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Where does your brewing inspiration come from for your next batch?

This past weekend I was at the American Craft Beer Fest in Boston to close out Boston Beer Week.

I like attending fests looking for things I want to brew and getting inspiration for things I haven't brewed yet; or things I want to brew better. Sometimes you can even get recipes from brewers themselves.

My current inspiration is to start putting some oatmeal in some styles other than my Oatmeal Stout. I want to try an Oatmeal Brown and an Oatmeal Amber. Maybe I should do an Oatmeal Wheat.

I have made this a community Wiki as there is no one answer.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

One of the best beers I've made came from a sandwich.

Seriously.

I was eating a pepper turkey and pepper jack on Jewish Rye, with some spicy mustard. Toward the end of the meal, I bit into a caraway seed. The flavor exploded! I decided I needed that in a beer. So I came up with a recipe for a rye dry stout with caraway seeds. It's my best recipe.

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That sounds awesome. Brilliant idea! –  markskar Jun 22 '10 at 18:12
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I'm still a newbie, but I'm planning what to brew based on the season it will be ready to drink. Right now I'm wishing I had started wheat beer about 6 weeks ago because it is 85 and humid today.

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Yeah, that's actually bitten me a few times (including this summer as well), but I think I've learned my lesson and I'm going to start brewing for the winter now! –  Room3 Jun 23 '10 at 13:14
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I really like PJ's answer and ideas that are inspired by food (beer is food!). A guy named Peter that I (and probably a few others here) know on Twitter as @SimplyBeer created a brew based on his love of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: Peanut Butter Porter. I haven't tried it yet but everyone who tried it seemed to love it. Really want to try brewing this soon. Here is his recipe: http://www.simplybeer.com/blog/2010/03/19/homebrew-peanut-butter-porter-recipe/

But most of my own recipes are inspired by beers that I've tried and loved.

Smuttynose does a really hoppy Imperial Stout, and I decided to try to brew one myself using a lot of Chinook hops (they use Cascade, but I thought Chinook might work better). I wouldn't say it was as good or better than Smutty, but it came out awesome and I'd definitely do it again.

I also just got to try some Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous that has me wanting to do a black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale/whatever you want to call the style (I'm not a fan of the term "Cascadian Dark Ale", I'd call it an India Black Ale if it were up to me).

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Yeah, never heard of Cascadian Dark Ale... I have always heard Black IPA. I think Chirs Colby made that term up hoping it would stick and then it would help draw attention to him and the BYO magazine. –  brewchez Jun 22 '10 at 19:19
    
There's been a movement for the CDA term on Twitter, mostly from people in the Pacific Northwest. I think it's crap. But "Black IPA" is sort of a paradox. –  markskar Jun 24 '10 at 3:30
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