What Type Of Beer Is Best For New Home Brewers? We Asked An Expert

Brewing your own beer at home can be a highly rewarding project for any beer enthusiast. Mashed spoke with Jeff Tyler, co-owner and head brewer of Spice Trade Brewery & Kitchen in Greenwood Village, Colorado, to discuss where brewing newbies should begin their journey. Although there are several different types of beer served around the globe, Tyler suggests experimenting with a couple of simple yet satisfying Belgian beers.

Belgian abbey-style ales and blondes are excellent choices for novice home brewers due to their forgiving nature and pleasant profiles, according to Tyler. These beers typically feature complex yet balanced flavors with moderate alcohol content, making them approachable for beginners and pros alike. Unlike some beer varieties that require a precise climate during fermentation, abbey ales and blondes can tolerate a wider range of temperatures. That amenable quality makes the brewing process a bit less daunting.

Additionally, these beers possess a relatively low hop factor, which is ideal if you're not too keen on IPAs. This quality reduces the risk of oxidation during brewing and transferring, which is "easy to do when transferring the beer from one container into another," Tyler explains, "unless you have a more advanced setup to purge out oxygen." Excessive exposure to oxygen can lead to skunking, but with Belgian ales and blondes, the focus is primarily on the malt and yeast, minimizing the potential for this common mistake.

Start with Belgian abbey ales and blondes

In terms of color and flavor palate, Belgian abbey ales typically exhibit deep amber to dark brown tones and are characterized by their rich maltiness, fruity esters, and subtle spicy notes from the yeast strains used during fermentation. On the other hand, Belgian blondes boast a pale golden hue — hence their name — with a lighter body and crisp finish accentuated by hints of citrus, honey, and floral aromas in every sip.

Home brewing appeals to zythophiles of all skill levels and allows you to decide for yourself what types of beer you should be drinking. This hobby allows beer lovers to explore their creativity while crafting unique and personalized drinks for themselves and others. Whether it's tweaking a tried-and-true recipe or trialing new and exciting combinations, the activity presents plenty of opportunities for innovation, especially when keeping Jeff Tyler's non-negotiables for home-brewed beer in mind. Brewing a rustic batch of Belgian beer is an accessible and enjoyable endeavor that yields delicious results. With their straightforward processes and welcoming, charming tastes, these kindred styles provide a solid foundation for the art of home brewing.