Hops vs. Malt

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by SerialTicker, Jan 2, 2013.


What do you generally like your beers to have more of?

  1. Hops

    104 vote(s)
  2. Malt

    78 vote(s)
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  1. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (790) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    As are many of the best American beers SNPA, Anchor Steam, Brooklyn Lager ect,ect,ect,.
    steveh likes this.
  2. Schwantz

    Schwantz Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2012 Florida

    Exactly my thought...if on a desert island ill take A... And malt
    rfbenavi80 likes this.
  3. Bitter_Echo

    Bitter_Echo Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2012 Michigan

    Tough to vote on this one because it's both sure, but I lean to a more hop-forward beer generally (like, most of the repeaters around here tend to be IPA's and the like). Don't you think that sometimes malt can mask the hops profile, or put the other way, that hops mask characteristics of the malt? So really, maybe the question is this: Do you prefer hop-forward or malt-forward beers?
  4. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,104) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    So what if one were to juice hops and ferment such juice? Hops wine anyone?
  5. Feel_the_Darkness

    Feel_the_Darkness Disciple (313) Oct 17, 2012 Virginia

    Malt to the fore, good sir! Malt indeed!
  6. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (554) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Malt all the way. My tastes have changed and matured over the years but I still cannot stand over the top hop bombs. There, I said it, you lovers of IPA!!! I am going to get my ass kicked on this site for saying that lolol
    Biffster likes this.
  7. slangtruth

    slangtruth Initiate (95) Jan 8, 2012 Massachusetts

    Oh yes, I do, though maybe not in your silly poll. Insert appropriate smiley here.
  8. Biffster

    Biffster Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2004 Michigan

    Depends on when you ask. I go through phases - long periods when I am all about Belgians, or hops, or malt, or roast. There was a long period when all I wanted was Oktoberfests. I am currently on my fourth (I think) hop phase. Right now, and for the past several months, I can't get enough hops. Ask me in a year, and it will very likely be all about Belgian fruit- and spiciness.
    hopfenunmaltz likes this.
  9. Feel_the_Darkness

    Feel_the_Darkness Disciple (313) Oct 17, 2012 Virginia

    Oktoberfests are good to go no matter what at all times.
  10. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Let me rephrase: Hopheads crave hops.
  11. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    The correct answer is...YES.
    Schwantz likes this.
  12. tgchief

    tgchief Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2010 Iowa

    With out the hops it might as well be wine.
  13. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,277) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

  14. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Savant (967) Mar 3, 2011 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    Then you're stuck with malt liquor. Enjoy your Colt 45.
  15. cornontherob

    cornontherob Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2011 New York

    I think you're looking a little too far into this BUT you are correct this is stupid lol
  16. kingofhop

    kingofhop Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    The best brewers know how to make Yeast feces palatable to us humans, by balancing water, malt and hops.
  17. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,229) Mar 18, 2010 California

  18. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    seems some of the responses here are apparently made in full sincerity. i weep for humanity. :slight_frown:
    fmccormi likes this.
  19. marquis

    marquis Crusader (744) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    I go for balance though of course within balanced beers there are those which emphasis one component. I can (and frequently do) go quite happily from a pint of dark mild to a pint of Hophead , this simply visits two opposite sides of the coin.
  20. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (479) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    I like both but there are some beers that are just way too hoppy for me.
  21. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Poo-Bah (1,760) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    YAY HOPS >:]
  22. chriltz

    chriltz Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Without a solid malt backbone, your DIPAs and TrIPAs are just going to taste like medicine.
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,112) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania


    You just need to look a bit harder for the soul!:wink:

    One of my favorite West Coast American style IPAs is Firestone Walker Union Jack. Yes, that beer is indeed very hop forward (ergo the West Coast notation) but there is indeed a malt backbone to provide some ‘balance’ to the hops. I fully recognize that you appreciate beers with a greater amount of balance between malt and hops (e.g., a Franconian Kellerbier) but there is indeed a malt presence in Union Jack.

    Below is a description of Union Jack from the Firestone Walker website:

    “Union Jack abounds with hop aroma and character. In fact this well balanced, west coast IPA is double dry hopped, giving it more and more of the grapefruit, citrus hop aroma and flavor it is known for. Overall it utilizes over four pounds of pacific-northwest hops per barrel.”

    Oh and by the way: Happy New Year!


  24. PoopChute69

    PoopChute69 Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2012 Poland

    *insert litre of lager picture from German beer garden*
  25. herrburgess

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


    ...wait. That's a corked and caged bottle of overpriced stout with a look reminiscent of adolescent fantasy role-playing games. Still, malt bombs can be soulless, too, I suppose.
  26. RicheeD

    RicheeD Initiate (0) Mar 25, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I am a hop head first and foremost, but I do enjoy malt-forward also. The hoppiest beers require a malt background or it is undrinkable or at least in my experience. Hop Devil by Victory is my all time favorite and it has great hop flavor while at the same you taste a great malt presence. Fellow hop heads please suggest a hoppy beer to me that disproves this post. No please, I mean it I would very much like to know about it. No sarcasm here.
  27. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I agree partly of there being "soulless" beers in the US. For instance from Samuel Smith Nut Brown I get sherry, leather, oak apricots and mangos. American beers (other than very dark beers like stouts and Imperial Stouts) tend not to provide that complexity of malt. Malt in American beer (again other than stout/IS, etc) tends to just be there; not lending any particular colors.
  28. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,972) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    To me this sounds like bad palate calibration. Any time someone starts singling out "very dark beers" as being "more complex" it tells me they have been drinking too many "very dark beers" and that they need big and bold to be wowed.

    You want complexity in a lighter bodied and colored beer, try Capital's Maibock or Blonde Doppelbock. Even Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Goose Island's IPA are pretty complex if you understand what to experience and appreciate.

    Complexity (like beer) has many depths and variations, you can't discount for color.
    dennis3951 likes this.
  29. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2007 Pennsylvania

    There are many complex US beers just not in regard to malt; again outside the realm of dark roasted character beers. Our pale ales, IPA, etc tend to be hop driven. English beers for example are more malt and mineral driven across the board.
  30. Thads324

    Thads324 Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2010 Connecticut

    Depends on the day, so I'll say both
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  31. slangtruth

    slangtruth Initiate (95) Jan 8, 2012 Massachusetts

    Funny, somehow I never noticed the beer in that picture before.
  32. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    I'm not voting because it's an over simplified proposition. Some beers are better with more hops and lighter on malts (IPAs) and many others are just the opposite. I forgot who originally said this but: "hops are the spice, and malt is the soul of beer." Without malt, beer would be cold hop tea.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  33. creepinjeeper

    creepinjeeper Champion (840) Nov 8, 2012 Missouri
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Wow, since I am discovering favorites in those styles, with more to go, it's tough. If I were stranded on that desert isle TODAY, I would have to pick hops. When I open the hatch on that island, I pray that instead of Dharma beer, I find Tasmaninan IPA!:wink:
  34. fmccormi

    fmccormi Meyvn (1,309) Oct 24, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I'll go third route and say I prefer yeasty beers. Esters, bitches.
    BrownAleMale likes this.
  35. BrownAleMale

    BrownAleMale Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2011 Wisconsin
    ¡Bad Trader! Beer Trader

    I like beers that have balance and are extreme in malt and hop profile. The style that exemplifies this best is a real good Imperial Red. If push came to shove and I had to pick, I would definitly lean towards a malt foward beer.
  36. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,972) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    The 2 examples I provided are very balanced between the 2 ingredients -- if you don't allow one or the other to dominate your senses.
  37. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (268) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    As an older beer drinker(been drinking beer about 40 years now) I usually prefer malty beers, but IPA's can be excellent as well. unfortunately most of the hoppy beers I run across are also high in alcohol which means I drink one or 2 as opposed to drinking 4 or 6 lower alcohol beers like Pilsners, ESB, Porters and most normal stouts.
  38. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I don't mean balance I mean an interesting malt expression where you pick up a tea, or a biscuity, bready, butteriness for example. Prominent in many English beers.
  39. PatriotsRule

    PatriotsRule Aspirant (257) Sep 25, 2012 Massachusetts

    This is a great poll, very interesting and simple enough! Just had a great conversation with the family about what makes a pilsner so special, and what malts are...
  40. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,972) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I understand, I was responding to what you said about "hop driven," which is pretty prominent in US beers, but not necessarily 100% -- much as so many think.

    But yes, those tea and biscuit characters are also prevalent in many US ales, and interestingly enough -- in many of the micros that have been around for a long time; Anchor, Sierra Nevada, even 3 Floyds.

    But as previously stated, it doesn't take big alcohol and dark roasted malts to make a beer full of character.
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