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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through July 11, 2008 * Missing beer style? < Previous Next >

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The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1964
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.83.101.254
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 01:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

English Summer Ale/English Blonde ale.

Typically 4-5% ABV
Pale straw to light amber in colour
Moderate to high Bitterness
Moderate to high Hop flavour and aroma

Clean, refreshing ale, usually served cask conditioned.

Grist is usually just pale malt, sometimes with the addition of wheat malt. Often low colour Maris Otter is used. Hops can be any varieties, English, German, American New Zealand. Anything goes.

commercial examples - Hopback Summer Lightning, Harveistoun Bitter and Twisted, Oakham JHB.



I couldn't see this in the BJCp Guidlines, but this seems to be the first new style of beer that has come out of Britain for a while, certainly worthy of note.

I'm planning on making one with pale maris otter, wheat malt and lots of german hops...
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1965
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.83.101.254
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 01:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://www.allaboutbeer.com/homebrew/23.2-summerale.html
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1966
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.83.101.254
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 01:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And here is a recipe I made that seems to fit the bill perfectly, although I wasn't actually aiming for it.It is a little low on the strength side but you'd never know when drinking it.

http://beertools.com/html/recipe.php?view=6521
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1967
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.83.101.254
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 02:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not sure about the whole secret ingredients thing though... If I bought a pint of summer ale in the pub and it had candied ginger in it I think I'd give the bar person a good soaking with it!
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1749
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 02:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jolly, the below is from category 6B, Blonde Ale:

"Comments: In addition to the more common American Blonde Ale, this category can also include modern English Summer Ales, American Kölsch-style beers, and less assertive American and English pale ales."

If you look at the rest of the notes for that particular subcategory, I think you'll see that what you are describing neatly fits into that subcategory.

Additionally, in each bitter subcategory, a similar comment is included for "summer bitters," and the lowest allowable SRM is 4,5, and 6 for them, respectively, which is light yellow to yellow, i.e. "blonde".
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9000
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 02:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you look closely, JB, you'll see that English summer ales fall reasonably well into the Blonde Ale category. For sure, they are at the upper end of the bittering range for that style, and they tend to emphasize UK hops. But I think they fit there as well as anywhere.

(Oops! I should have known that Graham would beat me to it. )

(Message edited by BillPierce on June 24, 2008)
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1968
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.83.101.254
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 02:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aaahhhh, the fine print.

I think that they deserve a category all of their own. They are far more widely available than scottish /- ales, and set to become more popular I think. They also seem to work well as a stpping stone for lager drinkers to move onto real ale.
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1969
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.83.101.254
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 02:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Having just read that style, I think maybe they wouldn't do well in that category. They are generally too bitter and too hop accented. Some of the less assertive version would however.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1750
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 03:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's where you as an entrant have to decide where to put it - either Blonde Ale for the less hoppy versions, or as a bitter for the more hoppy. A knowledgable judge (or one that bothered to read the style guidelines before judging) should make allowances for the somewhat atypical light color and lack of caramel flavor and say to himself (and the other judge(s)) "Ah, this brewer has made a summer bitter. Interesting." As opposed to, "Color is too light. Lacks caramel flavo(u)r."

That's always the challenge for the entrant - figuring out where the beer he actually made (as opposed to what he intended to make) best fits into the guidelines. And, there's nothing to stop an entrant from entering the same beer in two (or more) different categories.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5465
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 03:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I brewed one of these 5 years ago when I first heard of them. This beer came out fantastic!

From my notes:

English Summer Bitter

OG 1.055, FG 1.014, 28 IBUs, 4 SRM

8 lbs. Maris Otter
0.5 lbs. flaked barley
0.5 lbs. Carapils
1 tin (10 oz.) Lyle's Golden syrup (added at the end of the boil)

Mashed at 148°F for 15 min, 154°F for 2 hours

1.5 oz. Challenger 60 min
0.5 oz. EKGs 20 min

WLP023 Burton ale yeast fermented at 68°F.
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1970
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.83.101.254
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 03:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have some flaked Barley, I might incorporate that - good thinking Chumley...

Challenger was the planned bitering hop. I'm a big fan of Challengers in all aspects of hopping. I'm steering clear of sugar on this one, not that I have anything against using it, just I'm going to go for a low low mash for fermentability instead.

Graham, some very interesting points about judging and the slightly broader style guidelines. Living in England, I'm not going to be entering any US competitions, so it's not really a concern for me, it is just that this style of beer has really become popular over here, and is a pretty distinct style. It is probably more distinct than the various bitter categories.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1752
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 03:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does CAMRA have anything in their guidelines for summer ale?

On a tangential topic, Ant Hayes gave a great talk on British beer styles at the NHC, comparing CAMRA guidelines with the BJCP guidelines and pointing out the gaps and overlaps of the various styles. The BJCP guidelines tend to provide more of a continuum between related substyles, where the CAMRA guidelines deliberately leave some specific gaps between substyles in, OG, for example.

I confess, I know almost nothing about the CAMRA guidelines and I need to learn more.
 

Joakim Ruud
Senior Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 1009
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.208.79.179
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 03:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My very next batch before my unexpected moratorium was going to be something like this. 100% Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter; firm bitterness with all EKG and fermented fairly cool.

Simpler is better; less is more. Almost always :-)
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1973
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.83.101.254
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 04:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"I confess, I know almost nothing about the CAMRA guidelines and I need to learn more." Ha Ha, me too - and I'm a Member!

I think it's more for the GBBF, but most british breweries take very little notice of styles as far as I can tell. There are obvious similarities between breweries and almost all will make a 'bitter' but that is a pretty broad term. Even 'mild' seems to come in many different forms...