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  1. #1
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    Is there anything that isn't IPA or a gimmick out there?

    I'm a Brit now living in the USA and I want to buy beer that is beer. The American version(s) of IPA are way over-hopped compared to the original IPAs and just too bitter for me to enjoy them. Almost everything else I find has some food product or vegetable added to it for no good reason. Other than that, I have the lagers that are leaving me with no taste and wind.
    The stock 'bitter' that the Brits drink as a standard doesn't seem to have made it over here in brewing terms. Or has it? I don't want pumpkin or bourbon casks or ginger or coffee or chili or 9%. Give me 4% with flavour. Is there anything out there?

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    Lots of Amber beers on the market right now, especially with the fall seasonals being released. You might try one of those.

    I kind of understand where you're coming from. I love a solid American IPA, but I think there's a trend now where a lot of breweries just make an IPA as hoppy as possible while completely ignoring the malt characteristics to balance out the bitter.

    We are fortunate enough to have a brewery in our town (St. Boniface Brewing) that makes a fantastic bitter and a fantastic ESB. They also happen to make a great IPA that isn't overkilled too.

  3. #3
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    Where do you live, TooTall? Makes a difference...

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    I'm in Richmond VA with a swathe of local breweries - all doing 'quirky' and 'flavorful' crap. A couple of them are doing a 'session beer' at about 4%, but only once a year!

  6. #6
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    People want flavor in their beer but they complain when ingredients are added for more complex flavoring. Shit doesn't make any sense whatsoever....


  7. #7
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    Lots of craft brewers make tasty, low ABV Bitters.

    Come to Bend and try Deschutes Bachelor Bitter. You'll be a convert!

    Your problem is that you're in Richmond, Va. You need to be in a real craft beer state!

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    I'd say, Goose Island Honkers Ale. Pretty good for what sounds like your looking for.

    -jc

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Stokes View Post
    People want flavor in their beer but they complain when ingredients are added for more complex flavoring. Shit doesn't make any sense whatsoever....

    I guess I'm just used to brewers who can make something with depth, taste and character without raiding the pantry for the cake ingredients. Putting chili and other random shit in beer doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

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    Having 2000 breweries all making bitters doesn't make any sense either. The beauty of the new beer scene is that you can find something that will match almost any taste. There are quite a few American Pale Ales, English style pale ales, English style bitters, browns, ambers, stock ales, steam beers, etc that should suit you.

  11. #11
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    Is there anything that isn't IPA or a gimmick out there?

    I find New Belgium Shift has a decent amount of flavor for it being 5%. My only beef with it is Only comes in cans.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kopish View Post
    Having 2000 breweries all making bitters doesn't make any sense either.
    Yet every single brewery does an over-hopped IPA. How's that work then?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    Yet every single brewery does an over-hopped IPA. How's that work then?
    It works because the American market loves hoppy American IPAs. The good thing about the American beer market is you really can find whatever you want. Try American Pale Ales until you find one with the right flavor and IBUs for you, they are out there everywhere in every taste preference imaginable. Litte doubt that American micros are now the best in the world by a large margin, and so diverse that you find whatever excellent beer style you want. Yes, strong and flavorful IPAs are in abundance, because the market for them is large and growing in the US. That doesn't mean you have to like them, go drink something else, there are thousands of options.

  14. #14
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    Belgian duble, triple and quads, imperial stouts, oak aged imperial stouts, oak aged belgian ales, belgian dark ales, belgian strong ales.

    That's all you need to know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haymarket View Post
    That doesn't mean you have to like them, go drink something else, there are thousands of options.
    This is my point. I am having trouble finding anything that isn't IPA or a gimmick. I am looking and drinking and trying as I go.

    As far as all of Jayem's suggestions go - I grew up drinking imported Belgian beers as well as British beer, so I know the delights of that world. However, I don't want to drink 9% beer all the time. The pursuit of stronger flavours keeps driving the ABV up because it is easier to brew like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Belgian duble, triple and quads, imperial stouts, oak aged imperial stouts, oak aged belgian ales, belgian dark ales, belgian strong ales.

    That's all you need to know.
    Lest we forget the Saison!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    I guess I'm just used to brewers who can make something with depth, taste and character without raiding the pantry for the cake ingredients...
    Amen. I enjoy a big IPA, but I had a Mammoth 395 IPA on my Sierra Cascades tour this summer, and the sage and juniper berries just roached it. Ditto, BTW for Hangar 24's double IPA, cloyingly sweetened with "local orange blossom honey."

    Maybe the problem isn't so much the experimentation as much as some "divergent" palates among some craft brewers. Mikkeller is plenty experimental, I haven't tasted a single one of their beers that's out of whack.

  18. #18
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    There are plenty of English-style bitters out there, but you might have to find a beer store with a huge selection to find them.

  19. #19
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    i don't understand you Brits, why would you want a beer with lower alcohol, its less cost effective..

    There is a place in Denver that just brews English style beers, to me they all lack flavor and you spend a bunch of $$ catching a buzz because they are so low alcohol..
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    I'm a Brit now living in the USA and I want to buy beer that is beer. The American version(s) of IPA are way over-hopped compared to the original IPAs and just too bitter for me to enjoy them. Almost everything else I find has some food product or vegetable added to it for no good reason. Other than that, I have the lagers that are leaving me with no taste and wind.
    The stock 'bitter' that the Brits drink as a standard doesn't seem to have made it over here in brewing terms. Or has it? I don't want pumpkin or bourbon casks or ginger or coffee or chili or 9%. Give me 4% with flavour. Is there anything out there?
    What was your go to English made Beer? I know here on the West Coast many bottle shops have a great Selection of imported British beers.

    You might be able to find what you are looking for at your local bottle shop.
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    Is there anything that isn't IPA or a gimmick out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    i don't understand you Brits, why would you want a beer with lower alcohol, its less cost effective..

    There is a place in Denver that just brews English style beers, to me they all lack flavor and you spend a bunch of $$ catching a buzz because they are so low alcohol..
    Nothing better than some high abv brew's to end a ride.

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    Is there anything that isn't IPA or a gimmick out there?

    What are the names of the beers you used to drink? So far all we know is bitter Brit beer. Maybe if we can know what you were drinking we could help you find something here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    i don't understand you Brits, why would you want a beer with lower alcohol, its less cost effective..
    I don't drink to get drunk. I left that behind aged 17.

    I am trying not to just buy imported beers. I want to support local brewers here and drink local beers. My UK beers were Tetley Bitter, Greene King IPA, Theakstons Bitter, Badger Golden Champion, Bath Ales Gem to name a few. I was lucky enough to have lived in the South West for 4 years and developed a taste for real cider and the great variations fermenting apple juice can bring.

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    LOL that's why my boss drinks budlight aka piss water. Likes to drink all day and not get too f'd up. Silly rabbit.

    You should try Lagunitas Imperial Stout

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    I am trying not to just buy imported beers. I want to support local brewers here and drink local beers.
    Good on you for wanting to drink local, and that's why I asked where you lived. I can tell you that if you were here in Seattle, you'd have no problem at all finding the type of beer you're missing. There are at least three breweries I can think of locally that specialize in traditional English-style ales, and a lot of pubs have beer engines around here. (Lots of cider, too.) Hopefully, some VA and/or mid-Atlantic peeps can chime in and point you towards something local.

    That being said, dude...you may just have to adapt a tiny, tiny bit. Nothing is going to taste exactly the same as your olde regular -- that's the beauty of local craft beer. Not saying you have to learn to love every crazy uber-IBU high-grav brew out there; but I'm getting the sense that your nostalgia is going to keep you from trying something new that you might like...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    I'm getting the sense that your nostalgia is going to keep you from trying something new that you might like...
    Not at all. I am trying the beers but getting to the point where I don't want to buy 6 bottles because I'll have to drink it whether I like it or not.
    Ales - Buy Ale Beer Online | Total Wine & More is my local speciality store - which is no bad thing. Just trying to dodge the IPAs and bloody pumpkin and spiced beer displays!

  27. #27
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    Odell 90 Shilling. You're welcome!
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    Not at all. I am trying the beers but getting to the point where I don't want to buy 6 bottles because I'll have to drink it whether I like it or not.
    Ales - Buy Ale Beer Online | Total Wine & More is my local speciality store - which is no bad thing. Just trying to dodge the IPAs and bloody pumpkin and spiced beer displays!
    I think Total wine will let you mix n match a six pack. Or at the very least sell single bottles.

    I am not sure what all the styles and tasting notes are on the local brews on that side of the country, you might want to pull up Beer Advocate or Rate Beer when in the store and you are curious about a beer. I do that from time to time to get some basic tasting notes and overall score.
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  29. #29
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    Make A Party

    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    I don't want to buy 6 bottles because I'll have to drink it whether I like it or not.
    The crosses we must bear, eh...

    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    Ales - Buy Ale Beer Online | Total Wine & More is my local speciality store - which is no bad thing. Just trying to dodge the IPAs and bloody pumpkin and spiced beer displays!
    No, I definitely hear what you're saying. There's been a lot of talk on this forum about the dominance of high-gravity styles and other brewing gimmicks. And like any trend, there's a bunch of knuckleheads jumping on the craft bandwagon who know way more about marketing than brewing.

    But, the craft beer culture here in the PNW and other beer towns like Portland, SD, Denver, etc. is a lot more nuanced. Sure, there's a lot of "West Coast IPA" and "Bourbon-barrel-aged Imperial Stouts" around; but there's a huge range of styles represented (including a resurgence of lower-grav "session" beers).

    There are more than 160 breweries in Washington State, and more than 10 within walking distance of my house in Seattle. Are they all good? Will they all be around in ten years? Of course not, but with the depth of talent, experience and interest in the pro and semi-pro brewer community, along with the growing demand for quality local beer I'm not worried about the future of the industry. Beer is ingrained in the culture.

    So my best advice to you is to make a party! Foster that beer-culture in Richmond if it's not there yet. Hook into the local beer-geek community, then find a brewer near you and convince them to make what you want. Or start home-brewing and go pro!

  30. #30
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    try some Victory Prima Pils out of PA.
    Yards out of Philly has some english style IPAs
    Founders All Day IPA is low ABV with great hop aroma but not over the top flavor.

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    Try Beer Advocate.com, all you need to know.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    I guess I'm just used to brewers who can make something with depth, taste and character without raiding the pantry for the cake ingredients. Putting chili and other random shit in beer doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
    Are you speaking of English breweries? LOL. English can't make beer for shit. Not everyone lives by some 500 year old purity law, it's mindless tradition like that that has caused American craft breweries to blow right by the Euro breweries in terms of quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _Stokes View Post
    Are you speaking of English breweries? LOL. English can't make beer for shit. Not everyone lives by some 500 year old purity law, it's mindless tradition like that that has caused American craft breweries to blow right by the Euro breweries in terms of quality.
    Do you talk this much crap all the time or am I a lucky boy? You evidently know nothing of beers from the rest of the world. I take it you haven't travelled much. If you had, you might know that British beer is mostly served on draft and any cask beer doesn't travel well. This would mean that bottled British (not English) beer is not a true reflection of what is available or how it tastes.You'd also know that purity laws are German and don't apply anywhere else, but why let facts get in the way of a cheap jibe?
    If you have any other pearls of wisdom, please share. Just look them up first would you? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _Stokes View Post
    Are you speaking of English breweries? LOL. English can't make beer for shit. Not everyone lives by some 500 year old purity law, it's mindless tradition like that that has caused American craft breweries to blow right by the Euro breweries in terms of quality.
    One good rule to follow before replying to a post would be to know what you are talking about. I'm sorry, but your comment just screams stupid American.
    Last edited by vxpro; 09-12-2013 at 06:32 PM.

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    That just screams Dumb ass euro

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    Do you talk this much crap all the time or am I a lucky boy? You evidently know nothing of beers from the rest of the world. I take it you haven't travelled much. If you had, you might know that British beer is mostly served on draft and any cask beer doesn't travel well. This would mean that bottled British (not English) beer is not a true reflection of what is available or how it tastes.You'd also know that purity laws are German and don't apply anywhere else, but why let facts get in the way of a cheap jibe?
    If you have any other pearls of wisdom, please share. Just look them up first would you? Thanks.
    I've been around the world. Twice. I've had near misses with STD's you've never heard about in the dirtiest brothels of Thailand. I've drank Ouzo on the porches of complete strangers in Greece, I've drank Habu Sake on the shores of Okinawa in a bottle that housed a real Habu snake. Don't try to tell me about culture or about alcohol. I've been thrown out of or puked in bars on both sides of the equator. English beer is mediocre at best, somewhere between French and Italian. Don't start threads talking shit on American styles of beer when you refuse to accept the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by vxpro View Post
    I good rule to follow before replying to a post would be to know what you are talking about. I'm sorry, but your comment just screams stupid American.

    I know precisely what I'm talking about. Europeans have bashed American beers for as long as I can remember, now that we have caught up with and surpassed the quality of beer from other countries it's hard for Europeans to accept it. The only style of beer that Americans don't do better than the parent countries of the style are Belgians and Weizens. This is a fact.

  37. #37
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    Don't get all chapped because English beer is as bland as your food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _Stokes View Post
    Europeans have bashed American beers for as long as I can remember, now that we have caught up with and surpassed the quality of beer from other countries it's hard for Europeans to accept it. The only style of beer that Americans don't do better than the parent countries of the style are Belgians and Weizens. This is a fact.
    I don't often agree with Stokes, but when I do, it's because a Limey's been trolling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _Stokes View Post
    I know precisely what I'm talking about.
    So how come you got the purity laws so utterly wrong?

    I want to like American beers. I have come on here actively seeking more information to find something that isn't 9%, isn't over-hopped IPA and doesn't have cake ingredients added. That shouldn't be too hard in your wonderful country.

    You do seem to have travelled, got drunk and come home again. Good on you. I bet you were just as charming everywhere you visited.

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    Alrighty then, let's get back to finding the OP some beers that he might actually enjoy. Here are a few suggestions...
    Bell's: Best Brown Ale - Like most everything from Bell's, it's quite good.
    Rouge: Younger's Special Bitter - Not much of a Rouge fan but this is a fine example of the style.
    Firestone Walker: DBA - Nothing exeptional but a nice everyday 5% Pale Ale.

    Cheers!

  41. #41
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    Hey now...let's everybody just chill the f*k out...

    Is there anything that isn't IPA or a gimmick out there?-hugitout.jpg

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I agree! But what I am getting tired of all the crappy hop forward/backward IPA's out there, I love a nice well balanced one. It's easy to make a good hoppy IPA, it's not easy to make a great one. So I can sympathize with TooTallUK.

    You always miss the area, food, beer, trails you grow up experiencing. Sometimes change happens fast in some area's, sometimes it takes a little longer. I can tell you if I grew up in Europe...especially Germany then I'd really be freaked out by our beer. Belgian candy sugar, fruit, espresso, spices, etc. ingredients are huge violations and can not even called "beer" over there!
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  43. #43
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    Is there anything that isn't IPA or a gimmick out there?

    Come on out to Denver for a trip. Some good rides and plenty of good beer options (and not all gimmicky).

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    St. George's Brewing in Hampton
    Williamsburg Alewerks
    you can get these at Total Wine
    also visit The Blue Goat in Richmond

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    So how come you got the purity laws so utterly wrong?

    I want to like American beers. I have come on here actively seeking more information to find something that isn't 9%, isn't over-hopped IPA and doesn't have cake ingredients added. That shouldn't be too hard in your wonderful country.

    You do seem to have travelled, got drunk and come home again. Good on you. I bet you were just as charming everywhere you visited.
    Why? Because It was relevant, you were complaining of the additives to beer, So I cited the Purity law being as it only allows hops, grain, yeast, and water. Figured it was something you support. And FTR, IPA's have always been hop-forward. It's pretty interesting that I would have to say this to a Brit. Don't like a strong presence of Hops? Grab a traditional pale. Still to hoppy? Well.... There's always cider.

    And yes, I was charming, broke several hearts on my journeys.

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    New Castle? lol

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    I just fail to see how you are having trouble finding beers that aren't hoppy or with cake ingredients. Where do you live?

    Here in Denver, I have two liquor stores within walking distance from my house that have a HUGE selection of many kinds of beer, probably only 20% fall into the category you loathe.

    I can also walk or ride a bike to at least a dozen breweries in 15 minutes and countless tap houses..

    Again, do you live in a tiny town or something? Beer is easy to find...
    BBZ

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    Parallel universe on Beeradvocate:

    American Craft Beer Driving Me Back To Imports... | BeerAdvocate Community

    Thanks for the suggestions made so far. I will be searching them out.

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    yes and no..

    There are great American Craft Beers, there are not so great ones and bad ones, just like there are great English beers and bad ones right?

    Trying to find something new and tasty can be overwhelming, but with the internet and beer sites, why risk it, look them up before you buy them.

    I love all beer minus a few styles. I do like hoppy beers but agree there are too many poor ones, but that being said, because everyone makes one there are bound to be some really good ones too.

    I just had two newer ones in the last couple weeks that were pretty good. Alesmith IPA from San Diego (just go to Denver) and 21st amendment IPA from San Fran I think, but you can't get it in Denver.
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    Somebody told me a few days ago that IPA was originally made to export to India and that they added lots of hops to keep it from spoiling. Probably fermented it dry for the highest alcohol as well for the same reason. And light malt for the hot climate.

    Over time I can see how the domestic Brit version became less hoppy and the made in India as well. But the original IPA was supposedly as hoppy as practical.

    So I was told. May be true; may be just a good story.

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    The story is partly true. IPA was a pale ale that was a little more hopped and for the export market to India. The Brits had a lot of troops out there in the 19th Century and the East India Trading Company shipped most of their vittals. British IPA tends to only be about 4% so the extra alcohol isn't really true.

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    I'm on the opposite end of the country from you, near San Francisco, so I'm not positive as to what you have available. Here's my suggestions. I would love to know what you think of them if you get a chance to try any of them:

    Bitter American by 21st Ammendment - Relatively low alcohol (4ish%) and modeled after an English bitter with a bit of American new world hops thrown in. I love keeping a six pack of this around in the summer time because I can enjoy one in the afternoon and not need a nap before dinner.

    Anchor Steam by Anchor Brewing - A unique beer that's bit higher in alcohol but nothing crazy. To me, this is a fantastic beer because it goes great with food and it can appeal to folks used to drinking either Budweiser or HopMonsterish bug juice.

    Liberty Ale by Anchor Brewing - Hoppier than Anchor Steam, but subtle and nice.

    Red Tail Ale by Mendocino Brewing Company - this is a beer that turned me from a Budweiser swilling guy to a craft beer lover a little over 20 years ago. A well balanced beer that is not to be missed based on your stated preferences.

    Blue Heron Pale Ale by Mendocino Brewing Company - not sure if you will like this one or not, but it is a slightly less malty version of the Red Tail.

    Red Hook ESB - It's been many years since I've had this beer, but my recollection of it sounds like what you are going for.

    I like British beer, fwiw, and very much enjoy cask ale when I can find it. Cheers and enjoy your stay.

  53. #53
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    TooTall, I haven't read the whole thread but I'm sorry for some of the treatment you've gotten here. Please understand that our IPA scene has turned into a whole thing unto itself. It was influenced, obviously by the english IPAs but then by pacific northwest hops and the birth of the west coast IPA "style". If I'm wrong someone can tell me. Anyway, a lot of our IPAs are going for citrusy and floral now. You may wind up liking them. When in Rome and all that. Anyway, you should be able to find ESBs and regular pale ales where you are. Do you have decent info yet or do you still need recommendations?

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    i don't understand you Brits, why would you want a beer with lower alcohol, its less cost effective..
    I assume you're joking here.... but, please, be careful. This kind of comment is what leads to alcoholism.

    I agree with the original poster... there are a LOT of hoppy American beers out there, and I like more balanced beers (which a lot of English beers fit). Best option is to go find a new beer store with a better selection. There are lots of craft beers out there in any style; but Hops have been the "in" thing for the last 5-10 years or so, so they do tend to dominate.

  55. #55
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    Check out Brass Cannon in Toano, and Hardywood Park in Richmond.
    Both have some more traditional offerings; Brown Ales, Porters, Bitters, and Cream Ales.
    Brass Cannon: Caliber, Barrage, and Muzzle Flash
    Hardywood: SB 604, and Cream Ale

    While I don't condone the ignorant comments made against English beers, a statement blanketing all American beers as being overly hopped or gimmicky isn't much better.

    I wonder if you give as much flack to the thriving craft beer scene in England, whom is taking great cues from American beer styles?

    Either way...look around a bit, it's out there, we have beers for all palates.

    Cheers!
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFryauff View Post
    Hardywood Park in Richmond.
    Both have some more traditional offerings; Brown Ales, Porters, Bitters, and Cream Ales.
    Hardywood: SB 604, and Cream Ale

    While I don't condone the ignorant comments made against English beers, a statement blanketing all American beers as being overly hopped or gimmicky isn't much better.


    Either way...look around a bit, it's out there, we have beers for all palates.

    Cheers!
    Hardywood are a pretty bad offender for the gimmick brews:

    Our Beers | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

    You named the only 2 from 17 that are 'regular' brews, and the SB 604 is new this year (well, month). They are doing a great trade and more power to them. I spoke to their brewers and they only plan on doing one 'session beer' a year in the future.

    My sweeping statement stating that IPA or gimmick was the rule here still stands. Even looking at the American ales in Total Wine (my local big beer specialist) looks like this: Buy Wine, Liquor & Beer Online | Total Wine & More
    India Pale Ale (IPA) (177)
    Belgian-Style Ale (90)
    Pale Ale (68)
    Stout (54)
    Wheat Ale (50)
    Strong Ale and Barley Wine (45)
    Copper, Amber and Red Ale (43)
    Brown Ale (27)
    Porter (25)
    Blonde and Golden Ale (22)

    The vast majority are IPA. I know that 'what you see depends on where you are standing' but I am trying to see as far as I can from here. The numbers are there to see, so I don't understand those telling me otherwise so far.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    I know that 'what you see depends on where you are standing' but I am trying to see as far as I can from here.
    Ummm...no, you're really not.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    The numbers are there to see, so I don't understand those telling me otherwise so far.
    And you're obviously not looking for any information you don't think you already know, so I'm done. Best of luck to you!

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    Ummm...no, you're really not.

    And you're obviously not looking for any information you don't think you already know, so I'm done. Best of luck to you!
    So I visit the breweries in my city and speak to the brewers to see what they do. So I go to by far the biggest range of beers in at least 3 counties and post up what they sell so you can see it. Can you tell me how else I can seek out beer if it isn't to go to breweries and the biggest retailer I can find? Please - I am open to how you would seek out more beer to actually buy beyond what I am doing?

  59. #59
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    Not too sure what you expect. You are looking for a Brit beer but not in Britain? I don't go to Mexico looking for Chicago deep dish pizza cause I know I won't find it, but I would look for the best tacos! Anyways, it's a bummer you cant find what you are looking for, I'm sure you'll find something you like if you keep trying.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFryauff View Post
    While I don't condone the ignorant comments made against English beers, a statement blanketing all American beers as being overly hopped or gimmicky isn't much better.

    I wonder if you give as much flack to the thriving craft beer scene in England, whom is taking great cues from American beer styles?
    Let me add a little bit of detail, then... I certainly didn't blanket all American beers as being overly hoppy; just said that there are a lot of "hoppy American beers." If you take a quick look at the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style guidelines, you will find that just about all "American"-style Ales are known for their hoppiness. About the only exceptions to this are the 3 "American Lager" styles (1A, 1B, 1C, 4C). Look elsewhere for "American" style beers and you will find hop flavor and/or bitterness as the distinguishing feature between the "American" version of the style and the "Classic" one (including Americanized Vienna Lager, and American Pilsener, neither one very hoppy beers!).

    Which is not to say that "American-made" beer is by any means the same. There are a huge number of american-made beers that are far from hoppy. But they wouldn't be categorized as "American-style" beers. There is a difference.

    When you add in the fact that IPA is the most popular craft-beer style in the US right now, and the American IPA is known for its high hop character, I don't feel I'm doing American beer any disservice by saying that much of it is hoppy.

    Cheers. And, whatever you enjoy, drink it.

  61. #61
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    Here you Brits go: English Bitter - BeerAdvocate

    There's over 1250 beers on that list. I don't know what percentage of them are American, but there's got to be at least 400. Maybe you could find one of them at your local beer store. If you can't find something in America you like to drink, that's a you problem.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    ...Can you tell me how else I can seek out beer if it isn't to go to breweries and the biggest retailer I can find? Please - I am open to how you would seek out more beer to actually buy beyond what I am doing?
    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    Pale Ale (68)
    Copper, Amber and Red Ale (43)

    The vast majority are IPA.
    The vast majority are IPA, but it looks like there are no fewer than 111 beers which may be more to your liking. The site you linked will not load for me, so I can't make specific recommendations, but I think you should quit your belly achin' because a majority of beers are hop bombs.

    Here's an event local to you that may be of interest:
    http://www.totalwine.com/eng/event/18917

  63. #63
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    Re: Is there anything that isn't IPA or a gimmick out there?

    Tried this 1886 blanc beer at the bar yesterday, blue bottle easy to drink And wasn't an ipa

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Tapatalk 2

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandy View Post
    Let me add a little bit of detail, then... I certainly didn't blanket all American beers as being overly hoppy; just said that there are a lot of "hoppy American beers."
    I think our lines got crossed somewhere...my comment was in response to TooTallUK's original post, not yours.

    I completely agree with your assessment, American beer styles are hoppy, no doubt. That said, plenty of other styles being produced right now as well, with a seemingly gradual uptick in session beers. The majority, no...in the future, no...but they are out there.
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    Hardywood are a pretty bad offender for the gimmick brews:

    Our Beers | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

    You named the only 2 from 17 that are 'regular' brews, and the SB 604 is new this year (well, month). They are doing a great trade and more power to them. I spoke to their brewers and they only plan on doing one 'session beer' a year in the future.

    My sweeping statement stating that IPA or gimmick was the rule here still stands. Even looking at the American ales in Total Wine (my local big beer specialist) looks like this:
    <stuff>
    The vast majority are IPA. I know that 'what you see depends on where you are standing' but I am trying to see as far as I can from here. The numbers are there to see, so I don't understand those telling me otherwise so far.
    Not sure how to reiterate what's been said here numerous times already...
    You're in America, these are the preferred styles to drink and brew, it probably won't change that much.

    If you were in Japan, would you expect something different?

    You're also throwing this word "gimmicky" around, as if the US is the only "offender" of flavoring beers. Let me please direct you to Young's Double Chocolate/Christmas Pudding, Well's Banana Bread, Samuel Smith Strawberry, Downton Pumpkin/ElderQuad/Chocolate-Orange...I could go on, and don't even get me started on the Italians!
    This is not an "American" thing to do, it's a progression of brewing thing to do, which you're obviously not on board with...and that is fine, personal tastes vary all over the world. Let's just not let the facts get away from us here though

    If you haven't tried what's been suggested, do so, you may actually like some of them. Don't expect to find an all English brewery in Richmond though, you should be able to find plenty of good imports from the UK though.

    Hell...brew your own, and brew what you like! That's what I do

    Cheers.
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  66. #66
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    Gimmicky = innovation. People like gimmicky because they like innovation. Adjunct-laden beers can be spectacular, and sweeping statements (made on both sides of the aisle in this thread) are misguided.

    There are thousands upon thousands of different types of beer available in most states. You simply need to keep looking until you find something you like. Hell, after you try a few hundred of them your preferences may change completely.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    India Pale Ale (IPA) (177)
    Belgian-Style Ale (90)
    Pale Ale (68)
    Stout (54)
    Wheat Ale (50)
    Strong Ale and Barley Wine (45)
    Copper, Amber and Red Ale (43)
    Brown Ale (27)
    Porter (25)
    Blonde and Golden Ale (22)

    The vast majority are IPA. I know that 'what you see depends on where you are standing' but I am trying to see as far as I can from here. The numbers are there to see, so I don't understand those telling me otherwise so far.
    Bottom line is IPA's sell in USA. I'm a Belgian style fan and nice to see the healthy number of Belgian beers.
    Front Range Forum Moderator

  68. #68
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    TooTall,

    Welcome to RVA sorry to hear about the beer experience. The local breweries seem to be a hit or miss a lot of times here in Richmond.
    One thing I do enjoy is The Legends Oktoberfest. It is a great fall beer that is not to high in alcohol(it sits around 5%).

    My favorite brewery in Va is Blue Mountain brewery the Full Nelson is good, however from what I have read you may not enjoy it.

  69. #69
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    The closest good beer to an english ipa is an esb here. Vancouver canada that is. Our ipa's are quite bitter, being influenced by pacific northwest brews. I do like the bitterness but it did take some adaptation on my part. My benchmark was greene king ipa as im from close to where it's brewed. Various food can really increase the bitterness too for me.
    As other's have said the session ales are easier drinking too.

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