I already know what my next brew will be, I even have all the ingredients. I'm researching the one after that. I was thinking I'd like something not too pale, not too dark. Aha, whatever it ends up being will likely be called "Goldilocks" Ha! So, I went and bought everything I could find that called it'self "Amber" or "Brown". I'm looking for a winter drinking beer I suppose. Besides I have a pale and a dark in the fermenters right now and the next will also be pale.
I came home with 10 brews, which I've drunk over the last few weeks, pictured below in rough drinking order. Yes I know Squires does an Amber but I'm well familiar with that and I already knew that wasn't quite what I am after. Yeh, I'm familiar with Little Creatures "Roger" too but I felt like drinking one. The two winners were......
Sierra Navada "Tumbler" Autumn Brown Ale. Golly this is nice. Smooth, mouthfilling, not too sweet or bitter, lots of interesting flavour.
Hix beer "Brown Ale". A bit lighter than the Tumbler, but wonderfully balanced I thought. I could drink a great deal of this.
So apparently I want to brew a brown. Now to find and choose a recipe. Not sweet or too bitter.
Murray's "Punch and Judy" Amber Ale: I enjoyed this too, ticks lots of boxes, but it was on the light side of what I'm looking for this time.
Two Birds "Sunset Ale": Really interesting, lovely beer. Red (as the name implies), somewhat floral. Brewed locally by a two woman team! First of their's that I've found.
Newkie brown: I've drunk this before but so many years ago I had no idea what it tasted like. It's great (of course) but the first sip comes across more bitter than I want.
Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale: This is the second beer I've had from this brewery, it also is too sweet for my palate.
Russell American Amber Ale: I wasn't fond of this. Slightly too sweet I think, possibly a hop that doesn't work for me?
Dos Equis Amber Lager: A slightly darker version of what hits my palate as "horrid lager flavour"
Endeavour Reserve Amber Ale: Nice enough but boring. Probably nicer in warm weather. I drank this with lunch today at aroung 15deg room temp.
I do wonder about craft breweries using labelling that one can't easily remove. I would think the home brewing community would tend to buy craft/ microbrewery produce when they are not drinking their own. I certainly do. I recycle all crown cap bottles, unless it takes too much fuss to get the labels off. So when buying beer to drink, I'm more like to choose one with a civilised labelling policy. Little Creatures, James Squire, Montieths, White Rabbit, Sierra Navada all have good removable labels and I like their brews. On the other hand, I suppose that home brewers don't buy a huge amount of commercial bottled beer, and many of them use kegs rather than bottles. Still, if I were ever to go commercial, I'd be taking this into consideration when choosing the labels. As if :-)