Looking for my new favorite beer

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Zetan, Jan 11, 2013.

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  1. Zetan

    Zetan Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 North Carolina

    Hey all,

    I'm fairly new to drinking beer in general, but I've been learning a lot since my job started serving it. The first beer I really enjoyed was Guinness Draught (the one in the bottle). Since then, I've been trying out local/craft beers. I can't stand anything lighter than a porter (even an amber is too pale for me) but most porters (and especially stouts) tend on the bitter side.

    I have found a few beers I enjoy, but they tend to have other flavors besides just beer. Aviator's Frostnipper, Highland's Thunderstruck, and Saranac's Caramel Porter are all delicious, but sometimes I want a beer that doesn't have a hint of nutmeg, coffee, or caramel. Sometimes I just want a beer that tastes like beer.

    So I came here looking for suggestions. I've got a local store that does craft beer, so as long as it isn't too obscure, availability shouldn't be too much of a problem. So, what do you guys think?

    tl;dr - I'm looking for a dark beer, not too bitter, and with no other flavors besides that of beer.
  2. Zetan

    Zetan Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 North Carolina

  3. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    Your location matters a lot, as most craft beer companies do not distribute their products nationally.

    I'd recommend Deschutes- Black Butte Porter or Great Lakes- Edmund Fitzgerald, but again, I don't know if your in a state that gets those beers.

    You could also go with a Dark Lager, like Port Brewings Hot Rocks Lager or Midnight Expressions.
    Gosox8787 likes this.
  4. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Not sure where you're at, but if you can grab Smuttynose Robust Porter, I think you'll really enjoy it.

    Also, if you like bitter (I think from your above post you do) try to get your hands on a newer stlyle called "Black IPA." Back in Black, by a brewery called 21st Amendment, is an excellent one.

    Finally, Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout is widely available. You should grab some for sure.

    Gosox8787 likes this.
  5. Zetan

    Zetan Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 North Carolina

    I'm in the middle of North Carolina. Thanks!
  6. abraxel

    abraxel Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Michigan

    Looking at the breweries that are distributed to North Carolina, the first few that come to mind that you might like are Founders Porter, Oskar Blues Old Chub, Flying Dog Gonzo Porter, and Smuttynose Robust Porter. Those last two might be a touch higher on the bitterness than the first two. I most highly recommend Founders Porter.

    I hear there's good beer brewed in NC, too, but I don't know much about it. Maybe someone else will recommend something local :slight_smile:
  7. Zetan

    Zetan Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 North Carolina

    I've actually tried the Founders Porter, and it was actually too bitter for me... maybe I'm too picky? :flushed:

    Edit: Thanks for the link, though, that's ready handy!
  8. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,547) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Old Rasputin, Boulevard Dark Truth Stout, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Hopping Frog stouts are all pretty harcore, and my favorite Bells Expedition Stout.
  9. Ericness

    Ericness Initiate (186) Nov 21, 2012 Massachusetts

  10. brewbetter

    brewbetter Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2012 Nauru

    You're not too picky. The "American" beer styles are usually more hopped up, so they will be more bitter. Most Porters that you find in the craft section will probably be these hopped-up porters. This bitterness tends to fade with time if you are willing to set some bottles down.

    My recommendation would be to try some more beers outside of the American Porter style since you don't seem to like bitterness. Maybe try Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. Cheers
  11. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,044) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Olde Mecklenburg Copper from Charlotte.
  12. Brunite

    Brunite Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2009 Illinois

    Dark, sweetish, not bitter, a true classic= CELEBRATOR
    FUNKPhD and ant880 like this.
  13. JimKal

    JimKal Zealot (512) Jul 31, 2011 North Carolina

    The middle of North Carolina is still a pretty broad are. If you are close to Greensboro, I would suggest heading to Bestway as the store has the best selection in the area. I'm not a fan of Porters but like some of the milder Stouts - Bell's Double Creme Stout, Sam Adams Cream Stout. BTW saying you want something that tastes like beer makes it hard to make a recommendation as the taste range in craft is pretty broad - they are all beer. There are just some taste profiles that will appeal to you more than others and with time your own taste preferences will broaden and change.
  14. Brunite

    Brunite Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2009 Illinois

  15. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Savant (953) Nov 13, 2008 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Go to this page:

    I'd suggest looking at these styles based on your descriptions:
    Milk/Sweet Stout (particularly Left Hand and Duck-Rabbit)
    Scotch Ale
    Belgian Strong Dark Ale (might be a bit much at first)

    Clicking on the links will show you the most reviewed beers of each style. Look around your local beer store for some of those beers, particularly the ones that are reviewed well and/or are local.
    musicman7070 likes this.
  16. stealth

    stealth Zealot (509) Dec 16, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Fullers London Porter. The most balanced, sessionable, and at the same time, forgettable (this is a good trait, in the way I am using it here), porter out there, imo.
  17. MADPolo

    MADPolo Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2012 Alabama

    I agree with Stealth. Fullers London Porter is about as unoffensive as you can get in a Porter. It's a good beer by all means!

    Anchor Porter, Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, maybe Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Highland Oatmeal Porter, Samuel Smiths Taddy Porter should all work as well
    TongoRad likes this.
  18. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,163) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    mephestopheles. that is all.
  19. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (210) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Based on the beers he named, I think he means he wants beers with no adjuncts or additional flavorings.
    herrburgess likes this.
  20. fuzzylogic

    fuzzylogic Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Check out German dopplebocks - it sounds like a style you may enjoy.


    Victory Baltic Thunder
    Troegs Troegenator
  21. Resuin

    Resuin Meyvn (1,309) Jun 18, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I would suggest trying some Barleywines, SN Bigfoot should be available if you haven't had that. American Barleywines tend to be a bit hoppier than English though. Otherwise check out any of these: American Barleywines or English Barleywines. Cheers.
    musicman7070 likes this.
  22. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,365) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    What these guys said, with a special nod towards Anchor Porter.
  23. beerophilia

    beerophilia Initiate (137) Oct 8, 2011 Washington

    I see others have already mentioned the "beer that tastes like beer" comment, but I want to go a step further and say that the flavors you mention are pretty typical of dark beers. So if you don't like spice/coffee/caramel flavors, the question I'd concentrate on is, what DO you like about dark beers? Because while the responses before mine hold a treasure trove of excellent beer suggestions, most of them have the flavors you mentioned (less so nutmeg, but some other spices can be found too), or flavors very like them, such as anise or toffee.

    That being said, I'd go definitely check out Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock, Fuller's London Porter, and Anchor Porter (all mentioned above).
  24. blackcompg

    blackcompg Defender (610) Feb 13, 2011 Illinois

    Left hand milk stout nitro. All year long :wink:
    mecummins likes this.
  25. musicman7070

    musicman7070 Disciple (357) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Based on his original post, it seems that an English Barleywine would probably be more suitable for his tastes/preferences. I'm having the Anchor Barleywine which as you know is an English Barleywine. It's pretty tasty, IMO.
    zach60614 likes this.
  26. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,044) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Most U.S. "craft" dark beers exhibit these flavors. Most German (and Czech and British) dark beers do not, as they are not necessarily brewed with an abundance of chocolate, roasted, and/or crystal malts. Beer geeks can complain all they want about "non-craft drinkers" and their apparent ignorance in such matters; perhaps if more U.S. "craft" brewers would stick to brewing beers that feature flavors imparted primarily by the use of malted barley (of which, granted, there are 1000s) and not additions of chocolate/vanilla/coffee/bourbon, then "non-craft" drinkers wouldn't make such statements in the first place.
    zach60614 likes this.
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