How Do YOU Decide What To Brew?

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.

Your Turn

I’d like to hear your ideas. Share them in comments (or a blog of your own).

2 thoughts on “How Do YOU Decide What To Brew?”

  1. Hey Dean,

    Glad you enjoyed my post. There are a lot of brewers out there making really great and interesting beer and it's neat to learn where some of these ideas come from. All part of learning and improving our craft I guess.


  2. I usually overcome brewer's block by grabbing a recipe book or two off of my shelf and flipping through them.

    I usually look for recipes that have ingredients I never brewed with before and try them, or I try playing with a certain style to see what I can with it by modifying color or IBUs (for example, a wheat beer that looks like a stout).

    My latest brew was a honey porter as I never brewed with honey before.

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