Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Beer Snob Rookie

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by Christopher281, Apr 7, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Christopher281

    Christopher281 Apr 7, 2013

    I'm new to this beer snob thing, although I can't believe I spent my whole adult life thinking Budweiser was what beer was supposed to taste like, and that Sam Adams was as good as it got.

    So I started with Bell's Oberon, and cycled through a few other Bell's products before settling on Amber Ale. I like Two Hearted, but it's a little too sweet for me. What I'd appreciate some help with is a recommendation, given my tastes so far, on what to try next. I prefer to stay with Michigan brewers (for the same reason I buy my cars from the big three).

    Let me know...and thanks
  2. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 May 30, 2005 Michigan

    First, we're not beer snobs, so think of yourself as something different than that. "Geek" is an okay term, but "beer lover" is better. :)

    To answer your question, just keep trying different beers. Just because you felt Bell's Two Hearted is too sweet does not mean that all IPAs are sweet. (I really can't recall anyone ever using "sweet" to describe the taste of that beer, but maybe there is something lost in the translation.) I really have a feeling that you'll tell us next year that you like that beer. Training and conditioning your palate to recognize the nuances between the same styles from different breweries is what you're attempting to do right now. It will come.

    Trying different beers via sampler packs or mix-a-six packs at your local bottle shop is a good way to find your favorite styles and beers. Also, go to breweries and try different beers by ordering their sampler. If a brewery does not offer a sampler then ask for a sample of a beer before you order a pint.
    dachshunddude86 and MADhombrewer like this.
  3. sbxx

    sbxx Mar 21, 2011 Illinois

  4. detroiter

    detroiter Aug 4, 2009 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    If you want to make it the "big leagues" then seek out these beers. They were some of the ones that made me a beer nerd. Look for KBS, hopslam, la roja, founders porter, humalupalicious, kuhnhenn bourbon barrel barley wine, breakfast stout & black note. Some of these will not be easy to find and you might have to attend a brewers guild beer fest. I know it will be tough but you'll thank me.
    BRZvice and mcomben like this.
  5. Flabbyjandro

    Flabbyjandro Jun 12, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Do yourself a favor, if you live in Michigan go spend a Saturday at Founders pub, brewery vivant, Hopcat bar in grand rapids, bells cafe, beer exchange in kzoo, dark horse brewery, kuhnhenn brewery, shorts brewery, jolly pumpkin, new holland etc. Michigan has a ton of great breweries and pubs, go taste random stuff at any, eat some good food....and sometimes just as good as the beer, meet some good people to * with!
    craigo19, mdvatab and WassailWilly like this.
  6. szmnnl99

    szmnnl99 Apr 3, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Can't go wrong with Bells / Founders / Dark Horse. Try as many of them as possible. BTW by buying Big 3 you've avoided the most recalled brands (Toyota/Honda) each of the past 5 years.
    If you want to be more adventurous, try some of Short's more creative brews.
  7. Bay01

    Bay01 Nov 19, 2008 Illinois

    Gee, I wonder why he would think that the people here are snobs.
    NSaad23, fredmugs, Drucifer and 4 others like this.
  8. tectactoe

    tectactoe Mar 20, 2012 Michigan

    You've never had Raspberry Ale!

    In all seriousness, I would buy anything from Bells, Shorts, or Founders. Try all their stuff, whatever you can find. This will hopefully help you figure out a bit more what beers you actually like, and you'll know what kind of beers to seek out in the future.
    szmnnl99 likes this.
  9. jollygoodfellow

    jollygoodfellow Jan 3, 2013 Wisconsin

    It's passion...certainly not snobbery-
    two hearted...too sweet?
    hmmmm....please do not limit your choices to a particular state or province or county or whatever.
    That said you're in the "great beer state" and you'll be busy with MI brews for quite some time. You'll find that seasonals are a real drivng force for the passion of beer. Seek out the latest Maibocks available to you and always have an eye toward your favorite style of beer which ultimately will flow toward IIPA's and/or barrel aged Imperial stouts.
    GFG likes this.
  10. jegross2

    jegross2 Jan 3, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Tell that to my bottle of bolt cutter ;)
  11. Keffa

    Keffa Jan 8, 2009 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    That first line sounds similar to snobbery... :p
  12. canoale

    canoale Apr 9, 2010 Ohio

    Sorry I lost op @ "too sweet"
    fredmugs likes this.
  13. tommyz

    tommyz May 28, 2007 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I agree with this as those are readily available..
  14. tommyz

    tommyz May 28, 2007 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Well, I think him being very new kind of excuses that...
  15. canoale

    canoale Apr 9, 2010 Ohio

    Sorry , still must throw him out of the fancy beer club.

    ; )

    Hey I started on Bells Amber over 20 yrs ago

    Still recommend it for starters

  16. mcomben

    mcomben Dec 2, 2008 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Certainly no shame in buying Michigan for the sake of buying local since our breweries put out some great beers, so it's certainly a good place to start. Hit up a store with a good pick-a-six (preferably somewhere where the bottle turn over is good enough that dust isn't collecting on the bottles) and start to branch out. Maybe go by brewery or by style, a decent enough store will have employees that can help you find your way. If they aren't willing to lend a hand, maybe try another store.

    There is nothing wrong with buying craft from different states though. There are some great beers out there, from some world class breweries all over the US.
  17. NSK79

    NSK79 Jun 4, 2012 Illinois

    Greenbush out of Sawyer is making some awesome beer, not sure how available it is since they are very small in comparison to others mentioned so far. I've heard grreat things about a place called Odd Side but I didn't get to try them on my trip to Michigan recently.
  18. JohnfromPurdue

    JohnfromPurdue Apr 27, 2009 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Guys, we are all beer snobs. If you are on a beer forum arguing whether or not you are a beer snob... well then, you're a beer snob. Embrace it!
    GFG and burica2020 like this.
  19. randjuke

    randjuke Feb 13, 2010 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    As a true beer snob it pains me to talk to newbies, but I'd recommend trying different styles then focusing in on what you like (ie hoppy, Belgians, malty, etc). I made the mistake initially of going after highly rated beers without really knowing what styles I liked. And man there are plenty of good Michigan beers but you're really limiting yourself by sticking with Michigan exclusively.
    beardown2489 likes this.
  20. burica2020

    burica2020 Nov 17, 2009 Illinois

    the definition of snob -
    a : one who tends to rebuff, avoid, or ignore those regarded as inferior
    b : one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste
    I certainly don't ignore those regarded as inferior or have an offensive air about myself or my knowledge. We're drinkers & aficionados, not geeks or snobs. ((some are snobs though, and if you believe the great lakes forum they all reside in Chicago))
  21. Drucifer

    Drucifer Apr 16, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    My recommendation would be to try a variety of styles, but start small. Avoid anything Imperial until your palate has been developed. Jumping straight into a barrel aged beer may lead to a drain pour of a world class beer.
  22. Christopher281

    Christopher281 Apr 7, 2013

    Holy crap!
    I just checked in, and thanks for the guidance from all of you.
    Snob was tongue in cheek, but after all the philosophizing...I'm hanging with it.
    Detroiter, thanks for the most directed info, that's where I'm going.
    Sbxx, Laughed Out Load.
    Thanks again,
  23. beardown2489

    beardown2489 Oct 5, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'm a year or so in Nd is say try as much as you can. Spend a year or two trying new things. I've done about 15 or 17 months and have learned that I love pales and IPAs. I learned that I want to learn more a out imperial stouts and that I only enjoy the finest of Belgians. Baeyeines are also hit or miss. I've tried almost every style of beer in a year and a half. You can do the same. Michigan is a great place for this.

    Good luck. Be open, and thoughtful. Listen to advice around you. If they advise you to try something weird, just do it. Trying all these options is how you form opinions.
  24. fredmugs

    fredmugs Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    If you think Two Hearted is too sweet then Hopslam will probably give you diabetes.

    Seriously you can spend the rest of the year looking only at Michigan beers. Look a the Beers of Fame on here and try what you can get. In addition to what has already been said about Dark Horse, Short's, Kuhnhenn, and Greenbush I would also throw Brewery Vivant into the mix. I had an Odd Sides Citra whatever they put out that was really tasty. If you like big IPAs make sure you get Founders Double Trouble while it's out.
    canoale and craft_shannie like this.
  25. Hugonaut13

    Hugonaut13 Nov 29, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Bolt Cutter is pretty good. Does the fact that it's not a shelf wale make it taste worse to you or something?
    match1112 likes this.
  26. TheGoof

    TheGoof Apr 10, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Re: Kalamazoo. Beer Exchange is a great bar, but Shakespeare's Pub across the street usually has an even better selection (not always, but usually). Bell's, Shakes, and KBE are all within a block or two of each other, so hit all three. Central City Tap House usually has stuff that neither Shakes nor Bell's has too (better Greenbush beers, stuff from Kuhnhenn, sours).
  27. HopHeadHerman

    HopHeadHerman Feb 9, 2009 Michigan

    Central City gets an incredible selection of imports too, highly recommended.
  28. jegross2

    jegross2 Jan 3, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

  29. Steimie

    Steimie Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    Hugonaut13 likes this.
  30. GFG

    GFG Oct 24, 2012 North Dakota

    Lol. +10 for you
  31. jegross2

    jegross2 Jan 3, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    If it's so whalsey, feel free to send me whales for my last bottle ;)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!