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  #101  
Old 05-15-2019, 08:20 AM
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That's one of the few things I DID know about beer. I tend to prefer both lower alcohol and darker beers, so that works well for me.

(Menus often list the alcohol content, and I will generally pick from the beers that have less alcohol.)
  #102  
Old 05-15-2019, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Royal Nonesutch View Post
One more thing, I am sure that this isn't news to hardcore beer geeks, but many European dark beers are actually lower in alcohol than the lighter (in color) styles like pils or lager.

It might seem counter-intuitive (Maybe because dark beer "looks" stronger? Maybe many English or American ales or stouts that are also dark in color ARE high in alcohol?) but sometimes the dark beers here are pretty mild, by comparison.

The Czech Budweiser Budvar Dark Lager is 4.7%, while the original is 5.0%.
While true, be careful of those Baltic porters!

The one that surprises people, despite a bit of an ad campaign touting its lower calorieness (which typically means lower alcohol, as well) is Guinness. It’s got fewer calories and lower alcohol than an MGD or regular Bud. (125 v 140 v 150 in a 12 oz serving and 4.2% v 4.7% v 5% abv.) And it’s only a little bit more caloric than most American light beers (in fact, there was at least one—I think Michelob Light— that it was less caloric than. ETA: No, that one clocks in at 123, so pretty much even—if they even still sell it. Ultra has become their main light beer from what I can tell. Anyway, I could swear there was one, though.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-15-2019 at 08:59 AM.
  #103  
Old 05-15-2019, 05:40 PM
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Guinness is my go to low alcohol, low calorie beer when out and about. It's pretty rare to find a micro brew/brewpub that comes in lower. Many of the so-called "session" beers are still 5% ABV.

I got back into homebrewing specifically to make tasty low alcohol/low calorie beers. I've got a pretty good catalogue now of 2-3% ABV beers that I do (and even more if I get up towards a whopping 4% ABV). These days having a 4% or 5% brew seems like a big beer. My focus is on English styles, since they are generally lower alcohol. I only recently figured out the Czech low gravity beers, and did a couple of batches of 3%+ this winter that were decent but need finetuning.

I get that brewpubs don't do these because the cost is pretty equivalent to a bigger beer, and small beers don't give much margin for error. If someone tries to sell a 3% craft beer at a craft beer price, they will probably never get shelf space.

BTW, Notch Brewing does Czech and other lower octane beers below 4.5% ABV. They are in Salem, MA and don't distribute to the West Coast. Anyone here had their stuff and what do you think?
  #104  
Old 05-16-2019, 09:53 AM
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The vast, vast majority of beers are between about 4 and 7% ABV, regardless of style.

The thing is, a lot of uninformed people tend to conflate alcoholic strength with "bigger" beers in terms of flavor, mouthfeel or color. That's why you get people talking about how strong Guinness is, even though it's actually on the lower end of the range, and a fairly "light" beer in terms of alcohol, etc... It's just that it's very dark and has intense roasted flavors, so people assume that also means high alcohol.

In general, original gravity tends to track fairly close to the final gravity and ABV- at least enough to where a beer with an original gravity of 12 degree Plato/1.048 SG will generally be more alcoholic than a beer with an OG of 10 degrees Plato/1.040 SG will be. And in general, there's a limited range of alcoholic strengths that a beer of a particular OG can have as well.

Czech pilsners are on the middle-high side for original gravity at the 12-14 degree Plato/1.048-1.057 range (more or less), but what distinguishes them is that due to malt variety and brewing techniques, they're extremely malty, and they have a correspondingly high hop bitterness as well. The bitterness unit / gravity unit ratio for your average Czech pilsner is 0.8, which is high- it's on par with your average pale ale, and considerably higher than most beers.

They're balanced though- they don't give off that hop-head HOPS! impression, even though they may have 40-50 IBU. I guess my best description is that most international/American "pilsners" taste like someone took a Czech pilsner and watered it down with carbonated water. You get some of it, but it's watered down and insipid compared to the genuine article.

The biggest problem is that the maltiness or hops changes over time (not sure which), and the hop bitterness gets sharper, throwing the balance off.
  #105  
Old Today, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
That's one of the few things I DID know about beer. I tend to prefer both lower alcohol and darker beers, so that works well for me.

(Menus often list the alcohol content, and I will generally pick from the beers that have less alcohol.)
You might like English "milds". Trouble is, almost no one brews these commercially in the US.
  #106  
Old Today, 06:35 AM
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I decided to ask one of my coworkers what kind of beer has been served at company functions here - he had no idea, and he drinks the stuff! That told me a lot - like, if it's available for free, it's good.
  #107  
Old Today, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
We're going to have an open house and I know some of the attendees like beer. I'm not looking to impress, but I don't want to buy crap, either. What's a decent brand that most people are likely to enjoy? And how do I figure how much to get? 2-3 bottles/cans per person? I don't need tons of leftovers.

Life would be so much easier if everyone drank lemonade...
I know I'm way late, but Blue Moon is a pretty safe bet for having some people over. Might want to offer some Coor's Light or some Stella for people who expect their beer to be pee colored.
  #108  
Old Today, 07:01 AM
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And then there's...Asahi. But who the hell would drink that?!
  #109  
Old Today, 07:08 AM
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I know I'm way late, but Blue Moon is a pretty safe bet for having some people over. Might want to offer some Coor's Light or some Stella for people who expect their beer to be pee colored.
Maybe. I'll drink most things, but Blue Moon has a raw egg/wet dog flavor that really puts me off.
  #110  
Old Today, 07:36 AM
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Maybe. I'll drink most things, but Blue Moon has a raw egg/wet dog flavor that really puts me off.
That's what the orange slice is meant to coverup.
  #111  
Old Today, 08:24 AM
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That's what the orange slice is meant to coverup.
Bwahahahahahahhahaha. True dat!
  #112  
Old Today, 08:26 AM
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And then there's...Asahi. But who the hell would drink that?!
Asahi beer always seems like #3 out of the three major Japanese breweries BUT their HQ has a giant flying sperm on top of it! It looks worse in real life.
  #113  
Old Today, 02:55 PM
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Actually, my go-to favorite of the major brews when I was in Japan was Yebisu. Asahi just had cheaper shit at the convenience store and I wasn't as picky back then. I also loved, loved, loved Chu-Hi and umeshu but this is thread creep - sorry.
  #114  
Old Today, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Maybe. I'll drink most things, but Blue Moon has a raw egg/wet dog flavor that really puts me off.
?

I won't say it's the best, but it's perfectly drinkable without an orange. A typical Amreicanish wheat beer, I'd say. But yeah, I suppose the orange slice doesn't foul the taste either.
  #115  
Old Today, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
That's one of the few things I DID know about beer. I tend to prefer both lower alcohol and darker beers, so that works well for me.

(Menus often list the alcohol content, and I will generally pick from the beers that have less alcohol.)
Guinness Draught is probably something you'd like then; it's as dark as beers get, and it's also low alcohol relative to most other beers, although still about half a percentage point more than the English Mild style that China Guy suggests.

Blue Moon is just a really blah big brewery attempt at a Belgian Wit style beer. Hoegaarden, Celis White, Allagash White, etc... are all better. Probably any craft beer described as "white ale" or "witbier" or even I suppose "Belgian wheat" is going to be in the same style and better than Blue Moon.
  #116  
Old Today, 04:35 PM
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?

I won't say it's the best, but it's perfectly drinkable without an orange. A typical Amreicanish wheat beer, I'd say. But yeah, I suppose the orange slice doesn't foul the taste either.
My gateway beer was Widmer Hefeweizen, although the typos on their page fill me with enough pedantrage that I almost want to disavow them.

Still, I love a good wheat beer. Can't stand Blue Moon.
  #117  
Old Today, 05:30 PM
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The best beer is free and cold.
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