Sick of IPAs. What else is out there?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Hophead, Dec 7, 2020.

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  1. runefish

    runefish Initiate (19) Dec 8, 2020 England

    Try a Tribute- pale ale - less hoppy - good session beer
  2. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,798) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I was just being playful with you. But you gotta admit, if you are looking for a “plain” ale that isn’t too hoppy, malty, or strong... but also isn’t “boring” and “has balls” (to use your words), well, you’re not leaving a lot of room for a solution. :slight_smile:
    Thinking in terms of beers from an earlier time - Can you find Bell’s Amber in the stores by you? That one goes back to 1985.
  3. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,999) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Has anyone suggested Jack's Abby Shipping Out of Boston, or Von Trapp's Vienna yet? I know they're lagers, but they seem to fit the bill as well as any ale.
  4. BruChef

    BruChef Initiate (194) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    I know plenty of younger and or newer “beer” drinkers that have gone/are going through this sequence except they started with Miller or bud light. To my knowledge, it’s pretty common.

    Try some British imports. Fullers London Pride or ESB, Wychwood Hobgoblin, Wells Bombardier, Timothy Taylor Landlords ale. All solid ales. Perhaps the new Sam Adams Boston Lager or Ale might appeal to you?
    #84 BruChef, Dec 8, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
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  5. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (2,083) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    One 16oz can of a DDH TIPA “lactose” that just came in to my store was $10. Deterred me from a purchase
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  6. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (2,083) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    That transition could be just the trend followers. Myself, I would drink whatever. Tried an ipa on a whim. Got curious and drank hundreds of them and not I’m burnt out and went to imports.
  7. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Devotee (438) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    OP, did anybody mention a Kolsch? I might be having a hard time understanding what you're after...this might not have the "balls" you're looking for. If not this, I second the Bell's Amber. Years ago I might have said Red Hook ESB which I drank almost exclusively 30 years ago but I tried one last year and wasn't fond of it...
  8. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,083) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    I'm gonna try something new here for ya op. Outside of beer what are some foods you enjoy? What flavor profiles do you enjoy?
    Also a non neipa that isnt a stout or Belgian that has balls? Jw Lee's harvest ale? B bomb?
  9. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (3,054) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    Grisette. You're welcome. :slight_smile:
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  10. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (2,603) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    Right now is a great time to look at Winter Warmers. Its a style that (to me) has complexity but is clearly different from all the IPA's and Stouts. I'd suggest expanding the palate; when you have bold IPA's all the time any beer that has subtle characteristics is going to be lost on you. This is specifically why I look for variety.
    cavedave likes this.
  11. Minnesota_beer_guy

    Minnesota_beer_guy Disciple (303) Feb 15, 2014 Minnesota

    OP - Not beer, but I'd recommend spending a little time with Lagavulin. :wink:
    TheIncredibleHoke and Hophead like this.
  12. Hophead

    Hophead Initiate (40) Jul 28, 2020 New York

    I know, it's a quandary. It leaves the options to a very limited population in today's world. It was not always so. I have tried bells amber and would up pouring half of it out. Sweet and cloying to me. Definitely not a punch in the face with anything though.
    I'd be willing to give dry hopped anchor steam a try but the nearest retailer is 30 miles away.
    #92 Hophead, Dec 8, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
  13. Ursula1007

    Ursula1007 Initiate (123) Feb 16, 2010 Pennsylvania

  14. Hophead

    Hophead Initiate (40) Jul 28, 2020 New York

    Unfortunately I can't find allot of what you guys are recommending. JW Lee looks like an interesting brewery.

    I'm a paleo type guy, who mainly eats steak and green vegetables. Pretty simple diet. When I hit a sports bar every now and then there's a plethora of chicken wings (hey, all fat and protein) so the spicy nature makes allot of things work. Sam adams boston lager on tap even works in that particular setting, though not ideal. But by and large, just a protein and green leafy veg.

    Lately I tend to separate food and drinking by an hour or two for digestion purposes. Maybe I'll snack on nuts when I'm drinking but that's about it. But yes, what you're eating can definitely impact what you like to drink. I tend to get more picky when it's just beer and no other influencing factors like food or a hot day, barbecue, etc. when it's JUST beer, that beer has to really tickle my fancy.

    Some winter warmers are interesting. Just tough to find one without spices, but there are a pretty wide variety out at this point. I think a two-four week break would reset my taste buds and keep the expectation for hoppiness down. There was a time I looked forward to WWs being released.
  15. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Devotee (438) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    Can you get Odell Isolation in NY? Can't remember if Odell distributes there. It's a "winter warmer" but Odell being Odell, there's a definite hop presence there.

    Speaking of seasonal, there's Deschutes Chainbreaker, a "white IPA". Yes I know you're trying to break away from IPAs but this is a different enough style of IPA that it might be just what the doctor ordered. If not, Deschutes make a classic English-style (but clearly American in execution) Pale Ale, Mirror Pond, that might work. I don't think you'll find it a) cloying or b) watery.
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  16. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,156) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Ya, sometimes it feels like they're trying to deter you from buying. Like its a challenge
    Urk1127 likes this.
  17. 1009

    1009 Zealot (543) Jan 20, 2019 Massachusetts

    I like a good Citra-Pils from Switchback if you are trying to stay close to IPA but not quite IPA. Or if you want to get away from the hoppy beer, a good old cream ale is a favorite of mine.

  18. Hophead

    Hophead Initiate (40) Jul 28, 2020 New York

    Just did a beer find on those and PA is the closest store :slight_frown:
    That classic english style ale does sound just about right. Sucks that we are limited to what we can find up here. Although, there's some decent stuff coming out of NYC. Mostly IPAs though.

    I haven't seen any cream ales around here without wheat. It would be nice to find a craft version of genessee cream ale.
    1009 likes this.
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,751) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Whoa! I didn't even know that Anchor produced a dry hopped version of the Steam Beer. I did some searching for this beer near me and so far I am coming up empty.

    Via the Beer Menus website the closet retailer is over a hundred miles away from me:

    • Universal Beverage LLC
      105.0 miles away · 349 Westbury Avenue, Carle Place, NY 11514

      Beer Store · Menu Updated: 12/04/2020

      12oz 6 Pack Bottles $11.99
    If you ever get your hands on this beer I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. Simply based upon the description on the Anchor website this version reads tasty.

  20. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (675) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    As usual, I agree with @zid...
    It sounds like you want some OG balanced beers...

    I highly recommend Great Divide Hibernation Ale (classified as an old ale). It's robust, balanced malt and hops (dry-hopped but don't expect hazy IPA sort of flavor), no spices. It's a winter seasonal on shelves now. It's an annual buy for me.

    Rock Art Ridge Runner is an OG beer with a similar taste profile to the above. Rock Art originally called it a barleywine, but the ABV (7.2%) is on the low end of the spectrum, so it drinks much easier than a typical barleywine. It's kind of beer in limbo between styles now.

    Oscar Blues Old Chub is another OG like above...a stronger scotch ale, firm dose of balancing hops.

    Give another look at Victory Hop Devil too. It's an OG IPA from the 90's with a prominent munich malt backbone. It drinks nothing at all like the new age hazy IPAs.

    Brooklyn Lager is a fantastic standard-setting vienna lager and OG beer. Slightly toasty malts with balanced hops, refreshing.

    If you can find it, Troegs Rugged Trail Ale might be up your alley. It was Troegs flagship beer for decades, but public tastes shifted towards juicy-juice IPAs and now it's hard to find. I mentioned it earlier, but Troegs Troeganator is great too.

    You also seem to have some preconceptions about the flavors of "lagers" vs "ales" that I would urge you let go of and not let influence what you're willing try. You used to homebrew, so I'll spare you lager vs ale explanation, suffice to say that there's nothing about a lager vs an ale that is inherently mild vs strong flavored, "boring," or lacking "balls" (your words). Miller Lite and Troegs Troeganator (dopplebock) are both lagers, but their flavors couldn't be be further apart. Also there are thousands of ales with less robust flavor than Troeganator. There are certainly some broad flavor trends... but there are plenty of examples ales and lagers across the full spectrum flavors and you would do yourself a favor by reading into a beer's description more (I'm inferring you are not doing this already; apologies if that's incorrect.)
  21. dewski312

    dewski312 Initiate (125) May 2, 2009 Connecticut

    Newburgh Cream Ale is good and should be available to you
    Urk1127 likes this.
  22. Thankin_Hank

    Thankin_Hank Poo-Bah (2,025) Nov 18, 2013 Texas

    Sick of IPAs? You are doing it wrong. :sunglasses:
    Hophead likes this.
  23. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,798) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I thought of another suggestion. With your reactions to other beers, this suggestion is a risk, but I honestly think any suggestion would need some luck to be on target in the end (no offense :wink:). If I was in your shoes, I'd give Montauk Driftwood Ale a shot - although I have limited experience with it. The best place to buy it is in a typical NY supermarket. At least you know the name is on target. :wink:
  24. Hophead

    Hophead Initiate (40) Jul 28, 2020 New York

    If I see it I"m going to try it for sure. RIght now the closest place I know of is about a 50 minute drive for me.
  25. Hophead

    Hophead Initiate (40) Jul 28, 2020 New York

    Yes, you're inference is a bit off, but no offense taken. I research the heck out of every beer I see.

    In terms of likening Troggenator to an ordinary lager, I'm not exactly on board with that one. I think you need to rethink that. I would never compare a double bock to a "standard" lager or ale. Yes, there are bottom. cold, fermenting yeasts involved, but the comparison ends there. You can say it's "lagered" but not necessary something anything would compare to budweiser or any other beer with the word Lager on the lable. I have had that btw, and did not find it drinkable.

    Had Hibernation as well. I had a bad batch (the bottles were capped poorly) so maybe I'll give it another chance.
  26. Hophead

    Hophead Initiate (40) Jul 28, 2020 New York

    I actually have seen that. I'll give it a shot. Thanks.
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  27. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I think you misread something there -- maybe you missed the "further apart" comparison?
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  28. 1009

    1009 Zealot (543) Jan 20, 2019 Massachusetts

    You read my mind. Genny is good, but I know what you mean.
  29. eagles22

    eagles22 Devotee (443) Sep 7, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Pick up jacks Abby house lager ..dang that's one delicious lager!
    Hophead likes this.
  30. dmirelli

    dmirelli Initiate (11) Jul 30, 2020 New York

    COVID cured me!! No beer for 6 weeks as I don't drink in home for no reason......drank a German Lager......BAMMMMM. Back to my first LUV full-time German Lagers, preferably Helles!!
  31. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,083) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    I'm not asking what foods you eat per se but rather what flavors interest you. If you like smoked meat check out Scherlakerla marzen for instance.
  32. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,531) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Neither do I. But there's always a reason.
  33. Billet

    Billet Zealot (511) Dec 17, 2013 Michigan

    I've been following this thread for a few days, probably missed some stuff though. Here's my thoughts:

    The obvious answer is to look for an ESB, English style IPA, or possibly a Blonde Ale. These are not that easy to find, especially an ESB. These should all be far less hoppy than a typical American IPA.

    The best answer is to keep trying Pilsners, Helles Lagers, and Kolsch styles. A good craft Pilsner should be quite hoppy and bitter, but with spicy Noble hops. A Kolsch style is usually very light, but with some very mild fruit flavors. Hopefully you will be able to really appreciate the subtle flavors in these beers. They can be very clean and pure tasting with the malt and hops clearly present but with no other flavors to get in the way.
  34. Hophead

    Hophead Initiate (40) Jul 28, 2020 New York

    I would have to agree the ESBs, and english style pale ales (made in the USA) are my best bet.
    They are not easy to find anymore, as you say.

    As to pilsners and kolschs, I've tried numerous varieties over the years and never liked any. Can't explain it, but I find them immediately off-putting. I've always like those non APA ales. My issue with the APAs are they are just IPAs without the malt backbone to balance them out. To me they are like only halfway there. I never quite understood them. I'll 100% take an IPA over an APA any day.

    A kind forum member on here pointed out that a local beverage store, not too far away, carries what another forum member suggested, and it is an american craft version of an English pale ale. That's my next trip. I look forward to getting my hands on a six.

    Thanks for all your suggestions guys. I think I've narrowed down to the viable alternatives in my area, which admittedly are not many. The beer break is also something that is a good move every now and then. Trying to flatten my abs anyway :grin:
    TongoRad likes this.
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,751) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Might be time to get back to homebrewing?

    I homebrew a batch of English Bitter Ale every year using nothing but English ingredients:
    • Thomas Fawcett floor malted Maris Otter Pale Malt
    • A bit of Simpsons Medium Crystal Malt
    • Heavily hop with East Kent Goldings hops
    • West Yorkshire Ale Yeast (Wyeast 1468)
    This is a glorious beer for my personal palate. Unfortunately this sort of beer is not popular selling with today's craft beer drinkers so craft breweries do not produce it much and the imported versions do not sell well so...

  36. Hophead

    Hophead Initiate (40) Jul 28, 2020 New York

    I think you're right Jack. I was just having that same thought. "if you want something done right..."
    It might be the only way to get that style of beer around here.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,751) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    And it is a relatively easy beer to brew. If you enjoy yeast derived fruity esters I would recommend you ferment warm (e.g., 70 degrees F); that is how I choose to ferment this batch.

    Best of luck here.

  38. BruChef

    BruChef Initiate (194) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    Plenty of malty pale ales. Revisit some classics (not sure if some of these are still in production though)

    -SNPA of course
    -Saranac pale ale
    -Maine brewing Mo (Zoe for a nice amber ale)
    -OBs Dales pale ale
    -Flying Dog Doggie Style
    -Troegs Perpetual (hop back amber might be in your wheelhouse)
    -3 Floyd’s Alpha King and zombie dust
    -Great Lakes Burning river
    -Great Divide Denver pale ale
    -lagunitas dogtown pale ale
    -Zero Gravity little wolf
    -cigar city invasion (tocabaga for a nice red ipa)
    -Westbrook one claw
  39. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Devotee (438) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    I make one a lot like that but with WL 013/Wyeast 1028...problem is 5 gallons somehow evaporates out of the keg in a period of time so short people might think I have a drinking problem if I revealed it...
  40. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Doesn't sound like a problem at all, sounds like you do it very well. :grin:
    Hophead likes this.
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