What's your best beer style?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by InVinoVeritas, Nov 4, 2019.

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  1. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (441) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    Just curious, what separates you from other brewers? What style defines you?

    For me, there are SOooooo many good IPAs commercially brewed, I rarely brew IPAs. I've somewhat gone 180 gravitating to lagers. I brew Helles, Pils and perhaps best and defining Märzen.
  2. Maestro0708

    Maestro0708 Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2015 Kentucky

    My best beers, in my view, have been lower abv Belgian beers: saison and Belgian single. My only medal winning beer was an extract bier de garde. I'm learning and improving always!
  3. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,966) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    I try to keep a few sessionable brews around: English styles are great for this and I currently have a dry stout kegged up and an ordinary bitter in the fermenter. I've also brewed several light to mid gravity blonds, cream ales, and saisons in the last couple years. Like the OP, I tend to drink commercial IPAs. My brewing can't keep up with the hop flavor of the month, so I don't bother chasing it. I brewed one IPA in 2019, a session IPA. I'm maybe due for another, but yesterday went with the ordinary instead.
    InVinoVeritas likes this.
  4. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (235) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    I've consistently had great success with my porters, stouts, and meads. I *wish* I could make great lagers and Belgians, but these have been more hit & miss for me honestly, haven't "nailed it" yet. My water is quite hard and alkaline which might be part of the reason the dark ales are so good... or I just know how to formulate a recipe well, or both. FWIW, I use approximately 10 different malts in most porters and stouts. Some might think this is overly complicated, but I say it gives a more complex flavor -- complex, not complicated.
  5. wasatchback

    wasatchback Devotee (414) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan

    Funny I would say there are sooooo few great IPAs available so that’s what I brew more of. Plus there are so many new hops out that can create flavors and aromas you’ve never experienced in beer before.

    It’s also impossible to find lagers brewed the more traditional way that actually have malt flavor and complexity. Decoction, long slow fermentation, natural carbonation, etc. Trying to replicate the best beers I’ve had that I know use these methods is my present goal in brewing.
  6. ddow229

    ddow229 Initiate (0) Oct 4, 2019 Missouri

    I haven’t made one in ten years but my Doppel Bocks always received high praise. I would love to say the Hefe Weissen was the best but it isn’t.
  7. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    Table Saison & Saison are my favorite to brew and I think what I do best.

    Most all American Saison is either without soul or is mixed fermentation Saison that has medium to high acid content.

    I love a good mixed ferm beer but really wish there were more classical rustic Saison being made (think DuPont, Fantome, Blaugies, etc)... no acid, just great rustic, mild funk, bubblegum, spice, citrus, pepper Saison with haze in the glass of yeast from bottle.

    Currently doing these type Saison in a few different ways: base, with fruit, with herbs, with fruit and herbs, dry hopped, blends with acid beer, and soon going to experiment with doing some imperial versions with oak.
    skivtjerry, Maestro0708 and PortLargo like this.
  8. Supergenious

    Supergenious Disciple (399) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    I agree with @wasatchback. Not enough really great commercial IPA’s. I actually enjoy mine more than most out there. I’ve also had good luck with sour beers, both kettle sour and mixed culture. And I really enjoy making anything in the funky/ farmhouse realm. Good post @InVinoVeritas!
  9. Naugled

    Naugled Savant (954) Sep 25, 2007 New York

    I would say my wheat's and mild's get the most comments. But I personally like my IPA's and sour's, always have.
  10. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (89) May 18, 2017 England

    Good to see more saison-heads in the thread!

    I'm not that focused, I think I'm just about getting to the point where I'd say I have core styles - the things I really come back to are basically saisons, Belgian singles, hoppy session pales and historic milds and porters. Oh and bretted / mixed ferm stuff. So yeah, not that focused. But getting there.
    GetMeAnIPA and hoptualBrew like this.
  11. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (2,032) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    My favorite stout recipe has 10 different grains. But then, my favorite Blonde Ale has 5 (all technically base malts in this case). I kind of shake my head whenever I see stern warnings against complexity and "muddled" flavors. I don't advocate throwing a bunch of stuff together without thinking, but if I'm working on iterations of a recipe over time and I think it needs a touch of something, I'll add it and see. 1 lb C40 <> 1/2 lb C20 + 1/2 lb C60.
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  12. MrOH

    MrOH Poo-Bah (2,054) Jul 5, 2010 Malta

    I really dig my saisons, and I think you can't really explore the style without spending an arm and leg, and unless you live in certain fortunate parts of the country, by trading. So if you homebrew saisons, you solve both of those problems.
    I also really enjoy my British-style dark ales, even though they don't really taste like anything imported that I've bought.
    hoptualBrew and skivtjerry like this.
  13. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (89) May 18, 2017 England

    So I'm often one of the people suggesting that people simplify recipes when they're asking for feedback, but I pretty much agree with @VikeMan on that - I've got no problem with purposefully complicated recipes, and the process of tweaking and optimising over time seems bang on.

    I only really query recipes that seem to have been made complicated just because someone thinks that a longer recipe automatically makes for a more interesting beer. Particularly if they're still starting out and just developing their understanding of ingredients (and hey, aren't we all), in which case insisting on using six different dark malts in their first stout means they aren't going to come out with any real idea of what any one of them actually brings to the table.

    (And tbf, I try to always qualify my suggestion - "if you don't have a specific reason for using six different black malts...")
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  14. Naugled

    Naugled Savant (954) Sep 25, 2007 New York

    I'm surprised Saison's aren't more popular with the general public. It's one of my favorite styles as well, and seems to be popular among the homebrewers here. Maybe it's just a marketing/consumer perception thing? Like diet beers, didn't it take like 50 years for them to catch on, and now the 'lite' beers dominate the taps.
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  15. Elvis_on_Bass

    Elvis_on_Bass Initiate (106) Jul 25, 2016 New York

    My favorites of mine are the English Porters and Saisons. Others favorites of mine are hefeweizens and blondes.

    I "saisoned" one of my blondes which people really liked as well, not by the book true to style but just doing my part to spread the message.
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  16. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (266) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    I like variety. I'll brew what sounds good at the time. I probably brew more Pilsners then anything else. Throw in some dark lagers, Altbiers, and ESB's keeps me happy!
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  17. storm72

    storm72 Initiate (88) Jul 4, 2010 Illinois

    Other than brewing pilsners, which I have yet to attempt, is there an echo in here? I'm cut from the same cloth since I also like variety and love bitters, Altbiers, and Schwarzbiers. These styles are so underrated and don't get the attention they deserve.

    In my brewing, my general outlook has become to shy away from styles where commercial examples aren't in short supply. The only exception might be the occasional SMaSH beer that straddles the line between a hoppy pale ale and an IPA. Since I also dabble with mead, I'm giving some thought to trying my hand at braggots.
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  18. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Zealot (540) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    Stouts and pales , IMO, are my strong suit. Most of the never ending list of visitors seem to like it all, except for my attempt at the saison, yeah, that one was junk.

    What sets me apart from the rest, one. Could say I bit more unhinged than the rest of the brewing pack, and I favor run and gun brewing over styles or set recipes. Works fer me.
    skivtjerry, Elvis_on_Bass and riptorn like this.
  19. Silver_Is_Money

    Silver_Is_Money Initiate (61) Jun 4, 2017 Ohio

    I'd have to say that chasing the elusive Bohemian Pilsner style defines me. But if I could ever master the equally if not more elusive flavor of Great Lakes Eliot Ness lager, such would perhaps drive me more in that direction.
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  20. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Defender (602) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    My best competition scoresheets are for wild ales, DIPA and Belgian pale ale, but I think I do saisons best. So much to explore, and even the mistakes are usually pretty tasty. It didn't hurt to have Shaun Hill critiqueing my early efforts:slight_smile:
  21. LakesideBrewing

    LakesideBrewing Initiate (96) Dec 1, 2013 Massachusetts

    Fruited sours, coolship, funky stuff. I have a huge ‘sour pipeline’ and plenty of patience for this style of beer. And I don’t mind spending money of the best fruit I can get at the peak of its season. But, I think my best beers have come from my first Solera a few years back.

  22. Beerswimmer

    Beerswimmer Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2013 Texas

    Belgians, sours, and pumpkin beers.
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  23. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    Honestly, I think Saison is going to be a thing one day soon.

    Imo, it has gotten a “reputation” in the modern American beer culture as being either sour/wild or boring. Sour/wild think Hill Farmstead, Forest & Main, SARA, Side Project, Suarez, etc... For “boring” think about all those “standard” brewers who half heartedly brew one to just have it on the menu... crystal clear, monotone phenol presence, nothing special.

    When breweries start specializing in clean Saison (think DuPont, Fantome, Blaugies, Thiriez, de la Senne) in the states with an emphasis on rusticity and character... I think it will make a palpable movement in the American beer scene.

    Until then, the style exists in a strange place in the American Craft consumer somewhere between these two poles (wild/sour/aged versus boring).

    P.S. I personally love the mixed fermentation representations of Saison, but it is not a mainstream thing & wont be as far as I can tell. It is niche.

    The best local spot that does rustic Saison without it being really sour/wild is Saint Somewhere. They claim to use Brett in their beers but it is so restrained you hardly notice it & their beers drink more like classic representations from Belgium than any other brewery I’ve seen in the states. Only other brewery that comes to mind in this regard is Allagash. Would be interested to hear any recommendations though..
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  24. Naugled

    Naugled Savant (954) Sep 25, 2007 New York

    Agree, I think consumers and to the same extent bartenders through lack of knowledge believe them to be sour/wild, which perpetuates the misrepresentation of the style.

    I've always liked Stillwater's Saisons (MD I think), they are still producing great examples. If I see a saison on the menu I always try them.
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  25. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Defender (602) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Another vote for Stillwater here.
  26. Beerswimmer

    Beerswimmer Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2013 Texas

    Here in Texas Jester King is doing almost all saisons. And they do them well. They do "farmhouse" beers on their farmhouse, most with their own wild caught yeast and then barreled. They have a few clean beers, but are really known for their sours and farmhouse beers.
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