My older brother has a friend named Doug. Doug brews beer at home. He gave some of this beer to my brother, who in turn gave me some. I drank these beers. Now, I'm going to tell you about them. The two beers that I received were: Red Ale and IPA.
The Red Ale was the first one I tried and I found it a little surprising. I originally thought of it as an Irish red ale, but I'm not really sure why. What I was expecting was a creamy, smooth, malty beer, but instead it was actually very notably, pleasantly hoppy. It had a good body to it and none of the yeastiness that I normally associate with home brews. Overall, I found it to be very enjoyable and surprising, considering I think that these are some of Doug's first home brews (I could be wrong about this and it wouldn't surprise me at all).
The IPA followed the style pretty accurately. Judging by the amount of hops on the nose of the beer, I assume it was dry hopped, but I can't be 100% sure about that. The hops gave the taste a grassy bitterness, but that was balanced pretty well by the malt of the beer. It was lighter in color than the red ale was, which is actually pretty impressive for a home brew. This is because the malt extract will usually caramelize a little in the boil, darkening the beer. Since most home brew is made with malt extract they are generally darker than they should be. Either Doug used all malt, or somehow he avoided the extract issue. Whichever, bravo.
I'll use this post to plug home brewing once again. It is really a fun hobby that has a fantastic end result. I would suggest that you use a kit and a recipe before moving on to more experimental batches. Another thing is that you you should start by brewing with someone that has done it a bunch before. I would be more than willing to brew with you (that is, if you know me) if you want to start. In fact, it is always easier (and more fun) to brew with a friend. Try it out!
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