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New to Microbrews-where to start?

Discussion in 'US - Midwest' started by Zcoffey08, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Zcoffey08

    Zcoffey08 Initiate (5) Feb 26, 2014

    As a young man (23) I'm just starting to get into the microbrews, and I'm wondering what my colleagues would recommend are the "must trys" of the world. I enjoy really all kinds of beers so there are no restrictions!

    Cheers
  2. Blybloke

    Blybloke Aficionado (200) Minnesota Aug 23, 2005

    I would suggest starting at a store that offers mix-and-match 6-packs or individual bottles for sale. That is a terrific way to build your palette without paying for 5+ beers you may not enjoy. And remember to try multiple examples of a particular style as there can be a wide range between breweries.

    As far as 'must trys', I'm sure you'll get a lot of suggestions, but it really comes down to branching out on your own and finding what YOU really like.

    Welcome to the club. The rewards are rich.
  3. jera1350

    jera1350 Advocate (730) Minnesota Dec 15, 2007

    Take a look at the top beers list on here (Top 250). That's probably the best place to start. Everyone's tastes are different, so I would recommend picking up singles of beers to see what you like and dislike and go from there to see which styles you prefer or really like. Even the top beers on a list or from people's recommendations may not be for you. You will only find out when you try them.

    Welcome aboard to the addiction.
    russpowell and billhelm like this.
  4. hamham

    hamham Aficionado (160) Minnesota Oct 26, 2011

    it's probably best to wait a while before you try saga, lest you ruin the chances for any competition.
  5. MCImes

    MCImes Savant (350) Minnesota Dec 31, 2010

    These are all heavily flavored on one way or another, because I like lots of beer in my beer, so it might not be the best "intro" to craft, but if you love beer, sooner or later you'll drink these

    Surly: Abrasive, Coffee Bender, Furious, Misanthriope (taproom only), Pentagram, Wet, Cacao Bender
    Indeed: Day tripper, Hot Box, Stir Crazy, Let it Ride, Rum King
    Summit: Saga, Frost Line Rye, Horizion Red IPA, all the Union series
    Schells: all the Stag series
    Belgians: Cuvee Renee, Rodenbach grand cru and Rodenbach Vintage 20xx, anything by Hanssens, St Bernardus 12, Trappist Rochefort 10 (8 and 12 too, but 10 is my fav), De Molen Hel & Verdomenis, Petrus Pale Ale, Boon Marrige Parfait Guezue and Kriek, St Frullien Saison, Dupont Saison and cuvee dry hopping, anything by De Cam
    Oskar Blues: 10 fidy, Deviant Dales
    Goose Island: Bourbon county anything
    Southern Tier: Oaked Unearthly, Yeti, Oaked Yeti, Espresso Oaked Yeti (the best of the series), Oatmeal Yeti, Rumble Oaked IPA
    Founder's: Centennial IPA, Imperial stout, KBS, bombers
    Town Hall: Masala Mama, anything barrel aged from them, and most of their beers in general are above average
    Samuel Smiths Imperial stout
    La Fin Du Monde (forget the brewery name)
    Steele toe anything (especially size 7)
    Tall Grass: Oasis, Ethos
    Dark Horse: IPA, Plead the Fifth stout
    Stone: Ruination, Sublimely self righteous, oaked arrogant bastard
    Bells: Blacknote, hop slam, Oracle (a whale, but can be found at at beer fests and such- Batch 9000 and Bourbon Barrel Batch 9000. BB9k was a palatte wrecker for me.)
    New Holland: Blue Sunday
    Brooklyn: Sorachi Ace
    Sam Adams: Rebel IPA
    New Belgium: Ranger IPA, Fat tire, French Armatis IPA, Le Terroir, La Folie
    21st Ammendment: Hop Crisis, Oyster stout
    Bent Paddle: Black ale, IPA
    Central Waters: Bourbon barrel stout, Peruvian Morning (when its not infected) Bourbon barrel barleywine
    Lion Stout
    Full Sail: Barley wine

    Wisconsin beers:
    New Glarus: any Thumbprint series 4 packs or Bombers
    Alesmith: Speedway stout
    Anderson valley brewing: Boont Amber ale, IPA
    Jolly Pumpkin La Roja
    3 Fontien: Guezue, Kriek
    (The Bruery is overrated IMO, but lots of people love them...maybe you will be one of them, so I feel obligated to mention them)

    Have to trade for/hit up tastings/friends:
    Russian river ...ation series (especially concecration and supplication) Pliny, blind pig, Alchemist Heady Topper, Cigar City Oaked Jai Ali, La Cumbre Elevated IPA, Jack's Abbey Hoponius Union, Smoke and Dagger

    Go wander around these stores:
    Four Firkins
    Zipps
    Uptown MGM
    Byerley's off 100 and 36th
    Liquor barrel


    Thats just a short list of the notable beers I think everyone should try in the (mostly) MN distro

    (reading over that list makes me very thirsty. does that mean something...?)
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  6. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Champion (790) Minnesota Feb 19, 2005

    Where are you located? If you have local breweries at your disposal go to them, and order a sample flight. Talk with the bartenders, and maybe even the brewer. Learn. It truly is a fun journey.
    nogophers likes this.
  7. BrettHead

    BrettHead Advocate (525) Nebraska Sep 18, 2010

    I'd say don't bother with the top 250. I know way too many people that are relatively new to craft that even though they haven't had a vast majority of the great to world class options available locally they are chasing all the Heady Topper's of the world. Walk before you run :)
    dbossman and KarlHungus like this.
  8. zeledonia

    zeledonia Advocate (525) Minnesota Nov 23, 2008

    The Beers of Fame list is a much better starting point than the Top 250. Or at least it used to be - "hads" are quickly making the two lists exactly the same.
    russpowell and BrettHead like this.
  9. jera1350

    jera1350 Advocate (730) Minnesota Dec 15, 2007

    I'm not recommending he start trading for this and chasing that. There are numerous beers on that list that are available year round locally.
    That's the list I meant. The beers that have stood the test of time. Or just pick ones off of the top 250 with a thousand or more reviews.
  10. dave's brewfarm
  11. Scotty-carter

    Scotty-carter Initiate (10) Feb 27, 2014

    I personally like to call my local bar (The Lockview in Akron, OH) when the mood for a good craft beer is on my mind, Arrogant Bastard is on tap and they fill your personal growler for a decent price. Also if you don't have a growler, they have 2 sizes available for the discerning beer enthusiast.
  12. Pug

    Pug Savant (355) Minnesota Jun 6, 2012

    First Question: Where (ish) do you live?

    That will impact what is available in stores, but will also determine if we say to try going to taprooms or particular bars and say to order flights of beer - that way you can try a number of different things and figure out what sort of beer *you* like. At which point, it'll also be easier to provide some direction.

    I'm a big fan of flights, or going out with friends and trying a bit of what they've ordered, too.

    Your tastes will also likely change even over the course of a couple of years.
  13. radical changes to my pallet have occurred over the past 13 years of drinking. st paul brewed grain belt was the first beer I liked and that led me to prefer old man style lagers. Grain Belt was my beer of choice, but PBR, old style, hauie, leinie's original, iron city, etc were all suitable substitutions. I gradually worked through pilsners, marzens until I tried sprecher black Bavarian and discovered dark beers, but hops were still the enemy in my mind. I don't know if it was harpoon ipa or sweetwater ipa that converted me to a hophead, but I got both those in trades and it didn't take long before finding stone ruination in a store was the highlight of my life and you couldn't get me to take a glass of RIS. somewhere in there I bought a four pack of NG sour brown, which I loved and everyone else I know hated it. now I seem to gravitate toward seasonals and sours I guess I kind of came full circle going starting with schells style beers and ending up back at schells

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