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Help selecting good beers for bad beer drinkers

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by captenaj, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. captenaj

    captenaj Aficionado (175) Minnesota Jul 14, 2006

    I'm at a loss. I am having a party where I would like to introduce good beers to people who are afraid to try them. I am planning on having a tasting of craft beers and comparing them to mass produced ones. For example, having Bell's Oberon and saying it's like a Blue Moon. But what other "pairings" can I choose? What is a craft version of Miller and Coors Light? Any help would be appreciated.
  2. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    I can kind of feel your pain man, but I'd say there aren't "bad beer drinkers," there are just people who are "happy in their world" when it comes to the beers they like. Expanding that area of their life isn't a high priority. For example, I like dewalt tools. I realize that other brands make some great stuff, and I even have a few of them. But I still like dewalt and will buy them first over others of the same type (unless someone gives me a very specific reason to do so).

    There's no easy answer. Brand loyalty is strong, even amongst craft beer enthusiasts. I'm big on stone, and will gladly drink them anytime. Not as strong as a locked in bud drinker, but some nuts are harder to crack than others.

    I would suggest just letting people try stuff. I like to give out shot glasses of homebrew at parties where most people are macro drinkers.

    Probably pick a different forum for this question and you'd get more responses too. :rolleyes:
    mwar likes this.
  3. A good pilsner or a golden ale would be the closest beer styles that I can suggest that would mimic the BMC beers. But I also agree with AlCapone that letting them drink anything would also be a good way to go.
  4. gatornation

    gatornation Poobah (1,275) Minnesota Apr 18, 2007 Beer Trader

    buy some of these
    Great Lakes Christmas Ale
    Sunner Kolsch
    Ayinger Hefe
  5. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Initiate (0) Kentucky Oct 25, 2012

    I like to recommend a lighter-hopped pale ale to BMC drinkers to try and expand their beer view. Macro beers have almost no hop flavor at all, so while it's a good flavor, a palate used to Bud Light might find it overwhelming. I gave a buddy a SN Celebration last night, and he called it "too stout for me." He drinks BL, so I took this as "too much flavor... flavor overload."

    Not sure what to recommend as far as a Miller/Coors light parody. I'm of the opinion that Sam Adams Boston Lager is a good stepping stone.
  6. mcrago

    mcrago Savant (405) Indiana Oct 6, 2012

    I've tried this many times, and believe me, you're fighting an uphill battle.
    Kyrojack likes this.
  7. tkelley

    tkelley Savant (285) Massachusetts Sep 23, 2010

    Go with Old World equivalents. I think that might be the best way to convert BMC folks to craft stuff. Weihenstaphaner Original is a great intro for lager lovers. I think their Hefe is good for that too, to introduce people to other potential beer flavors. Then you pull the "Well if you liked that, you might really like..." and break out some good american craft.

    Alternatively, if you have a group that you know likes Guinness, you can show them some quality stouts and porters (Edmund Fitz, Mayflower, Founders, etc.), to get in on the roasty side.
  8. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Advocate (635) New Jersey Mar 6, 2008 Beer Trader

    Try local beers in everyday styles like Pale Ales,Amber/Red lagers, IPA's ect,ect.
  9. tkelley

    tkelley Savant (285) Massachusetts Sep 23, 2010

    People are suckers for local stuff (people like me anyway - can't resist local wares!). This might be the way to go, even if your local offerings aren't the super high quality stuff from the bigger craft brewers. Take someone to the tasting room or for a tour, have the employees their talk to them and get their eyes open.
    siege06nd likes this.
  10. I don't care if you like Dewalt. I'm going to force you to like Snap-On which is significantly more expensive because I feel it is better and I want you to be like me.:p
    jon2465 and AlCaponeJunior like this.
  11. You are planning a beer tasting & it sounds like your guests think they are attending a party.
    Sounds like a recipe for disappointment on all sides.
    LouieBreschi and bryanole27 like this.
  12. Seriously though OP...'bad beer' is 100% subjective. I know plenty of BMC drinkers that are perfectly content drinking BMC. That's cool, more 'craft' for me!

    It's funny how this site is sometimes...everybody complains about getting beers and prices, yet try to convert everybody they meet. Honestly we should work to converting people BACK to BMC;)
    Rekrule and fujindemon74 like this.
  13. acevenom

    acevenom Advocate (555) Louisiana Oct 7, 2011

    I honestly wouldn't worry about it so much unless they're curious. That's just a general rule I follow. If they're drinking BMC only, it's more craft for me. Of course, I can easily drink BMC with them and alone. I don't see the problem.
    bryanole27 and fujindemon74 like this.
  14. I suggest getting sufficient quantities of BMC and a 3-6 sixers of craft beer (whatever styles YOU like) and offer the option of tasting the craft. If anyone takes you up on the craft beer, crack one and pour 3-6 tasters (2-4 oz) and wait for reaction. IF positive, hand them a bottle. If not, no real loss.

    Let your guest decide what they prefer, craft or BMC.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  15. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Initiate (0) Kentucky Oct 25, 2012

    The OPs post was nothing like that attitude. I think he/she just wants to introduce people to good beer. Of course taste is subjective, but I didn't like my first beer. I was content with beer that I now deem "piss" until I got into "better" beer. There's no faulting this guy for (yes, I'm saying it) "helping" people enjoy the pleasure of life more.
    bryanole27 likes this.
  16. That response was more tongue-in-cheek. I agree with you in my next response. Cheers!
    Winston_Smith likes this.
  17. HeyJim

    HeyJim Savant (395) Pennsylvania Sep 22, 2012

    I'd get BMC still and just get a few sixers of mild, easily accessible craft.

    Victory Prima Pils comes to mind. Great Lakes Eliot Ness Lager would be an easy one too.
    WYVYRN527 likes this.
  18. semibaked

    semibaked Champion (830) Kentucky Mar 27, 2007 Verified

    I work at a liquor store and a bar/liquor store, the first thing I do when people ask question about craft beer and I can tell they are definitely new to it, is I ask what they normally like to drink and if they say something like Coors Light or Bud Light Lime (these are been 2 recent response) I will generally suggest SN Pale Ale, Weihenstephaner Original or Hefe, even Unibroue Blanche De Chambly and I have had a lot of success with those suggestions lately. I have gotten repeat customers a lot recently.

    Also people ask me stuff like "what is the best beer you have?" or what is your favorite beer?" and my immediate response is NOT to tell them what I like (they are most likely not going to enjoy Bells Expedition or Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueze) and ask them what they enjoy.

    Make the conversation revolve around them and not you, they will appreciate you trying to help them. I have seen people make the mistake of just talking about what beers they like and not trying to really help them find something they enjoy.

    Good Luck!
    PortLargo and bryanole27 like this.
  19. Whenever someone asks me what to get for "someone who likes Budweiser or Bud Light", I always point them to Victory Prima Pils or Stoudt's Gold Lager. Kölschs are also a good route to travel in my opinion.
    HeyJim likes this.
  20. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Initiate (0) Kentucky Oct 25, 2012

    Never send a Snap-On to do a Craftsman's job.
    bryanole27 likes this.
  21. diesel59

    diesel59 Savant (410) New York Jan 3, 2012

    don't waste good beer on people who won't appreiciate it......... it'll just aggrivate you...
    yemenmocha, SammyJaxxxx and Lipsntoes like this.
  22. kcRhyno

    kcRhyno Disciple (50) Oct 17, 2012

    i work in a very nice liquor store in KC. i always try to get people away from the Buds and Millers, so i suggest either Schlafly Pale Ale or the new Boulevard 80 Acre Wheat and have had great success.
    Winston_Smith likes this.
  23. Lipsntoes

    Lipsntoes Savant (400) Ohio Jul 15, 2012

    Start slow... just inch it in. For IPA, I suggest Harpoon.
  24. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    Prima Pils is the shit. :D
  25. Any of the following are easy transition beers for mass beer drinkers.
    Sam Adams Boston Lager
    Harpoon IPA
    Victory Lager

    And around Thanksgiving, Heavy Seas Marzen or Sam Adams Octoberfest are easy calls.
    Don't ever say a craft taste like a Bud or a Miller as that is never going to work.
  26. Absolut

    Absolut Advocate (665) California Sep 19, 2011 Verified

    if in California
    Ballast Pale Ale
    Rogue Hazelnut Brown
  27. beercanman

    beercanman Savant (485) Ohio Dec 17, 2012

    GL dortmunder.
    Hawkharvs likes this.
  28. Bitburger, blanche de bruxelles, and pilsner urquell !
  29. Prh27

    Prh27 Savant (370) Virginia Apr 24, 2012

    Basic porter or stout such as Founders Porter or Sixpoint Diesel
  30. Gregfalone

    Gregfalone Savant (375) California Sep 5, 2012 Beer Trader

    If they are stuck on there brand, for instance they only drink Budweiser, don't even bother. It's not gonna hurt you to let your friends drink macros. I wouldn't even call most of them "bad".

    I think "weak" is a better word. Large breweries do what they do very well, and they have the customers to prove it.

    If they are willing to try other beers try any reputable pilsner or lager.
  31. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,475) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    Anchor Steam.
    lucasj82 likes this.
  32. Any Bud drinker is going to leave an Anchor Steam lame after one sip if this is their first venture into craft beer. This is like jumping straight to Craft beer 205 when we need to fulfill the prerequisites of Craft Beer 101, 102, 102b (the Friday Lab) and 202 before we get there. And then we have to convince them that it really is a good value to spend for a single bomber bottle the same amount as they pay for an 18 pack. But I do my best to be that missionary.
  33. Bad beer is beer that's gone off , rancid and undrinkable.Any other beer is a matter of taste and your view or my view is no more valid than the views of other people.You will probably find that if you give craft beer to your guests many if not most of them won't thank you for it , it's not to everybody's taste after all.Much of today's craft beer is akin to the normal fare of pre WW1 ; strong and heavily hopped and the world has voted with its feet to go for lighter, blander stuff.
  34. I've found that if you get the bigger brand they'll be into it. Like New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, maybe Stone, maybe DFH. All my friends love Shiner Bock. If Real Ale(Texas brewery) brewed it they probably wouldn't be into it. Same with like Blue Moon. They like it because its everywhere and if its everywhere its because it sells good and so it must be good and they have to like it. I hope I make sense.
    Start with something they might be familiar with. Something they may have seen on the shelf or at a bar. It's all about perception. One of my friends liked hazelnut brown nectar a lot. I think most people like brown ales.
  35. arfenhouse

    arfenhouse Savant (305) California Oct 29, 2012

    Depending on their preferences I would probably try to introduce them with SN pale ale, Deschutes porter, or Anchor's steam beer. Or maybe a flavored beer like Young's DC stout. These aren't too offensive to the craft amateur's palate in my opinion. Just don't try to start them off with IPAs or imperial stouts.
  36. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    In Austin... I always suggest Austin Beerworks Pearl Snap Pils. Perfect replacement for BMC-type pilsners.
  37. PittBeerGirl

    PittBeerGirl Advocate (695) Ohio Feb 27, 2007

    I always have Yeungling on hand. I don't know anybody that hates Yeungling, everyone's heard of it (at least in my region), and its a decent beer.

    Going along with the "bigger names and they will try it" gimmick- we also generally have a Sam Adams Seasonal Mixed Case when we know people are coming. The worst that will happen is they will only be willing to drink Sam Adams Boston Lager- which doesn't bother me because its usually the most boring beer in the case that I don't want to drink anyway.

    Good wheat beers will go over well for blue moon fans.
  38. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,245) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Get some of the cheapest BMC economy beer you can find - Milwaukee Beast, Schlitz, etc. For them, Better to be a pig satisfied...

    Also have whatever craft beer you would drink for you, and anyone with else with decent taste.
  39. I agree, this would be my choice
  40. nc41

    nc41 Champion (855) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008 Beer Trader

    I don't bother to try and turn guys onto better beer against their will, if they like Bud Light that's fine with me. If your throwing a party buy what you like and want to drink, and have Miller Lite and Corona for the others, if they ask and want some not a problem. But I wouldn't lose sleep fretting on what brews to try and convert guys.