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Old 10-02-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
Snake Hips
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Default Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

After a time swilling anything alcoholic, I've been looking a while for a good beer. I didn't know what I was looking for at first. As a matter of fact, I still don't, but I've established what I do and don't like. I do like "lighter" tasting ales like Newcastle and more flavorful lagers like Beck's. And I DO not like this gnarly, bitter, how-much-hops-can-you-stand nonsense that the American craft breweries seem to be fans of in recent years. I want a real IPA, not a butt-puckering, hop-laden, beer humunculus that crawls down my throat and takes a dump on my tongue. And yes, I know what a "real" IPA is - I've been to England and tasted the sweet fruit of their breweries. Greene King IPA is to this day one of the best beers I remember (and apparently only a mediocre beer to the Brits), and is, unfortunately, not exported to my knowledge. But my taste is weird anyway - I can drink a Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Pabst or Olympia and be happy with it, but I don't like Blue Moon, Sierra Nevada IPA, Killian's or Fat Tire.

So, knowing that I like British ales of most types and German lagers of most types (excepting wheat beers - never got into them) and that I dislike excessive hops and strong "grain" tastes (like imperial stouts and beers like Fat Tire provide), can anybody give me any suggestions for beers to try? I know I just gave you quite a task, but I know there are some veritable beer experts here, and I'd like to hear what you think
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Look for a blond ale. Most of the ones I've had are homebrewed, but they are "lighter" tasting but still a whole lot of flavor. Very good beers IMO. Sorry I can't give you a brand as I don't know if I've had a good commercially available blond.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Tis the season, so I would point you in the Oktoberfest direction. A maltier lager that you might enjoy: Paulaner and Spaten are German brewed, and relatively easy to find (not sure where you are...) this time of year. For an American version, I really like Harpoon's Oktoberfest.

In the British ale category, I prefer Fuller's to Bass. I particularly like Fuller's ESB--one of the best beers I've ever had, and I've had quite a few. Sticking with American Ales, you might want to sample Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale or Harvest Ale--more balanced and fruity than their IPAs, might be a better fit for your prefered taste profile. A few East Coast breweries make awesome Brown Ales: Dogfish Head and Legends (right here in Richmond,) are two of the best in my book.

The one American brewery that probably makes the best beer to fit your profile would be Brooklyn Brewery. I'd suggest sampling a few of their different offerings.

Good luck!
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Harpoon's Oktoberfest is awesome. Harpoon's Leviathon is a bit interesting with 14% alcohol or so.

I tend to enjoy Belgians alot. Chimay Ale is good. Trappistes Rochefort 10 is my absolute favorite beer. Can be on the pricey side. Leffe is a blegian blonde. And LaChouffe is good too.

Hoegaarden is an easy find and a good beer as well.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

If you're looking for a more traditional, toned-down style of IPA, try The Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder, both from Russian River Brewing. Very flavorful but these have an almost elegant mouth-feel, especially the Pliny. There are plenty of hops but it comes across as citrusy (grapefruit mainly) instead of beating you over the head with the hops mallet. Their appearance is more traditional as well, much lighter in color than the Stone, Lagunitas, Avery, etc. crowd.

Can be difficult to find due to the limited production. However, I'd seek them out if you can.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

as i come from the home of bitter i say drink more bitter lol
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Thanks for the suggestions so far - you guys seem to be leading me in the direction I'd hoped.

@Sauer Grapes
Blonde ales, eh? I'll have to look around. Thanks for the suggestion.

@kaisersozei
I think you've nailed my taste, as I do like Paulaner and remember their Oktoberfest Maerzen being pretty good, so I think I might have to hunt down some of this Fuller's ESB. I've heard much about Samuel Smith - what say you, beer sage? I've heard the Spaten Oktoberfest come up many times too, so that's now solidly on my radar. This Harpoon Oktoberfest sounds worth a shot as well. I've written down your other suggestions on my list

@Pilon
14% ABV! That is definitely worth a shot I've heard of Chimay, so I'll keep that one in mind as well, and Hoegaarden is easy to find here in Denver, so that should be one of the next to get as well, after the Oktoberfests.

@pinotguy
I'll have to try to find some Pliny the Elder too - I like the idea of the citrusy aspect to the hops. If Daveco Liquors doesn't have it, it hasn't made it this side of the Mississippi!

@adampc22
If only! Problem is being landlocked in the middle of the New World - hard to find good bitter, especially since it's best served on tap, and even better when you payed your first born son for a pint on the island where it was brewed!

Woo...sounds like I've got some shopping to do. So many beers, so few hands!
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Pliny has only made it to the Phily area this side of the Mississip.

However, not to be confrontational, but I don't think Pliny will fit you at all. It is what is known as a taste bud killer, meaning it is so hoppy that you won't be able to taste other IPAs after having Pliny. Also, it is an Imperial IPA, meaning more hops and more alcohol (more alcohol giving it the sweetness). Even Blind Pig would be too much for you IMO.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE pliny, but I am a hop head so the more bitter (and balanced) a beer, the better.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Try going a different direction altogether, Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout is out now, it's a great beer.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

have you tried old spekled hen ? or hobgoblin ?
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Pliny is almost impossible to find outside of California.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Try Boddingtons which I love but the low carbonation factor is not for everyone, some think it seems flat. I try to explain that's the traditional style, but meh.

A little less accessible, but i really like, is St. Peters Golden Ale. You'd certainly have to go to a beer warehouse for this, you won't find it on a supermarket shelve for sure. Comes in a really cool hip flask shaped bottle as well.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Quote:
Originally Posted by hornitosmonster View Post
Pliny is almost impossible to find outside of California.
Not to mention that I stand by my comment that it is exactly the opposite of what he is looking for.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

There is a beer that has recently popped up in liquor stores around here called Point (from Steven's Point Brewery in Stevens Point Wisconsin). If you can find it you might try their Cascade Pale Ale. For me it fits the bill of what you describe - hop flavorful but not puckering.

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Old 10-03-2009, 04:19 PM   #15
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

OK, I asked a buddy what blond ales he'd recommend and he thought maybe shiner blond (different than their bock).

My buddy actually brews the best blond I've ever tasted, but I am surprised he recommended a shiner beer since neither of us care too much for shiner bock.

Edit... I just checked shiner's website and it's a golden lager, so I'm not sure what my buddy was thinking. Maybe taste wise it's the closest thing, but his was a blond ale.

PS, have you tried Harpoon's IPA? Most hopheads think it is a watered down version of an IPA.

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Old 10-03-2009, 04:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

He also suggested trying flying dog tire bite golden ale.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

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Originally Posted by Resipsa View Post
Try Boddingtons which I love but the low carbonation factor is not for everyone, some think it seems flat. I try to explain that's the traditional style, but meh.

A little less accessible, but i really like, is St. Peters Golden Ale. You'd certainly have to go to a beer warehouse for this, you won't find it on a supermarket shelve for sure. Comes in a really cool hip flask shaped bottle as well.
Boddington's is alright - kind of an odd-tasting beer to me, but yields the most epic head I've ever poured. St Peter's Golden Ale...hmm. Have to see if there's any of that at my booze stop.

@Red
Haven't tried either of those, but Old Speckled Hen comes up a lot, so I'll have to try it.

@Sauer Grapes
Thanks for all the help! I'll have to try Shiner Blond if your buddy thinks it's good, as well as Flying Dog Tire Bite. They will be prioritized.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Any suggestions for something similar to the Oktoberfest Märzen style that's available year-round? I really like the kind of flavor and balance these beers bring, but alas, it's only two weeks a year.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:04 AM   #19
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake Hips View Post
Any suggestions for something similar to the Oktoberfest Märzen style that's available year-round? I really like the kind of flavor and balance these beers bring, but alas, it's only two weeks a year.
Try Abita's Amber. I think that is distributed nationally--it's a pretty good Marzen that's available year round.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #20
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Default Re: Beers for the Non-Hopwhore

Sounds to me you're more of a malt guy especially if you like the Octoberfest brews.
Try any Festbier. HeBrew has a few maltier beers. I'd also suggest some great brown ales such as Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale or any Altbier for that matter.
Lastly, dopplebocks will fit your bill perfectly in my opinion. Ayinger Celebrator is a slamdunk as is Troegenator Double Bock (one of my favorites) and Weihenstephaner Korbinian. Enjoy and good luck on your beer discoveries!
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