Is Your Beer Beery Enough?

Over on RateBeer’s Hop Press, I go on a bit of a ramble this week about what gives beer it’s beeriness.

Despite the range of flavors you can find in the multitudinous (over 80, according to RateBeer) styles that exist, I still expect a certain beeriness from my beers. What do I mean by that totally improvised word, you ask? Well, I expect what pretty much everyone expects – some malt sweetness, some hop bitterness, and maybe some esters from the yeast.

I’m not picky. These simple factors cover a rainbow of flavors. The malt can taste like coffee, chocolate, bread, biscuit, oatmeal, roast grain… you guys know how much the grain bill can cover. Similarly, hops range from the grassy varieties of the UK to the spicy Czech families, from citrusy Cascade hops of the American Northwest to the strawberry taste of Pacific Gem hops. Yeast, the oft-unpredictable loose cousin of the other ingredients, produces everything from buttery notes (Ringwood) to George Clinton-level funk (Brettanomyces).

Check out my full thoughts over on my weekly column.


One response to “Is Your Beer Beery Enough?

  1. Josh,

    I would have to COMPLETELY agree with you on your thoughts here. This is not to say that I can’t find other types of beer that seem to share no relation to real beer in taste and character, but you wouldn’t call grape juice with alcohol wine would you? I like your points on this and this actually brings up a recent beer tasting experience I had.

    My brother and I were trying Kasteel Rouge a few nights back which is a heavy Belgian Ale that’s made with cherry juice and brewed with cherries. Was it horrible? No, it was a new and interesting experience. Did it end up tasting a bit like cough drops? Yep, Ha! BUT, it did not resemble any of what you call “beerniess”. For me this beer just wasn’t really what I want nor what I look for in a beer. It’s not just a matter of preference, but a matter of wanting my beers to taste like beers.

    So I see your point, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head just right here. This might also go hand in hand with Brew Dogs recent bottle up a squirrels ass PR stunt :/


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