Hail and farewell, beers of my youth

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by b-one, Feb 15, 2013.

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  1. b-one

    b-one Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2013 California

    Maybe I'm feeling a bit old today (60 in a few weeks). Started thinking about beers of ages past before a good craft beer could be had almost anywhere.
    So I salute those few that made me realize that there was more to the world than Bud. That a beer could be something other than a fairly cheap intoxicant. It had some taste to it, and maybe even a pleasant smell.
    Pecan Street Lager, when I used to fly into DFW in the 80s. What a treat to find something other than, well, you know.
    Henry Weinhard back when they numbered their batches (the lower numbers only).
    Guinness Stout when I rarely could afford it.
    Some Canadian beer that isn't brewed anymore. I was in Montana at the time (70s). Did they brew Lowenbrau in Canada? Couldn't be LaBatts. Naw. Damn I'm old.

    I'm now this kind of thread has probably been done many times, but indulge me or I may come over and hit you with my cane. What made you start to think there was more to beer than drinking till you puked or ran out of money?
    BetterBeerPlz and creepinjeeper like this.
  2. MtnBiker

    MtnBiker Initiate (70) Jun 28, 2011 Oklahoma

    Interesting story. For me it was a local beer, Choc 1919, that made me realize there was so, so, much more out there and I didn't have to just pound down the same swill every weekend... and it actually tasted like something.
  3. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (2,171) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Happy 60th Birthday
  4. deuce9259

    deuce9259 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Bells Oberon. Simple and delicious.
  5. beercanman

    beercanman Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 Ohio

    SNPA. That was my genesis.
  6. bilboTbaggins

    bilboTbaggins Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    Riverwest Stein. First legal beer at my first bar ever.
    fx20736 likes this.
  7. fx20736

    fx20736 Meyvn (1,026) Mar 7, 2009 New York

    Back around 1987 I knew nothing about beer besides Bud, Miller and Old Style. I met a guy named Rob who turned me on to a beer I had never heard of; Chimay. I remember being amazed at the floating clumps of yeast and the powerful flavor. Over the next 10 year s I mainly continued to drink BMC swill but had exposure to some Hefes and other good German beers in Milwaukee. In 1997 I moved to Rochester NY with my new bride and somehow discovered Beers of the World. I was mesmerized by the choices there and bought my first English beers. For the next 10 years BOTW became an annual pilgrimage at Christmas time to buy Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout and Taddy Porter but at this point beer was not part of my every day life. In 2011 the Department of Justice seized the online poker sites Pokerstars and Full Tilt. At the time I was an avid poker player and rarely drank alcohol as I wanted to be sharp mentally. I had started to build my bankroll and had dreams of becoming a professional poker player. When that ended I felt lost and lacked a passion or hobby. Somehow (and I don't remember) my love of beer was re-awakened. I started patronizing BOTW regularly and found Beer Advocate. After shooting in the dark, trying different beers I discovered Fuller's London Pride and my world changed instantly and forever. All of a sudden I wanted to drink beer all the time and started trying and sampling many different beers. After awhile I realized that English Beers were my favorites but soon grew to love many Belgian beers as well. Now beer is as much a part of my life as coffee or even food. I am passionate about beer, love it and don't ever want to go a day without it.
    luwak likes this.
  8. paulys55

    paulys55 Zealot (587) Aug 2, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Life is short. Drink good beer. Happy almost birthday. Cheers.
  9. StuartCarter

    StuartCarter Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2006 Alabama

    happy birthday, b-one!

    I wasn't a beer drinker for a lot of my drinking life - dry ciders were my preferred beverage. Then one day, a friend introduced me to cask conditioned Theakston's Old Peculier (brewed back when they were an independent brewery before the takeovers, mergers, divestments, then regaining their independence!)

    I still love me some fermented apple juice, but these days I will be seen drinking something brewed by a craft brewery.
  10. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    There were 2 beers in my fresh age of 19, Magic Hat #9 and Hoegaarden. Around the same span of time I discovered these, I discovered a local brew pub, Main St. Cafe (Willibrew) in Willimantic, Connecticut. The rest, as they say, is history.

    I should add, before this, I didnt really drink beer. I was turned off by the Bud Light, corona, and Red Dog that kids were drinking.
  11. dougfur

    dougfur Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 New York

    For me, it might have been Pete's Wicked ale. First time I remember actually being able to identify that flavor of hops. I wonder what I would think if I tried one now. I haven't had it in almost 20 years.
    luwak likes this.
  12. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    i actually found myself thinking about Petes Wicked and Petes Wanderlust some time ago, wondering if it was still made.
  13. loafinaround

    loafinaround Aspirant (296) Jul 16, 2011 New York

    happy beerday!

    I was lucky as a young'un. I had a very ethnic (german) upbringing... so while everyone else was drinking the bud, schmidt's, and other mass produced brews, I grew-up w/ spaten, hofbrau, paulaner.

    That being said, I never cared for them, and only drank bock beer (which eventually lead me to my current stout obsession). But still, my "swill" was still much better than others'.
  14. dougfur

    dougfur Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 New York

    Sounds like it just went out of distribution recently. I saw a six pack a year or two ago and had a laugh, but didn't buy it.
  15. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    Rhino Chasers, Petes, Oasis, HC Berger , Sam Adams Honey Porter...
    All my first forays into the world of great beers !!
  16. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,258) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Yeah, Gambrinus (ex-Corona importer, owner of Spoetzl, BridgePort and US Trumer) discontinued the Pete's line in March, 2011. They had bought the brand in 1998, when it was still among the top ten US 'craft' brewers and selling around a quarter million barrels a year.
  17. DHS1029

    DHS1029 Aspirant (252) Feb 14, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    My first foray into beer drinking was basically killing a 30 pack of 'Stones with my dorm buddies when I was too young and stupid to know better. In fact, those couple of years before I turned 21 were miserable when it came to beer drinking. To me, a Corona or a Rolling Rock was considered a "good" beer compared to the Ice House, Keystone, PBR, and Natty Lite that I was used to getting at college parties. For a little while, I stopped drinking altogether because drinking became a chore of how many can I drink to get drunk. Once I turned 21 and started visiting bars in and around the Chicago area, I began to experience the world of craft beers. My very first craft beer was Three Floyds Gumballhead, which is still to this day one of my very favorite beers. From there, I tried all sorts of craft brews wherever I could get them. Now at the age of 27, I wont drink anything less than a craft beer. It wasn't until rather recently that I began to really get into the craft scene and start trying to make a conscious effort to try some of the best beers available. I really enjoy it now and my faith in beer drinking has been restored.
  18. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,431) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I still remember trying Pete's Wicked Ale, Anchor Steam, and Guinness on the East Coast in the early '90s (visiting from the Midwest) and realizing for the first time what beer could be. I was like Navin R. Johnson: "Well, if this is out there, think how much more is out there!"

    Then I moved to Seattle and realized I'd only seen the tip of the iceberg.
    luwak likes this.
  19. drh88

    drh88 Aspirant (239) Dec 21, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Watney's Red Barrel in the 80's
  20. BetterBeerPlz

    BetterBeerPlz Aspirant (227) Sep 8, 2007 Arkansas

    I remember arguing over and drinking Bud Light, Miller Light, Coors Light, Busch Light, Milwaukee's Best, Natural Light, etc. Good times. A lot has changed in my life from those days. It was Sam Adam's BL, Guinness, Newcastle, and finally SNPA that sealed the deal for me.
  21. Hermthegerm

    Hermthegerm Aspirant (264) Oct 13, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Pumking was my gateway drug.

    Happy 60th!
  22. redblacks75

    redblacks75 Aspirant (228) Oct 29, 2010 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    I use to love that Honey Porter.
  23. AnotherImperial

    AnotherImperial Aspirant (241) Oct 29, 2012 Arizona

    About 15 years ago, I tried Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. I've been chasing stouts ever since. Now that I think about it, I probably could have retired by now if I'd never taken a sip of that. Damn you, Sammy Smith. And, thank you.
  24. SteelCity75

    SteelCity75 Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2013 Connecticut

    Well dang I feel like a little baby now, I just turned 21 a little over a month ago. Happy Birthday! Anyway, the first beers I had were Bud Light and Natty Light, I wasn't a fan. Then I discovered Miller and Coors which I preferred to the others, and were for a while what I considered "good beer". At one point, not even a year ago, I would've told anyone that asked that Miller High Life was my favorite beer. For a while that was all I drank. Then last year my roommate and I got a six pack of Boston Lager, and he couldn't drink it so I ended up drinking 5 of the 6 beers. It became my favorite. Soon after that I went home and a very drunk friend offered me a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which at first tasted really odd to me. He had three left and told me he didn't want them, so I got drunk with him and by the end of the last one, I was hooked. I'd still consider Sierra Nevada Pale Ale my favorite beer, although a few have come close to dethroning it. I'm sure it'll happen eventually.
  25. emilyLOVESlime

    emilyLOVESlime Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2009 California

    My first beer was a chocolate stout at age 18. Forgot what brewery. Thanks, big brothers :slight_smile: Had Newcastle, Fat Tire, Bell's bought for me shortly after that. I think this is why I'm addicted to beer.
  26. lordofthewiens

    lordofthewiens Poo-Bah (4,207) Sep 17, 2005 Maine
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Happy 60th (almost)!
    I remember going to Oklahoma in the mid-70s, and being excited because I could try Coors (at the time they didn't distribute east of the Mississippi). Hah!
    Anyway, I think my first hint that there were beers out there worth drinking was in the early to mid 80s when I was in California and had Red Tail Ale. I've enjoyed a lot of great beers since!
  27. DHS1029

    DHS1029 Aspirant (252) Feb 14, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Eric, welcome to your beer awakening. I was about your age when I finally started to discover the magic of craft beers. Next time you go out, try some beers from Bells or Founders. Both of these breweries offer great beers for those just starting to fine tune their palate. I really recommend starting with Bell's Two Hearted Ale. This was my introductory IPA and is still a favorite of mine. Not sure whats available in West Virginia distribution wise but check out sites like beermenus.com to locate some harder to find brews that may be close to you. Enjoy the journey!
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