Seeking malty, golden, lightly hopped beer
I'm playing with a soup recipe and would like to include beer as an ingredient, but I'm not sure what the perfect beer is. I would like the beer to contribute a distinctly malty flavor, and a touch of sweetness would be nice. It must be a light colored beer. Not too bitter, less bitter than a traditional German pilsner, please. Could be an ale or lager. Must not be strongly phenolic.
Must be available in Rhode Island or Massachusetts.
I was thinking a German style bock, but American craft brewers seem to always interpret that style as more of an amber beer, and I'm looking for a bit lighter color.
When you talk about pronounced malt flavor I first think of great american barleywines. The problem is they won't have the light color you're looking for. As a solution you would not have to use very much to impart these flavor notes so that might be a workaround to the color issue... just use less because you need less. Not sure which available in your area, but you probably get dogfish in which case immortale is awesome.
What will be the main liquid ingredient of the soup?
Traditional Dunkles Bocks are dark amber/brown, while Maibocks/Helles Bocks are pale- those are the ones you are looking for. Einbecker Mai-Urbock can be stellar as long as you get some that has not been too exposed to the light (hopefully your local shopkeeper will get you a sixer from a sealed case).
Considering the flavor it seems you're looking for, why bother using a beer at all? Why not just buy some specialty malts at a homebrew shop and steep them in the broth? Especially if you're looking for something less bitter than a German pilsner.