Sunday, 20 June 2010

Desert Island Styles

Having recently answered Mark Dredge's question about what style of beer I don't like - it's rauchbier every time - I thought for once, instead of my usual erudite and informative postings, I'd take a cue from Mark - not about erudition - he can whup my ass there - but in simply asking what people do like, as a counter to Mark's question about what they don't.

So what's your favourite beer style? More than one answer is of course permissible, but maybe you'd like to put them in a 1, 2, 3 batting order? Or a 1,2,3,4,5 if you like. Or whatever way you fancy. I'll kick it off by saying that mine is pale, cask and hoppy. Is that a style? Well see here for an argument that it is.


1. Pale and hoppy cask beers

2. Hoppy but balanced pilseners

3. Weizen / Witbier

I guess pale and hoppy cask speaks for itself, but its lager cousin is always a strong favourite and though I drink little of it in this country, a well made pilsner beer is a delight at any time, winter or summer.Sorry for the cheat at the last one, as I can squeeze quite a lot into that range, but there you go. Wheat beer may be a surprise to some, but I do love the refreshing character of wheat based beers on a hot summer's day. It's by far my favourite tipple when in Germany, particularly when the sun is blazing down.

This has caused me to miss out mild, stout, oh and a host of others, but if I was stuck on a desert island with only three lots to choose from, that'd just about keep me from insanity. Hopefully though, I'd be rescued (preferably by some sex starved gorgeous women) before too long and head off for some darker stuff! Or of course I could just have made it a 1 to 5 list and wimped out. Thinking about your favourite styles is actually mind bogglingly difficult and something I don't usually consciously consider. It's a bit like when someone asks me what my favourite beer is. At that point I usually come over all evasive. (One answer I never give is the awful "the one I'm drinking at the moment".) The truth is that in beer favourites, as with styles, I'm a bit indiscriminate, hopping from one to the other with no regrets and limited only by availability and circumstance rather than loyalty.

So I suppose that my number four would be stout and five would be something stronger. Or maybe gueuze, or mild, or, alt or er... well, like I said it's difficult and already I'm thinking of changing my list, but then that change would probably change too!

What's your take on it all?


Mark said...

The style I want to drink most of is the same as yours - hoppy pale ales, 3.5%-5%. Ignore all the imperial this and double that babble, it's a good pint of session beer which I want to drink more than any others (emphasis on the GOOD though).

As for others... It's more a time and a place thing than a general 2nd, 3rd, 4th... choice.

I've started to develop a real interest in saison, I can't ignore an American IPA and gueuze would be there too.

Erlangernick said...

Can't imagine a better choice for #1 than yours. #2 might have to be mild, and #3 Griess Kellerbier when in proper form.

Of course, proper cellaring might prove problematic on a desert island.

And not just any Weizenbier, but a drier one, you mean. Too many cloyers out there.

Tandleman said...

Nick - Yes the drier ones though I have to say I like Gutmann which isn't and Andechs which is. Josef Griess is another I like and Huber though it's a long list.

Martyn Cornell said...

1) Ordinary bitter! Doesn't have to be that hoppy, just well-balanced and well-kept. When it all comes right, simply unbeatable.

2)Imperial stout. The best winder-down I know. So much to enjoy

3) A really hoppy lager. There are times …

Curmudgeon said...

I'd agree with Martyn and put a classic English "ordinary" at the top of the list - Hook Norton, Harveys, Adnams, the pre-closure Brakspears etc.

And second, stylistically, would probably be a good, malt-accented Bavarian helles.

Matt said...

1. Bitter (Holts and Youngs in particular);

2. Alt (Im Füchschen and Schumacher are my favourites);

3. Smoked beer (Kelham Island Brooklyn Smoked Porter, Meantime Winter Time, Schlenkerla Rauchmärzen).

On the last one, given your stated aversion, I think it's something you either like straight away or don't. I took a few bottles of Schlenkerla Rauchmärzen to a party a bit ago, there was a couple there who live and work half the year in northern Germany and spend their summer holidays in Bavaria drinking Weißbier. They hated it. A couple of other people who normally drink standard lager loved it.

Paul Garrard said...

1 - Golden ale - not too bitter (e.g. Tribute, Discovery & Explorer)

2 - dry hopped style brown session ale

3 - would also be Weizen/Witbier/Wheat beer

Nº 3 is more of a summer drink, in the winter I'd drink mild instead.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to add Bud Light with a lemon wedge, shame.

Boathouse said...

1) Best bitter
2) IPA (true IPAs, high IBU and highish ABV)
3) Mild.