seb146
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Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:52 am

There are a lot of micro-brews around. I have noticed that they all seem to be IPAs and ales. I like lagers. I am wondering: what is the difference in brewing between stout, lager, ale, and pilsner? What is the difference between a pale ale and India pale ale (IPA)? I can taste the difference between Anchor Steam vs. PBR vs. Guiness but I don't know how they got that way. Also: why are there so many ales but very few lagers in micro-brews?
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Bongodog1964
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:36 am

Craft brewers concentrate on producing their own unique ales, they have no interest in making sterilised weasels urine, otherwise known as lager.
 
ha763
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:06 am

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
What is the difference between a pale ale and India pale ale (IPA)?

An IPA should have a higher ABV and more hops.

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
Also: why are there so many ales but very few lagers in micro-brews?

It is a lot easier to make ales. Ales use top-fermenting yeasts that ferment at warm temperatures. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeast that ferment and then condition the beer at low temperatures, which usually means refrigeration.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:14 am

There's a great episode of Modern Marvels that covers just about everything in the OP.

About IPAs...they just seem to be a popular trend right now, especially with the young folks. Personally, I'm getting sick of them. Tired of 80% of the beers on tap at most bars being pale ales or IPAs.

[Edited 2013-01-25 03:17:35]
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casinterest
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:40 pm

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/

The above site has a great listing of all of the beers and how they are made.

The Ales are usually made by the Micro breweries due to their quick brewing, and ability to keep a bit better in bottles.

IPA's were actually Ale's made that could withstand long voyages due to the natural preservative factor of the Hops.



Lager's are not bad beers, they just take longer, and also can spoil a bit easier.
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EasternSon
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:46 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 3):
About IPAs...they just seem to be a popular trend right now, especially with the young folks.

Pale Ales and IPAs are a little easier to brew, and take less time than Lagers, so micro brews are able to produce higher volumes at a faster rate - increasing their revenue.

Personally, I like Lagers and Porters, but you're right, they're getting harder to find.
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falstaff
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:12 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 3):
Tired of 80% of the beers on tap at most bars being pale ales or IPAs.

Me too. I am also tired of seeing things advertised as "English Style Ale" and be 8-9% abv. I have drank A LOT of real ale in the UK and it is rare to find one more than 5% abv. I have several hundred tap handle cards from the UK and I think the highest abv one is 5.1% or something like that. I have a pub in Thornton Le Dale, England save them for me and when I get over there I bring them home.

Quoting EasternSon (Reply 5):
I like Lagers and Porters

I am a huge fan of porters and bocks. When I travel in Germany I guzzle a lot of bocks. When I travel in the UK I am a nonstop real ale man.

Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 1):
Craft brewers concentrate on producing their own unique ales

I wrote an article about real ale for the American Breweriana Journal. It is in the November 2012 issue, it features my favorite pubs in Yorkshire, The Blue Bell in York and The New Inn in Thornton Le Dale.

This is what I call hot! A good looking woman pumping real ale at the New Inn
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/DTWAMSMAN2337.jpg

The Blue Bell in York

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/DTWAMSMAN2141.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/DTWAMSMAN2137.jpg

The New Inn, Thornton Le Dale

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/DTWAMSMAN2055.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/DTWAMSMAN2339.jpg
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flipdewaf
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:31 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 6):
Me too. I am also tired of seeing things advertised as "English Style Ale" and be 8-9% abv. I have drank A LOT of real ale in the UK and it is rare to find one more than 5% abv. I have several hundred tap handle cards from the UK and I think the highest abv one is 5.1% or something like that. I have a pub in Thornton Le Dale, England save them for me and when I get over there I bring them home.

OO, I live about 5 or 6 miles from thornton le dale. I drive through every day on my way to work. If you have spent time around the North Yorkshire Moors and like ale then you have surely been to the Lion inn?

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WildcatYXU
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:47 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
Also: why are there so many ales but very few lagers in micro-brews?



I'd say it's because they want to offer something different. The market is flooded with lagers produced by us (meaning mass producers), so offering ales seems to be a logical choice for a craft brewer.
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falstaff
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:07 pm

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 7):
If you have spent time around the North Yorkshire Moors and like ale then you have surely been to the Lion inn?

Yes I have
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slider
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:47 pm

Quoting casinterest (Reply 4):
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/

The above site has a great listing of all of the beers and how they are made.

I was going to post that myself! Well played.

seb146- definitely peruse that site, it's very educational. Moreover, go on a brewery tour!! That experience alone is educational and gives a good overview of the brewing process, which in and of itself, is very simple. I've been homebrewing for a number of years and love it.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 4):
IPA's were actually Ale's made that could withstand long voyages due to the natural preservative factor of the Hops.

Indeed, the name INDIA Pale Ale implies to the seaborne journey of the Brits to the subcontinent; the very high hop content helped to act as a natural preservative. Only later did the wide variety of hops come about and they began being used as such a critical and variable ingredient.

Now it does seem there are a lot of IPAs on tap and the type has really surged in popularity. I've been on an IPA kick for a long time now but love pretty much any style of beer, although I'm not always hot on some of the Belgians.

It's a great hobby, and enjoyable chance to enjoy fellowship and a tasty way to do it!
 
srbmod
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:50 pm

There are plenty of craft lagers and pilsners out there as some craft breweries try to have something for everyone. The thing is that most craft brewers that also do lagers and plsners don't have national distribution (some do have wide distribution, but perhaps don't distribute in all regions) so one may have to research what's available in their area. The only craft brewed lager that comes to mind in the western US is New Belgium's Clutch, which is not too bad of a lager.

I love a really hoppy beer and the typical pale ale or IPA just doesn't always cut it for me because it's not hoppy enough. As a result, I usually end up going for imperial/double IPAs which really start getting in the 7-9% ABV range and have an IBU of 70-90+ (I had a beer from a Danish craft brewery called Mikkeller that has a theoretical IBU of 1000 IBUs, but the human taste buds really don't register bitterness above 130-150 IBUs.) . Several years ago I was not an IPA fan as I preferred a more malty ale and didn't like the bitterness of an IPA and some pale ales.

The one IPA trend that I'm not a fan of are black IPAs. I love stouts and porters but I don't like black IPAs. If I want a dark beer with my IPA, I get a black and tan.

I used to be a freak for Belgian and Belgian-style beers, but that gets expensive really quick as some of them start out at $10-12 a bottle and rarer bottlings or beers from smaller Belgian breweries can get into the $20+ range a bottle.

I've been to a few places that have beer engines and offer a rotating selection of cask versions of beers. Last October I was at Public House at the Venetian in Las Vegas and one of their cask offerings was Sierra Nevada Tumbler.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:48 pm

A well-executed lager can be a great thing. It's a shame we've come to associate the word 'lager' with gnat's piss brewed by huge congolmerates.
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DocLightning
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:49 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
There are a lot of micro-brews around. I have noticed that they all seem to be IPAs and ales. I like lagers.

It's especially bad in California. I've been in restaurants where there were NO lagers available. Not in bottles, not on tap. Three IPA's, a pilz, two heffs, and a stout.

I, like you, like lagers. I do not like IPA's. But they are apparently easier to make, so they're common.
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:58 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 12):
A well-executed lager can be a great thing. It's a shame we've come to associate the word 'lager' with gnat's piss brewed by huge congolmerates.

You know, Mr. Majority Customer rules. If he wouldn't buy our product by millions of barrels, we would change it.
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:05 pm

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 14):
You know, Mr. Majority Customer rules. If he wouldn't buy our product by millions of barrels, we would change it.

Sure, I understand why the masses are happy with their swill, but it still tastes like garbage. I'd rather pay twice as much and have a well-made and properly flavoursome brew. I like getting pissed now and again, but I love the flavour of good beer more than the effect. For many I think the priority is the other way round. Either that, or they never tried anything decent and don't know any better.
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Beer Question

Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:21 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
I like getting pissed now and again, but I love the flavour of good beer more than the effect.



Couldn't agree more.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
For many I think the priority is the other way round.



Very likely.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
Either that, or they never tried anything decent and don't know any better.



I have a feeling that one has to slowly acquire the proper taste. Nobody will switch from sweet drinks directly to a 60 IBU IPA. It would be just too bitter for them.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
Sure, I understand why the masses are happy with their swill, but it still tastes like garbage.



The funny part is that it's way more difficult to make a very light lager than a craft beer. High body and lots of hops can mask all kinds of defects. We don't have this luxury.
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StuckInCA
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RE: Beer Question

Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:36 am

I can appreciate a good examle of any style of beer except fruit flavored but I think lagers are uncommon also because they are underappreciated by the masses (of quality beer drinkers). Since there aren't so many out there they become less desired. Self fulfilling prophecy.

I'll never complain about the bounty of west coast style IPA's out there right now. If the IBU's aren't over 60 (75 really) then don't even tell me it's an IPA.

I'm surrounded by not only good IPA's but pilsners, porters, stouts, etc. The Northwest is a fine place to appreciate beer!
 
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falstaff
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RE: Beer Question

Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:33 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 11):
I used to be a freak for Belgian and Belgian-style beers, but that gets expensive really quick as some of them start out at $10-12 a bottle

That was a huge fad in the US for a while. It is easy to hide poor quality behind 9% abv.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 14):
Mr. Majority Customer rules. If he wouldn't buy our product by millions of barrels, we would change it.

And the big brewers do make a variety of beers to satisfy a lot of different drinkers.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
Sure, I understand why the masses are happy with their swill, but it still tastes like garbage

I have had some garbage "craft beer" and some snobs still think it is good because it doesn't come from a big brewery. I love it when I run into a guy who is extolling how good some import is and then I look at the bottle and see it expired two years ago. Some people actually think a good beer should taste like oxidation.

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 17):
I can appreciate a good examle of any style of beer except fruit flavored but

I have over 1000 different commercially sold beers (brew pubs are not counted on my list) and the only ones I really didn't like were the fruit beers.

Quoting slider (Reply 10):
go on a brewery tour!

I have been on dozens. If you count the multiple return turns at some breweries I have been on 100s. I have been on the A-B tour in St. Louis dozens of times. I have been on tours in Europe where I didn't know the words the tour guide was saying, but I knew exactly what was going on because I have been on so many tours in English speaking countries I knew exactly what was being talked about.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 11):
There are plenty of craft lagers and pilsners out there as some craft breweries try to have something for everyone

I just had a great one, Upslope Craft Lager from Boulder, Colorado. A buddy of mine brought me a six pack (of cans) home from a ski trip last month. I also like the Lagers from Schlafly, in St. Louis and Boulevard, in Kansas City.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
I, like you, like lagers

Wow! we do have something in common.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 16):
The funny part is that it's way more difficult to make a very light lager than a craft beer. High body and lots of hops can mask all kinds of defects. We don't have this luxury.

A lot of people don't realize that. I have had some awful craft beer, but not too often have I had any lagers from big brewers that were just awful (They may have been light, but I knew what I was getting). Make something high abv and you can hid a lot, there was a article about that in the Michigan Beer Guide last summer.
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srbmod
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RE: Beer Question

Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:53 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 18):
That was a huge fad in the US for a while. It is easy to hide poor quality behind 9% abv.

Overindulging in them one night caused me to cut back on them. I'll drink one from time to time.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 18):
I have had some garbage "craft beer" and some snobs still think it is good because it doesn't come from a big brewery. I love it when I run into a guy who is extolling how good some import is and then I look at the bottle and see it expired two years ago. Some people actually think a good beer should taste like oxidation.

Some of that falls back on not only the store but also the beer distributor for keeping out of date product on store shelves. You're unlikely to find out of date product from the big boys as there is enough turnover so that the stock is pretty fresh. I've gotten burned a few times over the years and try to as much as possible check for a date on the bottle before purchasing it. Some breweries don't pasteurize their beers and that gives the beer a shorter shelf life.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 18):
I have been on dozens. If you count the multiple return turns at some breweries I have been on 100s. I have been on the A-B tour in St. Louis dozens of times. I have been on tours in Europe where I didn't know the words the tour guide was saying, but I knew exactly what was going on because I have been on so many tours in English speaking countries I knew exactly what was being talked about.

We've got several breweries here that I keep saying I'm going to go do the tour, but always keep forgetting about it. If I wasn't going to be at a beer festival today, I could have gone to a sneak preview tour of one of the brewery facility of one of our local craft breweries (Like many small craft brewers, they started out by contracting their brewing out until they felt they had the demand and the $$$ to build their own brewery.).

Quoting falstaff (Reply 18):
I just had a great one, Upslope Craft Lager from Boulder, Colorado. A buddy of mine brought me a six pack (of cans) home from a ski trip last month. I also like the Lagers from Schlafly, in St. Louis and Boulevard, in Kansas City.

Boulevard makes some pretty good beers; they started distributing here in the Atlanta area back in the Fall and everything I've tried so far has been pretty good (I'm not sure if their lager is among the offerings they carry here, as I'm more of an ale drinker.). Of the craft breweries here, only one (Red Hare Brewing) makes a lager (Long Day Lager) and it's a pretty good lager and like I said, I'm not much of a lager drinker.
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Beer Question

Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:18 am

Quoting falstaff (Reply 18):
I love it when I run into a guy who is extolling how good some import is and then I look at the bottle and see it expired two years ago. Some people actually think a good beer should taste like oxidation.

It doesn't really have to be expired to taste like oxidation. High oxygen content in the beer and longer pasteurization may lead to oxidation right on the packaging line. Mind you, many imports come with 12 months shelf life (ours is 6), so I don't think it's pasteurized too carefully.

OTOH, we spent a lot of effort and money on freshness. Lot of mods were done to packaging lines in order to minimize TPO (total packaged oxygen). I did my part with TPO monitoring. Selecting the proper instruments and building a system to measure CO2 and TPO content led to lot of 14+ hour days. But we now have a system that works pretty well.
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