Craft Beer and IPA

Discussion in 'General Beer Discussion' started by mgrds, Jun 11, 2018.

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  1. Jun 11, 2018 #1

    mgrds

    mgrds

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    Disclaimers :
    I am over 60
    I am from the UK
    I have been regularly full grain mash brewing at home for well over over 40 years (approaching 50 - yes I started young!) and my taste reflects this.
    I am what is known as a "supertaster" - genetically able to discern many flavours and tastes others miss.

    I love a wide range of beer styles. I can brew a great bitter. I can brew a great strong Amber (or Red) Ale (my favourite) I do do a great irish stout and a good porter . I can make a great Stout or porter if I want to (I'd rather have a stout !

    I can make a pretty good Pilsner. & other German Czeck/ Polish styles - and a good few classic Belgian styled - though I must admit to preferring UK Styles.

    I've experimented with just about everything over the years (fruits honey - you name it ) but just as teal whisky connoisseurs realised a well made single malt was the height of the their skill, and German beer dinkers realised all barley malt beers were best I gradually moved to valueing a well balanced classic brew above novelty additives!

    I love a classic British IPA - A good strong clear Pale Ale where the alcoholic strength and body is balanced by increased hoppiness .

    However when I buy a bottle of "craft ale" labelled IPA far too often I find nothing like this! I find a poorly balanced malt base by someone who obviously has not yet got the experience to create a balanced brew with novelty hop types or fruits thrown in to disguise the basic failings of the recipe.

    I've nothing against US styles per se (and maybe the branded US craft beers exported to the UK are not representative of US microbrewing) but do find my self despairing that in the desire to "add pineapple" or use more flavoured hops may hide a lack of basi knowledge and experience by many craft brewers.

    As well as brewing I also cook food. And I know there are are those who can follow recipes and know the techniques - but at the end of the day its those who can do that AND replicate a dish by just tasting it - or in brewing can taste the wort and know what it will become who really advance the art!
     
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  2. Jun 11, 2018 #2

    Graz

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    The craze for the US styles is interesting and seems to have a lot of brewers jumping on the band wagon. I'm not averse to these styles of beers but some of them are not so great. I'm also thinking the cost of them is not going to be sustainable, there's a novelty to it now but are folk really wanting to be paying upwards of £6 for a can of beer once they've tried a few. I bought a small selection from a newly opened bottle shop in town the other week including the Cloudwater DIPA V3 for nearly £7! I was kind of expecting to be blown away by this but whilst it was nice I didn't think it offered much more to me than say Brewdog's Mr President that you can get 3 for £5 in Tesco. Really not great value. Maybe there will continue to be enough hipster types around to extol the virtues of such expensive brews but it could all be just a passing fad?
     
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  3. Jun 11, 2018 #3

    Clint

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    A fad...just like that Greene King stuff...
     
  4. Jun 11, 2018 #4

    IainM

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    Perhaps you can give some examples of the beers you dislike. There are a lot of poor American style IPAs out there, as well as ones which, to me, really sing. Another factor could be the age and storage of the beer. A good AIPA doesn't have long at its prime, and some bottle shops and supermarkets don't shift enough to keep everything on the shelves in top notch condition, or their supply chain has it sitting around in warehouses. The other thing that might be worth bearing in mind is that these are American in spirit even if they are brewed here, so subtlety and balance are somewhat shifted compared to the British or German tradition. Of course, none of this is an excuse for having a poor base masked with hops.
     
  5. Jun 11, 2018 #5

    mgrds

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    I would are with all those points iain except the essence of an IPA is surely that it is a brew formulated for export so should keep and travel well. While most IPA's wil benefit fro chiling a true India pale Ale should also deliver a clean balanced refreshing taste when served at Ambient temperature in a hot climate. Chilling is useful but can cover a multitude of sins in a substandard brew!
     
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  6. Jun 11, 2018 #6

    IainM

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    Sure, but IPAs have changed over the last 180 years.
     
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  7. Jun 11, 2018 #7

    Clint

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    That Greene King hasn't...
     
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  8. Jun 11, 2018 #8

    Braufather

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    I used to only drinks British ales and continental lagers and resisted these american impostors as i used to see them. However I am now fully converted. It was in fact the american style IPAs and Pale Ales that got me into home brewing and now pretty much they dominate what i drink and make. I am still partial to a timothy talylor or spitfire now and then but the american hops were a game changer for me, and i cant get enough of them! Really liking the Juicy Beers currently doing the rounds. there are a lot of average ones out there but plenty of superb ones too.

    Here is a challenge for you mgrds - using your experience and palate - have a go yourself at producing a text book american style IPA- you might be pleasantly surprised and please with your efforts!
     
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  9. Jun 11, 2018 #9

    mgrds

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    Yes sometimes for the better sometimes for the worst !
     
  10. Jun 11, 2018 #10

    mgrds

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    That is a nice challenge - but which style ? My own palette tends to prefer a rich malty less hoppy beer ! When i make hoppy & dry hopped beers I tend towards the classic varieties like Goldings, Fuggles or Saaz. While i do put my beer in corny kegs as well as making barrel conditioned "real ales" and will carbonate more for say a I don't really like over carbonated brews. Though obviously I'll carbononate a largered Pilsner more than a British style ...

    Everyone is entitled to drink (and brew) what THEY like! I guess my comment is just that I've been disappointed with the flavour and balance of imported celebrated but over priced bottled craft ales compared with the efforts of our local microbreweries and what I produce at home - and most of that disappointment has come in bottled labelled Craft Beer or American IPA - but perhaps you are right maybe I need to brew it myself!
     
  11. Jun 11, 2018 #11

    Simonh82

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    You mentioned that you were a supertaster. I've read/listened to various podcasts that cover this phenomenon and I imagine that a style like American IPA could taste pretty awful to you. My understanding is that your taste sensitivity is really cranked up to way higher than those with normal taste sensations. In that case, a beer with 80 IBU and a boatload of late hops might taste overwhelmingly bitter and fruity and I can see how that would taste unbalanced.

    To us mear mortals they are a pretty intense beer style but sometimes it's nice to push flavour to the extreme end.

    From what I have heard, supertasters are also really sensitive to chilli heat, so a comparison might be something like a really hot curry, which isn't everyone's cup of tea and but which some people will love.
     
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  12. Jun 11, 2018 #12

    simon12

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    Was talking to a guy at the pilgrim brewery tap room a few weeks ago. to me all there beers are very traditional English styles but to him all but 2 "taste like lemon juice" to his taste buds if its not fuggles or golding its just lemon juice. He didn't mention the hops but thats how I read it.
     
  13. Jun 11, 2018 #13

    mgrds

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    That is not quite how I experience "supertasting" it does not just make everything taste stronger. If I can explain the difference if I go for a curry with my wife she just tastes "curry flavour" or discerns if it is Korma or Madrasand how hot it is etc I usually have a good idea of the proportion of ginger , turmeric , coriander, cumin , tamarind coconut etc that was used to make it and can go home and replicate it without a recipe. my wife will sometimes ask what is in it and i can tell her then she says oh yes that's what it is - but she can' discern it herself.

    If i taste chilli I am more likely to know which chillis and how they are prepared - part of this is experience, but part of it is genetic (it is actually more to do with our smell sensors than taste buds) and my wife just can't distinguish the flavours and aromas as much as I can.

    The same happens when we taste wine or beer - she enjoys what she like,s but won't be able to pick out grape varieties used or the hop varieties or malts in the beer in the same way i can.

    Actually he is more of cider drinker but if I drank more cider and checked up a against what apples thy used I guess I could do the same with cider apples. She would miss that.

    It does not mean I dislike strong flavours but it does mean i really love the aromatic blends in curries and prefer not to have the subtle blend overwhelmed by chilli - but I know those who judge a curry by how hot it is rather than its flavour balance - many of them are friends I drink and eat with !

    I experience this the opposite way round with colours (as do many men) with the opposite sex girls perceive paints i see as white as cream, lime , light apricot etc They are usually much better at paint charts than me !

    In music tone and rhythm, in discerning temperature, etc etc the same applies.

    A musician won't dislike a foghorn any more or less than rest of us but will know if it out of key .... ;)
     
  14. Jun 11, 2018 #14

    GerritT

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    And then there's the group of people that look at the ABV first, then the rest. Colleague of my younger brother brews too, but always aiming for high ABV's. Always. No sense of delicacy.
     
  15. Jun 11, 2018 #15

    Lawrence22

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    Don't suppose you could taste Erdingers Schneiweisse and tell us what's in it? I would love to clone that beer.:thumb:
     
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  16. Jun 11, 2018 #16

    Clint

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    Or canned boddingtons...I would love to know how they can make something that dreadful..
     
  17. Jun 12, 2018 #17

    Graz

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    That said when I buy the odd craft beer I always avoid the beers describing themselves as "session" or "table" beers, if I'm paying over £2 for a bottle of beer I want it to have some "bang for your buck" as our American brethren say :D
     
  18. Jun 12, 2018 #18

    Pavros

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    This really shows that everyone is different as I usually prefer the 'session IPAs' as I feel they are more balanced and have better flavour than the 'craft IPAs'. It's possible that I don't like IBUs to be too high in my beers. Horses for courses, I suppose. I also prefer to taste the spices in my curry rather than have my head blown off by chillies or end up a sweaty mess from the heat!
     
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  19. Jun 12, 2018 #19

    Sadfield

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    Always amuses me the arguement that brewing less hoppy beers is more skillful. The best German beers are so, because of the attention to detail in the process, not a result of the recipe. It is also possible to apply the same attention to detail in brewing a hop monster, a Stout, a sour, best bitter, etc. Balance is a flavour preference, not a sign of quality. Yes, craft beers can be unbalanced, however this is by design not lack of ability or experience. There are good and bad examples of all styles.

    I could make some nice, subtly flavoured lemon and herb chicken, but sometimes mouth numbing hot wings just hit the spot.

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk
     
  20. Jun 14, 2018 #20

    rank_frank

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    I'm no fan of craft IPA either. My heart sinks when I see the words IPA, Pale Ale, New World or American Hops on a beer label. I dislike citrus or tropical tastes in a beer. However, I realise that many people do like those tastes. I don't think the beer they like is necessarily badly made, it's just not what I like.

    I got back into brewing a couple of years ago because I wanted to drink something I like. My recent beers tend to be of the "a load of Pale Malt and a load of Goldings" variety and I hope they're well made but probably wouldn't appeal to the craft beer drinker very much.
     

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