1. says

    As a professional brewer I must point out that the urine smell in IPAs is fairly common, however, it comes off to me more as cat piss, not human piss. Also not ashamed of the fact that as a brewer of almost two decades I prefer a good pilsner. Believe it or not, a simple beer like a pilsner or a kolsch or a hellas is a lot harder to nail down than an IPA. There’s a lot more that can go wrong and a lot less to cover it up.

  2. hemidactylus says

    Pale ales taste like grapefruit juice and smell skunky. Not a huge fan. But I once had a Sam Adams wheat bear that smelled and tasted like fermented wallpaper paste so could be worse.

    I prefer dark robust beers like porters and stouts. They more resemble hershey squirts, some stouts are chocolate, if we are using metaphors of eliminative body functions. Not sure how that would change the comic.

  3. Dunc says

    Well, actually… Modern, American IPAs smell like that. AFAIK, it’s a pretty recent fad. Unfortunately it’s infected British beer culture in the last few years… 30 years ago, IPA was a completely different beast (in the UK at least).

  4. Owlmirror says

    For the uninitiated, the character describing the pissing-lawnmowing-mansplainer scent is a female android (gynoid?) who is not designed to physically imbibe liquids or solids, but does have functional olfactory sensors.

    Her preferred inhalation is usually freshly brewed tea blends.

  5. kenbakermn says

    A case could be made for subtlety in the brewing arts. Nonetheless, when a beer punches me in the face with sack of cold, wet hops and brings a high ABV to the fight, not gonna lie, I dig it.

  6. Oggie: Mathom says


    I smell no urine (cat or human) in my hoppy ales of happiness. I get notes of citrus (usually grapefruit), pine, and rosemary. I get a bitterness that refreshes in a way that no smoother beer (I am very partial to Belgian ales) can on a hot summer day.

    But, I am an historian, so take the above with a grain of salt (which would, of course, be British beers (only way you can get them to foam up)).

  7. weylguy says

    Agreed. IPAs are over-hopped and not just bitter, but truly awful tasting. I prefer stouts and porters.

  8. lucifersbike says

    De gustibus non est disputandum. As long as it tastes good when I drink it and doesn’t leave me with a headache, I don’t care what it’s called or whether it smells of sweaty pits, cats’ arses or hops. But I have to confess I’m spoilt – the big Scottish & Newcastle Brewery down the road from my place was dynamited a few years ago, and dozens of small and micro-breweries have sprung up all over Tyneside. Note for Americans: Newcastle Brown Ale is no longer brewed here – it’s made down south in Yorkshire :)

  9. Oggie: Mathom says


    Hate to break it to you, but Newcastle Brown Ale is now brewed in the Netherlands by Heineken at the Zoeterwoude Brewery. Still tastes good, though.

  10. JoeBuddha says

    As a Barley Wine afficianado, I totally agree. Although, barleywines are few and far between. Current favorite is Stone’s Double Bastard (if they haven’t discontinued it; haven’t seen it for a while). I just like a beer I can sink my teeth into.

  11. says

    re: Barleywine. I buy a bottle of Unibroue’s Grande Reserve 17 every year around Christmas, when they release it, and tuck it in a cupboard for three or four months until a special occasion comes along. Definitely something to sip and savour.

    In general I prefer a malt-forward beer rather than a hop-forward one. Brown and amber ales are my jam, though I’ve had some tasty tasty black lagers, too.

  12. Onamission5 says

    Unfortunately it’s the sours and IPA’s currently dominating the brewing market where I live. I can find dozens and dozens of those, including hemp IPA, but the selection of other beer types is quite spare.

    Give me an amber ale, a brown ale, a stout, porter, hefeweizen (waves to davidnangle). Let me enjoy my bock, pilsner, lager, and I’ll even drink a shandy, but keep your IPA’s and (most) sours away. Far, far away.

  13. sc_e7cb37166b0ed7e2545034076d87e16c says

    I like a good (mild) IPA as much as the next guy. What I resent are all the different varieties of IPAs crowding out my favorite red/brown/amber ales, porters, stouts, etc. The worst IPAs are like turpentine cleverly disguised as beer. I’m more of a malts guy than a hops guy. In beer, unlike Star Wars, the Dark Side is better.

  14. Sean Boyd says

    In what passes for the specialty beer department at my local store, it’s almost impossible to find a non-IPA. And I loathe IPAs. A porter, a stout…I’d almost rather have a cheap ‘murikan lager than an IPA. Not that this is any great issue for me, as I rarely drink anymore, but the IPA explosion at my store would be one way to get me to stop, were I more inclined to drink.

  15. says

    I’m a homebrewer and, for a time, also worked at a small local brewery helping them to get started. I like classic styles, which this crap is not. One of the reasons I quit the brewery was that we were doing so much beer with long hop stand late additions that I couldn’t even stand to be in the building any more because of the stench (even with venting). They all smell like puke to me now.

    I’m also in a local craft beer lovers FB group and the biggest trend now that disturbs me are the beers that just aren’t fucking beer any more. Stuff so sweet and fruity that I can barely get down a 4oz sample pour. Just go buy a damned wine cooler or Zima and stop ruining beer. Not to mention the just completely fucking UGLINESS of hazy pales. With the exception of a Hefeweizen served “mit hefe” , beer is supposed to be bright and clear, not the color and opacity of sewer water. I swear the hazy trend is just lazy brewers passing off poorly executed beers as something new.

    Now everyone get off my damned lawn!

  16. Jazzlet says

    Give me a mild any day, beautiful to look at, very little head, wonderful to taste. Although old fashioned IPA’a are no where near as hoppy as what passes for an IPA today. Brewers seem to have forgotten that the heavy hopping in the original recipes was to preserve the beer as it made the trip to … India, hence the name, but that by the time the beer arrived the hop flavour had mellowed enormously, resulting in a far more balanced beer than the paint stripper served as IPA by too many brewers. Those original brewers then developed beers that tasted like the IPA’s did when they got to India, because the returning troops loved the taste and asked for it. The brewers didn’t just sell the excessively hoppy version in the UK.

  17. hemidactylus says


    In beer, unlike Star Wars, the Dark Side is better.

    I’m so stealing that!

  18. says

    I truly believe that hipsters found out that hops are related to marijuana and suddenly couldn’t get enough of them.

  19. Dunc says

    @Jazzlet: Also, the hops used in the old IPA recipes weren’t anywhere near as strong as modern hops, and the beer would usually be watered down before serving.

  20. numerobis says

    I have no idea what all these beer names mean.

    We’ve got whites, blondes, reds, and blacks (and some other less common ones like browns and golds). Each one so called because that’s the colour of the beer.

  21. Rob Grigjanis says

    As a young man, I enjoyed a bottle or two of Labatt 50 after a run on a hot day. Other than that, never really saw the point of beer, unless it’s distilled. The boiling point of ethanol is the best argument I’ve seen for the existence of a deity.

  22. hemidactylus says

    Actually some of my favorite “religious” beer experiences are due to Trappist monks. I don’t understand the arcane nomenclature but I love the Tripel stuff in big bottles. I guess I have to walk back my disparagement of pale ales, since the monk beers are strong pale ales. But they are expensive.

    It’s the hoppy India Pale Ales I am not quite fond of, though go slumming with a four pack of Goose Island IPA from the corner store for a good smack across the skull. Not as obnoxious as some IPAs that pride themselves on overhopping. Thanks to the folks who elaborated the peculiar history of IPAs upthread. And yes, flavored beer is just this side of wine coolers and Zima (shiver).

  23. Muz says

    I don’t really understand drinking beer full stop.
    I know I know, but party poopers got to represent.

  24. says

    I like my beer as black as my soul. If I can’t get one that’s really dark I’ll stick to water and drive home. Mr likes Pils, Weizen or Zwickel in summer. This is usually how we decide who drinks alcohol and who drives: whoever gets their favourite alcoholic drink. Unfortunately, since beer is much more common than good wine or good cocktails, I often end up doing the driving.

  25. ajbjasus says

    #6. You need to drink beer in a Yorkshire pub. We pull cask beers by hand through a sparkler which aerates the beer, bringing the flavour out and in combination with the natural carbonation from residual yeast action creates a creamy head or collar as we say. It’s pretty unique to the north of England and is the best way to drink real ale.

    Otherwise I think this thread nails it wrt so called IPAs. I felt like the kid in the Emperors new clothes story until now!

  26. mmfwmc says

    I have no sense of smell. IPA is the only beer I can actually taste, so please don’t make everyone else hate it or I’ll have nothing to drink.

  27. Oggie: Mathom says

    PZed, how can you be against IPAs? After all, you founded Hoppism, and one of the major schisms (within 24 hours) included the establishment of the Hoppist Monks.

  28. says

    @numerobis Ale: yeast ferments near the top of the mix when brewing. Lager: yeast ferments near the bottom.

  29. Dunc says

    @numerobis Ale: yeast ferments near the top of the mix when brewing. Lager: yeast ferments near the bottom.

    Often claimed, but simply not true. You can ferment an ale with a lager yeast, you could probably ferment a lager in the traditional style with an ale yeast if you’re patient enough (and most modern commercial lagers are not fermented in the traditional style), and where the bulk of the yeast ends up during fermentation is affected by many factors other than yeast strain. You can draw a moderately distinct difference between ale and lager yeasts – lager yeasts will ferment at lower temperatures, and most ale and lager yeasts come from fairly distinct lineages – but that doesn’t really map cleanly to the resulting beer.

    The ale / lager thing is a style distinction, not a scientific classification. Lagers really should be lagered (stored just above freezing for several weeks), but most commercial lagers aren’t.

    Originally “ale” referred to a fermented barley drink not containing hops, as distinct from “beer”, which did contain hops, but that distinction was pretty much obsolete by the 18th century. Then there’s CAMRA’s definition of “real ale”: “beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide”, but that’s a bit silly and restrictive for most people. (Note: it’s perfectly possible for a lager to also be a “real ale” by this definition.)

    Beer style definitions are ultimately a matter of taste (and debate!), but the de-facto standard reference for beer styles is the BJCP Style Guidelines.

  30. says

    The ale / lager thing is a style distinction, not a scientific classification. Lagers really should be lagered (stored just above freezing for several weeks), but most commercial lagers aren’t.

    Also not particularly true. I’ve done several lagers using a method much like what I’ve done for ales, aside from the active fermentation temperature. Really the only reason to do an extended “lagering” period is so the beer drops bright. This can be accomplished much easier by using a brightening agent in the boil, such as whirlflock and a small bit of unflavored gelatin added when kegging or bottling, which will pull the yeast and protein out of suspension during maybe a week of cold secondary. As with anything, modern techniques save time and preserve quality.

  31. Dunc says

    The point I was going for there is that if it’s not been lagered, it’s not technically a lager, because that’s what the term “lager” means. But yeah, you can produce a perfectly good lager-style beer without actually lagering it. (Hardly anybody does a triple decoction mash for a “proper” Czech pilsner either…)

  32. Alverant says

    I don’t like IPAs either, but that’s no reason to be a jerk about it (even if it’s true). A simple “no thank you” would have been enough. If he insisted, go ahead and let him have it with the cutting remark. There are enough kinds of beer out there for everyone to find what they like. Can’t we all just get along and have a brew (or cider or wine or mead or whatever)?

  33. says

    The best way to drink beer is clearly to

    pour one ounce into 99 ounces of water,
    remove one ounce from that and pour that into 99 ounces of pure water.
    Repeat 14 more times.
    Remove one ounce.
    Pour 3 ounces of cave-temperature single malt Islay whiskey into a glass.
    Dip one clean finger into your beer & water mix.
    Hold your wet finger over your whiskey glass and allow 2-7 drops to fall into your whiskey glass (the exact number being a matter of taste).
    Curl up with two cats, a lover, two great children, and four books distributed one to a person. Sip from your whiskey glass until every last molecule of beer has been consumed.
    Wait 24 hours.
    Repeat all steps 4-9 99 times, then proceed to step 11.
    Go save the world for a week.
    Begin again at step 1.