What's the last malt-forward beer that impressed you? (That's not high ABV or barrel-aged.)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Todd, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,120) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Way too many people are still obsessed with hop-forward beers. Don't get me wrong, I love my hops, but I try to keep an open mind and palate. So let's switch things up.

    What's the last malt-forward beer that impressed you? And to make it interesting, let's exclude high ABV and barrel-aged malt-forward beers.

    Me? Shipping Out of Boston by Jack's Abby. It's an Amber Lager at 5.3%. World-class, IMO. And my review of it inspired this thread.


    How about you?
  2. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,424) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Dampf Schwarzbier from Humboldt Regeneration.
    Love the combination of roasty and chocolatey flavors with a light, easy drinking body
  3. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Meyvn (1,384) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    Oskar Blues Beerito and
    Conshohocken Puddler Row ESB
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  4. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (256) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    I love that beer, I had it at the brewery on a visit last year and I'm so happy it's a year rounder now.
    Locally I buy Antagonist ESB from Barrier (I think I'm the only one, they are all into the haze these days). Nice and toasty.
    Montauk Driftwood Ale is another ESB I like but now it's a fall seasonal, guess it should be out any day.
    It takes courage to release something besides a NEIPA or milkshake mess these days, happy to support those that do.
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  5. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,992) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    Probably Trendler Pilsner - although hops are obviously relevant in that beer as well. The malt presentation and drinkability were sublime, though.
  6. Bhubbard34

    Bhubbard34 Initiate (142) Mar 4, 2016 Pennsylvania

    Love Great Lakes Elliot Ness
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,609) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    My favorite Robust Porter is Hill Farmstead Everett. For my palate this beer is absolutely sublime!

    A few years back I was able to get a growler fill at a nearby craft beer bar and conduct a blind side-by-side taste with my homebrewed version of Everett. The ‘good news’ for me is that my homebrewed version, which I brew every year, came pretty close. Especially since we get irregular drops of Hill Farmstead beers in the Philly area.


    Cheers to Hill Farmstead!
  8. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,323) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey

    Extra Stockton Bitter from Odd Bird Brewing, a small brewery in NJ that opened at the beginning of 2020. A little biscuit, a little caramel, some lightly toasted malt and nuttiness. Earthy hops to round everything out. Perfectly balanced flavor between mildly sweet malt and bitter hops. Impressive body and flavor for 4.3% ABV. They were serving this on cask at the brewery right before COVID hit but I missed out.

    Brb going out to purchase a 6-pack of Shipping Out of Boston. :grin:
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  9. mike22ne

    mike22ne Zealot (585) Aug 5, 2014 Massachusetts

    The Future Is Unwritten, Small Change Brewing
    For a dark English Mild Ale at just 3.1% abv, I thought the balance and layers of flavors were really excellent.

    Bannatyne's Scotch Ale, Cambridge Brewing
    A classic Scotch Ale, but new try for me. I was able to pick up a growler a few weeks ago during Covid shutdowns and it did not disappoint!
  10. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,769) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Me, recently in the Jack's Abby thread:
  11. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,195) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    I'd really like to see Biere de Garde (especially things on the Ambree or Brune end of things) take hold in the US craft scene, especially since lagers are far more prevalent than they used to be. The malt of an ESB with the dryness of a saison, and the clean fermentation of a lager, what's not to love?

    That being said, the last malty beer that really impressed me was me testing my homebrewed Biere de Garde. Bottle conditioned now, and am going to lager in bottles best I can. The Omega Gulo yeast is awesome.
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  12. matts2896

    matts2896 Initiate (138) Aug 24, 2018 Connecticut

    Love Shipping Out of Boston, but for me, it's Von Trapp Dunkel. I love all of Von Trapp's lagers, but the Dunkel packs an unreal amount of flavor--strong bread crust and caramel with a touch of fig--into such an easy-drinking beer. It's one of my favorites
  13. officerbill

    officerbill Zealot (528) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    Couldn't agree more. I've been buying 12 packs all summer.

    Since we're just using “malt forward” as the category I'm going to have to go with Bell's Third Coast, this was one of the best beers I've ever had.
    #13 officerbill, Jul 30, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,673) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Guinness Over the Moon.

    Hit the style nicely and it was brewed here in the States.
  15. honkey

    honkey Disciple (331) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Brewery Trader

    I was blown away by Wayfinder's Helles last time I was in Portland.
  16. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,689) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    For me it would be either Industrial Arts Spring Landscape maibock or the OEC Coolship Lager. Both were absolutely delicious.
    followerofmen, Amendm, eppCOS and 4 others like this.
  17. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (256) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    I've sent them many many annoying messages asking to get that blood orange weirdness out of the variety pack - I finally can't wait to find one. It's really sounds like the perfect lager pack.
    AlcahueteJ, Amendm, ESHBG and 3 others like this.
  18. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,769) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    It truly is, both in terms of quality and variety.

    I'll also throw out a good word for the Troegs helles When in Doubt, which is excellent, although the 15 pack it comes in isn't as good as the JA 12 pack.
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  19. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,673) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    You got those for the online tasting, right?
    Amendm and FBarber like this.
  20. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,881) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    A half liter of Weihenstephaner 1516 Kellerbier on a recent hot afternoon in the shade. Nice bready malt flavor, but still crisp and refreshing.
  21. Brenden

    Brenden Poo-Bah (3,885) Feb 25, 2008 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Thanks for this. Shame on me that it's a challenge. Not counting beers with adjuncts added (Founder's Marvelroast, Southern Tier White Chocolate Raspberry), most recently it would be Rochefort 10. I think that technically counts, though it's as big as an Imperial anything. Otherwise, it's a 2015 bottle of Schneider Weisse Tap X Aventinus Cuvée Barrique, which presents essentially the same issue. I do really need to get back into what the current craft scene would call "session" beers, which, if I recall, we used to just refer to as "beers."
    AlcahueteJ, Amendm and eppCOS like this.
  22. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (491) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Zonker from Snake River is always the answer for me!
  23. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,464) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    Do Witbier's count? Adem by Schilling is probably my favorite beer from the style and I was absolutely blown away by how flavorful, crisp, and drinkable it is.
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  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,609) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Michael, this is the first time I have heard of the beer Shipping out of Boston. Is this beer in the same category of a Yuengling Traditional Lager? But better?

    Amendm, eppCOS and TongoRad like this.
  25. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,689) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Industrial Arts was part of the tasting. The OEC I got in a trade along with an assortment of OEC and B.United cans.
    Amendm, zid and steveh like this.
  26. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,769) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Hah! You said it, not me, but pretty much yeah. :wink::sunglasses:

    All malt though, naturally.
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  27. woemad

    woemad Poo-Bah (3,577) Jun 8, 2003 Washington
    Society Trader

    Whistle Punk's Export Lager. Like fresh baked bread.
    sharpski, Amendm, eppCOS and 2 others like this.
  28. grantcty

    grantcty Initiate (136) Feb 17, 2008 Minnesota

  29. oldmankoch

    oldmankoch Disciple (353) Jan 1, 2014 Tennessee


    Ridgeline - German style Maibock has loads of caramelized malts and is lagered in Chardonnay barrels.
    Amendm, Txex06, eppCOS and 3 others like this.
  30. StoutElk_92

    StoutElk_92 Poo-Bah (2,801) Oct 30, 2015 Massachusetts

  31. oldmankoch

    oldmankoch Disciple (353) Jan 1, 2014 Tennessee

    Love it. I remember buying a bottle from a local shop in Frankfurt a few years ago when the wife and I visited the country. We popped the cap and walked along the river while sharing. Such a nice relaxing time with a great beer in hand.
    AlcahueteJ, Amendm, eppCOS and 2 others like this.
  32. dmearnhardt

    dmearnhardt Initiate (15) Jan 9, 2020 North Carolina

    Oskar Blues Old Chub ‘‘tis a wee excellent brew” well balanced!
    Bitterbill, Amendm, eppCOS and 2 others like this.
  33. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (7,432) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    For me checking my notes (man if only someone could make a SITE that could store all that cool stuff!! :grin: ) ...

    The last malty, with adjunct hit had to be Oliver's - I wish I was in Mexico Lager. It is though with added lime.

    Does some roasty malts character count? Then it would have to be the Czech Style Dark Lager called Modernism from Schilling Beer Co.
  34. Madillini

    Madillini Initiate (42) Nov 8, 2014 Wisconsin

    Double Dunkel by Wibby Brewing
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  35. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,727) Sep 3, 2007 Texas

    512 Brewing out of Austin finally started bottling 4 and 6 packs of their regular beers. After almost a decade, they have always been draught only, except for a few barrel aged and wild ale releases here and there. Well, Pecan Porter is out in bottles now, and is one of my favorites. Even in the ridiculous Texas summer, these have been a staple in my fridge since they were released.

    As far as new to me beers recently. I would go with Spencer Monks Reserve Ale (Don't know if Quad's/Belgian Strong Dark Ales count in the "imperial" sense, I would suspect they do...oops).

    Lets see...Holler's Houston Smoke Show is an excellent Smoked Helles. With a great balance between the Helles, and just enough smoke to add a little complexity without being overdone (their ESB and Pub Crusher are always great, and some of my favorites, but was trying to include something different from them this time).

    On that note, can't forget Schlenkerla Helles Lager, as I tried both Houston Smoke Show and this relatively close to each other. I know its not smoked, but damn it has that smoked essence that just gets infused with everything there apparently. That is excellent as well.

    Saint Arnold Guten Tag, and Great Heights Oakstoberfest for two new entries to that style around Houston are both very good.

    Wait, most of these could go in the Lager thread as well :slight_smile:

    Others that come to mind, Possibility from 25 O'Clock Brewing in Urbana, IL Which is a session English style Porter, and really well done. 25 O'Clock focus' on Belgian and English styles, and from what I have had, mostly gets it right.

    I'll add two from Riggs Beer Company, also from Urbana, IL. Outside of Live Oak they are my favorite American brewery doing German styles. Illinois Kolsch, and Weizenbock.

    I could go on forever, maybe I will in another post but this will do for now :slight_smile:
    #35 champ103, Jul 30, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  36. Edzona

    Edzona Initiate (35) Aug 30, 2019 Wisconsin

    Augustiner Brau Maximator Dopplebock.
    Over 40 years I have sampled or consumed numerous "malt forward" brews. My all time favorite dopplebock is Ayinger, but I recently had a tap version of the Augustiner. Different from the bottle, of course, but not that much different. If you find a bottle you have to give it some love.
    AlcahueteJ, Amendm, eppCOS and 2 others like this.
  37. Lorno

    Lorno Initiate (104) Nov 16, 2004 Missouri

    Civil Life American Brown from Civil Life Brewing Co. in St. Louis.
    Amendm and eppCOS like this.
  38. mambossa

    mambossa Aspirant (236) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    Weihenstephaner Korbinian always impresses me no matter what. On the surface it tastes pretty straightforward, but there’s a lot to unpack if you really pay attention.
  39. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (256) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    Another one I like a lot but sadly can't find these days is Grevensteiner Original.
    I see the Veltins Pislner all over but not the Zwickelbier
  40. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,689) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Thats a really nice beer. We get it around here and I periodically pick it up.
    ecpho and Amendm like this.