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What was Your Matrix "Red pill" moment?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BeerMeFitz, Apr 1, 2012.

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  1. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Savant (490) Ohio Jul 4, 2008

    25yrs ago having 2 of them one right after the other on tap @ Der Braumeister on the westside of C-Town. St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout & Aventinus...still chasing the dragon but these 2 for their style have stood the test of time for me...
  2. bsnone

    bsnone Aficionado (245) Arizona Nov 22, 2012

    Spring of 2004 while living in Minnesota I tried Summit's Maibock and was hooked. I had tried Bud and Miller and Grain Belt and never understood the appeal. I got into Harp and Smithwicks shortly there after. I found myself in Arizona a year later and couldn't find Summit - couldn't find anything I really liked. Finally had someone convince me to try this crazy beer in a can called Dale's Pale Ale and I was then on a mission to try every pale ale and IPA I could find. Now I'm thrilled I live in AZ as we get a lot of GREAT beers down here.
  3. Optifron

    Optifron Aficionado (195) Illinois Aug 17, 2012

    Was a gradual transition for me as well, one that is continuing, but if I had a "light bulb" moment, it was actually Coors Original. Not that Coors Original is a great beer, but it had significantly more flavor than the light lagers I was used to and made me say, "Huh, I wonder what else has more flavor?". From there it branched to SABL, which is still a go to beer for me, Fat Tire, SNPA, and on and on...
  4. Bells Two hearted at Eulogy in philly.
  5. Sometime in 2003... I was living near Athens, GA and ordered my very first SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale... After enjoying it, I gradually made my way through the rest of SweetWater's line up and began seeking out other craft beers on draft and in the store. I still enjoy SweetWater brews today when I can get a hold of them.
  6. carterIPA

    carterIPA Initiate (20) Oct 27, 2012

    I would have to say that the moment beer became more then something I drank to something wonderful, full of flavor and something you love is when i first had Schlafly's APA it turned me on to all other IPA's then to Stouts. Truly a great beer.
  7. nasty31

    nasty31 Savant (250) Indiana May 5, 2010

    In high school I always bought gumball head while everyone else was sipping Busch light.. Don't get me wrong I still drank the Busch... A high school kid can't afford strictly gumball head on saving lunch money all week...modern day post 21 years breakfast stout is what really got me into craft beer... I always took Floyd's for granted cause it was ten minutes away so I really didn't think it was craft beer back in the day
  8. Bitter_Echo

    Bitter_Echo Savant (400) Michigan Apr 13, 2012

    Bell's Two Hearted Ale did the deed for me!
  9. cjoc83

    cjoc83 Savant (450) Pennsylvania Jul 31, 2010

    The day I started working as a bar-back/server/kitchen worker at Victory about 6 or 7 years ago (I don't work there anymore). At the time, I just wanted to get drunk once in a while, and it was just easier picking up a sixer of Golden Monkey or Hop Devil with the employee discount. Eventually my taste buds came around.
  10. mjmbeer

    mjmbeer Aficionado (130) Illinois Dec 13, 2008

    Victory Prima Pils Was at a wine festival I've never looked back
  11. broseidon

    broseidon Zealot (85) Ohio Oct 17, 2012

    The summer between my freshman and sophomore years at college I was back home working at a little drive through/ beer and wine sop near my parents' house. Back then, I was underage, drinking terrible liquor and wine coolers and pretty much every other stereotypical white girl drink I could get my hands on. My boss specialized in carrying craft brews and I just starting talking to customers about what they were buying... One guy in particular always bought some of the more "unusual" ( to me at the time) beers and he would tell me about things like BCBS, DFH 120, etc and I was hooked. The day after I turned 21 I walked into the place that would become my employer in NKY and dropped $100 on beers I'd never heard of and have never looked back!
  12. Mattyb79

    Mattyb79 Savant (440) Virginia Dec 11, 2012

    From the time I turned 21 up until about two years ago I drank nothing but Bud Lite or Coor's Light. One day while in the beer cooler, I saw an Ommegang Abbey Ale on the shelf and thought I gotta know what an eight dollar bottle of beer tastes like. Never looked back. I still get an Abbey Ale about once a month just to relive that "awakening"
  13. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Savant (300) Oregon Nov 21, 2012

    Deschutes Black Butte Porter, on a family trip to Sun River (Bend) when I was about 18 or 19, got me into craft beer. So by the time I was legal I already had an appreciation for the real stuff. However I would say my real awakening (becoming a geek) didn't happen until 25 (2 years ago). I had a Rogue XS Old Crustacean Barleywine (1 of only 3 Rogue beers that I've ever liked). Since then I have tried just about every style, and drink more unfamiliar beers than I do of ones I have already had.
  14. MADPolo

    MADPolo Initiate (0) Alabama Dec 19, 2012

    I don't remember a specific date, but I do remember the evolution. I went from Bud Light, to Corona, to Yuengling & Amberbock, to Guinness. I was then given a couple bottles of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and loved it.

    In my travels to locate more of it, I found the local bottle shops and purchased my first six pack of Left Hand Milk Stout. After that epiphany, I have been bottle hunting/tasting ever since. I have a few go to favorites, along with Cigar City Brews, but I get more thrill out of trying new stuff now.
  15. ksodemann

    ksodemann Aficionado (195) Missouri Nov 29, 2012

    Boulevard Tank 7
  16. Starr Hill DARK STARR STOUT @ the old brewpub on Main St. in Charlottesville, VA. Instantly did it for me, although I had had some Goose Island beers before that, mainly Hex Nut and Honkers. Sitting at that Bar with Mark Thompson and Dark Starr was a the turning point....I actually think it may have been on nitro! My god was that good!
  17. DROOO

    DROOO Aficionado (205) Illinois May 5, 2009

    same here practically. i was at a house party, and this guy was drinking a bottle of guinness extra stout. i inquired, he handed me the bottle, and it tasted like super bitter coffee to me. i was a junior in high school (1994), chugging coors lights and goldschl├Ąger. then in 97, i tasted some sammy smith oatmeal stout, and the rest is history. soon after, i bought a sampler pack from redhook and remember enjoying the blackhook porter...
  18. Miller, Blue moon, I think Imports really got me, German imports
  19. BeerMeFitz

    BeerMeFitz Savant (320) Illinois Oct 24, 2011

    Looks like I have to go to VA
  20. Steamer

    Steamer Aficionado (220) Missouri Dec 13, 2012

    I was in a Chicago suburb having dinner with family and friends before a show last October and got a wild hair to try something different. Ordered a Left Hand Milk Stout (the name sounded interesting). It was so smooth, silky and delicious... I was hooked. Yes, I'm a newbie to the craft beer scene but I've been branching out trying different styles ever since and I'm not looking back.
  21. I'd like to say Two Hearted but it wasnt until i had hopslam last year that i truly went dow the rabbit hole
  22. I was in Scotland performing at the Edinburgh arts festival in August of 2008. Celebrated one night at the white horse, a fine pub steeped in rich history. Ordered nine pints of mcewans that evening, fell asleep while taking a bath the following afternoon, and have been chasing the dream ever since. Haven't found mcewans yet in the USA unfortunately...
  23. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Savant (440) Pennsylvania Jan 23, 2007

    While attending Drexel University circa 1990. Samuel Smith's The Famous Taddy Porter - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) served at Cavanaugh's, 119 South 39th Street, Philadelphia
  24. Crusader

    Crusader Savant (345) Sweden Feb 4, 2011

    I never really woke up from drinking pale lagers. Had Danish 5.7% adjunct lagers at the pre-parties from age 18-20 with the occasional premium lager at the bar or the club. Tried some different 3.5% beers from the grocery store, a dark lager, some continental lagers and Guinness draught, but my mother didn't approve of me drinking beer at home so I stuck to drinking beer at parties only. Started drinking German and Swedish lagers once I turned 20 and could frequent the monopoly stores. I bought a Guinness Extra stout and a Samuel Adams lager pretty early on after that that I can recall but I enjoyed the German lagers enough to where I didn't feel like spending the extra money to try a bunch of different beers at the parties, plus none of my friends at that time were interested in beer and the parties were not geared towards savoring the drinks.

    A year or so after I had turned 20 I had a change of location and friends and this provided a more suitable environment for my interest in beer and I started to branch out alot more, but I still kept drinking pale lagers, primarily German pilsners. There's never been a point where I felt like I had to give up drinking macro lagers to enjoy craft beer. I don't like every macro lager there is, but there's alot of them that I find to be tasty, and the lower price doesn't hurt since the taxes on alcohol are rather punitive here (add to that import prices and marketing, plus no discounts on six-packs or cases, and it gets pretty expensive).

    Older Swedes might have a similar outlook to many Americans and the BMC narrative, since our beer industry was dominated by one major brewery at one point (which the government planned on becoming the only brewery in the country, owned by the government) up until the 80s. But since the early 00s there's really been a major change in the Swedish beer market and I came of age right in the middle of this. The Swedish beer market is nothing like the American one with its myriad of craft breweries, but it's certainly alot different from what it was like in the 80s and early 90s. There's both micro and macro on the shelves here, imports and domestics. I have never felt hoodwinked in the same way as many Americans do when it comes to lager beer sold by the major breweries.

    I had read about the reinheitsgebot, about adjuncts in beer, and about the micro brewed American beers etc. online from the time I turned 18 so I knew that the Danish 5.7% beer we were drinking at the pre-parties had corn in it (it even said so on the cans) and that there were beers that didn't have corn in them, and I tried a Guinness shortly after turning 18 and knew that there were other styles than just lager beer. There was no sense of shock or sense of betrayal involved, just beers that I liked and beers that I didn't like and a general interest in beer that has only grown with time.
  25. Sierra Nevada at about 22.
  26. czfreeman

    czfreeman Savant (455) Michigan May 22, 2007

    Typical BMC beers in college, freshman year
    Started to get into some craft, I think "dark beer" was still pretty exotic though.
    My dad took me to Germany for 10 days to visit family. I remember the epiphany was this beer called Ritterbock in Weisbaden.
    Blew my mind. I ended up moving back and living for several years, studied brewing science now brewing for the rest of my life.
    Thanks Dad!
  27. Gannon81

    Gannon81 Aficionado (185) Oregon Jan 5, 2012

    I once was lost...but now I am Founders.
    okcommuter likes this.
  28. I think I am very lucky. My first beer (at age 18, hah) was a chocolate stout. From there, my older friends gave me what they call a beerducation and bought beers like Fat Tire and Oberon/Two Hearted for me to try. I was spoiled. I still had a cheapo-college time period where I was okay with drinking $5 Killian's pitchers, but in general, I was always happy to go to Ashleys to splurge on a good beer from their rotating tap list.
  29. Bruery's Saison Rue. 2010 at Haven gastropub in old towne Orange. it was by no means my first craft beer (i liked stone, samuel smiths, piraat ale) but it really did blow my mind at the time...ah the good ol' days...that was the beginning of the end for me.
  30. My neighbor and I started "destination" bike rides last year. Our first ride just happened to be a trip to Founders. One Centennial IPA later I realized there was no going back. Oh, and the ride home was a little bit slower than the ride there.
    WebGuyMike likes this.
  31. Andygirl

    Andygirl Savant (280) Michigan Jan 3, 2013

    Walked into the Oak Cafe.
  32. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Ontario (Canada) Jul 24, 2012

    KBS in '11. Huge lineup at a beer festival. Just got in line for something I had honestly no idea about. But there had been lineups at Founders tent all day. Already got in line for Blushing Monk and Devil Dancer at that point so I figured "why not" for this thing called KBS. Ah ha!
  33. Long time reader first time poster. Growing up in the States with an Australian father there was always beer in the fridge allthough it was mostly coors and sometimes newcastle. I was always allowed to have one from the time I was about 14 onwards. Over my teen years I tried some dos xx, some modelo and snpa. When I was 18 I was over at one of my dads friends houses and was offered a beer of course I accepted. It was a green flash west coast ipa and it got me hooked. I began trying all the different beers I could and still do to this day. I ended up moving to Australia when I was 20 to go to university. I am on a life long craft journey and Im still not even legal in the states. Green Flash IPA will always have a special place in my heart.
    BeerMeFitz likes this.
  34. BeerMeFitz

    BeerMeFitz Savant (320) Illinois Oct 24, 2011

    Nicely done!
    Gannon81 likes this.
  35. Do you feel there was a turning point in your craft-beer drinking experience? I do.

    I remember going from Bud Light, to thinking Bass was the greatest thing I'd ever tried, to Sierra Nevada, and then somehow into the Belgian beer scene. It was at that point that I really "got" what good beer was all about, and then slowly started to explore both local and imported craft brew.

    I suppose I've been thinking about this lately because (in terms of beer drinking) my friends are somewhat divided into two groups: those that get it, and those that don't. And those that do, have reached the "turning point" from what I can tell.

    Like my neighbor.. I can shoot the shit with him all day about ABV, cellaring, the latest beer bar to open and what they carry, hop varietals, how the neighborhood grocery store sucks for finding beer, and why we both have at least a case of Hop Slam (in the fridge!) at the moment (and/or how much we paid for it). :rolleyes:

    My other neighbors however, get super excited about any kind of Sam Adams "seasonal," and think that they're on the cutting edge of all things beer if they happen to buy/bring over a pack. Furthermore, they tried Chimay Blue recently, and all I heard for three weeks was "Chimay this" and "Chimay that." I did my best - as a beer advocate - and picked up a couple of other Belgian Strong Dark Ales, hoping to show them that there are a lot of other beers that are similar/better/different than Chimay Blue, but after each one they were basically like, "yeah.. that was okay.. but it was no Chimay Blue!"


    At any rate, not sure what my point is.. I guess it's just something that I've noticed about people and beer - they've either reached the turning point (or not), and they simply get it or they don't.

    What's you're feeling on the above? Do you find that you eventually gravitate towards one group or the other? Or do you feel it's your "duty" as a BA to convert those that are on the edge of beer greatness? And how?
  36. I thought I found great beer when I had my first newcastle. Never ordered a bud after that. Then I was at a bar one night that had 200 taps, so I figured if brown beat yellow, black must beat brown. I asked the bar keep for the "darkest" beer they had. He said "probably Firestone porter". So I drank that Firestone porter, and thought it was the most glorious thing I had ever drank. And at that point it probably was!

    That was my turning point, from then on I would always try at least one new beer when I went to a bar with many beers.
    I've discovered so many awesome beers this way, I boggles my mind when I think of the years I spent drinking Budweiser.

    I still order, and enjoy newcastle when I go to my local dive bars though.

    As far as "converting" people, I'm not too interested in trying to persuade people I see things my way, but if they express an interest I'm always more than willing to give them one of my beers, or if I'm drinking a bomber, to pour some into a cup for them to try
    alysmith4 likes this.
  37. Seeing as how I'm 24, I feel like I hopped into the craft beer "scene" way before any of my friends did. I took a similar route like you, going from Bud Light, to Harp/Bass, to Sierra Nevada, to now being a hop-head.

    I'm still around friends who would rather pound Bud Light at a bar when I would rather scope out the bar with the best craft beer being poured. I tend to think there is a correlation with maturity and having knowledge about craft beer haha. Maybe that's just me. Anywho, I try to convert any of my friends that I can. They know I'm the "beer guy" and tend to ask me questions as to what to buy. It's an honor ;).

    It's also somewhat of a problem for me. I think that since I started searching for the best, and nothing but the best, beer early, that I've failed to really find a mid-market beer that is inexpensive and truly to my liking. I tend to hunt down special releases -- mainly because I'm still in the phase of trying to taste everything. Not a bad thing, but I'd like to find a beer that I can consistently drink and have it available year-round.

    Either way, in the words of An Mekong, BEER IS THE ANSWER!
    alysmith4 likes this.
  38. ucfalum08

    ucfalum08 Aficionado (180) Florida Jan 20, 2013

    I never liked Bud, Miller etc. I did like AmberBoch and Heineken and honestly thought those were really good beers bc nobody showed me otherwise. A friend came back from GA with Sweet water and my eyes were opened. I realized there was a lot more out there. Then I got on an import kick. Then found Sam Adams (Double Bock and Latitude). From there I was open to at least trying anything.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  39. jmaharaj

    jmaharaj Aficionado (125) Maryland Jul 16, 2012

    I went to school in England and spent the first few years thinking I was being cool and American drinking Bud at the University club that served BMCs and the British equivalents. A couple years into it (and having found girlfriends) we decided we were done with the 2000 person club and headed to the pub. I had a Castle Rock pale and for the first time started to go out to have a beer not simply having a beer since i was out. That was ten years ago and still dont remember why i loved that beer, I just remember that it made me acknowledge the beer. My appreciation for beer has grown steadily over the last ten years but i feel like i could isolate any period in that time and see moments where my grasp of beer was still raw. I can laugh about things i thought ten years ago and things I thought 5 months ago. Thats why I love beer. I'm never finished.
    I do love trying to convert people though. If they are willing. Ive got at least two coworkers who blame me for ruining Coors Light for them. But i still remember that drinking is drinking and, 7 beers into it, fun is fun whether youve had 7 beers out of a snifter or 7 miller lights.
    alysmith4 and GorillaFistBrewing like this.
  40. Maybe they lucked out and the first beer of the style they tried (Chimay), is their personal gold standard. It's a highly regarded beer on it's own merits, so I wouldn't find this hard to believe.
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