Author Topic: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year  (Read 4218 times)

Offline dbeechum

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So let's reflect on the year to be remembered (and brag just a bit).

What was the most interesting / creative / experimental beer you did this year

What was the beer you were happiest with / proud of / sucked back so fast it vaporized?

For me - I think the most interesting ones I did were the series of "Fantome" inspired beers that I talked about over here: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=111.0

The best beer that I made in terms of kicking my ass, taking names and flashing out of existence about as fast as I've ever seen was a beer I brewed with my cohort Jonny Lieberman - The Audacity of Hops / The Audacity of Aretha Franklin's Hat. The Hat version was fermented in steel, the Hops was in glass. They each got different dry hopping schedules. The Hat, straight out of the keg, was potent enough to slap your head into LEO and you couldn't wait to get back down to Earth to take another sip. We poured both through a set of Randalls at the Southern California Homebrewer's Festival and despite the sick, sick plethora of beer on tap, each keg was blowing foam within 3 hours

Damn that was a good beer. Slap yer mouth good.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2009, 12:38:19 PM »
Well, I’m not sure I can be quite so colorful   ;D  but I did have a few that turned out okay.  The State & County Fairs produced 19 - 1st places, 8 - 2nd places and 1 - 3rd Place.  Maybe I went a little overboard there?? 

I guess my two favorites were a Sweet Stout and a DIPA. 

The most interesting was a California Common.  Might have used a little too much Northern Brewer hops in that one.  I wanted to really get a feel for the flavor & aroma. Definitely got that…  :o
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline babalu87

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2009, 01:00:49 PM »
What was the most interesting / creative / experimental beer you did this year

What was the beer you were happiest with / proud of / sucked back so fast it vaporized?


Darkness Imperial Black Ale

Used brown malt AND roasted malts
Not just a color thing, this beer has a lot going on.

Wife said its the best beer I ever brewed.

Batch 2's keg is already getting light  >:(
Jeff

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IIPA, Stout, Hefeweizen, Hallertau Pale Ale, Bitter

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Hefeweizen,Berliner Weisse, Mead

Offline Robert

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2009, 01:46:56 PM »
What was the most interesting / creative / experimental beer you did this year

What was the beer you were happiest with / proud of / sucked back so fast it vaporized?


1)I actually made the beer in '08, but bottled my Flanders Red this year....mmmm yummy. I also did a Belgian Dark Strong with WY3789 that has brett in it. Coming along wonderfully, 1.085 to 1.003 right now, pellicle has fallen and I'm thinking of bottling early next year.

2)A tie. I made 20 gallons of a simple bitter recipe this year and drank all 20, and also killed a keg of DC's RyePA, which I did a small bittering addition, then loaded up in the last 15 minutes for the rest of the IBU's, in quick fashion. 
"In three things is a man revealed: in his wine goblet, in his purse, and in his wrath."

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2009, 02:09:40 PM »
2 stand out but for very different reasons.
My wee heavy required a new process.  I boiled to gallons of first runnings down to less than a quart of goo.  It fermented from 1.098 to 1.036 and stopped, but after 2 months in the keg it is magnificent, no sweetness but incredibly malty.
The other was my Oktoberfest Hefewiezen.  I waited until 2 weeks before the party so that it would be fresh and then realized I had no yeast for it.  My kids and I drank 5 or 6 different brands of hefeweizen from the grocery store and poured the dregs into a starter.2 days later the starter was ready, I brewed the hefe and we drank 10 gallons of it at Oktoberfest.  Everybody there said it was their favorite of the 3 beers I brewed for the party.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline sir_eldren

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2009, 04:27:50 PM »
I'm still a bit of a novice when it comes to homebrewing, but as is my normal way in life, I jump into new hobbies head first and ask questions later.  I made two versions of a lime ale that were amazing.  The first was about 5.1% ABV and had a very "fresh" lime flavor to it, but lacked a good body to support it.  Luckily, I was the only person I know who was disappointed in it, but it was a good beer.  The second version added a little more caramel malts to add more body.  I also started experimenting with sparge times and I ended up increasing my mash efficiency from around 65% to 75%.  The second beer finished at 7.2% ABV, was popping with fresh lime and a nice, malty body that sits on your palette for a while and leaves you with a smile.

The beer I'm most proud of is a recipe that started off as a McMenamins' Nebraska Bitter clone (No McMenamin's beers where I live!), but it ended up being a slightly darker, less bitter pale ale that was amazingly great.  About 4 months later I visited a McMenamins pub in Lincoln City, Oregon, and my wife and I were floored to taste MY beer on tap!!  I had inadvertently cloned their Hammerhead Ale!!!  My friends and I love the stuff!  While I certainly wouldn't argue that McMenamins makes the best beer in the Northwest, they do happen upon a few gems every now and then that are absolutely fantastic.

Ahh ... beer!
There once was a man from France, but he tasted a few Oregon brews and now he's from Portland.

Offline BrewingRover

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2009, 06:58:01 PM »
My most interesting was a Belgian Strong Golden-ish based on Poperings Hommelbier I've had the beer exactly once but it was so good and different, I wanted a clone. I got some good advice from a Dutch homebrewer on the NB board and ended up with a very tasty beer. I need to track down the inspiration beer again and see how I did.

My favorite  beer was an Imperial Stout, which I think is the best beer I've ever made. I used a ton of roasted malt and Wyeast's Imperial Blend, which was a Private Collection release and I think that made the beer. It's bitter and roasty, with just a hint of tartness to it. I've had a few people tell me I should enter it in a competition, but that would mean less for me ;D
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Offline bluesman

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2009, 07:48:04 PM »
Well my most interesting beer probably won't surprise many folks around here, but it's Denny's VBIP. Really different. Really good recipe!

My best beer has to be my Wringler Bock. It's funny because I really didn't expect that beer to turn out as great as it did. I actually took 2nd place in the Northeast division and went to the finals in the NHC with that beer and I only have two bottles left.  :(

 Looks like I'll need to brew another batch soon.  8)
Ron Price

Offline akr71

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2009, 08:13:04 AM »
Well, I only started brewing all-grain this past April, so each brew session has been better than the last.  I made an 80/- which was pretty tasty when it was fresh but didn't age well at all.  My weissbier was a hit too with friends and family, but the one I was happiest with was the Oktoberfest - it was my first attempt at a lager, a stress-free brew day and disappeared quite quickly with many compliments from friends and family.
Andy

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Offline barliman

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2009, 09:51:54 AM »
I didn't really get too crazy this year, so my most interesting beer was taking a 5 gallon batch of cream ale, I added some honey and boiled it down to 3 gallons making it into a barleywine (only 1.080).  I have three bottles of this left, so I was thinking of entering it into the UMMO next month.

My favorite beer this year was the Caribou Slobber kit from NB that I fermented with Denny's yeast.  It only lasted two weeks >:(, which is why it will be my first brew of 2010.
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Offline tankdeer

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2009, 10:18:55 AM »
What was the most interesting / creative / experimental beer you did this year

What was the beer you were happiest with / proud of / sucked back so fast it vaporized?


Trying to remember.... the most interesting, at least the one that most other people have showed an interest in was probably my Chocofunk. Of course it's not done yet, but it's coming along. Going off memory the numbers were about 1.055, 11 SRM, 20 IBUs, sitting on 1/2lb of organic cocoa nibs and some bugs. I also did my first round of lagers this year which was fun, especially in a swamp cooler. The vienna lager turned out amazing, and was probably one of the fastest to blow this year. Otherwise I made a really excellent American Brown, a brett infused brown session ale and a bretty saison that were all fantastic and didn't last long at all. Did well in the few comps I entered too. Entered the nationals for the second year in a row and advanced to round two - for the second year in a row. And my Berliner Weisse swept the local comps in the sour category - again.

Overall not a bad year
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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2009, 12:14:02 PM »
Most interesting would probably be my Christmas Ale that I have on tap right now, it is basically a saison noir with ginger and lime leaves (bumped up version on one of my other saison recipes but with some roasted malt and higher OG). The roasted malts play nicely with the flavors - a real winner for my tastes. A close runner up is my Belgian Tripel IPA - basically a tripel recipe (wlp550) with a blend of Amarillo, Aurora and French Strisselspalt hops.

Hard to say what the best beer was - the one I probably enjoyed brewing and drinking the most has been my house IPA with a blend of Centennial and Columbus (just brewed this again yesterday).  Runner up would be a tossup between my kolsch and my hoppy American Wheat.
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Offline akr71

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2009, 12:37:22 PM »
I forgot the first part of the question - most interesting.  Definitely my first AG.  I made a blonde ale but substituted maple sap instead of water.

I never intended for my first all grain attempt to be an original recipe, but I was given the maple sap for free and had to use is quick or it would spoil (or keep it cold).  Lucky for me, a day after I got the stuff we had a snow storm, so I buried it in a pile of snow on the deck until the end of the week.  Since it was my first attempt, I wasn't surprised that my efficiency was horrible.  I bumped the SG with a pound of maple sugar.  It ended up being a dry, crisp blonde ale - my non-beer geek buddies drank it quite readily, which in turn made them less tentative in trying my later brews.  I would definitley do it again if I can get my hands on more maple sap.
Andy

Amherst, NS - Canada

Offline redbeerman

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2009, 01:11:28 PM »
Most interesting and best beer.  Hopbursted Rye IPA.  Came out great.  Went real fast.  Scotch ale is always a hit as well.  Brewed my first AG DIPAs this year.  Many different hop combos, all good.
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Offline tfries

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Re: A Double Question - Most Interesting Beer and Best Beer of the Year
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2009, 08:24:11 PM »
Most interesting/creative was an Strong Amber Lager predominately hopped with Mt. Rainier Hops.  OG: 1.070 FG: 1.012 46IBU

Sucked back fast- Most of the beers that my wife made (she makes session beers).  The other beer sucked down fast was my Christmas Double Alt. Big malt bomb hopped with Saphir.

Another experimental beer is one that will be kegged this weekend.  It is an Amber Ale that was hopped with Northern Brewer, Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy.  Tasted a sample last night and I think that this will be a very interesting beer.
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