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In Search of Sweet Beers

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amberife Jan 21, 2014 05:14 AM

My boyfriends is not a beer drinker. He'll drink a cider but that's about it. He has a big sweet tooth even when it comes to beverages.

I'm trying to expand his horizons. I've had him try Scaldis and Leffe Brune just as a gauge to see how sweet is sweet for him. He said both "weren't terrible" and he could drink them but he still didn't like them. I want to find something other than a cider that he might like.

My palette leans towards the bitter. I mostly drink Belgian ales and trippels with clove and coriander notes (yum!). I also enjoy IPAs. I'm really out of comfort zone when it comes to picking out something sweet.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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  1. Tripeler RE: amberife Jan 21, 2014 06:07 AM

    For sweet, give Rochefort 10 a try. I call it the "liquid chocolate brownie" of beers. Also on the sweet side, I like Westmalle Tripel and Tripel Karmeliet though they aren't really that sweet.

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tripel_K...)

    1. m
      maple99 RE: amberife Jan 21, 2014 06:17 AM

      Knowing your location may be helpful as many smaller breweries have only regional distribution.
      Many beers with fruit are sweeter (although some are sour). There are all sorts of Raspberry/Blackberry/Peach/Apricot wheat beers out there, some better than others. Ithaca Apricot Wheat is pretty good. Fruli Strawberry beer from Belgium is tasty. Some of these are not considered entirely manly, however!
      In the northeast, you can try some things from Southern Tier that are very sweet, such as Pumking, Choklat, or Creme Brulee Stout. Stouts in general are not very bitter usually.

      4 Replies
      1. re: maple99
        a
        amberife RE: maple99 Jan 21, 2014 07:31 AM

        I'm in the Washington, DC area.

        1. re: amberife
          b
          brentk RE: amberife Jan 21, 2014 10:39 AM

          Southern Tier beers are available in your market. The Choklat and Creme Brulee Stout are both very sweet.

          1. re: amberife
            m
            mdougherty RE: amberife Jan 23, 2014 10:32 PM

            Maybe Troegs' Double Bock? That was fairly sweet with very little bitterness, IIRC.

            1. re: mdougherty
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              Chowrin RE: mdougherty Feb 2, 2014 07:12 PM

              Troegenator is one of my favs. and I love sweet beer.
              Warning: Troegenator is like drinking bread, very complex.
              Great for someone who likes strong, complex flavors.

              Light it ain't, but sweet it is!

        2. Josh RE: amberife Jan 21, 2014 07:40 AM

          I recently went through this with an acquaintance of mine who sounds a lot like your bf.

          I'd suggest:

          Chimay - Grande Reserve (blue) or Premiere (red)

          Rochefort - 10 or 8

          La Trappe - Dubbel or Quadrupel

          Unibroue - Ephemere (apple), Blanche de Chambly, Quelque Chose

          Samuel Smiths - Organic Chocolate Stout, any of their fruit beers

          Lindemans (no brainer) - Peche, Kriek, Framboise

          St. Bernardus - 12, Christmas Ale if you can still find it

          AleSmith - Wee Heavy

          1. r
            rainey RE: amberife Jan 21, 2014 09:37 AM

            Have you tried lambics? These are Belgian beers fermented from fruit rather than grain. You can get them in a few fruit flavors. …altho they don't taste "fruity" to me. Just different than a conventional beer.

            Wanna blow his mind? Pour some lambic over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

            11 Replies
            1. re: rainey
              MVNYC RE: rainey Jan 21, 2014 11:08 AM

              Lambics are 100% grain, not fermented from fruit. Some may have fruit or fruit syrups added to varying degrees of sweetness.

              1. re: rainey
                Josh RE: rainey Jan 21, 2014 03:39 PM

                To add to MVNYC's point, with the exception of Lindeman's, Boon, Oud Beersel and Mort Subite, fruit lambics are most definitely not sweet. They are very sour, with the fruit added early enough in the aging process that their sugars get completely consumed.

                1. re: Josh
                  t
                  ThomasvanDale RE: Josh Jan 22, 2014 01:14 AM

                  Geuze, which is a blend of old and young lambiek, was traditionally served with sugar. They would bring a glass to your table and a cup of sugar with a spoon. Unfortunately, most of these old traditional places have closed and I don't think the modern ones have continued the tradition. But, you could certainly do it at home.

                  1. re: ThomasvanDale
                    Josh RE: ThomasvanDale Jan 22, 2014 09:26 AM

                    Eek.

                    I've tried Lindemans Faro, which is a gueuze with sugar added in the bottle. I found it kind of repulsive.

                    I don't really care for Berliner Weisse with the syrup added, either.

                    1. re: Josh
                      t
                      ThomasvanDale RE: Josh Jan 22, 2014 11:33 PM

                      As I mentioned, the sugar came with a spoon. It was optional and, even if you took sugar, you could take as much or little as you liked. I certainly agree that overly sweet beers are disgusting.

                      Which Berliner Weisse can you buy? I'm not sure there's any being made in Germany, almost certainly not in Berlin.

                      1. re: ThomasvanDale
                        Jim Dorsch RE: ThomasvanDale Jan 23, 2014 05:15 AM

                        I believe this is the sole example of the style imported to the US these days.

                        http://www.bunitedint.com/information...

                        Made in Bavaria.

                        There are some made in the US by craft breweries, as well.

                        It seems that, at least in the US, the name "Berliner Weisse" is used universally, even if the beer isn't made anywhere near Berlin.

                        We used to see Schultheiss and Kindl Weisse years ago.

                        1. re: Jim Dorsch
                          t
                          ThomasvanDale RE: Jim Dorsch Jan 23, 2014 09:37 AM

                          Yes, I've heard of that beer, but not good things. The two you mentioned were quite nice, but sadly seem to have disappeared. Perhaps Berlin could use a Pierre Celis now.

                          1. re: ThomasvanDale
                            t
                            ThomasvanDale RE: ThomasvanDale Jan 24, 2014 12:14 AM

                            While looking for something else this morning, I discovered that the Kindl Berliner Weisse brand still exists. Schultheiss, the owner, is now aiming the beer at young people. They now offer a line of 10 syrups to go with the beer. The flavours include rhubarb, green apple and grapefruit. Tradtionally, only rasberry and woodruff syrup was offered. Until the 20th century, the beer was mixed with distilled drinks. It was only served in the summer.

                            My parents, who were from Berlin, used to drink it as children. And when I visited Berlin with them some years ago, it was still served in cafes. I didn't find it too sweet, although it tasted more like a novelty drink than a beer.

                            1. re: ThomasvanDale
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                              ratgirlagogo RE: ThomasvanDale Feb 2, 2014 02:19 PM

                              The German restaurants in Yorkville (NYC) all used to serve this, back when there were still German restaurants in Yorkville - the only one left is the Heidelberg and I haven't gone in years, don't know if they still serve it.

                  2. re: Josh
                    r
                    rainey RE: Josh Jan 22, 2014 10:10 AM

                    I defer absolutely to you guys who are beer drinkers. I'm not.

                    I just thought lambics could be an alternative. And over ice cream the total effect certainly is sweet (tho wonderfully not too sweet). It even worked for me, a non-beer drinker. ;>

                    1. re: Josh
                      r
                      ratgirlagogo RE: Josh Feb 2, 2014 02:22 PM

                      But Lindeman's are very widely available, even sometimes in supermarkets and little delis that don't otherwise have unusual beers. And boy are they sweet. I believe any of them would really meet the needs of the OP.

                  3. t
                    TombstoneShadow RE: amberife Jan 22, 2014 12:08 AM

                    My favorite sweet beers:

                    #1: Well-made american barleywines. Availability depends on where you live. Victory Old Horizontal, 3 Floyds Behemoth, Anchor Foghorn are 3 awesome brews; probably at least one is available in your area.

                    #2: The sweet "darker" belgians. Gulden Draak is a great example... these are really quite similar to my palate to the barleywines which I slightly prefer.

                    #3: Fruit-infused beers. Leinenkugel Raspberry is a simple fruity/fizzy beer that has a cidery edge your friend might like. It's a pink girlie beer that I make no apologies to loving It might be easier to connect with for a non beer-drinker. Definitely sweet.

                    Speaking of sweet brews, I just had a 2-year old cherry mead a home-brewer friend of mine made. Just insanely delicious. You could serve it in place of port anyday... but you're not going to find something like that off the shelf (I don't think). In fact I'm not sure if there are any bottled meads, but if so that's another category you can look at.... basically a form of fermented honey as I understand it.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: TombstoneShadow
                      Josh RE: TombstoneShadow Jan 22, 2014 09:28 AM

                      American Barleywine is kind of a risky style to suggest, IMO, given how many of them also have substantial hop levels to go with that sweetness. The ones you mentioned aren't like that, but Sierra's Bigfoot, for example, and Stone's Old Guardian are both quite hoppy.

                      It does make me think of English Old Ale, though. Another good one for the OP to look for is J.W. Lees' Harvest Ale, which is quite sweet and rich.

                      1. re: Josh
                        t
                        TombstoneShadow RE: Josh Jan 22, 2014 09:32 AM

                        The same "risk" in barleywine is also there for sweet dark belgians... that's why for a non beer drinker who likes cider, I'd start with something lighter like a fruit-infused wheat beer.

                        That said, poster asked for "sweet beers", and great barleywines definitely fit that category.

                      2. re: TombstoneShadow
                        r
                        Raffles RE: TombstoneShadow Feb 3, 2014 05:38 AM

                        Meads can run from super dry to super sweet with flavors coming from the honey,fruits,grains,botanicals,herbs and spices. We are currently making cyser,a type of mead, apple cider and honey fermented together.

                        1. re: Raffles
                          Tripeler RE: Raffles Feb 3, 2014 06:32 AM

                          Hmmm, Cyser... sounds good!

                          1. re: Raffles
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                            TombstoneShadow RE: Raffles Feb 3, 2014 10:36 AM

                            A friend of mine brews and ages specialty meads.... A few weeks ago he broke out a bottle of a 3-year-old cherry mead using garden cherries his wife grows...

                            First I'd ever had it... talk about incredible, this stuff was somewhere around vintage port in flavor....

                            Highly recommended... but can you strictly speaking consider mead to be a "beer"?

                            1. re: TombstoneShadow
                              r
                              Raffles RE: TombstoneShadow Feb 3, 2014 11:53 AM

                              I do not think you can consider mead to be a beer, but as you mentioned, it is something else to explore.

                              I have seen meads in the wine stores , and have found the few I tried too sweet for my taste. Hence our attempt at cyser.

                              We just bottled our first batch, tastes good, but we are waiting for it to carbonate and age a bit more before we crack any more open.

                              1. re: Raffles
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                                Chowrin RE: Raffles Feb 3, 2014 12:00 PM

                                Have you tried Bochet?

                                1. re: Chowrin
                                  r
                                  Raffles RE: Chowrin Feb 3, 2014 12:04 PM

                                  I have not tried Bochet,but it does look interesting. We just started making cyser because of the availability of local cider and our own honey. We have one batch bottled, and 4 more in the works.

                        2. paulj RE: amberife Jan 22, 2014 12:20 AM

                          A cream stout, or an oatmeal stout

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: paulj
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                            TombstoneShadow RE: paulj Jan 22, 2014 09:34 AM

                            A great example is Dogfish World Wide Stout... at 18% ABV it tastes very much like a dessert port....

                            The only drawback being such beers may be way to rich to serve a "non-beer drinker"... but they just might love them as well. Worth a shot.

                          2. paulj RE: amberife Jan 23, 2014 11:46 AM

                            When I started drinking beer, I didn't have much taste for bitterness. One of the first ones that I liked was from Alaska Brewing in the doppelbock style.

                            http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/Do...
                            " It is exceptionally malty, with very little bitterness."

                            1. hambone RE: amberife Jan 23, 2014 11:57 AM

                              Above are some very thoughtful replies.

                              My two cents worth, while Lambics are not sweet (as was said) they might appeal to the pallate of a cider drinker.

                              Many porters are quite sweet.

                              Also there are a bunch of chocolates out there. The Brooklyn Brewery makes a very nice one.

                              I love barley wine and would argue it might also appeal to bf.

                              Dogfish Head makes a beer called Raison d'etre. Yummy and sweet/fruity.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: hambone
                                Jim Dorsch RE: hambone Jan 23, 2014 01:52 PM

                                Raison D'Etre is no longer packaged.

                                http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/...

                                1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                  Delucacheesemonger RE: Jim Dorsch Feb 2, 2014 06:22 AM

                                  What about Raison D'Extra ?

                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                    Jim Dorsch RE: Delucacheesemonger Feb 2, 2014 05:44 PM

                                    Not sure about that one

                                    1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                      nokitchen RE: Jim Dorsch Feb 4, 2014 06:01 PM

                                      That one is listed as "occasional."

                                      But the beautiful part is it doesn't matter!

                                      amberife, if you live in the D.C. area you're probably familiar with Dogfish Head beers. A fair number of them are sweet, and another fair number are hoppy, right in your wheelhouse. They have alehouse locations in Gaithersburg, Falls Church and Fairfax (http://www.dogfishalehouse.com/beers/...). See when they're serving one or more of their sweeter beers as mentioned here and drop on by. Alternatively, take a weekend in Rehoboth where they serve beers that they don't serve anywhere else.

                              2. Delucacheesemonger RE: amberife Feb 2, 2014 06:26 AM

                                This for me is a very interesting thread. l never knew the beers l prefer are sweet. Belong to a dessert wine group but did not know re: beers.
                                All of my five faves have been listed here.

                                Chimay Bleu
                                Triple Karmeliet
                                Rochefort 10
                                Dogfish Raison D'Etre
                                Gulden Draak

                                l might add to the list both La Chouffe and McChouffe, do not know if they are sweet but i suspect if l like them, they are.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
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                                  brentk RE: Delucacheesemonger Feb 2, 2014 02:27 PM

                                  If you like McChouffe, you might look into the Wee Heavy style. Belhaven Wee Heavy and Traquair House Ale or Jacobite would be three beers to seek out.

                                  1. re: brentk
                                    Jim Dorsch RE: brentk Feb 2, 2014 05:45 PM

                                    Oskar Blues Old Chub

                                2. girloftheworld RE: amberife Feb 2, 2014 06:10 PM

                                  Angry Orchard
                                  Blue Moon
                                  Sierrea Nevada Summer Ale
                                  Guinness( even though it is a stout it tastes like thouse orange and black wrapped halloween candy)
                                  Stella Artoriss

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: girloftheworld
                                    Tripeler RE: girloftheworld Feb 2, 2014 06:54 PM

                                    Do you drink all of those?

                                    1. re: Tripeler
                                      girloftheworld RE: Tripeler Feb 2, 2014 07:09 PM

                                      No silly--- but I make beer bread and I use beer batter for frying so I taste ..

                                      1. re: girloftheworld
                                        Tripeler RE: girloftheworld Feb 2, 2014 07:46 PM

                                        Well, as long as you taste without drinking....

                                        1. re: Tripeler
                                          girloftheworld RE: Tripeler Feb 3, 2014 05:17 AM

                                          I just dont want to put anything in my food without knowing how it tastes...and depending on which one you use the bread, chilli,fish can taste soooooo different.... after a party while the greenegg is cooling down is a time to throw cook a beer bread with leftover beer...

                                          1. re: girloftheworld
                                            Tripeler RE: girloftheworld Feb 3, 2014 06:33 AM

                                            I have found that beer leftover after a party makes a great liquid for pancake batter. Good luck in your efforts!

                                  2. m
                                    MagicMarkR RE: amberife Feb 3, 2014 01:29 PM

                                    I find Belhaven Scottish Ale to be pretty sweet. It's been years, but is Theakson's Old Peculier still around/available? A lovely sweet molassasy beer.

                                    1. p
                                      pjbear05 RE: amberife Feb 4, 2014 05:30 PM

                                      Southern Tier's Creme Brule Stout.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: pjbear05
                                        Tripeler RE: pjbear05 Feb 4, 2014 06:10 PM

                                        I have had that before. It is quite a remarkable tasting beer.

                                      2. Insidious Rex RE: amberife Feb 5, 2014 10:45 AM

                                        Aleworks Brewing's Café Royale is the best "sweet" beer Ive ever had. Just a perfect malty bourbony chocolaty coffee beer milkshake done just right. Not too sweet. Doesnt smack you in the face with its coffee taste. And not too bourbony which many of these concoctions invariably slide toward because they think the more the better for some reason.

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