Author Topic: Beers for the non-craft drinker  (Read 3044 times)

Offline drjones

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • So much to beer, so little time to brew it all...
    • View Profile
Beers for the non-craft drinker
« on: May 14, 2013, 09:51:53 AM »
The question we all dread - "Do you have something light?"  So, what to do for your non-craft beer buddies?  I continue to be surprised that such folks are happy to drink what I consider a rather flavorless pseudo Berliner Weisse I made a while back.  This very light (ca. 3.5%ABV) ale was made with 8% acidulated malt, a 2-row base, a dash of cara-pils and US-05 dry yeast.  I find it pretty close to water, but these American light lager drinkers seem to enjoy it.  What are your own experiences appealing to their curious palates?
- Brian
------------------------------------------
Fermenting: dry stout, 60 schilling, 70 schilling
Bottled: west-coast IPA, dry mead, cider, Cascadian Dark Ale, wild-hopped blonde

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5688
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 09:53:27 AM »
Kolsch, Amber ales, Ordinary Bitter, Steam beers

or really mix it up and serve a big chewy barley wine mixed half and half with soda water.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline erockrph

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2415
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • Critical Tastings
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 11:14:47 AM »
For my summer BBQ last year I brewed 5 gallons of a light wheat beer for the light beer crowd. They drank all my IPA instead and I was left with 2 cases of beer I didn't want. This year I'm saying "screw it, you can drink what I have". I guess I'm lucky that most of my family and friends like good beer. I might get a 12-rack of Harpoon Summer Ale in addition just in case, but I don't mind getting stuck with that.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline leejoreilly

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 72
  • Washington, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 11:26:41 AM »
I always keep a version for my Pale Ale on tap #1. It's got an ABV of about 5% or so, an SRM of 10, and maybe 40 IBUs. It's a good tasty beer, it's my wife's favorite (very important point - "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"), and it's not too threatening for the MBC crowd. I think the term "pale" incites some confidence that I'm not going to challenge their palates too much. It's so well received that I find I have to brew it about every third or fourth brew session so I don't run out. To keep my interest, I'll play around with the hops types and mix, but the basic recipe stays pretty much the same aside from that.

Online jeffy

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2445
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 11:44:56 AM »
I make 10 gallons of Belgian Witbier every year and put poblano peppers on half.  Both of these are very popular with friends who wouldn't ordinarily drink IPA's.  I find the pepper beer a great lawn mower beer, flavorful and refreshing.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline drjones

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • So much to beer, so little time to brew it all...
    • View Profile
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 12:03:42 PM »
Jeff, how do you usually add the Poblanos?  Fresh or dried, whole or ground, into the boil or secondary?  Sounds interesting!
- Brian
------------------------------------------
Fermenting: dry stout, 60 schilling, 70 schilling
Bottled: west-coast IPA, dry mead, cider, Cascadian Dark Ale, wild-hopped blonde

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2241
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 12:09:48 PM »
For my summer BBQ last year I brewed 5 gallons of a light wheat beer for the light beer crowd. They drank all my IPA instead and I was left with 2 cases of beer I didn't want. This year I'm saying "screw it, you can drink what I have". I guess I'm lucky that most of my family and friends like good beer. I might get a 12-rack of Harpoon Summer Ale in addition just in case, but I don't mind getting stuck with that.
I totally agree.  I brew what I want now for parties and tell everyone to bring whatever beer they like in case they don't want the style(s) I have on tap. If they like mine (and usually do) then they're welcome to all they want. Everybody's happy.
Jon H.

Offline gsandel

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
  • www.onbeer.blogspot.com
    • View Profile
    • On Beer
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 12:13:43 PM »
I hate to waste beer on the BMC crowd.  Helles, Maibock, Am Wheat, Blonde, Kolsch are all good choices, though.
You wouldn't believe the things I've seen...

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 12:17:06 PM »
My neighbor used to be a hardcore Bud lite drinker, but he loves my Berliner Weisse. Sometimes, people surprise you.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2241
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 12:23:32 PM »
I'm lucky to have friends that are pretty beer savvy, with a few exceptions. And a couple of the BMC drinkers have slowly converted to craft along the way.
Jon H.

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 646
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 02:10:36 PM »
I have a lot of friends who simultaneously don't actually like flavorful beer very much and know enough about beer geekery to turn down ambers, blonds, bitters, wits, and wheat beers. They typically drink tecate or PBR or really any BMC-like beer that doesn't explicitly say "Bud," "Miller," or "Coors" on the label. Yes, the bay area really is that pretentious.

I find that Altbier, Oktoberfest, "Red Ale" (which is just what I call Amber Ale for them), and lighter-bodied and less hoppy American Pale Ales are popular with them.

Sometimes older people (40+) and non-beer-drinkers will dislike hop bitterness, but not know what that means, and assume that "light" in color means "light" in bitterness. On occasion, I can get them to try my porter, which is awesome and balanced and not particularly roasty. They usually love it and say "did you put chocolate/coffee in this?" and  "it doesn't taste like dark beer."

That said, the majority of the people I know who taste my beer are pretty sophisticated beer-drinkers and tend to prefer my IPAs, Black IPAs, Porters, and Trappist Styles. It is fairly rare for anyone to find my Kölsch, Altbier, Bitter, or Amber Ale offensive, as well.

Online jeffy

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2445
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 02:16:09 PM »
Jeff, how do you usually add the Poblanos?  Fresh or dried, whole or ground, into the boil or secondary?  Sounds interesting!
I roast the skin off fresh peppers with a burner, cut them up, seed them, cook them at 200 for 10 minutes to kill anything, and add them either to the secondary or to the keg.  2 or 3 per 5 gallons is plenty for flavor and aroma.  I add a half a habanero for heat.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 10:56:51 PM »
"Do you have something light?"
No. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tomsawyer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1682
    • View Profile
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2013, 06:24:13 AM »
This spring I made a couple of decent American lagers that are being well received by non-hop-minded individuals.  They still have a nice malt flavor to them and barely enough hops to back that up.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline gmac

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2024
  • London, Ontario
    • View Profile
Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2013, 07:05:12 AM »

older people (40+)

HEY!!!!  40+ isn't "older"!

Kolsch for my BMC friends.