Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Still Beers?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by JouerAvecLeFeu, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. JouerAvecLeFeu

    JouerAvecLeFeu Devotee (463) Apr 17, 2015 Washington

    I've been seeing a few breweries producing still beers - beers that are intentionally not carbonated. I can't say I'm a fan, but the concept is intriguing. I know that The Ale Apothecary has two - Be Still and Red Echo - and Upright Brewing just release one called Ives.

    Are there any other breweries doing this? Does anyone really want this?
    Mothergoose03 and sharpski like this.
  2. superspak

    superspak Poo-Bah (9,077) May 5, 2010 Michigan
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Unblended lambics are traditionally flat as a style; but aside from that, I can't say I've seen or tried anything else that is purposely uncarbonated.
  3. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (441) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Side Project has done so in the past. As has The Lost Abbey with Angel's Share, but that was less than intentional.

    With some styles, it works just fine. With others . . . umm . . . not so much. Even though The Lost Abbey and Tomme got a LOT of flack for releasing Angel's Share flat, it really didn't take away from the quality of the beer as massive barrel aged barleywines don't benefit that much from carbonation.
    drunkenmess likes this.
  4. RutgersBeerGuy

    RutgersBeerGuy Aspirant (252) Jan 16, 2007 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    There are Lambics that are served still. Cantillon’s Bruocsella is probably the most prominent example. It’s also one of Cantillon’s lowest rated beers, so perhaps that partly answers your question in regard to the demand for the treatment.

    The Referend Bier Blendery (conveniently 10 minutes from my house) frequently serves their beers, especially Jung, which is basically a young, spontaneously fermented Lambic-esque beer, still. I personally enjoy it a lot. It’s different, sure, but it creates a very interesting experience in terms of mouthfeel.
    Jacobob10 and EvenMoreJesus like this.
  5. PorterPro125

    PorterPro125 Champion (871) Jan 19, 2013 New Brunswick (Canada)

    I seem to come across a lot of English Ale's with really low carbonation, but as far completely flat? I've never personally seen it and I can't see how it would be all that appealing.
    TrojanRB likes this.
  6. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Aspirant (245) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Mystic Entropy is a still ale and is truly unbelievable. I am a big fan of still Lambic as well. I want this.
    JrGtr and LeRose like this.
  7. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (441) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    All straight lambics should be still. It is gueuze that is carbonated.
  8. RutgersBeerGuy

    RutgersBeerGuy Aspirant (252) Jan 16, 2007 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Yes, of course. However, I think that, in common usage, “Lambic” is inclusive of straight Lambic, Gueuze, Kriek, etc. So, to say “there are Lambics that are served still” is fine, especially when commercially available examples of still Lambic are so rare. Most Lambics that a person will encounter will not be straight Lambics and will not be still.
  9. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (441) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I was just being pedantic, man. I just have this "thing" about all things related to lambic.
  10. RutgersBeerGuy

    RutgersBeerGuy Aspirant (252) Jan 16, 2007 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Understood. Have you gotten over to try Referend? They’re not exclusively drawing from that tradition, but they are entirely spontaneous fermentation and I’ve been very pleased, so far.
  11. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (441) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I have not. Where are they from?
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  12. RutgersBeerGuy

    RutgersBeerGuy Aspirant (252) Jan 16, 2007 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Pennington, NJ.


    They go into a lot of detail in regard to their philosophy and methodology on the site. They also have great taste in literature, but that’s a little beside the point.
    SammyJaxxxx and EvenMoreJesus like this.
  13. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (441) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Cool looking site and beers. Will have to look further into them. Thanks!
  14. JrGtr

    JrGtr Disciple (399) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Sam Adams Utopias is as well.
  15. BeanBump

    BeanBump Aspirant (233) Dec 14, 2016 California

    Uncarbonated Beer = Booze Juice
    mambossa likes this.
  16. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Meyvn (1,166) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Four words: Hair of the Dog!
  17. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Aspirant (291) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Despite what Mr. "beer is more than bubbles" Sprints says about the matter, those beers were never meant to be still, with the exception of Dave.
    JouerAvecLeFeu likes this.
  18. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (441) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I find it more than a little cunty when brewers have this type of response to issues like this. Say something like, "It was supposed to be carbonated, but it isn't. I think that it works pretty well uncarbonated, though." instead of "It was supposed to be that way, so just shut it you plebeian morons."
    TrojanRB and THANAT0PSIS like this.

    THANAT0PSIS Defender (674) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I enjoy them if the style is fitting. For instance, Ale Apothecary Be Still is a really great beer. Still lambics (especially Cantillon Grand Cru Bruocsella and Drie Fonteinen Golden Doesjel) are also very tasty.

    I have always wanted to try the Side Project still releases as well as Mystic Entropy, and the one you mention from Upright really intrigues me (Upright as a brewery is drastically underrated and can basically do no wrong in my book).

    It's not quite the same thing since they're host to soft, natural carbonation, but I hear similar "complaints" about cask beers, whether anyone wants "flat beer" or whether cask ale should even be a thing, and I generally just shake my head in those cases since I think cask is basically the zenith of beer. Again, I know it's not the same, but my mind went down that path.

    To answer your question, I definitely want still beer if it works and is intended. If not, the brewer should say so and determine whether to release it or not based on the quality of the product as it came out. I hate Hair of the Dog for blatantly lying about the carbonation of their beers and whether the lack of carbonation was intended (it clearly wasn't).
  20. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (441) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania


    And once again.
    RutgersBeerGuy and THANAT0PSIS like this.
  21. JouerAvecLeFeu

    JouerAvecLeFeu Devotee (463) Apr 17, 2015 Washington

    Upright is in my top five breweries. I’m going to try Ives because I pretty much have loved everything they’ve done. It supposedly the first in a series of still beers they plan to release.
    VABA and THANAT0PSIS like this.

    THANAT0PSIS Defender (674) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    That's super interesting. Wish I could get their beers nowadays...

    I don't think that this is an indication of a new trend or anything though. Still beers will probably never be the next big thing.
  23. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (1,966) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    I think a beer can be considered more tasty when carbonated, or is carbonation just a phenomenon that we have taught ourselves is the only way to drink beer? I occasionally allow a beer to go flat while sitting in front of me while reading or pre-occupied with some other task (but not on purpose), and it gets room temp too, and it tastes pretty good. I don't think I'd mind still beers, but I also imagine that I'd prefer them chilled. Some barleywines, imperial stouts, etc. have such intense flavor that is greatly enhanced when carbonation is low and the beer is at cellar temp or warmer, and we mostly all love those styles.

    In fact I'll go out on a limb and say that if you really like the flavor of beer (and I think we all do) you'd easily get used to still beer because it's the flavor that we want.
  24. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (441) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I abhor cold beer. Maybe it's just me, but I want to drink my beer on the warmer side. Not room temperature, but definitely warmer than right from the fridge.
  25. rhino88888888

    rhino88888888 Initiate (167) Dec 12, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    OEC has at least one still beer - Malefactus Amphore. An 11% imperial wheat stout w spices and brettanomyces. Aged in terracotta pots and wine barrels. I'll have to open my bottle and report back!
  26. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (441) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    That description makes me afraid for you.
  27. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Initiate (52) Jun 24, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    That sounds like craft beer satire.
  28. dcotom

    dcotom Meyvn (1,387) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Kvas is pretty flat, IIRC.
    bbtkd likes this.
  29. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,200) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Carbonation does affect flavor in at least a couple of ways, both taste and smell. (Doesn't mean we won't enjoy still beverages. )


    You can test the effect on aromas (which impact flavor) through sniffing after using a pour of beer that produces lots of head vs. one that is gentle and creates little foam.

    Similarly carbonation has an effect both on the smells we take in the the nose (orthonasal smell) and through the palate (retronasal smell) and the two forms of smell are not identical in their results when the information gets sent to the brain.


    This is why to a certain extent with beer, glassware can matter to flavors.

    It's that lack of carbonation that leads wine drinkers to swirl their wine in the glass as that helps release the aromas. (It's not just affectation the way some beer drinkers like to imagine. :wink:)

    So all this suggests that any beverages will have a "sweet spot" where it is most flavorful and the brewer/distiller/vintner be working towards that "sweet spot" through process control, their knowledge of process along and sensory evaluation of the result.
    #29 drtth, Oct 12, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  30. rhino88888888

    rhino88888888 Initiate (167) Dec 12, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    This spring I went on a three hour tour and tasting at OEC. Crazy. The place is way over the top. And you haven't lived until you have tasted the difference between ale aged in pink granite vs ale aged in gray granite ;-)
    eldoctorador and JouerAvecLeFeu like this.

    DISKORD Initiate (54) Feb 28, 2017 South Carolina

    OEC Zymatore J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/34667/185521/) was really good and it was completely flat.

    The base beer for this batch was J.W. Lees Harvest Ale. The beer was matured for 1 year in a Spanish Moscatel barrel and aged on Chambourcin grapes from the orchard.
    rhino88888888 likes this.
  32. Lingenbrau

    Lingenbrau Poo-Bah (2,078) Apr 9, 2011 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    That Red Echo is phenomenal.

    Aaaaand there is no informative contributions I can make to the original question.
    JouerAvecLeFeu likes this.
  33. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,079) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    I'm not opposed to trying still beer, but the carbonation is one of the essential things about beer I've always loved. It's why I loved soda so much growing up and it's why I'm not that into wine. I want my fizz, dammit!

    I feel like sour beers would be the most tolerable still, though, like traditional lambics.
  34. JouerAvecLeFeu

    JouerAvecLeFeu Devotee (463) Apr 17, 2015 Washington

    I’ve got a bottle of the Red Echo (and Be Still which I’ve had) coming to me in a few weeks.
    VABA and Lingenbrau like this.
  35. Lingenbrau

    Lingenbrau Poo-Bah (2,078) Apr 9, 2011 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Outstanding. Belmont Station in Portland usually has a handful of Ale Apothecary's stuff. Don't know if that's too far out of the way for you or not, but FYI.

    Funny as I just suggested this to another BA who is there right now. Look at me all establishing new roots!
  36. JouerAvecLeFeu

    JouerAvecLeFeu Devotee (463) Apr 17, 2015 Washington

    I live in the ‘Couve. I go to Belmont fairly regularly... But I’m also an Ale Apothecary Ale Club member.
    VABA and Lingenbrau like this.
  37. Lingenbrau

    Lingenbrau Poo-Bah (2,078) Apr 9, 2011 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Even better. Never mind my sorry ass suggestions! I might have to board that train.
  38. JouerAvecLeFeu

    JouerAvecLeFeu Devotee (463) Apr 17, 2015 Washington

    I know there’s only so many memberships and that there is s waiting list. It took me two years for me to become a member.
    VABA likes this.
  39. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (726) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Some of the older vintage Aventinus bottlings are close to still if not completely so. Some of the other Aventinus special bottlings are like either port or sherry- and still- and are quite good, but require some contemplation.
  40. mambossa

    mambossa Initiate (185) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I’m not quite hip on sours and lambics, but a flat sour beer sounds actually perfect. Acidity without the bubble, sign me up! Excluding sours, I think plenty of ales could do well without heavy carb. I often times love filling up a glass or two of uncarbed IPA before I bottle condition. Who doesn’t? Ales can be raw and don’t need any CO2 to help speak its depth.

    I’d go for a still beer.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.