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Beoir is an independent group of consumers with a primary goal of supporting and raising awareness of Ireland's native independent microbreweries. There are some fantastic benefits for members. Find out more about Beoir or learn how to join:
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Clone Brews It's twelve years since Tess and Mark Szamatulski published the first edition of Clone Brews, a slim volume containing detailed instructions on how to recreate 150 different beers from around the world. The book was a hit with homebrewers, with its combination of clear, concise instructions and the enhancement of extract recipes with minimash and all-grain options. The end results of recipes, anecdotally speaking, tend not to be exact replicas of the beer being copied, but it's a useful book for when you want to make a beer in a particular style and you know of a commercial example.

Now, the publishers have released a revised and expanded edition of the book, incorporating even more clonable beers.

Edition 2 is significantly larger than the first: 439p rather than 171. But the first thing to note is that 2.5 times the size does not equal 2.5 times the recipes. In fact, only 50 new clone recipes are included here, plus the 150 from the first edition. The extra page space comes from the expanded information given for each recipe. Two pages are dedicated to the beer, incorporating the instructions set out in a clearer, less cluttered way than before, plus expanded information on the beer's background as well as serving information (glassware, temperature, whether it can be aged) and the foods it works best with.

The 150 recipes which are repeated have been revised and, in some cases, given a significant adjustment. For example, Shepherd Neame Spitfire has had its IBUs raised from 35 to 39 and its ABV dropped from 5.2% to 4.7%. That real Spitfire was reduced from 4.7% to 4.5% some years back suggests that the authors may be using old beer reference books in their formulations rather than the beers themselves. (The food pairing given for Spitfire, incidentally, is that well-known Kentish delicacy New Orleans crawfish étouffée with fried okra.)

A Clone Brew RecipeConveniently, the recipes are arranged by broad style categories, starting with the Light Lagers and Pilsners, through Amber and Dark Lagers, Pale Ales, Porters, Stouts, Wheat Beers, Belgian Strong Ales, English Strong Ales and a last chapter for the more esoteric beers, incorporating the likes of Alaskan Smoked Porter, Fraoch and Rodenbach Grand Cru. The selection has been done rather oddly, given what home brewers tend to prefer to make and drink. There are, for instance, 35 light lager recipes, incorporating the worst yellow fizz from a stunning variety of countries (yes, Harp is there) yet a mere ten US IPAs feature. Though, since they include such luminaries as Avery Maharaja, Stone IPA and Southern Tier Un*earthly, a bit of thought has clearly gone into it. The handiest thing about the genre arrangement is that you can flick through a number of recipes in the same section and get a feel for what sort of ingredients go into that style, before sitting down and putting your own recipe together -- it's much more satisfying than trying to slavishly clone something and then being disappointed with the results. Directories at the back list hops and grains, suggesting the beer genres in which they work best.

Obviously, the book is not in the same league as Les Howarth's Home Brewer's Recipe Database. It's pitched much more at the beginner level and can be used, if you so wish, as a complete step-by-step guide to beer making. It's ideal, then, for the novice brewer to start to learn the correlations between ingredients and finished beer flavours without having to do lots of experimental batches. And even when you know your way around it will be handy to leaf through for recipe inspiration.

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Sunday, February 10, 2019 TheBeerNut News 1933
While the Irish brewing scene hasn't grown as much in the last twelve months as it has in recent years, the task of picking a best beer from the hundred or so operational breweries has not got any easier. In this the eighth edition of the competition, 73 different beers received a preference from a Beoir member, cutting across styles, strengths and county of origin. As always, every beer brewed on the island and available in the previous year was eligible and voting was open to current Beoir members. When all the counting up was complete, three winning beers and a winning brewery were selected. And they were:
Sunday, August 05, 2018 TheBeerNut Reviews 3302
Veteran beer writer Tim Webb has been publishing a guide to Belgian beer and pubs since 1992. This and the previous edition in 2014 were co-edited by the Europe-based American writer Joe Stange. A short essay by Webb at the front of the book charts the origin of the guide and announces his retirement from it. That means the next one will have a different feel to the current edition, because this is not simply a list of Belgian pubs and breweries, but rather a series of personal observations. This unusual approach really captures the idiosyncracies of Belgium's beer culture.

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