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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: gabetoth on June 20, 2011, 07:54:30 PM

Title: Blending beer
Post by: gabetoth on June 20, 2011, 07:54:30 PM
I'm researching beer blending, particularly combining different styles to create new flavors (as opposed to blending batches of the same recipe for the sake of uniformity). Does anyone know of specific breweries that practice much blending? I've heard New Belgium has some nice combinations. Santa Fe Brewing Co. does one, I think they call it the Santa Fe Sunrise: most of a pint of pale ale topped with some Sangre de Frambuesa raspberry ale.

Thanks for any help you guys can provide ...
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: bluesman on June 20, 2011, 07:57:36 PM
Fullers blends their beers. There's a nice article in a recent BYO, interviewing John Keeling, that talks specifically about their beers and how they blend them.

Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: gordonstrong on June 20, 2011, 07:58:04 PM
Are you talking about before it's sold, or as some kind of pub cocktail?
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: gabetoth on June 20, 2011, 08:06:56 PM
More as a pub cocktail. I don't remember the specific beers, but a couple years ago I got a house specialty at the Ska Brewing taproom that consisted of half a pint of one beer, half of another. That type of thing.
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: tschmidlin on June 20, 2011, 08:13:55 PM
I frequently blend at the tap just to try stuff (NHC is great for that), but you could just as easily do that with bottles if you were wondering what a blend would taste like.

In Germany, a lot of places had bottles of juice to blend with the weizens.  Passion fruit juice, star fruit juice, banana juice, you name it.  I even saw a girl drinking glass after glass of hefeweizen mixed with coke.  She called it a diesel.
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: johnf on June 20, 2011, 08:19:40 PM
Rogue used to have a menu in their pubs that had like 20 listed. "Snickers" was chocolate stout and hazelnut brown ale (heard this go by different names but whatever it is, give it to people who claim to not like beer, 50/50). Crusty Dead Guy was another one (pretty obvious what that is).

Lindemann's Framboise and Young's Double Chocolate Stout seems to be a fixture at all of the 100 tap type places which always have both of these beers and probably a lot of female non-beer drinking patrons (not that a male beer drinking patron would not enjoy it).

I feel like one of the places I went in Tokyo did a few, can't remember where. Tokyo beer culture is largely derivative of US beer culture, so not surprising.

Black Folie is legendary. I believe equal parts of La Folie and Redstone Blackberry Mead.
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: MDixon on June 20, 2011, 08:21:53 PM
So not really a blend, but one of my favorites is to get a pint of "The Love" hefeweizen by Starr Hill and a pint of "Choklat" Imperial stout by Southern Tier. Something about that Hefe and that Stout and having a sip of one and a sip of the other back and forth is just excellent. Reminds me to do that again on Monday when I hit the bar where both are routinely on tap ;)
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: morticaixavier on June 20, 2011, 08:25:00 PM
I was at sudwerk in Davis CA yesterday and they often have blends on tap. I have a 'mombo ricky ricardo' which was stout and IPA little more than half IPA. Also a MaiPA which as expected was 50/50 mai bock and IPA.
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: tschmidlin on June 20, 2011, 08:25:08 PM
McMenamins pubs do a blend called Rubinator.  Part Ruby (raspberry wheat) and part Terminator stout.  You can dictate the proportions.
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: afacini on June 20, 2011, 08:39:49 PM
Harpoon blended their Leviathan DIPA with their UFO White to make something they called a "Navy SEAL" -- You won't notice a thing at night, but in the morning, you'll know it was there.

Also they made their own guinness/strongbow-type blend with Munich Dark and the Cider.

Their brewery visits are always fun.

Edit - of more relevance to your question, these were just on-the-spot for the brewery visitors. Nothing production-wise.
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: Will's Swill on June 21, 2011, 12:35:48 AM
Dogfish Head blends at their taprooms as well.  Usually they have a couple on tap.  75 Minute comes to mind (obviously a blend of 60 and 90 Minute), but they do others as well.
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: The Professor on June 21, 2011, 01:56:32 AM
I used to  request blends frequently at my 'local'.   
One of my favorite blends that I enjoyed quite frequently was a 50/50 mix of Fuller's ESB (for it's richness) and SNPA (for it's beautiful, fresh hop character).  Pretty tasty stuff and these two brews really complimented each other very nicely indeed.   Unfortunately, they haven't had either beer on their taps for quite some time.

At other times, when they  were pouring seasonals like Bigfoot or Old Foghorn (two beautiful beers on their own and definitely favorites of mine) I would sometimes have them shoot a couple ounces of one or the other into a pint of pale ale to liven it up a bit.

At home, since I always have some well aged Burton/Old Ale around, I'll occasionally shoot some into a younger beer to round it out a bit.
Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: beer_crafter on June 21, 2011, 06:16:43 PM
Victory had some great ones, with great names.... what were they?
One was Hopizontal... a mix of Hop Wallop and Old Horizontal.

Hey, look what I found:

Title: Re: Blending beer
Post by: euge on June 21, 2011, 06:35:26 PM
Gordon got me fascinated with it when I wanted to brew Newcastle.

I've experimented with blending quite a bit to get an idea of how it behaves. I like using a very rich beer in small quantities to accentuate a lesser one. Started with just an ounce of barleywine in a pint of pale ale that was missing something. The result was added complexity, a pleasurable mellowing and a superior beer. To this point my conclusion is young-old beer blends are very effective in which the small amount of old-ale/strong ale has a tremendous ability to make young beer ready for the glass.

These have all been on the fly blends in varying combinations of homebrew and even commercial beers. The idea is to understand enough about blending to apply it to entire batches.