Regardless of what beer style is your absolute favorite, for the most part we all know what we like, and don’t like. For me, my absolute favorite is that roasted malt flavor in a dark stout, with just a hint of chocolate and/or coffee, and more than likely bourbon barrel aged adding nuances of vanilla and oak. The velvety texture and full body. The smell as I bring it to my face….okay I got lost in a moment there. Sometimes though, that’s not available. Sometimes, I’m just in the mood for something else. Maybe it’s a lemony wit beer. Maybe it’s a funky farmhouse. And, sometimes it’s even an IPA.
“But you don’t like hoppy beers.”
That’s not a true statement, and I hate blanket statements like that. Any time I try a ‘hoppy beer’ and don’t like it, it doesn’t seem to matter what my reasoning is because all everyone thinks they know is that ‘I don’t like hoppy beers’. True, I absolutely adore stouts and porters, but I also really like IPAs. To say that I don’t like ‘hoppy beers’ isn’t accurate, I’m just a lot more particular with what I want my IPA to taste like.
I don’t like hoppy beers that taste bitter. I don’t want a hopped up stout that gives me bitter beer face, so sorry Stormking but you can go somewhere else. I don’t want an IPA that has a ‘malt backbone’ so go away Hopdevil. And I never, ever, want a beer with peppers or grapefruit in them so peace out Habanero and Grapefruit Sculpins. What I want from a ‘hoppy beer’ is citrus. I want it crunchy, juicy, and dank.
I want Bell’s Two Hearted. I want Great Lakes Chillwave. I want Deschutes Chasin Freshies. I want Dogfish Head Aprihop.
The moral of my story is this, each of us have our own palates and preferences. Some people really like those malty IPAs. Some people only drink sours and lambics. Some people hate stouts (gasp). There’s nothing wrong with liking a particular flavor combination, and at the same time disliking other ones. It’s important to explore beers to find out specifically what you love and hate about each beer so you can truly hone in on what you want in the future. There’s so much variety in the craft beer market that it is really hard to hate an entire style of beer. Use good descriptors of what you taste and avoid blanket statements like ‘hoppy beers’. Challenge yourself to up your vocabulary game. Do some research! And most of all, stop telling me that I don’t like hoppy beers.