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Suggestions for a good earthy beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Kristenagrady, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Kristenagrady

    Kristenagrady Zealot (80) Jan 1, 2013

    I'm new to Beer Advocate and beer in general. I've previously been a wine drinker, and probably my favorite aroma/flavor is a nice, deep earthiness. Like a wet dirt, almost fungal quality. Are any certain kinds of beers known for this quality? Any suggestions for beers to look for? Thanks!
  2. You can get some of these aromas and flavors from beers like gueuze and lambic.
    JxExM likes this.
  3. BenFrost

    BenFrost Zealot (95) California Oct 15, 2010

    I'd suggest any beer with brettanoymyces added. Maybe an Orval, Green Flash Rayon Vert, or Goose Island Matilda? There are a lot of others.
    dvelcich likes this.
  4. JamesMN

    JamesMN Savant (420) Minnesota Jul 12, 2012

    Some hop strains can have an 'earthy' flavor to them, so maybe try some IPAs that are described in reviews as having that flavor. Sam Adams Latitude 48 comes to mind as well as many East Coast/English IPAs. Although, if you're not into a lot of bitterness than this probably wouldn't be the best route to go.
  5. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Savant (485) Pennsylvania Jan 23, 2007

    Boon Oude Geuze Mariage Parfait. Had this for NYE. Tremendous funk and sourness w/ apple and grape flavors. Reminded me of a funky Champagne. Wonderful beer.
    JxExM and Hotmetal1 like this.
  6. Saison Brett
    Gosox8787 and cavedave like this.
  7. Russian River Supplication for sour
    Kasteel Rouge Ale for sweet
  8. sendsilk

    sendsilk Advocate (545) Florida Aug 31, 2007 Beer Trader

    Orval seems about right. Disgusting earth smell, taste.
    kuhndog likes this.
  9. spoony

    spoony Champion (770) Colorado Aug 1, 2012 Beer Trader

    Try some Belgian beers (geueze and lambic in particular) because a lot of them have a barnyard, horse blanket, musty, funkiness that I find similar to the stone/wet earth flavor I think you are describing. Lindeman's Cuvee Rene is a widely available example.
    Kristenagrady likes this.
  10. superspak

    superspak Poobah (1,285) Michigan May 5, 2010 Beer Trader

    Many dark Belgians like Dubbels and BSDA show this quality, along with Quads. Also Old ales like Kuhnhenn 4D show tons of tobacco and earth flavors very well, and similarly English Barleywines like Anchor Old Foghorn. As mentioned above, Gueuze Lambics and darker sours will definitely have it(Flanders red/brown). IME darker beers with estery yeasts are more likely to impart these flavors (Dunkels, Dunkelweizen, Dark mild, Wee Heavy etc)
  11. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    Landbier/Kellerbier if you can get it. The rich, toasty malts and earthy bittering hops of, say, a St. Georgenbrau in fresh condition might fit the bill nicely.
    sjverla likes this.
  12. khofer3839

    khofer3839 Zealot (95) California Oct 4, 2012

    Am i the only one who got an earthy flavor to DFH and SN Life and Limb 2? I also agree with ipas having earth like taste and aromas...Hercules Double IPA comes to mind.
  13. luwak

    luwak Savant (405) Arizona Mar 2, 2010 Beer Trader

    earthy seems a bit ambiguous to beer drinkers i think as there are lot sof beers that tatse like variosu kind sof dirt funk, rotting stuff, hay, old fruits, old vegetables....

    But... well if that's what you want you'll be starting at the top....
    gueuze, lambic and farmhouse/saisons might be what you want....

    But ...well...you'll find out.... :)
    Kristenagrady likes this.
  14. BrownAleMale

    BrownAleMale ¡Bad Trader! (655) Wisconsin Dec 14, 2011 ¡Bad Trader! Beer Trader

    It is seasonal but New Belgium Red Hoptober has an earthy fire pit type flavor from the roated hops I think.
  15. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Champion (875) North Carolina May 13, 2011 Beer Trader

    As others said, go for the saisons and wild ales but, for me, the most earthy IPA I've ever had is Weyerbacher Double Simcoe. It's dank.
  16. Kristenagrady

    Kristenagrady Zealot (80) Jan 1, 2013

    Awesome suggestions, thanks guys. I'm still drinking my way through all of the beer styles and haven't gotten to the Saisons, Lambics or Sours yet so looking forward to it. Also, IPA's are an interesting thought. I usually associate that deep earthiness I'm talking about with darker flavors at least in wine. Like it was said, it's kind of a musky quality, and IPAs have a crispness that is on the other end of the spectrum to me. I love IPA's but didn't think about them having this quality. I'll have to try the ones mentioned. Putting all your suggestions in my "wants"!
  17. TNGabe

    TNGabe Initiate (0) Tennessee Feb 6, 2012

    I don't think of Geuze, Lambic, most Saisons or any of the mentioned brett finish beers like Orval & Rayon Vert as being particularly earthy. To me, these are all beers with a sharp, crisp flavor.

    First style that comes to mind for me is Biere de Garde. Biere de Beloeil was the first thing I though of. Darker sours, Flanders Red, & Oud Bruin, darker Jolly Pumpkin beers, and English Barleywines and Old Ales all come to mind as well.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  18. MrOH

    MrOH Advocate (550) Maryland Jul 5, 2010

    Theakston's Old Peculiar when fresh has the most surprisingly pleasant earthy taste I've ever encountered. From reading the clone from BYO, it is very lightly dry-hopped with fuggles. The flavor fades fairly quickly though.

    I agree that I don't think the various lambics are earthy, more barnyard-type aromas. And unless there are English-type hops in the mix, I rarely find IPAs to be earthy, more of a dank quality.

    Bieres de garde, as stated above, can fit the bill, especially the darker ones.
  19. huysmans

    huysmans Savant (415) New Jersey Dec 5, 2007

    I recently had an Ithaca Alphalpha that literally tasted like a rabbit's cage, in a good way. It was earthy and sweet, but not crisp or sharp, which I also don't associate with earthy. Anchorage Bitter Monk was pretty funky without being crisp. Maybe a smoke beer would also work?
  20. tectactoe

    tectactoe Champion (870) Michigan Mar 20, 2012

    Try some stuff by Jolly Pumpkin if you can find it. Most of their brews have the barnyard/funk characteristics.
    frazbri likes this.
  21. cavedave

    cavedave Poobah (1,070) New York Mar 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    Saison Brett, already mentioned, has a delicious earthiness to it. I agree with the recommendation of Bieres de Garde, though there is a lot of variation in that "style", and some definitely have that wine-like earthiness to them.
  22. Samuel Smith Organic Lager has a little grass / dirt taste to it.
  23. iwantmorehops

    iwantmorehops Savant (440) Vermont Sep 25, 2010 Beer Trader

    Hair of the Dog Adam, especially aged, has a musky/leathery/smokey taste and smell that you might enjoy. I also have to recommend seeking out beers made with mushrooms, had a chance to try Umami from Dieu Du Ciel and it was fantastic even though I dont like to eat most mushrooms.
    English hops, as others have mentioned are often earthy in smell and taste, and are vastly different from their American counterparts.
  24. aasher

    aasher Poobah (1,270) Indiana Jan 27, 2010 Beer Trader

    Pretty Things Babayaga. It's an American Stout and the malt that they use is smoked with rosemary.
  25. I see many suggestions above that run with your liking of "fungal" qualities and I agree with them all. However, to your liking of earthy tastes, I would try to find a smoked porter of some kind. It's true that these beers are very smokey (think of a bacon taste) but behind that there is a tremendous earthiness to it, in my opinion. I don't know if you can get Stone Smoked Porter, but if you can give it a shot. Also, just a heads up, in my experience of first trying smoked beers, I got flavors similar to blue cheese. It wasn't bad either, it was great!
  26. robwestcott

    robwestcott Advocate (685) Indiana Nov 3, 2008 Beer Trader

    at least a couple terrapin beers have the earthy hop thing you may be looking for... gamma ray, rye squared would be two
  27. Flying Dog/Brewdog International Arms Race, Victory/Stone/DFH Saison du Buff, 21st Amendment Sneak Attack
  28. Just like TNGabe mentioned. Earthy = Biere de Garde to me. Unfortunately this is not a popular style to be brewed but if you search a bit you can find these beers.

    Below is the description of the Biere de Garde style via BA:

    The Biere de Garde is golden to deep copper or light brown in color. They are moderate to medium in body. This style of beer is characterized by a toasted malt aroma, slight malt sweetness in flavor, and medium hop bitterness. Noble-type hop aromas and flavors should be low to medium. Fruity esters can be light to medium in intensity. Flavor of alcohol is evident. Earthy, cellar-like, musty aromas and flavors are okay. Diacetyl should not be perceived but chill haze is okay. Often bottle conditioned with some yeast character.”

  29. Samuel Adams Tasman Red IPA.

    Very, very earthy. Minerally and alkaline. Slightly metallic. It wasn't bad. Probably right up your alley.
  30. How about a good ol' lager? German Pils or the like.
  31. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poobah (1,045) New Jersey Jun 3, 2004 Beer Trader

    Only when it's ripe- about 2 years. (that's what you meant to say, right? ;))
  32. For the earthy/ipa try UnEarthly IPA from Southern Tier.
  33. JohnnyMc

    JohnnyMc Advocate (605) Ohio Feb 14, 2012 Beer Trader

    One good one that stands out to me as really "earthy" is New Belgium 1554. There are plenty others though.
  34. DocJitsu

    DocJitsu Savant (440) California Dec 28, 2009

    I'd definitely describe Saisons as "earthy." Get yourself a Rabid Rabbit from Three Floyds.
  35. BMMillsy

    BMMillsy Champion (835) Florida Feb 16, 2012 Beer Trader

    For earthy/dirt/peat I tend to think something like Ola Dubh 16.

    Also might want to find some La Trappe Oak Aged Isid'or or Oak Aged Quad (specifically Batch #3). To me, these have a bit of the Belgian funk as well as some wine qualities (Batch #3 was aged in port barrells so maybe a bit on the sweeter side).
  36. Kristenagrady

    Kristenagrady Zealot (80) Jan 1, 2013

    I've got a smoked beer I'm about to crack into the next day or two. I have a feeling I'm going to love it. I had a duvel tonight which I LOVED. I really like the Belgium funk but its a different flavor to me, more of a fruity tang. I'll have to try Biere de garde. And beer made with mushrooms?? I'm going to look that up... One more thought: would you all agree that the main contributor to this type of earthy flavor would be yeast? As opposed to hops or malt? Of course the other two play a part, and maybe smoking/spices/herbs accentuate it but I'm guessing this is more of a yeasty type flavor.
  37. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Savant (325) Nebraska May 25, 2005

    odell's 'the meddler'
  38. Earth and Dank = Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA
  39. jmw

    jmw Savant (450) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    'barnyard/funk/musty/leather/horse blanket' are not what I'm sensing that you are looking for, if I understand your take on 'earthy' from a wine background. These suggestions for Belgians and sours and geuze and lambics are well meant but misguided because what you're asking for is an approachable, non-extreme beer flavor that is outside the American norm of super-hoppy, floral, citrus, pine snot.

    Look into UK beers. MrOH mentioned Old Peculiar above--that's one thought. Dark, rich, and earthy. Traquair House is another. Harviestoun Old Engine Oil. Anything from the Black Sheep brewery in North Yorkshire (Riggwelter might fit the bill). At the very least try some Samuel Smith's brews (yes, including the IPA). I think this may be what you're after. It's a UK flavour.
    MrOH likes this.
  40. jmw

    jmw Savant (450) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    Possible, although continental hops can have quite an influence also. Again, UK influence is a totally different beast than the citrus bombs that US brewers are stuck replicating.