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chalkjhawk79

Commercial "Hoppy" and "Malty" beer

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I'm really wanting to figure out the difference between how a more "hoppy" beer tastes vs a "malty" beer. I've been mostly a bud light drinker up to the point where I brewed my first mr beer batch so you can understand how I might not know the difference!

I am hoping to purchase a six pack of a really hoppy commercial beer and a six pack of really malty commercial beer so I can get a good feel for what a malty vs hoppy beer really tastes like. I feel like that's the best way to distinguish the two from one another.

My real intent is to decide if I am more of a hoppy or malty drinker...or perhaps a balanced drinker. So...any suggestions would be appreciated!!

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Maybe try a George Killians Irish Red for malty, and a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Double India Pale Ale for hoppy, or any India Pale Ale (IPA). Hoppy beers are more bitter and sometimes have a citrus characteristic, or pine/earthy, depending on the hop style used. Malty beers tend to be more caramel like, you can taste the roasted grains more in them (Sweeter).

Good Luck!

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For a great hop'd up brew, try samuel adams latatude 48, or new belgiums snow days. Both r great brews and pretty darn hoppy. Might be hard to find them now as they are seasonal brews, but they r still around. Or widmans brrr, very good!

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chalkjhawk79 I'm in the same situation. But just with my limited tasting of other beers, I'm thinking I must be a more malty person as I love Fat Tire.

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Chalkjhawk, You should try an IPA (almost any brand) because that's a very specific taste, and yes it's very Hoppy. But not all hoppy beers taste like IPAs. So next you should try this:
Honkers Ale from Goose Island (Chicago). Its a hoppy beer but its very complex, there's a lot of flavors going on in there.
I say this because you might find that you like hoppy beers, but not IPAs. I actually only drink an IPA for how it makes OTHER beers taste. For example I love to drink an IPA then drink a Honkers Ale next.

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I second the Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Dogfish Head but just about anything from Stone Brewery has a high IBU.

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Find the BEST craft beer pub in your town. Rate Beer has good list by city. Not a brew pub that sells it's own beer. (they may have one good example, but may not have good representation of all styles)

Sit down and ask the bartender for a good fresh IPA. You may not like but you'll get lots of hops bitter and aroma. Then ask for a good balenced beer,,,you'll see where the malt's sugars shine. Commercial malty beers like Newcastle may show you what a malty beer taste like, but not a real good example.

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SweetTea wrote:

Maybe try a George Killians Irish Red for malty, and a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Double India Pale Ale for hoppy, or any India Pale Ale (IPA). Hoppy beers are more bitter and sometimes have a citrus characteristic, or pine/earthy, depending on the hop style used. Malty beers tend to be more caramel like, you can taste the roasted grains more in them (Sweeter).

Good Luck!

How does the Irish Red rank on the malty scale, I had one at Bdubs last week and it was served a bit on the warm side( I thought it was a lager not an ale) and you could really taste the malt profile, almost to the point where I didn't like it...Don't know if it was the beer or the temp it was served at, but I'm not a huge fan of warm and malty, but I can drink warm and hoppy

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Irish Red Ales are typically balanced.
Sam Adams Red Ale leans toward malty. Odell's Red Ale leans toward hoppy. Neither is a match for Ralph's Knucklehead Red.

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The maltiest beer I've ever had is Sam Addams black lager, they claim there's hops in there but I'm not sure I believe them.
Love the stuff btw, not a hop head.

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ba1980 wrote:

chalkjhawk79 I'm in the same situation. But just with my limited tasting of other beers, I'm thinking I must be a more malty person as I love Fat Tire.

I'm not really wanting to stir the pot, BUT, Fat Tire isn't the greatest example of a "malty" brew. The OP made that statement that Fat Tire is more malty but I'm not sure it really fits the bill. The New Belgium website shows Fat Tire at 18.5 IBU which with it's profile is more of a balanced brew than malty.

I've always gotten a nice hop flavor / aroma with a slight bite while drinking it which is what raised the red flag for me. But it finishes nicely with the malt so I tend to characterize it as balanced.

If you really want to figure out your taste, sit down with a porter or a stout or if you're really wanting something good, go to your nearest High Gravity seller and grab a Belgian Dubble like Chimay Red. Malty beers can be categorized as sweet, thick, liquid bread, with very little to no hop presence.

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Try Redhook ESB for a hoppy brew that is not citrusy. I am not a huge fan of the American hops but really enjoy the earthy hop flavor of the Redhook ESB. Belhaven's Wee Heavy is a good malty brew if you can find it.

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FrozenInTime wrote:

For a great hop'd up brew, try samuel adams latatude 48, or new belgiums snow days. Both r great brews and pretty darn hoppy. Might be hard to find them now as they are seasonal brews, but they r still around. Or widmans brrr, very good!

you may not be able to get Snow Days, but their Spring Seasonal "Dig" should be out and it's pretty hoppy. Got to taste it on the tour I took a few weeks back.

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WolfMagus wrote:

FrozenInTime wrote:

For a great hop'd up brew, try samuel adams latatude 48, or new belgiums snow days. Both r great brews and pretty darn hoppy. Might be hard to find them now as they are seasonal brews, but they r still around. Or widmans brrr, very good!

you may not be able to get Snow Days, but their Spring Seasonal "Dig" should be out and it's pretty hoppy. Got to taste it on the tour I took a few weeks back.

Might have to look for this one when it comes out. Have not been in a package store for quite some time, so I will make sure I look next time I'm in town. Hope it's as good as snow days! Thanks for the heads up WM!

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Ahhh...good times...research!! Such an important part of the science of brewing beer.

Unfortunately (and I say that with a smirk) it isn't really wise to just buy one "hoppy" beer and one "malty" beer to decide what style you enjoy most. It really is best if you try many various flavors and styles and take notes on each one about what you liked and disliked in each beer. Buy several individual bottles or cans of all the specialty beers you can find and spend some time with them. Drink them slowly and appreciate the flavor, even if it isn't your cup of tea (or mug of beer, so to speak).

If the significant other in your life starts giving you a hard time for all the beer drinking you're doing and the money you are spending, calm her by reassuring her that this is just scientific research and is vital to your future!!

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Oh yea, research. While waiting for my pipeline to really get going, I've done a lot of research lately. I always leaned toward the malty side. Stouts, porters, abbey ales.

The first time I did a hop boil, I finally understood the hop thing, after smelling hops in the air. Now I can't get enough. All research lately has been in the IPA isle at the mega-booze store. I've tried quite a few now. The big dissapointment in some of them has been the lack of aroma and flavor. I'll look them up and find an IBU of something in the 60's, but without that strong hop aroma, it seems like less. SNPA has an IBU of 37, but seems hoppier to me than others with nearly twice the IBU.

Off to do more research!!!!

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manosteel9423 wrote:

Ahhh...good times...research!! Such an important part of the science of brewing beer.

If the significant other in your life starts giving you a hard time for all the beer drinking you're doing and the money you are spending, calm her by reassuring her that this is just scientific research and is vital to your future!!

I feel sorry for you all. My wife shops for the seasonal "special" beer and if there is nothing happening she will shop through the 32 oz. "specialty" beers to find one we haven't tried.

Neither one of us like the hoppy IPAs like "Dig" or "White Water"

Maybe a few more batches and I can get her to do the brewing too! ;)
Elkhorn

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Don't feel sorry for me, I have a lot of beer fermenting and conditioning. Ha ha!

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