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Brewfest

Went to the Maine Brewer’s Guild brewfest this past Saturday. Great time, actually too many breweries- impossible to try them all. But besides trying some great beers, I decided to try a few styles that I haven’t before. Given my aversion to yeast-derived flavors (especially Belgian yeast) the results were kind of what I expected: hefeweizens (which I have tried before), and goses- nope don’t like. The Gose was one of two that I dumped after 1 sip. The other was a Sour cherry stout. So, based on a sample of one, I’d have to say Sours- nope. Gruit- didn’t dump, but wasn’t that interesting.
One the other hand, Maine now has so many breweries that it is impossible to sample them all and still be able to walk. Some very good, some great, some so-so.
Also, in my opinion, Zero Gravity out of Burlington will be the next Vermont brewery to break it big. They put out some excellent, very tasty stuff. And the Sound of Music folks (Von Trapp Family brewery) do some very nice german style lagers.
Over all a very pleasant time. And I was able to walk afterwards.:relaxed:

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Its good to hear honest report on brews. Most peeps just smile and say, oh yeah, thats good. We need more of call it like YOU taste it. Thanks Jim! Sneezles61

Finally, someone else who can’t stand phenolic yeast funk. I hear you… although I am starting to come around on Gose. I get funny looks from beer geeks because I think a Saison is darned near impossible to get down, but it’s the first thing everyone recommends to new beer drinkers.

Exactly! I stopped in to a ‘soft opening’ of a new brewery where everyone was raving about the saison. I really couldn’t tolerate it. They did have a roggenbier which was tasty, but the phenolic yeast kind of spoiled the rye tastiness for me. Oh well, I yam what I yam…:grin:

So, the yeasts I use for my homebrews: US-05, WY German ale, WY Bavarian lager, WY Denny’s 50, and I did use WY California lager once. I’ve tried many others and am focusing myself down to 3-4 that I know and like.

Thank goodness I’m not alone. The only saison I’ve been able to enjoy is NB’s Petite Saison. More of a French farmhouse brew than what is called a saison today.

This brew uses WY 3711 for the fermentation.

I will say, though, even in the “boring” world of non funky yeasts, there is a lot of variation to experiment with. I spent a year with us05, and really wasn’t pleased with it. Moving to WY1272 was a big jump for me. Now, I’m jumping off from there to fruitier ale yeasts, and the difference is substantial. Before I started brewing, I thought there were three yeast strains: Ale, Lager, and Belgian. The wide range of yeast strains is definitely the most exciting and intimidating part of homebrewing.

You know, I really like saison and some of the other styles with POF+ yeast, but I have the same issues with many many of the “Belgian-style” beers made by brewers in the States. We typically take things over the top or to the extreme, and I just don’t think it works for saison. We aren’t just going to make an IPA, but rather a complete hopbomb that’ll take your head off if you aren’t prepared. We’re going to make a Belgian pale ale, but we’re going to make those phenols smash you in the mouth so you know without a doubt that this is a Belgian-style beer and you wouldn’t mistake it for anything but. We aren’t going to make a lambic, but we’ll make something so sour that it’ll strip the enamel off your teeth, and if you don’t like it, well then you’re just a wuss.

The thing about Belgian beers (actually made in Belgium), though, is that they tend to be pretty subtle. Almost like you’d mistake it for a non-Belgian beer if you didn’t know otherwise. Saison DuPont, for example, is really nice and refreshing while young, and doesn’t taste like you’re chewing on a eucalyptus leaf and clove while you’re trying to swallow your mouthful of beer. Age them awhile, and they tend more towards the phenolic, but never to the point of what you get in some of the beers made over here.

Not to defend phenolic-style beers. If you don’t like them, you don’t like them and it’s absolutely fine. But so many breweries these days are taking it waaaaay too far over the top, and it just doesn’t work for me.

I love duponts saison…its so simple.

lny favorite is Allagash saison. Collet is nice also.

There is one Belgian-style that I’ve found that I like- Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde. Their Maudite is pretty good too.
Although I’m from Maine, I’m not fond of Allagash’s offerings.

Come to think of it…im not unfond of most styles except for scotch ales that taste like peaty scotch.

I’m one of the people that actually likes the over the top Belgian ale yeast flavor. After trying many I decided Wyeast 1388 Belgian strong ale and warmer than normal temps produce what many would call way too much phenolic taste. I like it but that’s me.

I want a belgian yeast/temp range to get me some banana/bubblegum…have tried 3787 at various temps…1214, 3288, safbrew abbaye…and all i get is spice :frowning:

I do enjoy Belgian Saisons, and especially Saison Dupont and La Fantome. I would drink them more often but I have all this homebrew to drink!:slight_smile:

as far as beer that I am not fond of …I like Coffee, I love Beer. I do not enjoy Coffee stout/ale /etc…Hate it actually.

I’ve had many beers I didn’t like but I would never make a blanket statement that I don’t like this of that style. I just feel I havnt had the right one yet. It’s like people saying I don’t like craft beer.

As I approach 40, I’ve made peace with the fact that I just don’t like certain things. I don’t mind trying a Belgian once in a while to check in on it, but I’m not going to buy pricy beer that 9/10 times I end up dumping down the drain. Same thing with seafood. I’ve tried it enough times as an adult to know I don’t like it, so no, I don’t need to order it at the restaurant. The wife once every six months makes me try a shrimp, and every time it tastes like a fishy damp rag. The beer world is way too big to get hung up over something “not being your thing.”

But you just havent had the right shrimp yet :blush:

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My shrimp most often needs garlic and some hot pepper. Other times white pepper or Szechuan peppercorns, which aren’t really pepper but give a nice tang on the tongue.

Then there is also deep fried shrimp in a tempura batter with garlic and some hot peppers.

Quite often a shrimp boil with lemon and served with clarified butter for dipping.

Lot of recipes out there, but the best way to destroy a shrimp is by over cooking.

So you are probably not interested in the new NB Shrimpy Saison extract kit?

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