help identify Funky Micro -brew taste!
- jjb75 Nov 9, 2006 04:37 AM
I love beer. I have tried a lot of them. My favorites are Guiness, Shiner Bock, PBR, a good German Helles like Augustiner, Rauchbier from the Bamberg area of Germany and sometimes a good Belgian ale like Duvel or Hoegaarden.
I can't stand 98% of micro brews that I have tasted because I think they have a really funky, kind of bitter taste.
What is that and why is everyone else so crazy over microbrews???
Sometimes microbrewers go a little heavy on the hops, or maybe they use a different hop...I don't know.
I'll say that I don't like a lot of the microbrews, either.
A bunch of them are better on draft, I think.
I'm 99% sure I know the answer to this...
Are you drinking the beer:
1) Straight out of a bottle?
2) On tap from a "slow pour down the side" OR...
3) From a "hard pour" that foams and aereates the microbrew ??
For a vast majority of micros, "3" is the only way to taste them. There are so many Pale ales and IPA's, for example, that have a tight, bitter taste until they are aereated... just like decanting a fine wine, great beer needs to BREATHE...
When you do this you will open up all sorts of floral and sweet flavors and aromas in the microbrews... Pale Ales, BarleyWines, Imperial Pale Ales, even Stouts... it goes for all "full-bodied" micros, you really need to decant them with a hard foamy pour and give them a minute or two to settle in the glass...
THEN, if you still prefer PBR, you might want to check with a taste-bud doctor.
You've identified a range of styles that you like - but the common thread in all of them is that they are maltier styles. My guess is that the craft brews you have tasted are hoppier styles.
What you need to do are to identify the malty styles brewed by craft brewers and focus on those. Such styles would include Lagers, Scottish Ales, Wee Heavies, Bocks (including Maibocks and Doppelbocks), Milk and Oatmeal Stouts (some Dry Stouts can be quite hoppy), Porters, any of the Wheat beers and most Belgian styles (seek out Allagash or New Belgium).
I started out on the malty end of things and slowly moved in the hoppy direction. Now I like both ends of the spectrum, but prefer the hoppy styles.
I agree with brentk - American microbrews, especially pale ales and IPAs, tend to be very heavily hopped compared to the beers you mentioned as your favorites. Many people who are used to British/European styles feel that Americans have gone way overboard in that regard. Personally, though, the hoppy ones are my favorites. In particular, I love Southern Tier IPA, Victory Hop Devil, Smuttynose IPA, and occasionally even a Weyerbacher "Hops Infusion" ale, though that one is a little bit over the top even for me.
The complaint about "bitter taste" is the dead giveaway here. As many others have pointed out, it sounds like you're not much of a hop fan. Your list of favorites gives that away as well.
Try some less aggressively hopped microbrews. Some good ones are Stone Smoked Porter, Avery White Rascal, and Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale. Sounds like you should steer clear of pale ales and India pale ales, as those tend to be more hoppy than most (none of your stated favorites qualify as either style).