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Looking for my new favorite beer

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Zetan, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Zetan

    Zetan Aspirant (25) North Carolina Jan 11, 2013

    Hey all,

    I'm fairly new to drinking beer in general, but I've been learning a lot since my job started serving it. The first beer I really enjoyed was Guinness Draught (the one in the bottle). Since then, I've been trying out local/craft beers. I can't stand anything lighter than a porter (even an amber is too pale for me) but most porters (and especially stouts) tend on the bitter side.

    I have found a few beers I enjoy, but they tend to have other flavors besides just beer. Aviator's Frostnipper, Highland's Thunderstruck, and Saranac's Caramel Porter are all delicious, but sometimes I want a beer that doesn't have a hint of nutmeg, coffee, or caramel. Sometimes I just want a beer that tastes like beer.

    So I came here looking for suggestions. I've got a local store that does craft beer, so as long as it isn't too obscure, availability shouldn't be too much of a problem. So, what do you guys think?

    tl;dr - I'm looking for a dark beer, not too bitter, and with no other flavors besides that of beer.
  2. Zetan

    Zetan Aspirant (25) North Carolina Jan 11, 2013

  3. Your location matters a lot, as most craft beer companies do not distribute their products nationally.

    I'd recommend Deschutes- Black Butte Porter or Great Lakes- Edmund Fitzgerald, but again, I don't know if your in a state that gets those beers.

    You could also go with a Dark Lager, like Port Brewings Hot Rocks Lager or Midnight Expressions.
    Gosox8787 likes this.
  4. Not sure where you're at, but if you can grab Smuttynose Robust Porter, I think you'll really enjoy it.

    Also, if you like bitter (I think from your above post you do) try to get your hands on a newer stlyle called "Black IPA." Back in Black, by a brewery called 21st Amendment, is an excellent one.

    Finally, Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout is widely available. You should grab some for sure.

    Gosox8787 likes this.
  5. Zetan

    Zetan Aspirant (25) North Carolina Jan 11, 2013

    I'm in the middle of North Carolina. Thanks!
  6. abraxel

    abraxel Savant (395) Michigan Aug 28, 2009

    Looking at the breweries that are distributed to North Carolina, the first few that come to mind that you might like are Founders Porter, Oskar Blues Old Chub, Flying Dog Gonzo Porter, and Smuttynose Robust Porter. Those last two might be a touch higher on the bitterness than the first two. I most highly recommend Founders Porter.

    I hear there's good beer brewed in NC, too, but I don't know much about it. Maybe someone else will recommend something local :)
  7. Zetan

    Zetan Aspirant (25) North Carolina Jan 11, 2013

    I've actually tried the Founders Porter, and it was actually too bitter for me... maybe I'm too picky? :oops:

    Edit: Thanks for the link, though, that's ready handy!
  8. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poobah (1,270) Indiana Aug 11, 2012 Beer Trader

    Old Rasputin, Boulevard Dark Truth Stout, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Hopping Frog stouts are all pretty harcore, and my favorite Bells Expedition Stout.
  9. Ericness

    Ericness Savant (290) Massachusetts Nov 21, 2012

  10. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (420) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    You're not too picky. The "American" beer styles are usually more hopped up, so they will be more bitter. Most Porters that you find in the craft section will probably be these hopped-up porters. This bitterness tends to fade with time if you are willing to set some bottles down.

    My recommendation would be to try some more beers outside of the American Porter style since you don't seem to like bitterness. Maybe try Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. Cheers
  11. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    Olde Mecklenburg Copper from Charlotte.
  12. Brunite

    Brunite Savant (430) Illinois Sep 21, 2009

    Dark, sweetish, not bitter, a true classic= CELEBRATOR
    FUNKPhD and ant880 like this.
  13. lurchingbeast

    lurchingbeast Initiate (0) Illinois Feb 19, 2009

    Wtf is "the taste of beer"?

    My biggest pet peeve of non craft drinkers is the "tastes like beer" line. There are thousands of flavors of beer.
    musicman7070 and Brunite like this.
  14. JimKal

    JimKal Savant (390) North Carolina Jul 31, 2011 Verified

    The middle of North Carolina is still a pretty broad are. If you are close to Greensboro, I would suggest heading to Bestway as the store has the best selection in the area. I'm not a fan of Porters but like some of the milder Stouts - Bell's Double Creme Stout, Sam Adams Cream Stout. BTW saying you want something that tastes like beer makes it hard to make a recommendation as the taste range in craft is pretty broad - they are all beer. There are just some taste profiles that will appeal to you more than others and with time your own taste preferences will broaden and change.
  15. Brunite

    Brunite Savant (430) Illinois Sep 21, 2009

  16. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Advocate (625) Georgia Nov 13, 2008 Beer Trader

    Go to this page:

    I'd suggest looking at these styles based on your descriptions:
    Milk/Sweet Stout (particularly Left Hand and Duck-Rabbit)
    Scotch Ale
    Belgian Strong Dark Ale (might be a bit much at first)

    Clicking on the links will show you the most reviewed beers of each style. Look around your local beer store for some of those beers, particularly the ones that are reviewed well and/or are local.
    musicman7070 likes this.
  17. stealth

    stealth Champion (765) Minnesota Dec 16, 2011 Beer Trader

    Fullers London Porter. The most balanced, sessionable, and at the same time, forgettable (this is a good trait, in the way I am using it here), porter out there, imo.
  18. MADPolo

    MADPolo Savant (465) Alabama Dec 19, 2012

    I agree with Stealth. Fullers London Porter is about as unoffensive as you can get in a Porter. It's a good beer by all means!

    Anchor Porter, Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, maybe Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Highland Oatmeal Porter, Samuel Smiths Taddy Porter should all work as well
    TongoRad likes this.
  19. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Champion (800) Colorado Jan 20, 2012 Beer Trader

    mephestopheles. that is all.
  20. zach60614

    zach60614 Savant (410) Illinois May 1, 2012 Beer Trader

    Based on the beers he named, I think he means he wants beers with no adjuncts or additional flavorings.
    herrburgess likes this.
  21. Check out German dopplebocks - it sounds like a style you may enjoy.


    Victory Baltic Thunder
    Troegs Troegenator
  22. Resuin

    Resuin Poobah (1,110) Massachusetts Jun 18, 2012 Beer Trader

    I would suggest trying some Barleywines, SN Bigfoot should be available if you haven't had that. American Barleywines tend to be a bit hoppier than English though. Otherwise check out any of these: American Barleywines or English Barleywines. Cheers.
    musicman7070 likes this.
  23. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poobah (1,035) New Jersey Jun 3, 2004 Beer Trader

    What these guys said, with a special nod towards Anchor Porter.
  24. I see others have already mentioned the "beer that tastes like beer" comment, but I want to go a step further and say that the flavors you mention are pretty typical of dark beers. So if you don't like spice/coffee/caramel flavors, the question I'd concentrate on is, what DO you like about dark beers? Because while the responses before mine hold a treasure trove of excellent beer suggestions, most of them have the flavors you mentioned (less so nutmeg, but some other spices can be found too), or flavors very like them, such as anise or toffee.

    That being said, I'd go definitely check out Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock, Fuller's London Porter, and Anchor Porter (all mentioned above).
  25. blackcompg

    blackcompg Savant (355) Illinois Feb 13, 2011

    Left hand milk stout nitro. All year long ;)
    mecummins likes this.
  26. musicman7070

    musicman7070 Advocate (530) New Jersey Aug 26, 2012 Beer Trader

    Based on his original post, it seems that an English Barleywine would probably be more suitable for his tastes/preferences. I'm having the Anchor Barleywine which as you know is an English Barleywine. It's pretty tasty, IMO.
    zach60614 likes this.
  27. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    Most U.S. "craft" dark beers exhibit these flavors. Most German (and Czech and British) dark beers do not, as they are not necessarily brewed with an abundance of chocolate, roasted, and/or crystal malts. Beer geeks can complain all they want about "non-craft drinkers" and their apparent ignorance in such matters; perhaps if more U.S. "craft" brewers would stick to brewing beers that feature flavors imparted primarily by the use of malted barley (of which, granted, there are 1000s) and not additions of chocolate/vanilla/coffee/bourbon, then "non-craft" drinkers wouldn't make such statements in the first place.
    zach60614 likes this.