Gathering of new friends: what 3 beers would you offer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BillAfromSoCal, Jul 1, 2021.

  1. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (4,355) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    The first beer I thought of when I started reading your post was Pilsner Urquell.

    We agree - which should terrify both of us. So that's one.

    I also like the "hops/malt" approach for the other two, so I'd go ..... Stone IPA for the hops, especially if you can find it fresh.

    Third would be (and I checked to see if they have distro in your neck of the nape) ..... Founders Porter.

    A 12-pack of each of the three. Any leftovers will drink well for at least a little while.

    Good luck!
  2. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,564) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I was the American Homebrewers Association and based on a membership vote.
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  3. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Zealot (523) Aug 24, 2020 California

    When I was putting together my proposed three, I was debating whether to go American IPA or NEIPA for one of the three styles. I generally prefer NEIPA (but not by much) but I figured the cloudy appearance might be off-putting to someone accustomed to the clear mass marketed lagers.
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  4. jvgoor3786

    jvgoor3786 Poo-Bah (2,310) May 28, 2015 Arkansas
    Society Trader

    When we have people over and have a cooler of beer out, we're trying to be polite and get what people will like but what I won't mind being stuck with. I'm also trying to be fairly cheap.

    All Day IPA
    A mix pack from Lost Forty or Ozark (locals)
    Scarlet Letter seltzer from Core brewing
  5. BruChef

    BruChef Initiate (185) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    My second choice would be a helles (less hoppy/bitter and more approachable than a German or BoPils) or something like Jack’s Abbey Haus Lager. Third would be a fruited Berliner/Gose/kettle sour (I think ppl who drink Truly could tolerate a mildly soured fruit beer. And ideally not one that looks like Naked juice). Imo, SNPA can be too bitter of a jump from macros. A stout/porter could be intimidating for a drinker with no experience with dark beers.
  6. mmmbeerNY

    mmmbeerNY Devotee (484) Mar 5, 2014 New York

    Old Raspy is great, but I would stick to lower alcohol picks. 2 of 3 easy drinking lagers, then maybe SNPA
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  7. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,270) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Pilsner Urquell, SNPA, and Guinness Stout.
  8. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,063) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    What would we talk about if not these hypotheticals? How much we dislike hazy pastry beers in undated cans? :grin:

    For me the answer is easy...
    Bierstadt Helles... easily approachable for anyone

    Outer Range Westerlies (saison) not aggressively sour or funky, has enough esters and phenols to be interesting

    Daisy cutter pale ales because it's great.
  9. CBlack85

    CBlack85 Savant (940) Jul 12, 2009 South Carolina

    I would probably go with local easy drinkers. Beers that I would not be disappointed to have a fridge full of if there were alot left over.

    Olde Mecklenburg Brewing - Captain Jack - Pilsner
    NoDa Brewing - Jam Session - Pale Ale
    Highland Brewing - Gaelic Ale - American Amber

    I also usually also have 2-3 homebrews on tap - Current lineup is a Schwarzbier, an American Blonde Ale, and an Altbier.
  10. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,989) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    If I saw a cooler filled with those I'd be "F-yeah!".
  11. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,270) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Great choices!
  12. LeRose

    LeRose Poo-Bah (1,722) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    I usually go straight local with variety based on the season, more or less - Narragansett (local-ish in that they don't really brew volume in RI), Jack's Abby (great variety packs), Harpoon all offer mix packs or can easily be mixed with a couple of this and a couple of that. And all of those beers will eventually be consumed.

    I've always got heavy hitters and more interesting beers in the house for those who want them and most people who've come by before know there's always a big honkin' stout or something large to be had for for sipping and sitting around the fire pit after things die down.
  13. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,435) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Provide cheap familiar options at start of party just in case none of them are deep into craft beer (BMC, Stella and a widely distributed IPA like Founders All Day or Bells 2-Hearted). But then once you get a pulse they are into craft beer, and what they like you go to you secret stash and offer up some high end NEIPAs, BA stouts, Wild ales etc…whatever the conversation leads. If the are BMC, seltzer, wine, liquor…then you know to not reveal you good stuff so it’s not wasted.
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  14. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,803) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    My rule for years has been to serve whatever I have on hand which today would be Bud, Bud or Bud. Of course there's always Bourbon.

    If they can't be happy with Bud or Bourbon then whyinhell do I want them as friends.
  15. lucius10

    lucius10 Poo-Bah (2,183) Aug 1, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    I have done this a few times with people who are not beer drinkers and who may not be drinkers at all, but want to see what all the fuss is about.

    When I host a beer tasting, I always bring a local brewery's Helles/Pilsner (Some great ones to choose from in Sacramento, CA Area), a fruited smoothie sour, and a pastry stout. And I know most people here would disagree, but what blows their mind the most is the fruited sours. Everytime! LOL!

    The only caveat to this is that if I know there are wine drinkers in the group, I will bring a barrel-aged wild ale/saison instead of a crispyboi! And they usually have no idea this type of beer exists...and they end up loving it! Ha!
  16. meliscious

    meliscious Initiate (57) Mar 11, 2021 Washington

    Depending on the weather…outdoors/indoors…

    sunny and warm outside

    cloudy cool indoors
  17. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Crusader (737) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Not sure where you are located in California but you could just pick up 3 beers from Highland park.

    I would go highland park jumbo pils
    Either Hello LA from highland or a hazy from modern times. Something like orderville.
    Then something with some color or more malt flavor, like a founders porter. Or something lighter like a Brooklyn Lager.
  18. TwilightBeerCareer

    TwilightBeerCareer Aspirant (200) Feb 13, 2021 Illinois

    I'd go with Weihenstephaner Helles, Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, & Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (in case a guest may just happen to like hoppy beer).
  19. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,078) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Scrimshaw, Victoria, and either black butte Porter or obsidian stout
  20. VoxRationis

    VoxRationis Poo-Bah (2,931) Dec 11, 2016 New York
    Society Trader

    Quite a bit of exotica at these theoretical parties. Perhaps it's just hard to answer, so people start pulling out their wish lists, but I don't know these people, so I'm not going to buy of case of Duchesse de Buurgogne. If I were doing it next weekend (or anytime in Summer), I'd probably go for lager I like, I tend toward Rolling Rock (with lots of lime wedges available -- try it), either Captain Lawrence Freshchester or SNPA, and either Leinenkugel's or Narragansett's Summer Shandy. These are all readily available in cases locally. In Fall or Winter, I'd lose the Shandy and serve Guinness. I am certain I would get no complaints and one has always got to think about folks getting home safely, so I would definitely avoid any real heavy hitters in the juicy IPA category. If anyone thought to BHOB, I would not be offended: that would be a conversation piece.
    #60 VoxRationis, Jul 5, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
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  21. VABA

    VABA Poo-Bah (5,974) Aug 8, 2015 Virginia

    Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen
    Bell’s Two Hearted
    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

    And if they don’t drink them, well there’s more for you… :slight_smile:
  22. defunksta

    defunksta Poo-Bah (1,696) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota
    Society Trader

    Fairly simple, I would offer these three:

    1) Great Lakes' Dortmunder Gold (European Export)
    2) Summit Dakota Soul (Bohemian Pils)
    3) Bells' Two-Hearted Ale (American IPA)

    If they don't like these, then I would need to reevalute my friends.
  23. Cyborgz

    Cyborgz Initiate (11) Feb 1, 2021 Colorado

    1. Tivoli Helles
    2. Anchor Steam
    3. 60 Minute IPA
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  24. Cyborgz

    Cyborgz Initiate (11) Feb 1, 2021 Colorado

    Once they've had 1 of each of those, I'll break out the 4th Beer. It's the homebrew. Once you've had 3, the 4th beer/homebrew tastes much better.
  25. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Zealot (523) Aug 24, 2020 California

    LOL - I keep a few acquaintances around who don't value good beers....but I consider them curiosities more than real friends. IMO, providing beers like Bud Lite because they might not be "craft beer people" would be like Julia Child serving microwaved Swanson frozen dinners because that is what her dinner guests might usually eat.
  26. Premo88

    Premo88 Poo-Bah (2,140) Jun 6, 2010 Texas

    Live Oak Pilz
    Lone Pint Yellow Rose
    Southern Star Buried Hatchet
  27. UrbanCaveman

    UrbanCaveman Meyvn (1,109) Sep 30, 2014 Ohio
    Society Trader

    If I don't know these people or their preferences at all, then I'm with everyone who said "grab Bud Light" as one of the choices. My own father drank only Schlitz and similar, and whenever he was gifted anything that wasn't an AAL, onto the compost pile it was poured. Lots of Boston Lager went out that way. :laughing:

    That said, as someone who hops punch directly in the metaphorical taste bud groin region as hard as they possibly can wearing spiked brass knuckles that also discharge a shotgun shell upon impact, I'd also avoid most anything blatantly hop-forward if I do not know for a fact these are craft drinkers.

    So I'd probably roll with:

    1.) An approachable fruited sour, like Urban Artifact Keypunch.

    2.) A quality wheat, like Weihenstephaner / Ayinger, or some Aventinus. Maybe a local wit.

    3.) A wee heavy or member of the bock family, like a Skull Splitter, Korbinian, that sort of thing.
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  28. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Zealot (505) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Fun question. If I had no idea what they like, I’d go for value and beers that are recognizable.
    1. Half Acre Fader
    2. Oberon (summer) or GI 312 Urban Wheat
    3. Revolution Anti-Hero
    Yeah, it’s not terribly exciting, but there’s nothing wrong with reliable crowd pleasers.

    Having hosted many gatherings over the years, the one thing I’ve learned is that maybe 1 or 2 people will have a “dark” beer (YMMV), so I’m not buying any stouts, porters, black IPAs, etc. Maybe in the colder months, I’d swap out Fader for Great Lakes Elliott Ness.
  29. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,115) Sep 23, 2018 Maine

    Hill Farmstead - Anna
    For the more adventurous who are willing to try something a bit unique and genuinely "craft". Crisp, balanced, refreshing, cheap, complex, pairs great with food... Truly a masterpiece.
    Lawson's - Double Sunshine - Will appeal to those who enjoy classic IPAs, while lending enough fresh, lush hop,character without going into full-on haze territory.
    Schilling - Ziegenmensch
    A simply stunning Bavarian-style Maibock that should be approachable enough for those who only know AALs and don't have a taste for hops, while also nicely showcasing the robust versatility of crisp lagered beers.

    Given a fourth choice, I'd aim for a lighter brown ale - probably Burnside from Foundation, as I feel it's a style often overlooked by the masses, and really highlights how an ale can be both rich, malty, and wholesome, while remaining entirely crisp and refreshing. Quenching, with absolutely zero sacrifice of flavour.

    If all of these are entirely repulsive, I'm sure the local gas station has Coors Light on deck.
  30. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (468) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Had two friends over a week ago tonight and we had some of the bounty of recent trips to the Northeast Kingdom over a 3 hr tasting session.

    HF Anna - Tart/dry saison
    HF Edward - American pale ale
    HF Damon - BA imperial stout.

    Lots of complimentary flavors between the first two beers - finishing w/the big sensory overload stout. I would change nothing for a couple of strangers.

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  31. Providence

    Providence Champion (801) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I pretty much had this situation, but with a larger amount of people, with my backyard wedding a couple of years ago. Lots of folks I had never met before were coming. We set up a bar with all sorts of liquor and bought some red and white wine, but we knew there were tons of options for beer. We ended up with coolers full of the following:

    Founder's Solid Gold
    Bell's Oberon
    Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing
    Foolproof Porter (local brew that is a very good robust porter)

    The porter was in there for a couple of my friends who I know love porters, so there weren't many. The Solid Gold, Oberon, and Hazy Little Thing were all well enjoyed. We got lots of compliments both from the folks who like craft and folks who just like beer and aren't particularly picky.
  32. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (468) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Correction - HF Arthur - not Anna.
  33. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (165) Mar 16, 2018 Tennessee

    Pilsner Urquell or Spaten Helles

    Allagash White or Paulaner Weißbier

    Bells Two-Hearted or SNPA

    All choices are fairly universal and cheap on the bank.

    At one point I would’ve said Summerfest and this beer used to be a popular favorite at family gatherings among both people who likes craft and those who regularly went only for Lone Star or Natty Light. SF is now practically discontinued, so none of that anymore.
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  34. StJamesGate

    StJamesGate Poo-Bah (5,009) Oct 8, 2007 New York


    I'm surprised at how many people are suggesting 7%+, 60+IBU beers like Two-Hearted.
    You don't serve strong, bitter beer to strangers, especially in summer.
    Just keep it light + easy.

    My trick is Full Sail Session Lager.
    If they're BMC drinkers, you get credit for the cool, retro stubby bottles.
    If they're craft drinkers, you get credit for serving a lager that's not macro.
  35. Phoodcritic

    Phoodcritic Crusader (771) Jul 3, 2014 Michigan

    I wouldn't serve beers with strong flavors for this kind of event. However, I also wouldn't select beers that I wouldn't drink myself, no matter how popular. Thus, all macros are rejected. I'd pick the following:
    1. A lighter beer, like All Day IPA.
    2. A maltier beer, like Eliot Ness. It's flavorful and balanced.
    3. A fruity beer, like North Coast Passion Fruit-Peach Berliner Weisse. It's not too tart.
    I think contributors to this thread are forgetting about the large number of people that like fruity beers. (Or, do you only invite bros to your parties?)
  36. Providence

    Providence Champion (801) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Love the Anchor Steam suggestion. It's a crowd pleaser. I consider myself part of said crowd.
  37. npolachek

    npolachek Meyvn (1,017) Jul 13, 2018 New York

    1) Hill Farmstead Florence or other Farmhouse beer
    2) Treehouse King Julius - IPA
    3) Founders CBS - Stout
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  38. jkrich

    jkrich Meyvn (1,405) Nov 1, 2001 Florida

    I would have Pilsner Urquell (flavorful, but light in alcohol, and it's golden like a macro) as the first choice, followed by a more complex and heavier lager, Great Lakes Brewing Company's Dortmunder Lager. Last but not least, I would offer Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. If all else fails, I would run to the local grocery for a case of Miller or Coors Light. :confused:
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