Innis & Gunn Edinburgh Ale 6.6%

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lister
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Postby lister » Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:29 am

JerCraigs wrote:I can see the blending as a good way to salvage a beer you already bought and don't care for it its intended form, but I find the idea of buying one that you know in advance you will bland. Why buy that one then? Theres plenty of different beers out there, or try your hand at brewing your own.


Because mixing it with something else makes something you enjoy drinking? I don't drink regular milk very often but I like mixing it with various pop particularly flavoured ones which makes something similiar to a thin milkshake.
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Postby old faithful » Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:18 pm

I pass on my ideas for what they are worth.

The important thing is, to enjoy beer as you like it. I am the first to say that since I follow that injunction to the max.

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Postby JWalter » Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:05 pm

I think that some of you are missing the point.

Blending isn't only about making something which you don't like drinkable, it's also about being creative and coming up with something new, and potentially better...

We're becoming a personalization, and mash-up, remix culture, and I think beer cocktails are an obvious extension of this.

For instance, some of you may have heard of the 'Grey Album', it was created by a DJ who mashed up the Beatles White Album with Jay-Z's Black Album. The result is very cool... I'm sure he didn't do it to make the White Album listenable!

I enjoy Guinness.
I enjoy Cider.

I enjoy the 2 mixed together!

I enjoy Hoogarden
I enjoy Ribena

The two combined are AWESOME!

Certainly for the purpose of adding a new brew to your resume and getting another review up on RateBeer, blending won't work, but for those of us who enjoy beer for what it is and want to create something of our own by simply pouring 2 beers into a glass (instead of taking hours and weeks to actually BREW something from scratch), it's a fun great idea!!

Cheers!
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Postby tupalev » Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:10 pm

Certainly for the purpose of adding a new brew to your resume and getting another review up on RateBeer, blending won't work


Was the ratebeer cheap shot necessary?
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Postby JWalter » Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:04 pm

tupalev wrote:Was the ratebeer cheap shot necessary?


- I personally think RateBeer is a great website, I've used it as a resource a number of times, in order to get an objective measure of the quality of certain beers. I'll be honest though, I normally always, if I'm curious, try a beer for myself before forming an opinion...

- My perception is that some BarTowelers are more interested in trying new beers merely for the sake of adding it to RateBeer than they are in drinking and enjoying a beer for no other reason than that.

I didn't mean to offend!, the point I'm trying to make is that if someone falls into this category than I could see that they wouldn't understand or appreciate blending beers, because despite how good, or interesting, or enjoyable the result was, since it couldn't be reviewed on ratebeer, what would the point be???

If, on the other hand, someone is thinking, what would a hoppier version of Newcastle Brown Ale taste like, they could mix in a few ounces of a DFH 120 Minute IPA and voila!!! Frankenstein is born! Mwoohahaha! Jeez, I might just try that you know!

Bottom line, different strokes for different folks, let's focus on our similarities, not our differences, we all love good beer, let's continue to give one another new ideas and new ways to explore this most fascinating bevvy!

Cheers!
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Postby Jon Walker » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:24 am

About the only thing I'll add or mix with beer is hop extract (oil). A brewer on the west coast told me that he often travels with some in the event he gets stuck in a place with only bland lagers. A few drops in the bottle (or glass) and voila, more flavorful beer. I've taken some with me to things like weddings or sporting events (where you have no choices but Blue, Canadian or Coors light). It's hard to find these days but can be ordered from online home brew retailers.

As for mixing one beer into another...to each their own. It's a pretty common thing amongst my fellow Brits to mix lime cordial into lager (Lager Top) or the ever famous Black and Tan. For me I'd rather try the beer in the fashion intended by the brewer. Like scotch I prefer single malts to blends even though there are some excellent blends out there.

The crime for me is mixing a great beer into a crap one to make a medicore hybrid. Why would anyone want to blend Saison Dupont with Steelback Blue Thunder? But if that floats your boat...
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Postby tupalev » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:53 am

No worries JWalter, I agree with most of your points and the ground has been covered before. I just hate the perception of ratebeer folks being only interested in ratings rather than enjoying good beer (obviously there are a few like that as you have mentioned but a great majority of the ratebeerians I have met are awesome people).

To each their own on the blending issue, but you mad scientists just be careful!


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Postby Bobbyok » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:37 am

JWalter wrote:I think that some of you are missing the point.

Blending isn't only about making something which you don't like drinkable, it's also about being creative and coming up with something new, and potentially better...

We're becoming a personalization, and mash-up, remix culture, and I think beer cocktails are an obvious extension of this.

For instance, some of you may have heard of the 'Grey Album', it was created by a DJ who mashed up the Beatles White Album with Jay-Z's Black Album. The result is very cool... I'm sure he didn't do it to make the White Album listenable!

I enjoy Guinness.
I enjoy Cider.

I enjoy the 2 mixed together!

I enjoy Hoogarden
I enjoy Ribena

The two combined are AWESOME!

Cheers!

I hope my comment didn't come across as against blending entirely. Just that I'm not going to spend money on a bad product to mix it with something else to make it good. In the above examples, you were mixing two products you liked to produce something better, not a good one and a bad one to make something in between, like Jon's Blue Thunder and Saison Dupont example.
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Postby Mississauga Matt » Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:40 pm

Jon Walker wrote:... A brewer on the west coast told me that he often travels with some [hop oil] in the event he gets stuck in a place with only bland lagers. A few drops in the bottle (or glass) and voila, more flavorful beer...


I read somewhere that Bert Grant used to do that.
Guess what? I got a fever. And the only prescription ... is more cowbell!
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Postby GregClow » Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:55 pm

Wow, this thread sure got interesting while I was away!

Personally, I've tried a few beer-based mixed drinks that I've enjoyed. The Black & Tan is an obvious one, and Blanche de Chambly mixed with orange juice or cranberry juice is great with Sunday brunch.

But 99% of the time, I drink beer in the form the brewer intended. If I like it as is, I'll drink it again. If I don't, I won't - unless I have another bottle left, in which case I might try blending it. :wink:
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Postby Belgian » Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:05 pm

Purism in beer is a slight myth, as brewers always blended non-BEER flavorings in beer (forget combining 'pure' beers) esp. those Belgians with their fruits herbs and sugars so all bets are off for 'purity' where legendary style is defined by distinctions. Every great beer is a recipie of at least various malts etc someone concocted at their own discretion, not beholden to some cosmic law or holy commandment. That person was no less human than you or I. That's my opinion.


>> They have Saison at the Manulife LCBO though FWIW. IF you must ruin some Steelback by blending it that is!
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Postby Jon Walker » Sun Sep 18, 2005 2:20 pm

Belgian wrote:Purism in beer is a slight myth, as brewers always blended non-BEER flavorings in beer (forget combining 'pure' beers) esp. those Belgians with their fruits herbs and sugars so all bets are off for 'purity' where legendary style is defined by distinctions. Every great beer is a recipie of at least various malts etc someone concocted at their own discretion, not beholden to some cosmic law or holy commandment. That person was no less human than you or I. That's my opinion.


This topic isn't so much about purism "in" beer as it is about purism "with" beer. Someone making "beer cocktails" is an entirely different thing than a brewmaster developing a beer from various ingredients. I think you sort of missed the point of the thread...
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Postby JWalter » Sun Sep 18, 2005 11:23 pm

Jon Walker wrote:
Belgian wrote:Purism in beer is a slight myth, as brewers always blended non-BEER flavorings in beer (forget combining 'pure' beers) esp. those Belgians with their fruits herbs and sugars so all bets are off for 'purity' where legendary style is defined by distinctions. Every great beer is a recipie of at least various malts etc someone concocted at their own discretion, not beholden to some cosmic law or holy commandment. That person was no less human than you or I. That's my opinion.


This topic isn't so much about purism "in" beer as it is about purism "with" beer. Someone making "beer cocktails" is an entirely different thing than a brewmaster developing a beer from various ingredients. I think you sort of missed the point of the thread...


Jon - I respectfully disagree with you..., I think Belgian very much got the point of the thread, and I agree with him... Why do you feel that a 'Brewmaster' can fart around with ingredients, and yet us 'Brewdrinkers' should just drink what we're given and we've no right to experiment with ingredients of our own? Last night, I threw a handful of raspberries in with a coffee porter and created a very, very interesting drink, perhaps if some popular Craft Brewer showed up with a keg of this at a Beer Festival, folks would be raving, but if I do it myself I'm just a quack???

BTW - I'm not saying I disrespect the art of the craft brewer, on the contrary, I've tried brewing my own beer and it took me about 20 batches or so to get to something that I even sort of liked. I have a MASSIVE amount of respect for brewers.

Lastly, Jon, I *LOVE* your 'hop oil' strategy! Can you provide us with some more detail of how you got your hands on that stuff?? A buddy of mine has a hop vine in his back yard, and 'dry-hopped' a Upper Canada Lager, dropped about 5 free cones into a plastic bottle, filled it ALL the way up (so no oxygen could fit), capped it, left it for about 10 days, and while the resulting brew had lost most of it's carbonation, he said it definitely tasted much hoppier... I think a few drops of pure hop oil -might- have a similar effect and would of course be much faster and safer...
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Postby Jon Walker » Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:10 am

If you re-read my posts you'll see that at NO point did I say mixing shouldn't be allowed, I merely suggested that I didn't put much stock in the practice. Mix away! Let the cat pee in it if you think it might give you that "special something" the brewer missed. But I have to totally shoot holes in your notion that adding fruit to finished beer is akin to the brewer doing it. Ask anyone who has actually brewed a fruit flavoured beer when the fruit gets added...do you think they just chuck it in after fermentation and just before bottling? The point is that the flavour and subtleties of the fruit are PART of the brewing process, not an afterthought.

Bottom line, shitty beer is shitty beer. Tinkering with beer at home to try and make something better? Knock yourself out. But any good cook will tell you that if you start with inferior ingredients it doesn't matter how skillfully you mix them, the flavour will be compromised. Mixing good beer with good? I don't know but for ME I have no interest in finding out what Victory Hopdevil and Fullers 1845 taste like mixed...I have too much love for them as individual beers. I'd rather spend time and energy finding an excellently brewed beer (the Brewmasters art) than trying to make one out of Keith's, a bag of hop pellets and a centrifuge...but that's just me.

As for the hop oil...go here;
http://www.hoptech.com/cart/cart.php?ta ... ory_id=266

You'll find hop oil (adds hop aroma, not flavour), hop extract (adds hop flavour) and alpha acids (also adds hop flavour). They're all best suited for use when finishing a homebrew but can be used on a bottle by bottle basis with a little practice.
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Postby old faithful » Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:20 pm

Well, at the summer beer festival at beerbistro, a beer was served to which fruit had been added by the house, blueberries I think it was. And the result was very good.

The Germans have a tradition of macerating fresh fruit in beer. What is the difference between that and dry-hopping, for example?

Newcastle Brown is a blend of two finished beers, so I don't see why one can't do the same at home with beers that complement each other (not that I need Newkie Broon as justification).

I (no surprise) agree with Messrs. Walter and Belgian.

I am always surprised at the amount of emotion this topic elicits, it is the same in whiskey circles regarding the blending of commercially available whiskies (when by definition for example Canadian whisky is precisely a blend!). I always think of what Mick Jagger said about the disco beat, he said in retrospect, it was just a variation, four beats to the bar, so why did people get so wrapped up in the issue? To me flavouring one beer with another or with fruit or hop oil or gin or whatever is all of a piece. I remember in Montreal taverns guys used to add salt to beer, mixed porter and ale, drank beer "tablette", added whisky to a glass of draft, and drank red eyes, too, so all this blending stuff isn't new at all.

Gary

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