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Old 03-28-2015, 06:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
which styles are bitter/hoppy by design
Here are the style guideline descriptions for this year's GABF competition. It's a 49-page pdf file, and covers every style to be judged.

Every style has all its salient characteristics described, including bitterness.

For example:
Quote:
English Style Dark Mild Ale
...
Hop bitterness is very low to low....
http://www.brewersassociation.org/wp...guidelines.pdf
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:13 PM   #22
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I've lost my taste for hoppy beers. I tend to steer away from ipa's - the hopiness leaves me with an aftertaste. I have no plans to brew any more ipa's - which is a good thing because the extra hops drive up the cost. And I should be able to avoid dry-hopping /secondary fermentation.

Midpack- you should be able to find ibu levels online in ratebeer.com for most beers. But like others are saying, the best test is your own personal taste test.


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Old 03-28-2015, 08:56 PM   #23
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LOL, I love hoppy beers and my wife hates them. I know when I go to a brewhouse with a lot of craft beers it is hard to find what I want and she wants. So I would suggest two things 1) avoid IPAs (save them for me!) and maybe order heffelweitzen, DW loves them, I will only drink them if they are the last beer in the place. 2) find a 'major' beer you like and ask for it or one like it, most bartenders in a brew pub know enough to match the flavor type of a major beer. So, if I were looking for a stout I would ask for Guinness or something like it. And 3)(math is hard) don't be afraid to order from the bottle supply rather than what is on tap.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:20 PM   #24
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Styles of beers that might not be too hoppy for you:

American Blonde/Golden Ale
Wheat Ale
Scottish Ale
Hefeweizen
English Brown Ale
English Dark Mild
Flanders Brown Ale
Sweet Stout
Lambic
American Dark Lager
Munich Dunkel
Cream Ale
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:04 PM   #25
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Most of the Belgian styles are pretty light on hops. Some use coriander instead. Most of the Munich and Vienna lagers are more malt-forward as well.

A popular Vienna-style lager is Negra Modelo from Mexico. Its brewing formula is influenced by the culture that Maximilian and Carlota brought to Mexico in the 1860s.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:57 PM   #26
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OK, but I am not looking for a list of brands, more which styles are bitter/hoppy by design aside from IPA - so I can avoid them. Most of the places I go have local brews on tap, not the national brands - those aren't of interest to me.

.....

Just some examples that come to mind.
I don't think there is a definitive answer. There were some posts of styles that generally are less 'hoppy', and that can help in general (Gumby's list looks pretty safe and covers a nice range of styles), but three issues with that:

1) Not every brewer out there is brewing to BJCP or traditional guidelines, so their beer might not match a style name that closely.

2) The beer might not even reference a traditional style.

3) As you already know, there is no one way to describe 'hoppy'. A 'hoppy' beer might have enough malt and/or sweetness and/or body and probably other things (even the yeast and fining and storage techniques - most of which are not published) to bring them to a level that you are fine with. Or a beer with less hops, might present them in away you don't like.

Using the barleywine as an example. Many barleywines would not be considered 'hoppy' by most people. But some brewers make the hops stand out (sometimes called a 'West-Coast Barleywine). A style name isn't going to help you w/o knowing more about what the brewer was shooting for. But a good bartender or retailer should be able to match you with the traditional English style barleywines.

It's a little like trying to choose a car, and you want a bunch of specific features, but you only get three criteria to evaluate. You might eliminate a bunch of cars that don't meet those criteria. But three things won't tell you how it feels to drive that car, you need a test drive (taste).

You know you don't like IPAs. OK, don't order them. Try some from those lists, and ask at a good bar/retailer. Restaurants are normally not very informed, but there are exceptions.

I'm curious if you like a more mild APA - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is widely available, and IMO, 'nicely' hopped. Not overly-anything, much tamer than the IPAs out there. If that is 'yeeech' to you, it would tell me a lot about just how much you dislike that hop flavor.

I can't drink Hefe's - I'm super sensitive to the phenols (clove-like, antiseptic taste) that the yeast throws, tastes like medicine to me, I can't even choke down more than 4 oz. Many of the Belgians have those characteristics, and it's pretty much a toss up if I will like them or not. It's tough for anyone else to describe them reliably, I have to taste them to find out (beer geeks can give me an idea if they are 'clovey' or not, and that helps, but not always). You might be the same with hops.


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Old 03-29-2015, 01:33 AM   #27
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ESB might work, balanced bitter, my local guy only brews once a year.

Bitch Creek Extra Special Brown is tasty

Brown ales? like Newcastle

Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) | BeerAdvocate
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:42 AM   #28
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I was hesitant to mention brown ales, because some US ones can be a bit hoppy.

But Newcastle Brown Ale is probably worth trying to see how you like it. It's pretty smooth.
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How to avoid "hoppy" beers (2nd attempt)
Old 03-29-2015, 08:57 AM   #29
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How to avoid "hoppy" beers (2nd attempt)

Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Just give up and order a diet Coke instead?



This all sounds so complicated to me! Good luck and I think you are finding some better answers than mine.

Ha, but funny you should choose Diet Coke. Since my trigyclycerides are high, which runs in the family, so to speak, I have mostly stopped drinking soda.. Tried diet sodas, and don't like the aftertaste...

My choice in summer beer is, drum roll please, Bud Light. No worries about flavor there!

I like "hoppy" beers, and, well, beer in general, but anything "heavy" requires me to limit the amount to a pint or two, or else I'll feel crappy the rest of the evening.

A corollary to this: I've never really thought that beer or wine "pairs" well with food. Plus, drinking alcohol with a meal tends to give me indigestion, as if slowing digestion to a crawl.

As I always say, "Never eat on an empty stomach"...


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Old 03-29-2015, 11:22 AM   #30
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Thanks for the suggestions, many I can use. But it looks like sometimes I'm still simply going to have to use my smartphone to look up info before ordering where there's no one knowledgeable to ask. Of course at some restaurants and stores (not brewpubs), people who claim to be knowledgeable, turn out to be otherwise. I just hate having a beer I paid for sitting in front of me, and hating every swallow, or just leaving it.

It's not like wine or liquor brands, where some are better than others, but I rarely get one that's outright awful. With beer, awful is very possible, without any cost correlation (IOW some expensive ones taste horrible to me).

Oh well, first world problems to be sure, no biggie.
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:05 PM   #31
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:06 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Here are the style guideline descriptions for this year's GABF competition. It's a 49-page pdf file, and covers every style to be judged.

Every style has all its salient characteristics described, including bitterness.

For example:


http://www.brewersassociation.org/wp...guidelines.pdf
Forty-nine pages I'm looking to quench my thirst not cram for a mid-term exam. I'll need to down a six-pack of PBR Light just to avoid dying of dehydration studying up on what "real" beer I should order

Seriously, though- Thanks for the link!
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:24 PM   #33
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I usually make sure any beer I order ends with the word "light" and I'm never disappointed with an overly bitter or hoppy beer.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:26 PM   #34
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Hehe. I'm a homebrewer and an enginerd (not an uncommon combination). I met an engineer who was a certified judge and he told me he thought the BJCP exam was at least as hard as the PE exam!

As has been noted above, bitterness is measured in IBUs and the amount of malt and sugars in the brew before fermentation is measured by the Original Gravity (OG), defined as the ratio of the density of the unfermented wort to the density of water. This can be shortened to "gravity units" by dropping the 1 that is always to the left of the decimal, and multiplying the values to the right by 1000. So, if a beer has an OG of 1.050, it is said to have 50 gravity units.

What's the point? You can figure the BU/GU (boo-goo) ratio of the beer, which is somewhat of an indicator of how bitter it will seem. A Russian Imperial Stout will have more IBUs than a typical IPA, but will be perceived as much less bitter. Just like adding sugar to your coffee, it is the balance.

NO way will you ever get this from a waiter, even in the geekiest of beer bars. But going back to your smart phone, you might be able to tease the information out of the brewer's web site. Or not. [edit: And it will often be in units of degrees Plato instead of the unitless ratio to the density of water.] And you'll need to order another round before you find all the data, maybe. But if you know what beers you like you might be able to figure this for those brews, see if there's a pattern, and choose new beers you might like based on the data.

(I warned you I'm an enginerd. I actually love doing this stuff.)

Or, my favorite method is just to try all the different beers I can get my hands on. But, I pretty much like all beers except the american industrial lagers that don't have much taste to them. Especially - but not exclusively - the uber-hoppy ones.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:49 PM   #35
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GalaxyBoy, lots of good info there, but the problem with your following statement (bold mine) is:


Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyBoy View Post
...
What's the point? You can figure the BU/GU (boo-goo) ratio of the beer, which is somewhat of an indicator of how bitter it will seem. A Russian Imperial Stout will have more IBUs than a typical IPA, but will be perceived as much less bitter. Just like adding sugar to your coffee, it is the balance. .... .
Yep, "somewhat" being key. IBUs are a measure of the alpha acids that the hops add to the beer. As hops are added later in the boil, or after the boil, they release relatively few of their alpha acids. Isomerization of the hops peaks at about 60-90 minutes of boil time, dropping on either side of that time.

I could brew a very lightly hopped beer, and then add a ton of hops post boil, and produce a beer that most people would describe as very, very 'hoppy', and still keep the measured IBUs on the low end of the scale.

I don't think a single number can capture the complexity that is hops. As I said before, yeast variety and post fermentation processes (filtering, fining, storage, etc) can affect the perceived 'hopiness' of a finished beer. Oh, and serving temperature (cold kills the malt taste, so the bitterness is amplified in relative terms) and carbonation levels as well.

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Old 03-29-2015, 10:29 PM   #36
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My DW does not like real hoppy beers either. I do like them. So usually she will order a lager, wheat beer, pilsner, bock, brown ale, or stout. If one of those is too much hoppiness for her, I suffer through and drink it for her! Generally she will ask the bartender or server if she is not familiar with the choices.

Funny thing is I search out pale ales and IPAs. Also like red ales. I think Belgian style is awful and about the only beer I won't drink.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:47 AM   #37
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Yes, the ideal solution would be to buy a case of each. Try a bottle, and send me the 23 left from those you don't like. Simple and efficient!
Not so fast, I want at least 6 of those bottles...

There are exceptions to the IBU... however I have found if I stay under 40 IBU when picking I usually get something less bitter I like

Another possibility is to balance the hooppy beer with tangy or spicy food. I have had more than one salad dressing made with hoppy beer, and I also like hoppy beer with spicy food to balance my pallette.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:50 AM   #38
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Ask your knowledgeable bartender! Tell him what beers you DO like, and ask him to recommend something. My local pub will put a bit of something new in a glass for me to try it first.


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LOL
I have not found a bartender yet which can explain the difference between an APA and an American IPA
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:53 AM   #39
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Thanks for the suggestions, many I can use. But it looks like sometimes I'm still simply going to have to use my smartphone to look up info before ordering where there's no one knowledgeable to ask. Of course at some restaurants and stores (not brewpubs), people who claim to be knowledgeable, turn out to be otherwise. I just hate having a beer I paid for sitting in front of me, and hating every swallow, or just leaving it.

It's not like wine or liquor brands, where some are better than others, but I rarely get one that's outright awful. With beer, awful is very possible, without any cost correlation (IOW some expensive ones taste horrible to me).

Oh well, first world problems to be sure, no biggie.
There is an app called untappd which helps me
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:55 AM   #40
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I don't think there is a definitive answer. There were some posts of styles that generally are less 'hoppy', and that can help in general (Gumby's list looks pretty safe and covers a nice range of styles), but three issues with that:

1) Not every brewer out there is brewing to BJCP or traditional guidelines, so their beer might not match a style name that closely.

2) The beer might not even reference a traditional style.

3) As you already know, there is no one way to describe 'hoppy'. A 'hoppy' beer might have enough malt and/or sweetness and/or body and probably other things (even the yeast and fining and storage techniques - most of which are not published) to bring them to a level that you are fine with. Or a beer with less hops, might present them in away you don't like.

Using the barleywine as an example. Many barleywines would not be considered 'hoppy' by most people. But some brewers make the hops stand out (sometimes called a 'West-Coast Barleywine). A style name isn't going to help you w/o knowing more about what the brewer was shooting for. But a good bartender or retailer should be able to match you with the traditional English style barleywines.

It's a little like trying to choose a car, and you want a bunch of specific features, but you only get three criteria to evaluate. You might eliminate a bunch of cars that don't meet those criteria. But three things won't tell you how it feels to drive that car, you need a test drive (taste).

You know you don't like IPAs. OK, don't order them. Try some from those lists, and ask at a good bar/retailer. Restaurants are normally not very informed, but there are exceptions.

I'm curious if you like a more mild APA - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is widely available, and IMO, 'nicely' hopped. Not overly-anything, much tamer than the IPAs out there. If that is 'yeeech' to you, it would tell me a lot about just how much you dislike that hop flavor.

I can't drink Hefe's - I'm super sensitive to the phenols (clove-like, antiseptic taste) that the yeast throws, tastes like medicine to me, I can't even choke down more than 4 oz. Many of the Belgians have those characteristics, and it's pretty much a toss up if I will like them or not. It's tough for anyone else to describe them reliably, I have to taste them to find out (beer geeks can give me an idea if they are 'clovey' or not, and that helps, but not always). You might be the same with hops.


-ERD50
Bells two hearted (to me) is a great example of an APA however I was told last night that it is considered an IPA and not APA.

Hopslam (by Bells) is also a great seasonal APA which feels like eating a bowl of fruit (I love fruity hops)
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