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"Non-hoppy" beers?

At a recent party, one of the men I had a conversation with was talking about how he never could get past the taste of "hoppy" beers. I am the same way; in fact, that's why I got into wines. But one of the women in our group noted that there were a few beers that had a "non-hoppy" taste. Another friend pulled me away from the conversation for a moment and I missed the names she mentioned. Does anyone know of any beers available that have a "non-hoppy" taste?
I only drink IPA's which tend to be the "hoppiest" of the beers. You want to look for something that has a low IBU #. I believe this stands for International Bitterness Units but I could be mistaken. The hops create the bitterness. I am one of those people that stays away from the types of beers you are looking for. The hoppier, the better.

I would say any standard lager will be non-hoppy. Amstel, Stella, Corona, etc. If you are looking for a non-hoppy ale, obviously most stouts and porters (dark beers) are going to be sweeter with less bitterness. If you do not want a dark beer, look for pale ales with less IBU's. Standard Sierra Nevada is widely available and a good starting point.

If you ever want to be adventurous and transition into "hoppy" beers, start with Dogfish 60 minute IPA and you may surprise yourself.
Coors. Bud Light. Miller.

<---- Sorry, Huge hop fan here! :thumbup:

Okay, now for a more realistic answer. Usually Blondes, lagers, hefeweizens, wheat ales, and some belgians tend to have lower hop character . If you're avoiding hops, stay away from beer style titles like: pale, IPA, XPA, Imperial, etc.
Hops actually play a pretty important role in beer. Hops add alpha acids which we perceive as bitterness on the palate, which counters the natural sweetness that occurs in beer. Belgian beers tend to have low hop quantities because the beer is designed to have a high alcohol content, thus usually a high residual sugar content.
There are hundreds of different types of hops, all have their own unique taste. Perhaps it was the type of hop used in the beer you drank that you did not like? Some can give off a piney type smell and taste, while others have a more fruity-grapefruit like quality. Im convinced theres a hop out there for everyone!
My personal favorites are Cascade, and Falconers Flight. Smelling the hop cones themselves can help give you an idea of what you may like. I wouldn't try to avoid hops all together just because you havent found one you enjoy yet.
Stout, Porter, Nut Brown, ESB, Hefeweizen, ... lots of options. Go grab yourself a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout and join the dark side.
Stout, Porter, Nut Brown, ESB, Hefeweizen, ... lots of options. Go grab yourself a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout and join the dark side.
This man knows exactly what he's talking about. Especially those first three options he listed, and ESPECIALLY the brewery he listed. Try some of those offerings from Samuel Smith- you might chuck the wine in the garbage :biggrin1:

Also, if you're looking for other options, head over to your local beer store and just tell them that you prefer "malty" and don't like "hoppiness." They'll steer you right.
Stout, Porter, Nut Brown, ESB, Hefeweizen, ... lots of options. Go grab yourself a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout and join the dark side.
Yes! Find your local craft brewery and tell them malty. A Scotch ale will also make you happy. You will have better luck in the fall and winter as well.
+1 on the blondes. Any traditional german beer will be a little less hoppy however that also comes with the price of being a so called "import" beer. The best thing to do is find a good local brewer and they usually do brew tours or hold release parties. Attend one of those and ask the people there. Sometimes the best beers and lowest prices are local breweries.
Traditionally, Belgian styles are hopped once (early) so that the hops provide very little in obvious flavors, but do add some bitterness to balance the malt. They're also somewhat yeast-forward in flavor, which is usually sweet and mildly fruity. Many are spiced as well. All that to say, big and flavorful without being hoppy.

But you always want some hops; even if you don't notice them, you'd be glad they're there if you ever had a beer with none.
My wife doesn't like hops at all, and she swears by Dogfish Head "Raison D'Etre". It's a classic Belgian Abby style Ale, and a sweet maltiness that has a but of heavy edge to it.

Interestingly, she's figured out that it's more the particular characteristics of the hop variety Cascade that she doesn't like, not necessarily hops in general. So there is a beer from Bear Republic brewery called "Racer 5" which is quite hoppy but has very little Cascade in it, and she doesn't mind it at all. It would be very interesting for you to try Racer 5 and tell us what you think. It's hoppy and bitter but of a very different character.

I love Racer 5, by the way, and I'm fond of hoppy beers but not the extreme ones, and I especially don't like this new trend in American microbreweries where they add a ton of hops to some other style and make up a name for it. "Belgian IPA" I'm talkin' to you. Cut it out.


Moderator Emeritus
First thing I thought was just about any macro-brewed lager would work, but then I saw that some smarter members than I made it outside of that box. Dead on with the recommendations for porters, nut brown ales, and a nice oatmeal stout! :thumbup: If you haven't tried any of those in the past, you owe it to yourself to give them a shot. Sweeter, lower carbonation levels, and generally a little more unique than a standard lager. Also look at a good wheat beer; those usually have a way different flavor profile altogether.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a Corona or a PBR now and then just as much as the next guy (or gal), but usually I stick with hoppier offerings, and have been sampling most of the Dogfish line since I arrived in Delaware. To each their own...beer is good food.
I can't really recommend any non hoppy beer that has not already been listed, I personally stick to IPAs and double IPAs (I was extremely excited when I found dogfish head 120 on tap last month, $10 for 4oz of beer and totally worth it).

From the brewing side of it there are aromatic hops and flavor hops, I don't remember the specific varieties right now. But hops also are important in brewing due to their antiseptic qualities, ie they kill bacteria, this is why IPA ( India pale ale, or ale that traditionally was designed to survive a voyage from England to India without going bad).

Only semi related but interesting: yarrow root was also used in brewing for its antiseptic qualities, it was traditionally reserved for wedding beers as it had the side effect of making the drinker go a little crazy.


Moderator Emeritus
I luv me some hops! The more the better. Like Stone Ruination, Troegs Nugget Nectar, Dog Fish 60 and 90...
But right, you asked for no hops, many good suggestions here, where are you from, that would help with what beer is available near you. Stick with the browns, lower IBU Ambers, and pretty soon Octoberfests will be out. That would fit what you are looking for nicely. Also, Kolsch is a good low IBU style.
As you can see, there are more than a few beers that don't taste distinctly "hoppy." You should try those beers, but you should also note that there are many different kinds of hops with distinct tastes. For example, American pale ales and IPAs from the west coast tend to have very floral and bitter hops, while the noble hops favored by Europeans have more of a grass taste.

If you think it is the bitterness from hops that you don't like, you may notice many beers marked with "IBU" on the bottle. Those are "International Bittering Units." The lower the number, the less bitter the beer.

As someone already mentioned, Guinness is probably the most widely available non-hoppy beer. But there are more interesting options. Do you like champagne? If so you might consider either the style of beer called saison or biere du mars. A classic saison that is widely available is Saison Dupont. Due to your fondness for wine, you might consider a barleywine. There are many from American microbrewerys. Barleywines are pretty much the most highly alcoholic beers though, so keep that in mind.

You might also try classic belgian styles: dubbels (New Belgium Abbey is an American version), triples (New Belgium also makes one of these), or a Quad (St Bernardus is the way to go with this). You can also try lambics. Framboise is extremely popular, but not necessarily the best. Krieks are excellent, those are sour lambics brewed with sour cherries. If you want to dive into the deep end and taste something truly unique to beer, try gueuze. These are blends of lambic beers that have been allowed to spontaneously ferment in open-aired vats exposed to environmental yeasts.
I'm the same way - not a fan of hops (and believe me, I've TRIED!)

so I generally drink whisky. :)

when it does come to a fermented grain beverage I usually prefer the Belgian lambics (flavored) or a thick dark English ale/stout

i do enjoy a Sam Smith Oatmeal stout or Nutbrown Ale - but I can only drink one as it's like drinking a meal.