This post’s inspiration comes from HopWild. It’s audience participation time and the question of the day is this; Where do you find the inspiration for the recipes you brew?
Most frequently I make beers “to style”. That is, I pick or design recipes based on historic beer styles. My focus is generally on brews rarely available in my area. The last such beer was a Belgian Triple and the next one will be Düsseldorf Altbier. Researching styles and their individual brewing techniques adds to my enjoyment of the hobby. I page through back issues of BYO and Zummurgy, and read the Classic Style book if it is available.
Less often I devise an experimental, outside guidelines batch. My inspiration in these cases comes from an ingredient that I want to spotlight or become more familiar with. The nettle beer is a recent example. Some of these recipes even make it into the brewing rotation. I would like for the nettle beer to become a regular recipe, but after tasting it today it will need much work.
Finally, I enjoy making traditional seasonal beers. The only current example of this is a barleywine that has been conditioning since May. I will tap that one on my birthday in late October.
I’d like to hear your ideas. Share them in comments (or a blog of your own).