Blazing new beer trails

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Billybeer21, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Billybeer21

    Billybeer21 Initiate (106) Feb 3, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I'm a die hard bud lite guy but am looking at expanding my beer drinking horizons. I'm not big on the craft beer craze but am interested in testing something new that would be somewhat similar to bud lite. Any suggestions/recommendations out there? Thanks!
    yossle and Premo88 like this.
  2. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,028) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I would recommend some german styles that inspired Budweiser so long ago. German pilsner, helles, even marzen are good styles to dip your toes in the water. I would steer clear of ipa and pale ales, despite what most people are going to say. They are agressively hopped, and are overpowering to say the least.
    if you go under beer styles on this website you can pull up the top rated helles, pilsner, etc and see what beers rank well. Make a list and go shopping!
    winehead247, BSW, eppCOS and 6 others like this.
  3. aquabears

    aquabears Disciple (330) Mar 29, 2016 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    You can also look for low ABV local lagers.
    RBassSFHOPit2ME likes this.
  4. zid

    zid Champion (800) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Stick with pale lagers:

    Southern Tier Where The Helles Summer
    Anchor California Lager
    Reissdorf Kolsch
    Weihenstephaner Original
    Pabst Blue Ribbon
  5. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (747) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    There is nothing in craft that is similar to Bud Light. Try a beer that is as different as possible from a light lager. Imperial Stout would be a good style to try. Since you live in PA pick up a 4 pack of Victory Storm King to start.
    eppCOS, GOBLIN and utopiajane like this.
  6. laketang

    laketang Crusader (773) Mar 22, 2015 Illinois

    I will also suggest Anchor steam
    eppCOS, thebeers and SFACRKnight like this.
  7. DoctorZombies

    DoctorZombies Poo-Bah (2,138) Feb 1, 2015 Florida
    Beer Trader

    May I suggest a Vienna Lager style lager? A little fluffier on the feel with a tinge of hop flavoring. Devil's Backbone's Vienna Lager is the gold medal standard currently, out of Virginia, with an expanding distribution footprint, for one example. Good luck on your search - Cheers!
    Pantalones and utopiajane like this.
  8. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (3,786) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Sorry, I don't agree with this at all. There are lots of "craft" that would fit the bill. Which are well made and just good.

    As already mentioned lagers from Weihenstephaner, Anchor Lager, or Brooklyn Lager, Victory Helles, Hacker-Bschorr Hell, even Hefes and and other wheats would be good. You don't have to immediately jump into imperial stouts, which is probably not going to be what the OP will enjoy if he has only really liked Bud Light.
  9. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,028) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Forgot about this beer. Good call!
    RBassSFHOPit2ME, Gemini6 and laketang like this.
  10. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (3,786) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Sierra Nevada Nooner is an excellent Pilsner as well.
  11. Squire123

    Squire123 Meyvn (1,476) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Sam Adams Light isn't a step too far away from the InBev pasture. I think it has more flavor and tastes better.
    VABA, bubseymour, Gemini6 and 3 others like this.
  12. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Initiate (105) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Since you're in PA, I would suggest Tröegs Sunshine Pils. It is a very nice German Pilsner.
    eppCOS, larryi86, bret717 and 5 others like this.
  13. bbtkd

    bbtkd Meyvn (1,340) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, a bit more flavorful than you are used to, but an excellent beer you'll probably like.
    utopiajane likes this.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    @Billybeer21, since you are a Pennsylvanian the answer is ‘clear’: Sly Fox Helles Golden Lager!!


    larryi86, bret717, cavedave and 9 others like this.
  15. Billybeer21

    Billybeer21 Initiate (106) Feb 3, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Half these beers I can't even pronounce but it looks like I'll be jumping out of my beer comfort zone!
  16. RogelioRodriguez

    RogelioRodriguez Initiate (150) Nov 7, 2015 California

    Pinkus Pilsner...It's organic, it taste great, it's refreshing as hell, it's organic, and the reviews say it's just an average beer. But it's far from average.

    Drink what you like and don't listen to craft beer hype. Find what you like and learn to appreciate knowing the people who made it went the extra distance to create it.
  17. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (4,980) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Take a trip over to a local brewpub.:slight_smile:

  18. akolb

    akolb Crusader (709) Aug 8, 2015 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I would try Sam Adams Boston Lager and New Belgium Fat Tire. More flavorful and malty than light lagers but nothing too extreme. Those beers were my point of entry into the wide world of craft.
  19. Giantspace

    Giantspace Zealot (514) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Yuengling lager and Porter
    Victory lager
    Sly fox lager
    Guinness stout

    I moved away from adjunct lager many many moons ago( I have moved back in the last few months) and Yuengling lager and Porter were some of the first to pull me away. Guiness might be good too. It's really not a huge thick crazy tasting beer. It's very low in calories and carbs and taste pretty good.

    After these you can see what your taste says. Maybe try a bit more aggressive beer like Sierra Nevada pale ale.

  20. john0721

    john0721 Zealot (551) Jun 12, 2005 California

    Question 1., What do you like about Bud Lite?

    Question 2. What do you dislike about Bud Lite.

    Question 3. Describe how Bud Lite could be improved to suit your taste?

    Question 4. What flavors do you prefer in beer? Bitter, Sweet, Sour, mild, balanced, strong, etc, Any specific flavors that you like in a beer?

    The bottom line is help us help us help you by letting us know what you like about Bud Lite.
    yossle, SFACRKnight and Urk1127 like this.
  21. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,378) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    I would say use the kid in the candy store approach. The one thing you will not find from macros are singles. I have even asked for them in my shop so that I could "tick" more of them. Sadly that seems to be the one thing that differentiates the macros form the craft beer. Singles. SO go to your bottle shop or grocery store that has a selection of singes. Think about all the beer you see as new flavors and colors. Then I have to teach you the one basic of buying singles. Check the best by or bottled on dates that are on the bottles and simply start trying them all!
  22. Billybeer21

    Billybeer21 Initiate (106) Feb 3, 2017 Pennsylvania

    So many beers... so little time. Looks like I have my work cut out for me today.
    yossle and SFACRKnight like this.
  23. emillner

    emillner Initiate (136) Jun 11, 2004 Virginia

    I suggest that you try a variety of beers to see what tickles your fancy and what does not. Read about Beer Styles in the Beers tab at top of screen.
    My suggestions
    1. A nice pilsener. Victory Prima Pils is great.
    2. A pale ale. Sierra Nevade Pale Ale is great. If you like it, try an IPA. I recommend Stone IPA or Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA.
    3. A hefeweisen. Weihenstephaner is great.
    4. A Belgian Pale Ale. Duvel is great.
    5. A stout or porter. I like Smuttynose Robust Porter. If you like, try an Imperial Stout.
    6. Vienna Lager and Helles are good suggestions. I don't have specific recommendations.
    7. If you like trying things, add bock or doppelbock, saison (Hennepin is great), and quadruple, and a Flanders Red Ale.
    larryi86 likes this.
  24. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Initiate (105) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    This is a great post for a new craft person. Go to a local bottle shop that does mix and match and select a few different ones. Actually, I am sure the person there will be able to help you decide what to try. @Billybeer21 - if you don't mind me asking, what part of PA are you from?
    #24 BeastOfTheNortheast, Mar 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
    utopiajane likes this.
  25. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,378) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    I am not from PA but I do live in your neighbor NY! It's true and everyone will tell you something different. I expect that after your first mix six you should be a regular in both WBAYDN and in NBS! The mix six is the place to practice tasting. Get as many styles as you can.
    BeastOfTheNortheast likes this.
  26. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Initiate (105) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I was asking where the OP was from, but I guess I did quote your post lol. Sorry about that.
    utopiajane likes this.
  27. Billybeer21

    Billybeer21 Initiate (106) Feb 3, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Martinsburg Pa. Near Altoona. Thanks for the info.
  28. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (706) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I was going to say Prima Pils, but Storm King is a really good idea.
  29. mpmcguire11

    mpmcguire11 Disciple (323) Sep 6, 2014 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    Try going to some local breweries and do some tastings. Hopefully they will explain the beer you are sampling and you can begin to tell what you like and dislike.
    pat61 likes this.
  30. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,191) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Coors Lite, Miller Lite, Labatt Blue Light are my recommendations. If you really want to step out of that comfort zone consider trying a fuller flavored beer such as Michelob Original or Coors Banquet.
    VABA likes this.
  31. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (1,808) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    A lot of beers were recommended above, and mostly all of them are good suggestions. It was mentioned once to get a mix-a-six when you go to the store, so hopefully your store does sell singles. (Is that an issue in Pennsylvania?) So whatever beers that you put on your shopping list, you don't have to commit to buying a full six pack.

    I also agree that if you have a local brewpub, go there and order a sampler flight. You'll get 4-oz. glasses of as many beers as you choose (usually you can get any/all of a brewery's beers). Ask the bartender to suggest ones that will fit your tastes.

    You can also watch out this week for Oberon Ale from Bell's Brewery to be released. It is a summer wheat beer that is very popular, and is also considered to be an entry-level beer. That should be a good one for you.

    When you have time, you can also search this forum using 'newbie' as your search word. There are a number of threads that ask for suggested beers to get started, so they will be good reading for you.
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I can’t comment upon the retail beer scene in Martinsburg but in my area (Philly area) there are a number of retailers that permit a mix-a-six. I personally refuse to do this since all too often those singles are old. This is also my personal experience at Total Wine stores as well.

    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  33. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (441) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Since the Straub Brewery is about 80 miles due north of you, I'll recommend Straub's Sunshine Sampler or Legacy Sampler case (whichever is in season). Those mix cases have some really good examples of classic beer styles that will be very different from Bud Light, but still approachable [I hope] by someone newer to craft beer. Straub is also affordable enough that if you don't like something you hopefully won't feel like you wasted much money on it.

    Alternatively, I second @utopiajane's suggestion of find a place near you that does mix 6-packs and grab whatever catches your eye.

    Good luck. Enjoy.
    drtth likes this.
  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    The Sunshine Sampler should be coming out in another few months (My local stores typically obtain them mid-June). The Legacy sampler is a Fall release so those beers are 'older' (too old IMO) now.

    On a related matter there last seasonal beer was the Altbier (Jan/Feb) and I bought a 6-pack of that beer. The next seasonal release should be their Maibock which is a very tasty beer IMO.

  35. i_run_far

    i_run_far Initiate (54) Aug 11, 2016 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    Go to a brewery or bar that offers flights, ask for a variety of different styles.

    Knickerbocker Tavern in Altoona
  36. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (441) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    FWIW, I had a Legacy pack last year around this time and I thought the beers held up OK; certainly well enough to give someone new to craft beer a reasonable concept of the different beer styles.

    And this may be sacrilegious to say around here, but personally I wouldn't tell someone new to craft beer to stress over beer freshness dates. They will have enough to think about just navigating various styles and breweries, without the stress of finding and deciphering different brewer's dating codes. Beer freshness dates can be lesson #2.
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    But Randy, here is the 'challenge'. If a person new to craft beer buys some old(er) beer and is disappointed with the potential stale flavors of those beers they may not be motivated to further explore craft beer.

    It would be my personal preference for Billybeer21 to wait a few months to purchase a variety pack from Straub and obtain a better quality (fresher) beer drinking experience. If he is anxious to try a Straub craft beer I would suggest that he purchase a 6-pack of the Straub Maibock (although I am uncertain whether the Maibock style will exactly be his 'cup of tea'?).

  38. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (441) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Certainly, it's a challenge, but the other challenge is not making the bar to entry too high/frustrating for new-comers. I do not dabble much in wines, partly because I find navigating the grape varieties, wineries, regions, vintages, and prices intimidating; and would not want beer to give people a similar feeling. I think we can hope the store is doing their job by pulling out of date product, and save that freshness discussion/lesson for another day.

    Besides, if someone coming from Bud Light tries Straub's munich-style dunkel for the first time I doubt the deciding factor for their enjoyment will be if it's 1 month old vs 10 months old. Also, part of the reason I recommend Straub is even an "old" bottle of Straub is often fresher than most exported beers of similar styles that are within date.
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    My local beer stores do not do that. You must have 'better' local retailers than I do.

    If so, Cheers to your local retailers!!
  40. CarolusP

    CarolusP Initiate (48) Oct 22, 2015 Minnesota

    I used to be a Bud Lite drinker years ago, and Killians Irish Red was my first foray outside of my comfort zone. While certainly not a particularly great craft beer, it was a good stepping stone for me, FWIW.
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