BEER Thread!

Lagunitas recently started making an NA "beer" or two: Hoppy Refresher. I can't vouch for how good it is since I haven't tried it, but it could be good. Also Lagunitas distributes pretty much everywhere so you might actually be able to find it!

It's definitely not beer, nor really seltzer or soda.
Slight yeast/malt taste and then some fizz and hop flavors.
It's good but doesn't really quench how you want a pilsner to.

In the course of my research, I found this guy, Steady Drinker, who seems to have compiled a decent motherload of info on the topic. He's based in the UK, but seems to hit a lot of breweries outside the UK.

My wife is pregnant so we've tried the Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher. It's pretty good, but isn't really like a beer.

Worth trying though! She prefers it over the few Clausthaler options I've tried.

Zwickle wrote:

My wife is pregnant so we've tried the Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher. It's pretty good, but isn't really like a beer.

Worth trying though! She prefers it over the few Clausthaler options I've tried.

Cool. For what you want and need, that is great. This is not to you, Zwickle, more the conversation in general. There is no NA that replaces what a Porter, Stout, IPA, IIPA, Session IPA, ESB, Belgian Golden Ale, Belgian Doubel, Cantillon, whatever, has. If you can't drink alcohol or choose not to for any reason, I hope you find something to fill the void. I have yet to approach anything close to the examples of whatever style you are seeking. It is like saying Gluten free bread can replicate a world class sourdough. Or a meat free patty is the equivalent of a beef or beef+pork patty. As long as it is good enough for you, that is great.

I already had to adjust my beer palate when I moved to the US. Every beer i tried tasted wrong and it took me a couple years to stop expecting everything to taste like a lukewarm pint of bitter.

This just feels like another episode of that. I'm not trying to exactly replicate something, I'm trying a bunch of different but similar things.

And for the record, bhchrist, i think you might be surprised at the range of NA options that exist that come pretty damn close. They're just hard to source is all.

Jonman wrote:

I already had to adjust my beer palate when I moved to the US. Every beer i tried tasted wrong and it took me a couple years to stop expecting everything to taste like a lukewarm pint of bitter.

This just feels like another episode of that. I'm not trying to exactly replicate something, I'm trying a bunch of different but similar things.

And for the record, bhchrist, i think you might be surprised at the range of NA options that exist that come pretty damn close. They're just hard to source is all.

The US does a lot of things "wrong" with beer, IMO, serving temperature being one of the biggest.

I think you hit on the main thing of not looking to replicate. Someone looking for that is on a fools errand of disappointment. I am glad you have found some that you like. I know BrewDog and Mikkeller have some offerings, two highly respected breweries that don't make many duds.

bhchrist wrote:

I think you hit on the main thing of not looking to replicate. Someone looking for that is on a fools errand of disappointment.

Yes and.

If you're looking to replicate a pilsner, I've already found a couple of NA options that tick the box (St Pauli NA and Clausthaler) - if you'd handed me either of them in a glass I wouldn't have guessed they were NA.

Jonman wrote:

It recently occurred to me, as sunny spring weather arrived, that while I don't miss alcohol, I do miss a delicious beer..... I'm particularly interested in this chap...
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A dozen of these just arrived on my doorstep, and you guys, this sh*t is goooood. I wouldn't have been able to guess this wasn't a 6% regular IPA. Maybe the only telltale is a slight mouthfeel difference - this feels a little watery-er? But then again, I've had thinner and thicker IPAs.

Certainly leaves me with that aftertaste like I've been chewing a mouthful of dry hops.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/GkKhOSS.png)

I went trolling through the craft beer fridge at my local liquor store and noticed this little item tucked away in the corner. I had never tried it before - heck, I had never heard of it, nor even the brewery before - but it's exceedingly tasty.

Ballast Point's Victory at Sea - High West Barrel Aged

Definitely a slow-sipping beer. I usually don't go for the barrel-aged beers because they often taste just a bit too overpowering, but this is very nice.

Hell yeah, Victory at Sea a great beer. They have a few other versions of it too I believe besides the regular one and that barrel aged one. Ballast Point's brews tend to be pretty good - the Sculpin is probably their most famous. There's a grapefruit version of Sculpin that is fantastic.

Along the lines of Victory at Sea, if you want more check out the Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy from Oskar Blues. They just released this year's version recently and it's top-notch.

Victory at Sea is indeed great, one of the best stouts I've ever had. Currently there seems to be four different versions of it in the local store. Stouts and Porters are definitely where it's at with Ballast Point. Sculpin is good but there's a metric ton of good IPAs at similar price point.

I don't particularly care for bourbon, so the best barrel-aged beer I've ever had is Left Coast's variety of Red Tide, because they aged it in red wine barrels.

Ted wrote:

I don't particularly care for bourbon, so the best barrel-aged beer I've ever had is Left Coast's variety of Red Tide, because they aged it in red wine barrels.

I like all the Belgian styles aged in wine barrels. In that direction lies my favorite beers. I did have a really good bourbon barrel-aged beer recently by Rogue.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/9B9UVnj.jpg)

merphle wrote:

I went trolling through the craft beer fridge at my local liquor store and noticed this little item tucked away in the corner. I had never tried it before - heck, I had never heard of it, nor even the brewery before - but it's exceedingly tasty.

Ballast Point's Victory at Sea - High West Barrel Aged

Definitely a slow-sipping beer. I usually don't go for the barrel-aged beers because they often taste just a bit too overpowering, but this is very nice.

Interesting story with Ballast Point.

Ballast Point was (is, technically, but you will get the past tense when I am done) a super San Diego Brewery that build a great reputation over two decades. In October 2015, they sold to mega company Constellation Brands for $1 Billion (a ridiculous inflated price). In less than a year, four of the founders, including the head brewer, left after a despute with Constellation, taking with them everythign that made Ballast Point who they were. Four years later in December of 2019, the brewery was sold by Constellation to a tiny brewery with $ backers based in Chicago for what is speculated to be $100M or less. I have no idea what or who they are as a brewery now.

Glad to hear there was something tasty that is being produced, though it wouldn't shock me if what you had was actually bottled prior to the most recent sale. I bought a bottle of Surly Darkness, a high ABV Imperial Stout, over the weekend that had a bottling date of Late October 2018, nearly two years ago.

bhchrist wrote:

Glad to hear there was something tasty that is being produced, though it wouldn't shock me if what you had was actually bottled prior to the most recent sale. I bought a bottle of Surly Darkness, a high ABV Imperial Stout, over the weekend that had a bottling date of Late October 2018, nearly two years ago.

Yup, the label reads as "2017", boasting 12% ABV.

merphle wrote:
bhchrist wrote:

Glad to hear there was something tasty that is being produced, though it wouldn't shock me if what you had was actually bottled prior to the most recent sale. I bought a bottle of Surly Darkness, a high ABV Imperial Stout, over the weekend that had a bottling date of Late October 2018, nearly two years ago.

Yup, the label reads as "2017", boasting 12% ABV.

Best guess it it may even have been brewed by the original brewmaster before the parting of ways. Most of the better Barrel-Aged Stouts are left in the Barrel for 4 months to 1 year plus prior to bottling/canning.

Here on the Big Island, our options are whatever InBev decides to ship here, a handful of local breweries, a guy up the street from me who runs a bunch of taps out of his garage while he's in permitting hell with the county, and for some reason Stone and Ballast Point. All of which is to say I quite like Ballast Point, though I don't buy it all that often because it's much more expensive than the local stuff.

I think the last thing I had from them was the Passing Haze Session IPA, which was quite nice.

I think Port City Oktoberfest might be my favorite Oktoberfest.

Has anyone had any Pumpkin ales this year that weren't gross?

Mixolyde wrote:

Has anyone had any Pumpkin ales this year that weren't gross?

I kinda don't get them anymore except for Rogue's Pumpkin Patch which is good. Not too sweet and kinda the best case scenario when going that direction. That one is around each year. Haven't seen anything special this year so far.

Mixolyde wrote:

Has anyone had any Pumpkin ales this year ever, at any point in history, that weren't gross?

Updated that for you.

The answer is a resounding "no".

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:

Has anyone had any Pumpkin ales this year ever, at any point in history, that weren't gross?

Updated that for you.

The answer is a resounding "no".

I have to agree with Milkman here. I'm not sure I've ever had one I've truly liked, and a few years ago actually I just gave up trying them at all. The only ones I've been able to take have been very strong (> 9% abv), enough for heavy malt to overcome the pumpkin spices.

I like pumpkin ales, but I also like PBR so I think by base plebian tastes do not really belong in this thread.

Pumpkin ale:

thrawn82 wrote:

I like pumpkin ales, but I also like PBR so I think by base plebian tastes do not really belong in this thread.

The title is 'BEER Thread,' not 'Good BEER Thread.' You're fine.

Mixolyde wrote:
thrawn82 wrote:

I like pumpkin ales, but I also like PBR so I think by base plebian tastes do not really belong in this thread.

The title is 'BEER Thread,' not 'Good BEER Thread.' You're fine.

i treat beer like i treat coffee. I appreciate the delicious complexity of a truly good brew... but some situations lend themselves to the swill from the back of the gas station and thats ok.

La Parcela from Jolly Pumpkin is a great pumpkin beer.

I have talked with pro brewers who say that pumpkin is an absolute PITA to brew with that messes with their system and is a mess to clean. I give kuddos for them for the effort. I will have a sip of them if there are samples or a there are some open to try and compare (both of which have not been options for months) but otherwise, nothing has struck my fancy that I want to seek any out to buy. I enjoy pretty much every style under the sun and moon. I would give a beer from Jolly P a try, given their spontaneous fermentation methods so see how they line up with pumpkins. Otherwise, most that I have are not so much pumpkin in nature but a heavy overdose of spices, like a winter ale turned up to 11.

One of our locals makes an amazing smoked pumpkin saison:

IMAGE(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4365/37372521212_84618aacc4_h.jpg)

Which has the double bonus of always getting this Canadian classic stuck in my head: