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 Post subject: Of Beers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:59 am 
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My wife and I have been taking adventuring as it comes to trying beers and other alcoholic drinks. I don't know how other pubs do it, but the pub that houses our local session rotates beer constantly. For me, this is a pleasant surprise as I get cheap beer and get to try wide varieties.

However, I am as much as a novice at beer as I am with my flute.

What do you guys look for in beers and other drinks? Is there something that you find that you prefer or are really into at the moment?


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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:08 pm 
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Beer...a subject near and dear to my heart!

I was in my thirties before I started really appreciating beer. Anyone who limits their sampling of beer to what is available at Wal-Mart, in my opinion, is doing themself a great disservice! There are many different varieties of beer, so the more you try, the merrier. There are brown ales, bocks, stouts, Hefeweizens, IPAs, and Rauchbiers, just to name a few. Some, such as stouts, have sub-varities: milk stouts, oatmeal stouts, and bourbon-barrel-aged stouts are a few. I personally enjoy a the boozy punch of heady bourbon-barrel-aged stout or the malty sweetness of a good bock, but you might favor the hoppy bitterness of an IPA. However, I will discourage anyone from trying chili-pepper beer. My one experience with such a beer had me tasting nothing but the chili pepper, and it gave me an unpleasant throat burn. I couldn't finish it.

Just sample a ton of different beers and enjoy the journey. Sooner or later, you'll have a favorite brew.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:56 pm 
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I really only get to be adventuresome when I'm traveling, as I live in the only county in the US (AFAIK) where the county is the sole distributor of alcoholic beverages. So we're at the mercy of the whims of the county buyers. It's gotten better recently, but you pay dearly for anything out of the ordinary.

My tastes have evolved over the past 40 years. There have been stretches when I was looking for the darkest beer or the bitterest, but since the American craft brewers have redefined the IPA to mean the bitterest beer we can possibly make, I've lost my thirst for bitterness. These days I'm liking something between sweet/malty and moderately bitter. I love brown ales, porters, pale ales, bitters, pilsners, dark beers, and Marzen/Oktoberfest styles. I always look for a Gordon Biersch when I'm traveling, love their Marzen. There are a few cities I go to regularly that have local brewpubs where I imbibe.

My avatar is from the side of a brewpub in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. The beer wasn't that great, but they had a really nice kitten that sat in my daughter's lap for an hour or two.

I also make my own beer. I have a handful of go-to styles -- fruit wheats, bitters, pale and brown ales, wassail, and oktoberfest. I've recently done a bock and dopplebock, not yet ready for consumption.

Enjoy your quest.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:17 pm 
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Here are a few beers I particularly enjoy. I sampled a lot of these while living in California, so they might not be easily found elsewhere. They're just to give you a few ideas.

    Celebrator Doppelbock (bock, quite obviously)
    High Water Brewing Campfire Stout (a rather chocolatey stout)
    New Holland Brewing Dragon's Milk (milk stout)
    Tioga-Sequoia Rush Hour (coffee stout)
    The Bruery So Happens It's Tuesday (a 14% ABV bourbon-barrel-aged stout; be careful with this one!)
    Schlenkerla Märzen (Rauchbier, and my all-time-favorite brew)

Hope this gives you a few ideas. What are some of your favorite beers thus far, Aaron?

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:50 pm 
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Not so much of a beer drinker any more, but if there's oatmeal stout, I'm on it. :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:18 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Not so much of a beer drinker any more, but if there's oatmeal stout, I'm on it. :thumbsup:

I have had oatmeal stout before...Firestone Walker Merlin, if memory serves me correctly. Since I always encourage people to try the fare of their local breweries, Day Block Brewing in Minneapolis has two types of oatmeal stouts, albeit with rotating availability.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:38 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Not so much of a beer drinker any more, but if there's oatmeal stout, I'm on it. :thumbsup:

I have had oatmeal stout before...Firestone Walker Merlin, if memory serves me correctly. Since I always encourage people to try the fare of their local breweries, Day Block Brewing in Minneapolis has two types of oatmeal stouts, albeit with rotating availability.

The local brand Surly's become popular around here. I think the name helps a lot, because if it doesn't match our attitude, we can always dream. I'll often hear from out-of-staters that Minnesota Nice is just a fiction. Well, of course. We're so surly, we drink Surly.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:41 pm 
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Untappd is a cool little phone app you can use to keep track of what you’ve tried and rank it. Almost embarrassed to say I’ve logged 314 unique beers in the 4 years I’ Used it.
A couple of favorites of mine are Westbrook Mexican Cake, which is an Imperial Stout brewed with habanero peppers, and Bell’s Hopslam, an IPA brewed with honey. Both are seasonal and hard to find, unfortunately. A good and well-priced year-round beer is Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout made by North Coast Brewing.


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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:59 am 
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Dan A. wrote:
Here are a few beers I particularly enjoy. I sampled a lot of these while living in California, so they might not be easily found elsewhere. They're just to give you a few ideas.

    Celebrator Doppelbock (bock, quite obviously)
    High Water Brewing Campfire Stout (a rather chocolatey stout)
    New Holland Brewing Dragon's Milk (milk stout)
    Tioga-Sequoia Rush Hour (coffee stout)
    The Bruery So Happens It's Tuesday (a 14% ABV bourbon-barrel-aged stout; be careful with this one!)
    Schlenkerla Märzen (Rauchbier, and my all-time-favorite brew)

Hope this gives you a few ideas. What are some of your favorite beers thus far, Aaron?


I was recently surprised by the 4 Elf Winter Warmer Ale by Dark Horse. Their website currently lists it as available October-December, but my local pub has had it on tap this month.

At this point, it is the only one from the pub that I've had that has really stood out. I am still a novice, so that might not be saying a whole lot.

Thomaston wrote:
Untappd is a cool little phone app you can use to keep track of what you’ve tried and rank it. Almost embarrassed to say I’ve logged 314 unique beers in the 4 years I’ Used it.

That is good to know about. It sounds like a handy little tool. Thanks. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:59 am 
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Thomaston wrote:
Untappd is a cool little phone app you can use to keep track of what you’ve tried and rank it. Almost embarrassed to say I’ve logged 314 unique beers in the 4 years I’ Used it.
A couple of favorites of mine are Westbrook Mexican Cake, which is an Imperial Stout brewed with habanero peppers, and Bell’s Hopslam, an IPA brewed with honey. Both are seasonal and hard to find, unfortunately. A good and well-priced year-round beer is Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout made by North Coast Brewing.

Having tried 314 unique beers should not be a source of embarrassment!

I see you are a fan of chili-pepper beer. Me, not so much...though maybe the one I tried was just a subpar example. I'm also not a huge fan of IPAs, but honey might be a good accompaniment for such a beer. Old Rasputin, on the other hand...if I haven't tried that particular brew, I've likely tried another Russian stout and enjoyed it.

AaronFW wrote:
I was recently surprised by the 4 Elf Winter Warmer Ale by Dark Horse. Their website currently lists it as available October-December, but my local pub has had it on tap this month.

That will be on my to-try list next season. The cinnamon and clove infusion sounds wonderful.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:09 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
Schlenkerla Märzen (Rauchbier, and my all-time-favorite brew)


I've never heard of a Marzen rauchbier. I assume this is a Marzen style brewed in stone vats? The few rauchbiers I've had have had such a strong mineral flavor that I wouldn't have thought the sweetness of the Marzen would come through.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:18 pm 
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chas wrote:
I've never heard of a Marzen rauchbier. I assume this is a Marzen style brewed in stone vats?

I don't believe so. Why it's called "Märzen" is a bit of a mystery to me, as it's a Rauchbier. It isn't a terribly sweet beer, but you do get the smoky taste. And the smell upon opening the bottle is like that of a barbecue pit...delightful.
I don't drink it often, though, as a half-liter bottle costs around $6.

(For those not in the know, "Rauchbier" is German for "smoked beer." Instead of drying the malts in a kiln, the brewer dries them over a big smoky fire, usually made from beechwood.)

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:29 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
The local brand Surly's become popular around here. I think the name helps a lot, because

A forum about Uilleann (Irish) pipes and the surly people who play them.

?

Quote:
if it doesn't match our attitude, we can always dream.

The Wonderful World of ... Other Bagpipes. All the surly with none of the regs!

?

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
chas wrote:
I've never heard of a Marzen rauchbier. I assume this is a Marzen style brewed in stone vats?

I don't believe so. Why it's called "Märzen" is a bit of a mystery to me, as it's a Rauchbier. It isn't a terribly sweet beer, but you do get the smoky taste. And the smell upon opening the bottle is like that of a barbecue pit...delightful.
I don't drink it often, though, as a half-liter bottle costs around $6.

(For those not in the know, "Rauchbier" is German for "smoked beer." Instead of drying the malts in a kiln, the brewer dries them over a big smoky fire, usually made from beechwood.)


Oops! I got rauchbier confused with steinbier. (rauch does look like it should mean rock) I never warmed up to either.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Beers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:52 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
The local brand Surly's become popular around here. I think the name helps a lot, because

A forum about Uilleann (Irish) pipes and the surly people who play them.

?

Quote:
if it doesn't match our attitude, we can always dream.

The Wonderful World of ... Other Bagpipes. All the surly with none of the regs!

?

Dinnae fash yersel. I'm taking up harp, anyway. I foresee I'll be not so much surly as bald from tearing my hair out.

Ooh. Two beer references in one post, and I didn't even try. :D

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