Hot!Beer thread 2014

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Porktown
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2014/03/07 11:53:36 (permalink)

Beer thread 2014

It's Spring time, yet another good time to drink beers! 
 
I've been on a session beer kick for a while.  They aren't my favorite, it seems that higher alchohol is a byproduct of getting a good balance and full body in beer.  It does seem like the brewers are catching on, that not everyone wants 6%-8%ABV all of the time.  There is a huge difference in each 1%, I'll try to track down an article that I had read per this.  From what I have read, a true "session beer" is under 4%.  There are not many light premiums that hit that (Yuengling Light does).  In Eurpope, they have a bunch, especially in casks at many pubs.  I've been looking for any as close to 4.5% as possible.  This is in the "light beer" alchohol range, which will allow another beer or two in a normal evening/night/day picinic.
 
Here are a few that I have been enjoying.  I am not 100% sure on the ABV, but close.
 
21st Amendment - Bitter American - 4.3%
Just Beer Project - Anytime IPA - 4.6%
Yards - Philadelphia Pale Ale - 4.6%
 
I find Guinness rather light on taste, being 4.2% it deserves a mention. 
 
Please add to the list, if you know of any.  BTW, I know of about 100 beers that are 5% or over.  If you want to add, feel free, but personally am not looking for that info.  New Galarus Moon Man is one at 5%, which is hard to beat.  Just looking for other as close to sessionable as possible.  Feel free to just chat about any beer of course.  Things seem slow on the boards with Spring taking forever to arrive.
 
TGIF
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    FishinGuy
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/07 12:29:58 (permalink)
    Just finished a case of rivertowne oh-pa session pale ale the other day. 4.8% I believe. Definately on the hoppy side. more hops than I expected from rivertowne, especially for a pale and not an IPA. very good though.
    #2
    Porktown
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/07 13:10:27 (permalink)
    Cool, I'll have to check that out.  I like to enjoy the locals (if they have a product that I am interested in).  Cans are always a bonus in my book.
    #3
    Porktown
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/07 13:16:18 (permalink)
    I wish East End would bottle/can.  The Fat Gary is very good for being under 4% (although brown ales are not my favorite) and have some other good session ales as well.
    #4
    Big Steve
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/07 14:17:46 (permalink)
    Gilden Kölsch 4.8
    Yuengling Porter 4.7
    Belle-Vue Extra Framboise 2.9
     
    These are the only three I can think of that I have tried.  But two are >4.  I thought Kölsch was less, tastes light.  But since we're talking beer, my personal favorites are Paulaner Hefe and a few Unibroue products, but they are far from being session beers.  More like extended stay beers. 

     
     
     
     
    #5
    gymi03
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/08 02:29:19 (permalink)
    I guess im a drunk. Those 4%er's are the bottom of the barrel to me. I'd rather fork over cash for an 8% rather than that 4% trash. 4%....lmfao!!!!
    #6
    FishinGuy
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/08 07:03:19 (permalink)
    I do tend to prefer stronger beers in general. But if I plan on driving anywhere, low alcohol is definitely a big plus. I can put back a couple beers on a long slow night cat fishing.
    #7
    Porktown
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/08 08:38:50 (permalink)
    Check the prices of the beers mentioned, it's not price, it's being responsible. Like said, most of my favorites are in the 6.5%+ range, but if needing to drive or even picnicking in my yard with kids, I prefer to keep the intoxication part of drinking beers down.
    post edited by Porktown - 2014/03/08 08:42:57
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    bassboatbill
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/08 08:46:02 (permalink)
    Im a PBR guy daily but did enjoy the Sam Adams White Christmas this year

    Reputation is made in a moment.......Character is built in a lifetime
     
     
    #9
    FishinGuy
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/08 09:08:10 (permalink)
    Picked up a Sam spring sampler yesterday. Not normally a big Sam Adams guy, but good so far. I've only tried the cold snap and the kolsch.
    #10
    BloodyHand
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/08 11:41:18 (permalink)
    Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale 7.2% yum!
     
    BH
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    TheBlueLagoon
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/08 12:37:04 (permalink)
    FishinGuy
    Picked up a Sam spring sampler yesterday. Not normally a big Sam Adams guy, but good so far. I've only tried the cold snap and the kolsch.



    I've had this as well, I enjoyed most of the beers especially the white water IPA and Cold Snap. the only beer I was disappointed in was the Escape Route, it tasted like a bad miller lite. 
     
    I usually like to buy and enjoy the higher % IPA beers, but when a lighter beer is needed my favorite is still I.C. Light @ 4.15%, maybe it's the yinzer in me I dunno, but I enjoy it. 

    Got Walleye???
    #12
    FishinGuy
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/08 12:55:17 (permalink)
    Straub amber. Local, 4.1% , delicious, and dirt cheap in cans.
    #13
    Porktown
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/10 09:31:40 (permalink)
    BloodyHand
    Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale 7.2% yum!
     
    BH


    I was a little dissapointed in this beer.  It did not have nearly the hop presence that I had thought that it would.  Not saying this isn't a great beer, but naming it IBA, I was expecting a bit more.  Especially from a brewer that is known to load up the hops, or at least a pioneer for loading them up.  After the initial disappointment, I did enjoy the remaining case though...
    #14
    beerman
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/10 13:38:05 (permalink)
    Here are a couple of session IPA's that are good:
     
    Founders All Day IPA  (4.7%) http://www.beeradvocate.c..eer/profile/1199/58914/
    Sam Adams Just IPA  (4.8%) http://www.beeradvocate.c...r/profile/31836/95069/
    post edited by beerman - 2014/03/10 13:39:27

    changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes....nothing remains quite the same



    The Beerman ~ Greg
    #15
    Accountant
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/10 16:54:59 (permalink)
    Pork, have you ever tried Founders all day IPA?  It's not the best IPA ive had but its 4.7 ABV.  You can find it in bottles, and I've picked up 6 packs before.  That might be something you are looking for.

     
    #16
    sloppy joe 2
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/10 20:27:15 (permalink)
    Good local drinker - Helletown Brown from MT Pleasant - a good English brown ale
    Personal favorite - Terrapin brewing Wake and Bake.
    And then there is Founders Kentucky breakfast stout. Limited run comes out soon I think.
    #17
    tippecanoe
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/10 22:34:49 (permalink)
    where do you find the breakfast stout?
    #18
    Cold
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/10 23:53:13 (permalink)
    tippecanoe
    where do you find the breakfast stout?




     
    It's tricky.  And often you have to plan around it in SWPA (finding out when a bar will get some in, and being there before it's tapped).
     
    I stumbled into quite a bit of it in Erie last spring, though.
     
    Still have one aging from last year!
    #19
    Porktown
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/11 15:42:31 (permalink)
    Accountant
    Pork, have you ever tried Founders all day IPA?  It's not the best IPA ive had but its 4.7 ABV.  You can find it in bottles, and I've picked up 6 packs before.  That might be something you are looking for.

    I've read about the Founders All Day IPA, while trying to find good session ales, but haven't seen it for sale locally.  I think Giant Eagle might carry, but I'm not a fan of paying $12 for a 6 pack...  I don't know if there ever will be a great IPA or APA that is low in alcohol.  Although there seems to be a push from some to make them, so who knows.  I am pretty sure much of the brewing that provides much of the flavor also provides the alcohol.  That and true IPAs are made strong by tradition, so I'm sure there is a good argument that IPA and session ale are contradictory.  The three that I mentioned, definitely have a lighter taste to them, as compared to a well balanced IPA or APA.  If I am unwinding after a long day at work and/or kids, and having 1-2 beers, then a nice well balanced higher ABV beer is fine by me. 
    #20
    Accountant
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/11 19:55:00 (permalink)
    Therein lies the issue at hand.  There are so many beers out there that could probably fit what you are looking for, but it comes down to cost and availability.  The founders would probably cost north of $11 for a six pack.  Plus most of the beers are hard to find, anyways.  I'd kill to be able to find helltown beers on a regular basis but its near impossible.  And that is saying something because I live in a section of town where its easy to find a lot of different beers. 
     
    what are your thoughts on trying an amber or red ale as a substitue for an IPA?
    #21
    Invicta
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/11 22:41:08 (permalink)
    Accountant, the only substitute for an IPA is a double IPA.  Once you start drinking IPAs you can't go back to anything else.
     
    Porktown,if you are in the PGH area stop out at Full Pint Brewing in North Versailles.  They have a session IPA called Hobnobber.  It's pretty good.
     
    I will occasionally drink something that is 4-5% abv, I like the stronger stuff though.  Strong IPAs, stouts, and barleywines are mostly what I've been drinking lately.  Have a couple 8-12% abv beers and that's all ya need!
    #22
    Cold
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/11 23:23:23 (permalink)
    Invicta
    Accountant, the only substitute for an IPA is a double IPA.  Once you start drinking IPAs you can't go back to anything else.



    Nonsense.  I'm as big a hop head as the make em, but there's plenty of fun to be had with other styles as well.
     
    There is, however, a lot of truth to saying that the ABV comes along with the style.  If you're looking for a session hoppy ale, the best direction to go is ESB or an English Pale.
    #23
    Porktown
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/12 09:16:06 (permalink)
    Accountant
    Therein lies the issue at hand.  There are so many beers out there that could probably fit what you are looking for, but it comes down to cost and availability.  The founders would probably cost north of $11 for a six pack.  Plus most of the beers are hard to find, anyways.  I'd kill to be able to find helltown beers on a regular basis but its near impossible.  And that is saying something because I live in a section of town where its easy to find a lot of different beers. 
     
    what are your thoughts on trying an amber or red ale as a substitue for an IPA?


    My comment on the Giant Eagle was more about principle supporting Giant Eagle's high prices, over the breweries.  I refuse to buy $12 six packs, when I can buy a case (of the same stuff if available) for around $30-$35.  Most other states that I have seen that sell in grocery stores, have this tier of beer for around $8-$9 per six pack, which is in line with our case prices.  Considering that the wife and I both drink the same beers, I'd need to buy two six packs at a time, or be limited to 3 per.  Don't get me wrong, if you said that the Founders All Day was on par with most well balanced IPAs, I'd pay the premium (and petition my local distributor to carry - which they will).  I live a little over a mile from this place, with 4-5 other distributors within 3 miles, so selection isn't too bad.  http://www.duffysbeer.com/product_listing.asp?type_name=micro_import    That said, I completely agree with the overall availability.  One good thing about the craft beer explosion, there are a ton of choices.  The bad thing is, that most stay regional in distribution.
    I agree to a sense about what Invicta is saying about IPA, if that is what your palete is, personally mine is mostly APAs.  I am not a hop head, compared to many that I'd consider hop heads, but I like them in my beers.  Four of my favorite beers are Victory Hopdevil, Great Lakes Burning River, Dales Pale Ale and Great Divide Denver Pale Ale, three of which are APAs.  All have a decent amount of hops with a great balance of malts as well.  Great when at home and looking to feel good after two, no doubt.  But rather dangerous on a Friday or Saturday night out with friends, or even a weekday game ect. that you are watching and beers are flowing like water...  I prefer to have my fridge stocked with both the high and low ABV per situation.
     
    I have yet to find an amber or red ale that has the hop character that I prefer.  They are probably out there somewhere.  Definitely plan to check out the Rivertowne.  I'm pretty sure that I had the Full Pint, but might try again.  I like their Chinookie, but many better in the style.  I do throw it into my rotation at times, when wanting to support the local. 
    #24
    Cold
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/12 11:04:36 (permalink)
    I am not a hop head, compared to many that I'd consider hop heads, but I like them in my beers.  Four of my favorite beers are Victory Hopdevil, Great Lakes Burning River, Dales Pale Ale and Great Divide Denver Pale Ale

     
    I hate to tell you...but you might be a hop head. :P
     
    For your Amber/Red, I take it you've not tried Nugget Nectar?
    #25
    BIGHEAD_1
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/12 11:10:23 (permalink)
    MMMMMM I could go for a nice warm can of colt 45  maybe even a warm BLATZ LOL
    #26
    Accountant
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/12 11:22:47 (permalink)
    Cold
    I am not a hop head, compared to many that I'd consider hop heads, but I like them in my beers.  Four of my favorite beers are Victory Hopdevil, Great Lakes Burning River, Dales Pale Ale and Great Divide Denver Pale Ale

     
    I hate to tell you...but you might be a hop head. :P
     
    For your Amber/Red, I take it you've not tried Nugget Nectar?


    I have friends that speak in hushed tones about Nugget Nectar.
    I had Troegs hopback the other day and I thought it was great. 
    #27
    Porktown
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/12 12:12:44 (permalink)
    A good friend of mine, used to play poker with the owners.  Great products, including Nugget Nectar, but is far from a session beer, and hoppier than most IPAs...  Their Sunshine pilsner is sessionable, but I'm not a huge fan of pilsners.  Theirs and Victory's have a nice hop, but both seem to have the same dry, cerealish aftertaste that most pilsners have.  I like the more carmel malt on the back end.  I think it's part of the taste difference of an ale and lager.  Which, like said, on occasions is a good change up.  Probably should throw their Sunshine in the session rotation and NN for the warmer rotation. 
     
    I'd consider hop heads, those that only drink beers in the 70+IBU range or run beers through a hop infuser (only know of these from my old neighbor, who I would consider a hop head, had one).  Most that I enjoy are in the 40-60 range.  I do like some very hoppy beers, but usually anything over 70 is also well over 7%ABV, and I start tasting the alchohol in some higher ABV beers.  A few, like Nugget Nectar are very good at hiding the alchohol taste, which can lead to a fun night, rough morning...
     
    I've considered buying a hop infuser and running some lower ABV maltier beers in, but never got around to it.  Probably be more of a gimmic thing to spend my money on and use for a month.
    #28
    Cold
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/13 11:19:37 (permalink)
    Talking about something like the DFH Randall Jr.?
     
    They're pretty cool.  I don't own one, but I've had a few beers served through them (or similar gadgets) and it's a neat thing to do for a change, but for the added fuss, I can't really see myself using one on a regular basis...more of something that a small pub might use for a special offering to set themselves apart.  The tricky thing though is that most craft beer is already carefully balanced, and running it through hops isn't going to do much other than add a little aroma (unless you're heating the beer before running it through).  At that, unless you're getting fresh hops, most of the aromatics are long gone anyway.  I'd love to try a good English Pale run through fresh local hops, though.
     
    As far as hop heads, I tend to consider myself one, but I couldn't possibly limit myself to high-IBU beer only.  There's just too much good stuff out there.  That said, I love extra-high IBU beers, and my ideal "go-to" beer tends to be something significantly hoppier than the average beer drinker (something like DFH 60, Harpoon IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, etc.).  BUs and ABV tend to go hand in hand for pale ales and a 65 IBU pale ale may not taste significantly hoppier than a 45 IBU Bavarian Pils because there's a bolder malt bill and attenuation to balance it out.
     
    I'm really surprised that we're not seeing more Milds, Bitters, and ESBs from American craft brewers...I think IPA will always be the king of american craft beer styles, but we've been seeing a kind of backlash from consumers for a few years now, where most of the serious beer nerds love their IPA, but the more casual drinkers don't appreciate the hop blast and want something a bit more approachable, and thus far, the craft beer industry at large hasn't really responded with a viable alternative to the high ABV offerings that allow them to experiment more within the capabilities of the recipe.  In a lot of ways, a low ABV beer is a lot more of a tricky thing to get right, because there's no big bold flavors or high alcohol to mask minor flaws or harsh edges...and as far as a session beer, a slight imbalance will tend to snowball as more are consumed.
    #29
    Cold
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    Re: Beer thread 2014 2014/03/13 11:21:50 (permalink)
    Accountant
     
    I have friends that speak in hushed tones about Nugget Nectar.
    I had Troegs hopback the other day and I thought it was great. 



     
    In absolute simplest terms, I'd explain it to someone with no familiarity with it as High Octane Yuengling.  It's an amber ale, but higher ABV (7.5% I think), and it's aggressively hopped, to be on par with an American IPA.  
     
    If you liked Hop Back, try to find some Nugget Nectar before it's gone for the season.  I'm confident you'll like it.
    #30
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