreciate it. I find that I don't like bitterness in food (which is probably part of the reason I don't like beer), but I like that nice malty aftertaste.

So if you were writing a Buyer's Guide for me, what kind of beer/lager/ale/whatever should I buy?

#3 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 08:28 PM

Pras, I'd be looking at the fruit ales - Apricot, Blackberry, Raspberry, and Peach ales are lovely, malty, and have less of the bitter flavours you don't like. In Canada, the Alley Kat brewery's ApriKat is an excellent example of the genre.
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#4 Dakki

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 08:36 PM

Try a hefeweizen. Mine has been compared to carrot cake and bananas. :raz:
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#5 BennyAdeline

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 09:03 PM

Since I don't have access to the above magazine, i'll ask a Buyer's Guide kind of question.

I hate beer, but I think I should like it. So I want to try to drink more of it, or at least learn to appreciate it. I find that I don't like bitterness in food (which is probably part of the reason I don't like beer), but I like that nice malty aftertaste.

So if you were writing a Buyer's Guide for me, what kind of beer/lager/ale/whatever should I buy?


If you like malty beers (we call them malt bombs), you should try Scotch ales, old ales, brown ales and bocks of all sorts. Some of these style are boozy which may take awhile to get used to but when your palate adjusts you really get the bready sweetness. The best malt bomb of the year was Samuel Smiths Yorkshire Stingo.

Bitter and sweet are not the only flavors a beer can have. Try sour beer like a straight Lambic (no fruit) or a gueuze. Try a funky saison or wild ale . Try a salty gose. All these beers are fantastic and complex.

Problem with getting into beer is that most people give you light stuff or fruity stuff to make you "like" beer. These styles tend to get a little boring quick. Challenge you tastbuds and you will find yourself loving some very complex beers.

Edited by BennyAdeline, 14 May 2011 - 09:04 PM.


#6 emannths

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 06:14 AM

[duplicate post deleted]

Edited by emannths, 16 May 2011 - 06:15 AM.


#7 emannths

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 06:15 AM

I tend to think of beers as having three "dimensions" of flavor. There's the hops, which give bitterness and flavors/aromas in the flowery, pine-y, citrus-y, or "tropical fruit" ranges. There's the malt, which gives sweetness (which the bitterness from the hops is designed to offset), and flavors of caramel, roast, biscuit, and cereal. But there's also the yeast. In most American-style ales and lagers, the yeast contributes little to the final flavor of the beer. But in Belgian-style beers and German hefeweizens, yeasts are responsible for many of the flavors that define these beers. They create fruity and spicy flavors, like banana and clove. In some manifestations, you might pick up black pepper, or honey, or melon.

So like Benny says, try some malty beers like Scotch ales, old ales/barleywines, and bocks. But also look for some of the yeast-driven beers, like hefeweizens (Weihenstephan is maybe the gold standard, and is readily available in the US) and Belgians. Belgian beers are about as diverse as the rest of the world's beers combined, but you might consider Ommegang's Hennepin (an American-made Saison), anything from Chimay or St Bernadus, or Delerium (all of these should be fairly widely available). If you've got a store with a decent selection and a staff that knows their stuff, you could just ask them for an example of a dubbel (darker in color, medium alcohol and flavor), a tripel (light in color, medium to high alcohol, flavor may be more delicate), a quadrupel ('quad,' dark, flavors of plums and raisins, high in alcohol), and a saison (often very dry with more subdued, peppery rather than fruity yeast, lower in alcohol). Since most Belgian breweries use their own strain of yeast, and since Belgian brewers don't usually brew with a strict "style" in mind, you'll find a wide variation in flavor profiles, bitterness, and residual sweetness within each of these "styles."

One question that will help guide you is how much you like or dislike sweetness in a beverage. Some brewers make very dry beer, some make quite sweet ones, and of course there's everything in between. If you prefer drier or sweeter, let the guy at the beer store know.

Finally, don't write off hoppy beers forever. You may find that, after you start developing a taste for beers, a well-made IPA with plenty of aromatic hops is really tasty. And if you love sour foods, you may like sour beers. The Rodenbach Grand Cru is a decent example, and is inexpensive (for a sour beer) at about $11/750mL.