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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: gmac on March 25, 2011, 10:05:21 PM

Title: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: gmac on March 25, 2011, 10:05:21 PM
The more I read the posts on this forum, the more I wonder if I'm in the minority.  So, I have to ask.  Does anyone else out there like just normal, plain old traditional English-type Ales?  I see lots of discussions on high alcohol barley wines but I just don't have a taste for them.  I see lots of talk about American style IPAs with all of their fruity, citrusy C hops which I am fine with and do enjoy on occasion but I certainly can't spend a whole night drinking these.  There's just too much there.  Maybe the hard core lupulin addicts out there can do it but not me.

So, is there anyone out there that just likes a plain old 4 or 4.5% English Bitter or Pale Ale?  

I put this in the Pub because it's meant just as a discussion, not as a criticism of any style or anyones taste.  Something you'd chat about over a beer in a pub somewhere in the world.  Am I alone?  Are there others out there that don't want 11% beer or hops, hops and more hops or am I just becoming a boring old man?  
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: nicneufeld on March 25, 2011, 10:18:19 PM
I love all the weird ones, the American more-of-everything styles, the barleywines, the crazy belgians, etc.  That said...I have a very strong affinity for British bitters, milds, and pale ales.  The best of these seem to have a perfect balance between modest hopping, really tasty malt character, and yeast esters that straddle the fence between the strong notes of Belgian yeast and the very neutral character of American yeast.

In short, British ales are sublime and wonderfully balanced.  Marstons Pedigree Bitter would be my desert island beer.  If I had a good clone of that on tap all the time I'd probably gain weight in no time...

Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: dannyjed on March 25, 2011, 10:27:49 PM
I enjoy good English Ales and I made 4 over the winter that turned out nice.  I think it can be very difficult to get a 3.8%-5% beer just right.  I think I have ADD when it comes to beer because I am constantly changing from one style to another. :-[
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: jaybeerman on March 25, 2011, 10:28:46 PM
+1 for beer ADD
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: tygo on March 25, 2011, 10:31:00 PM
I love a good ESB.  It's one of the recipes I'm trying to perfect this year.  I'd be happy having it on tap all the time.  I'm sipping on a pint of the latest batch as I type this as a matter of fact.

I do also like some of the 11% ales but that's not exactly a session beer.  The over the top C-hop American ales are not my favorite style.  There are some good ones and I enjoy them occasionally but like the OP I usually don't want to drink too many in succession.

Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: tubercle on March 25, 2011, 10:40:50 PM
 Does anyone else out there like just normal, plain old traditional English-type Ales?  

 Hear, Hear ;D
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: euge on March 25, 2011, 10:42:50 PM
Does anyone else out there like just normal, plain old traditional English-type Ales?  

 Hear, Hear ;D

I do. This style is my favorite. You are not alone.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: timberati on March 25, 2011, 10:43:50 PM
I miss Watney's.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: stlaleman on March 25, 2011, 10:47:46 PM
Nothing better than a good Bitter! My favorite. Not to say I don't make all the others.....
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: maxieboy on March 25, 2011, 10:51:38 PM
Just a boring old man... ;)  j/k  I mostly drink bitter, hoppy brews.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: Hokerer on March 25, 2011, 11:07:42 PM
My next attempt at an ESB is the next brew on my calendar.  Still tweaking the recipe
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: beersk on March 25, 2011, 11:11:09 PM
Goose Island Honker's Ale...num num nummers!
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: Mark G on March 25, 2011, 11:26:18 PM
A bitter is one of the beers that I keep on tap year round, along with an APA, and a saison.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: MrNate on March 26, 2011, 02:35:57 AM
 Does anyone else out there like just normal, plain old traditional English-type Ales?  

 Hear, Hear ;D

Aye.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 26, 2011, 03:08:38 AM
Since Labor Day we have made a Mild and 2 Best Bitters.

Plan on a traditional British IPA soon.  Also made a Sister Star of the Sun, which drinks as a British IPA.

You could say I like these.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: theoman on March 26, 2011, 06:29:55 AM
Nope, you're not alone. The Brits (and the Germans in Dusseldorf) do a great job of packing a lot of flavor into a low ABV beer.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: alikocho on March 26, 2011, 08:03:08 AM
 Does anyone else out there like just normal, plain old traditional English-type Ales?  

 Hear, Hear ;D

Aye.

I do, but being British may disqualify me from the discussion.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: BrewingRover on March 26, 2011, 11:57:36 AM
Love, love, love them. I dream of having a beer engine in my kitchen and a cask conditioned ale on hand at home. I love the taste and mouthfeel of cask ales.

There's a newish brewpub in Chicago that has a mild as one of their house beers and two cask ales on at all times. If I lived closer, I would brew much less  ;D
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: Mark G on March 26, 2011, 12:25:33 PM
Love, love, love them. I dream of having a beer engine in my kitchen and a cask conditioned ale on hand at home. I love the taste and mouthfeel of cask ales.

There's a newish brewpub in Chicago that has a mild as one of their house beers and two cask ales on at all times. If I lived closer, I would brew much less  ;D
What's the brewpub? I'd like to check it out.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: majorvices on March 26, 2011, 12:32:31 PM
The more I read the posts on this forum, the more I wonder if I'm in the minority.  So, I have to ask.  Does anyone else out there like just normal, plain old traditional English-type Ales?  I see lots of discussions on high alcohol barley wines but I just don't have a taste for them.  I see lots of talk about American style IPAs with all of their fruity, citrusy C hops which I am fine with and do enjoy on occasion but I certainly can't spend a whole night drinking these.  There's just too much there.  Maybe the hard core lupulin addicts out there can do it but not me. 

I used to like them a lot and made a Special Bitter my house recipe for years. Like you, I didn't really care for American IPAs much, except for on occasion. Then, out of nowhere, I just got to where I craved that 75+ BU IPA and mostly lost my taste for mildly hopped beers with EKG.

Used to make barley wines every 6 months or so too, but I just never really drank them. Last one I made was in 2007 and I still have oodles of bottles. But, if I make a IIPA its gone in weeks. ;)
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: SiameseMoose on March 26, 2011, 01:00:17 PM
I just made an ESB this week, but it's for later this summer. At this time of year, when the tree pollen is strongest, my sinuses are whacked, and I find it harder to appreciate a mellower beer. So right now I'm working on kegs of a very hoppy APA and an all Moris Otter IPA loaded with Simcoe. It takes the extra oomph to cut through the tasting haze.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: BrewingRover on March 26, 2011, 01:54:43 PM
Love, love, love them. I dream of having a beer engine in my kitchen and a cask conditioned ale on hand at home. I love the taste and mouthfeel of cask ales.

There's a newish brewpub in Chicago that has a mild as one of their house beers and two cask ales on at all times. If I lived closer, I would brew much less  ;D
What's the brewpub? I'd like to check it out.
Revolution Brewing, in Logan Square. Awesome place and it's really close to the California station on the O'Hare Blue Line for easy access. Have I mentioned the Bacon Popcorn?
http://revbrew.com/
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: corkybstewart on March 26, 2011, 02:04:59 PM
I just kegged an ESB and will keg a porter this weekend.  Probably 2/3 of what I brew is UK style beers.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: Mark G on March 26, 2011, 02:18:13 PM
Love, love, love them. I dream of having a beer engine in my kitchen and a cask conditioned ale on hand at home. I love the taste and mouthfeel of cask ales.

There's a newish brewpub in Chicago that has a mild as one of their house beers and two cask ales on at all times. If I lived closer, I would brew much less  ;D
What's the brewpub? I'd like to check it out.
Revolution Brewing, in Logan Square. Awesome place and it's really close to the California station on the O'Hare Blue Line for easy access. Have I mentioned the Bacon Popcorn?
http://revbrew.com/
Bacon popcorn? Maybe I'll try to make it there this weekend then... Thanks!
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 26, 2011, 03:29:33 PM
Revolution had several lower alcohol beers when we were there back in Feb.

Check out Haymarket also.  They had a Belgian Single that was very flavorful, and around 5%.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: denny on March 26, 2011, 03:43:37 PM
So, is there anyone out there that just likes a plain old 4 or 4.5% English Bitter or Pale Ale?  

Lots of people, but I'm not one of them.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on March 26, 2011, 05:14:48 PM
I have to say, I'm sort of in the same camp as the OP.  I've come to prefer session strength brews (which I'll define as 4-6% alc/v).  I don't, however, necessarily prefer English varieties.  My favorites are probably German and American.  I do enjoy English styles though.  In fact, I'm brewing a Landlord Ale clone tomorrow! ;)
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: weiht on March 27, 2011, 05:26:36 AM
I brew about 80% English ales, whether it's bitter pale ale ipa or porters. I brew other styles as an experience but take longer to finish the keg. I do enjoy hoppy apa but My stomach just can't take it for the whole night. I think there a big misconception that lower abv beers are lighter in taste and aroma. I think the British have mastered the art of balance in a beer between the malt and hops.

To me being able to drink a pint of great ale from the cask in a local pub is a spiritu experience, n I am not even british
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: dzlater on March 27, 2011, 11:08:10 AM
I like them too.
The first time I had Tetley's I thought it was the best beer I ever drank.
One that I don't like is Bass.
The only cask ale I've had was from the local Iron Hill an "English Session Ale" it is one of my all time favorites.
I have a 4% abv bitter waiting for room in the keg fridge.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: majorvices on March 27, 2011, 12:41:03 PM
I like them too.
The first time I had Tetley's I thought it was the best beer I ever drank.
One that I don't like is Bass.
The only cask ale I've had was from the local Iron Hill an "English Session Ale" it is one of my all time favorites.
I have a 4% abv bitter waiting for room in the keg fridge.

I like English Ales on cask very much. That said, I like an American IPA on cask even more. :)
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: gordonstrong on March 27, 2011, 09:23:26 PM
I was in Nashville for a conference earlier this month.  At Blackstone, all of their beers were what I'd call "normal" ones.  Just straightforward things like English brown ale, American pale ale, brown porter, and Kolsch.  The strongest thing they had was an English IPA, and it wasn't at all extreme.  However, every last one of them was worth drinking, several pints worth in fact.  Dave Miller may not be involved any more, but they all have his spirit in them.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: bluesman on March 27, 2011, 09:43:24 PM
I just entered one in the NHC.  8)

Love them but I have to say I like alot of different styles of beer. Life would be boring if there was only a couple different styles. I enjoy drinking many different styles of beer. I am always searching for a beer I haven't tried yet. It depends on my mood, the weather, the time of year, etc...,etc... as to the style of beer I'm drinking and/or brewing.

Too many beers and too little time. 

...but you are not alone here.  ;)
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: redbeerman on March 27, 2011, 09:59:31 PM
A dark mild, an ESB and a good IPA, are all welcome here!  BTW  Ron's ESB is usually pretty awesome.  Haven't had this years yet, hint, hint. ;D
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: gmac on March 27, 2011, 10:08:50 PM
Life would be boring if there was only a couple different styles. I enjoy drinking many different styles of beer. I am always searching for a beer I haven't tried yet. It depends on my mood, the weather, the time of year, etc...,etc... as to the style of beer I'm drinking and/or brewing.

Too many beers and too little time. 
Well said!

Thanks everyone for letting me know I'm not alone.  For me, dark English bitters take me back to my college days when we would go out for some Wellington County or Arkell's Best Bitter and spend the night in the pub drinking pints, snacking on great pub food and ignoring all of our responsibilities.  I like a good lager as much as the next guy in the summer but I have to admit, I've got a predilection for amber lagers over lighter ones.  I love English style IPAs, Stouts, Porters etc too but my goal for this year is to master an all-grain session ale to have on tap all the time.  The Uber-hopped AIPA style hasn't really caught on North of your border yet for some reason but I am sure by the fall I'll be dry-hopping right along with the rest of you.
Thanks again.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: majorvices on March 27, 2011, 10:13:59 PM
I was in Nashville for a conference earlier this month.  At Blackstone, all of their beers were what I'd call "normal" ones.  Just straightforward things like English brown ale, American pale ale, brown porter, and Kolsch.  The strongest thing they had was an English IPA, and it wasn't at all extreme.  However, every last one of them was worth drinking, several pints worth in fact.  Dave Miller may not be involved any more, but they all have his spirit in them.

Absolutely agree with that assessment. I stop in just about every time I'm in Nashville. They do a good job with their beer engine as well. And the Shepherd's Pie ain't half bad either. nor the fish 'n chips. ;)
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on March 28, 2011, 02:19:47 AM
I was in Nashville for a conference earlier this month.  At Blackstone, all of their beers were what I'd call "normal" ones.  Just straightforward things like English brown ale, American pale ale, brown porter, and Kolsch.  The strongest thing they had was an English IPA, and it wasn't at all extreme.  However, every last one of them was worth drinking, several pints worth in fact.  Dave Miller may not be involved any more, but they all have his spirit in them.

Absolutely agree with that assessment. I stop in just about every time I'm in Nashville. They do a good job with their beer engine as well. And the Shepherd's Pie ain't half bad either. nor the fish 'n chips. ;)

While I spent most of my time at Boscos (having worked there through undergrad), Blackstone was definitely one of my haunts when I lived in Nashville.  Solid brew and good food. 
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: gordonstrong on March 28, 2011, 02:13:00 PM
Went to Boscos as well.  Both very good, but I was impressed by the unpretentious lineup at Blackstone.  Quieter place too.  Just what I'd want in a neighborhood pub.  If you're in Nashville, you should try both.  The steinbier at Boscos is worth checking out just for the uniqueness.  I got a sampler at both places first; not a dud in the lot.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: dak0415 on March 28, 2011, 02:52:22 PM
You sir are apparently NOT alone.  My go-to styles are Northern English Brown, ESB, Irish Red, and Robust Porter.  From there I lean to the German, less hoppy styles (Maerzen, Schwarzbier).  The tongue numbing American IPAs and citrusy pale ales, while I can appreciate, and make them, are just not what I want to drink when I get home from work.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: akr71 on March 29, 2011, 06:12:00 PM
Thanks everyone for letting me know I'm not alone...  The Uber-hopped AIPA style hasn't really caught on North of your border yet for some reason but I am sure by the fall I'll be dry-hopping right along with the rest of you.
Thanks again.

They are hard to find up here, but Canadian craft brewers are (thankfully) catching on.  Garrison's Imperial Pale Ale clocks in at 75 IBU (but not much for aroma or hop flavor - maybe the pasteurization process?) and Propellar's IPA is tasty.  Red Racer (http://www.redracerbeer.com/) from Vancouver makes a good IPA - several of my brewing buddies prefer it to DFH 60 Minute.  The OP might like to know the make a tasty ESB too.

I'm up for an English style session ale too.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: phillamb168 on March 30, 2011, 11:22:24 AM
My favorite beer of
all time
is the Spotted Pig Bitter that Brooklyn Brewery (?right?) does for the Spotted Pig in Manhattan. That place also happens to be my favorite restaurant at that end of the city. They got it in casks in the cellar and when I ordered my first, it was the very first time I had ever seen a beer engine.

Drinking a well executed cask bitter isn't a 'joy' per se, at least not in the sense of rainbows and fireworks. But it's satisfying in the same way that sitting on the deck after rotovating 50 sq m of garden is. Also, for me, it's different from when I drink hop bombs or high-gravity gunboats. It's just perfect, like drinking water, but awesome water.

I've got some Northdown and Cobb hops in the garden that I'm planning on putting into my "Garden Variety Bitter," which is going to be made of entirely home-grown ingredients - hops, rainwater, and malt. Not sure about the malting though, we'll see.
Title: Re: English Ales - Am I alone
Post by: majorvices on March 30, 2011, 11:57:05 AM
I was in Nashville for a conference earlier this month.  At Blackstone, all of their beers were what I'd call "normal" ones.  Just straightforward things like English brown ale, American pale ale, brown porter, and Kolsch.  The strongest thing they had was an English IPA, and it wasn't at all extreme.  However, every last one of them was worth drinking, several pints worth in fact.  Dave Miller may not be involved any more, but they all have his spirit in them.

Absolutely agree with that assessment. I stop in just about every time I'm in Nashville. They do a good job with their beer engine as well. And the Shepherd's Pie ain't half bad either. nor the fish 'n chips. ;)

While I spent most of my time at Boscos (having worked there through undergrad), Blackstone was definitely one of my haunts when I lived in Nashville.  Solid brew and good food. 

IMO the Boscos actually in Nashville has OK beer, certainly not bad. The one in cool springs that has its beer imported from Memphis is better. Blackstone's used to be fairly mediocre but is solid now. I know I talked with Dave Miller over email once (years ago) and he said he was not directly involved with Blackstone's any longer, and while he reserved disparaging remarks you could tell he was dissatisfied. I heard, though can't confirm, that he is working with them again.