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Dec 17, 2010 09:35 AM

Looking for a good, quality beer that has low IBU (low bitterness)

I would love to find a regular, good quality beer like Sam Adams Boston Lager, but that one that is not as bitter as Sam Adams (it has IBU of about 30).

I am aware of the wheat bears and Belgian-style witbiers and I like those, but they have a different, if not peculiar taste. I would hope to find a regular non-wheat beer that has a bitterness level similar to that of the wheat beer (IBU below 20).

I tried Leffe Blond recently - that was not bitter, but it was way too syrupy for my taste.

I know that bitterness is something most beer drinkers enjoy. But I do not.

Would appreciate any suggestions.

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  1. Hmm so no bitter beers, no sweet beers and no wheat beers...

    What about Maibocks? You might still consider them too sweet but they are worth a shot as their malt presence is dominant and even though they are higher hopped then a standard Bock, their bitterness level is still pretty low in most examples of the style. In the same vein Oktoberfests might be perfect for you but of course they dont make these year round. Perhaps Kolsches in the summer but some of them have at least a moderate level of bitterness. What about reds and browns? They are often moderately hopped and have a mild pleasing taste with no weird esters or spices and tend to be fairly dry. Do you like dark beers? Dry porters may fit the bill.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Insidious Rex

      A porter the OP could lean towards is Yuengling- not overly aggressive or bitter in flavor, easy to drink. Schwartzbiers (like Kostritzer) and Dunkels (like Hoffbrau) as well. Brown Ales are another definite avenue to pursue, for sure (I'm thinking Samuel Smith's Nut Brown) if they are not opposed to checking out darker beers.

    2. These aren't what I'd call 'low IBU' beers, but they are nicely balanced and may be more your speed: Munich Helles Lagers, and you can easily get some really good ones in the NYC area. The beauty of them is that they aren't 'too' anything, but have a great malt and hop presence. Look for Augustiner Edelstoff, Weihenstephaner Original or Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold. Victory Lager (NOT their Prima Pils) from Pennsylvania is also brewed in that style, but a definite notch below their imported cousins in my eyes, but worth checking out if you want something locally made.

      1. Brooklyn Lager should be a good one for you.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Josh

          I would guess that both SABL and Brooklyn Lager are around the same IBU's (with the latter a touch more alcoholic) but I find Brooklyn much hoppier, when fresh. Tho' I wouldn't call it more bitter, necessarily (but then "bitterness" isn't something I'd find in the Boston Lager, either).

          Of course, I usually only drink either when on tap and, in the case of Sam Adams, only in places where it's the best of a bad selection, and those often don't taste very fresh (and sometimes down right stale, flat and/or sour). I think the concept of "Well, it's only the craft beer on tap, it must be fresh because of a rapid turnover" is faulty. It's more likely that in those bars, it's just "too expensive" and not consumed much at all.

          1. re: JessKidden

            I like the Brooklyn Lager in cans. It's yet to disappoint.

            1. re: Josh

              Even tho' I'm only 50 or so miles from Brooklyn (several hundred from Utica, however) the NJ distributors don't really push the cans (one told me they only try to sell them to golf courses, minor league baseball stadiums and other types of venues that don't allow glass bottles). At the one retailer I know that does order them, they weren't particularly fresh when I found them and 6 months later it's still the same batch on the shelves. Never saw the Summer Ale cans, either.

              A shame- they'd certainly be in my regular summer rotation if the were fresh. Many retailers have the same attitude about the 500ml cans of Pilsner Urquell- the break the 4-pks up to sell as singles [P/U dropped their bombers apparently] but seldom have 4's or cases for sale.

              But, my comments about Brooklyn Lager was not to suggest I find it disappointing, only that anyone who might find SABL "too bitter" wouldn't care for BL for the same reason.

        2. I think an Irish Red Ale might fit the bill. They are very low in bitterness and have a sweetness that isn't cloying at all, just pleasant. Smithwick's is a decent example that you can find in most half decent bars. Good session ale.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BelgianBeerMistress

            I enjoyed a couple of Smithwicks this past weekend. You're right, it is good.

          2. Belhaven Scottish Ale - Rich roasty and low hop profile.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chinon00

              That is a nice one. Low alcohol, too.