Looking to experiment and try new things

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Josh_McIntire, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. Josh_McIntire

    Josh_McIntire Initiate (30) Jun 23, 2020 Iowa

    Hey everyone,

    Im new to the forum and Im wanting to try some new things. I'm always drawn more to the dark side of beers and enjoy exploring Porters and Stouts, most recently the Maibach style, specificlly the Dead Guy Ale from Rouge. Claymore Scottish ale, Millstream Backroads Stout, and various peanut butter stouts/porters.
    So the question is, I've been trying to give IPA's more of a chance. I don't care for high IBU's or much bitterness. Corona is about as high as I like to go in any of those. I also drink the same style of beers year round, so I don't really get the concept of a summer beer.
    So anyway, if anyone is pretty much just a dark beer guy or gal, and found any IPA's you like, I'd like to hear about it. I don't really have a need or desire to change my beer style, but I would like to give the other side a shot and see if there's anything I'm missing.
  2. laketang

    laketang Meyvn (1,258) Mar 22, 2015 Illinois

    Pseudo sue, enjoy!
    larryi86, dcotom, PapaGoose03 and 2 others like this.
  3. Scottsbeer

    Scottsbeer Defender (614) Nov 3, 2017 Florida

    Just in case you really want information I will tell you 1, Corona is not an IPA, 2, If you want to try IPAs that have low IBUs pretty much any of the trendy New England IPAs are there or since you are in Iowa I would highly recommend any of the Toppling Goliath IPAs or pale ales. Pseudo Sue and King Sue are highly rated but pretty much anything they do is above average.
    larryi86, dcotom, Abe_Froman and 3 others like this.
  4. Josh_McIntire

    Josh_McIntire Initiate (30) Jun 23, 2020 Iowa

    hey thanks. Ya I really want information. I knew Corona was not an IPA, it's just an example of a non dark beer i like.
    Junior likes this.
  5. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (7,307) Sep 24, 2007 Mayotte
    Society Trader

    Just start grabbing things you haven't had before, and write review here. It's an easy way to help define what you like and don't.

    BTW, Dead Guy is not a typical Maibock, so don't expect other examples to taste like it. Rogue uses the same yeast in all their beers, so if you like that profile, try some other Rogue beers.
  6. Josh_McIntire

    Josh_McIntire Initiate (30) Jun 23, 2020 Iowa

    Great tip, thanks!
    ChicagoJ and beertunes like this.
  7. Junior

    Junior Crusader (710) May 23, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    ChicagoJ and laketang like this.
  8. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (3,042) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Thought I clicked on Tinder for a minute...:stuck_out_tongue:

    Anyway. I will echo @beertunes post all around. Definitely find a place that sells singles and have at it, because you’ll never know what might hit the spot.

    That being said, since you specifically mentioned liking darker beers and trying ipas, it reminded me much of one of my first posts here. I was turned off by ipas in the early 2000s and pretty much drank import lagers and High Life until I got addicted to stouts and porters. I recall asking everyone here for recommendations for re-exploring ipas about a decade later and several (including @TongoRad) suggested imperials/double ipas because of the higher malt content several would offer a lot more balance/sweetness. I would say you are a lot better off than I was because you could experiment with hazy and/or milkshake ipas that generally have no bitterness. Also, many breweries seem to be producing Mexican Lagers right now. Toss a couple of those and a Helles of any kind in the cart and I think you will open up some possibilities.
    One more, ok, 2 more things. If you like Corona and haven’t had Modelo, I recommend you do. And I would definitely sample some Vienna Lagers if I were you.
    Redrover, KRug, Ffenski and 16 others like this.
  9. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,760) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Some very good advice there :wink::sunglasses:

    @JackHorzempa and I were talking about a local beer a couple of weeks ago that somehow bills itself as a "Mexican lager"; but without knowing that I would have guessed that it was a Classic American Pilsner. Maybe it isn't quite as hoppy as a Pilsner, but isn't shy about the hops either.

    My guess is that this terminology is a convenient way for craft brewers to make an adjunct lager while still standing apart from the so called big guys. Either way, it drinks like a good blue collar brew, which is just fine by me. :grin:
    eppCOS, bsp77, Bitterbill and 9 others like this.
  10. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,101) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Honestly the only way your going to know what you enjoy is to sample. What I enjoy may be horrible in your eyes, etc. If you want to explore IPA's hit your major stores like Total Wine and get mixed 6 packs and see if any do it for your tastes.
    Good luck.
    bsp77, Bitterbill, ChicagoJ and 3 others like this.
  11. Scottsbeer

    Scottsbeer Defender (614) Nov 3, 2017 Florida

    If you do go to Total Wine as suggested, check the dates on the beer. Total Wine is notorious for having really old beer that will not do any IPA or PA justice.
    eppCOS, bsp77, Bitterbill and 6 others like this.
  12. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (3,042) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Society Trader

    All but one (Fat Heads) “Mexican Lager” I’ve had so far was just that. Which isn’t a bad thing. Other than the price...
  13. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,782) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    +1 to @beertunes suggestion. Just try stuff. And try not to have preconceived notions, keep an open mind.

    Also, at this point in your journey I’d recommend you just find stuff easily available locally. There will be time later to chase rare stuff, maybe trade if you are interested. Right now you are just finding out what’s out there, what you like, what you don’t, etc. Your palate will develop and evolve to the point that you generally know what to expect from a given style, especially if you try a good cross section.

    Enjoy the ride!

    P.S. I think there’s a way to sort a list for the most rated/reviewed beers in your state/region (as opposed to highest rated, which will generally be a bunch of unobtainable rare beers). Try some of those. They are popular by virtue of being tried by thousands of people. And this give you a good sampling of various popular beers in your area.
    #13 draheim, Jun 24, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
    eppCOS, bsp77, Bitterbill and 4 others like this.
  14. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,376) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I'd start looking for milkshake ipas, "hazy" or "juicy" ipas. Specifically IPA made with lactose and/or oats. They tend to be more full bodied and sweeter, and I think bitterness is generally lower but probably lots of varia ability.

    I can't recommend any brewers or brands cause it's not really my style preference but I think if you poke around you'll find the polar opposite of the IBU war ipas and you can follow your own rabbit holes if you find beers or brewers you like
  15. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,716) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    The Pseudo Sue recommendation above is a good choice. Its primary hop flavor comes from the Citra hop, which is arguably the most popular hop for consumers, so consider beers that are easily available to you that primarily use the Citra hop. Some beer labels will list Citra along with other hop names, so you need to discover if the Citra is the major flavor hop.

    If you haven't started yet, you can also look into New England-style IPAs, usually referred to as NEIPAs. They are very popular right now, typically not bitter at all, and somewhat like drinking a mixture of orange juice and papaya juice (or many other juices).

    P.S. Welcome to the BA site. Hang around as much as you'd like.
  16. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,457) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    I used to dislike ipa, the beers that bridged me from malty to hoppy
    Our new total wine somehow has the most fresh imports in town.
    Junior likes this.
  17. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,009) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Wait a year and check again. Some of the same sixpacks will still be there.:astonished:
    Not too unusual for a newly opened retailer to have been stocked with relatively fresh beer from the distributor. (Of course, that is dependent on the distributor having fresh imports, which seems to be rare these days.)

    Not that the opposite also doesn't happen. I recall a store opening by me and finding a few west coast beers that local distributors' websites listed as carrying but that I had never seen on local shelves. Picked one up and saw that the "Best before" date was nearly six months before they even broke ground to build the store I was in. I guess stocking a new store without a sales history is easy way for some distributors to clean out some old partial pallets...
  18. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,387) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I love most styles of beers, including dark beers.You like Rogue Dead Guy (IBU 40), so you should be able to enjoy either a lighter IPA or session IPA higher than a 7 IBU (Corona). Otherwise you will be pigeonholed into very sweet unbalanced NEIPAs/Milkshake IPAs. RateBeer lists IBU and calories for beers, might be helpful in your search based on what is fresh and local in your area.

    Founders All Day IPA (IBU 42) is a nice light balanced session IPA with good hop flavor at a great price. Pseudo Sue is a good suggestion as well, especially since you are in Iowa.

    If you are picking up packaged beer, try to get fresh (0-30 days optimal, 30-60 is the limit for me) IPAs to ensure you are trying the product at it's best. Many dark beers hold up well for much longer, but IPAs fade quickly. Always keep refrigerated (try to purchase that way as well) once you bring home. If you have good local breweries near you, they can steer you in the right direction in terms of samples or flights.

    Enjoy exploring the style, and hopefully you find BA a good resource for future discussions.

    eppCOS, bsp77, FBarber and 5 others like this.
  19. hbbeeremptor

    hbbeeremptor Initiate (144) Aug 12, 2018 California

    Not to shy you away from any of the great recommendations (and they are great) that have been provided in this thread so far but beer, like a lot of things, is a journey.

    Open yourself up to the experience of trying things you may or may not like. Learn from the things you like to better define what you do like, learn from the things you don't like to better define what you don't like or are less willing to accept.

    The important thing is always to be open to new experiences. Life's way too short to limit yourself to a narrow taste for beer.
  20. WV_Charles_Homebrew

    WV_Charles_Homebrew Initiate (69) May 17, 2017 West Virginia

    Bell's Two-Hearted. In recent years, a couple of years running, it's been voted best beer in the country. I don't necessarily agree with going that far, but it's a classic IPA, so emblematic of the style you could almost just say "this is IPA." It's malty, slightly sweet, impeccably balanced. The bitterness is soft and rounded. Has a zenlike degree of balance. If you don't like 2H, you probably, truly just don't like IPA.
    Junior, bsp77, Josh_McIntire and 4 others like this.
  21. WV_Charles_Homebrew

    WV_Charles_Homebrew Initiate (69) May 17, 2017 West Virginia

    Also, OP, have you tried Old Chub Scottish Ale? That's my favorite Scottish Ale.
    eppCOS, bsp77, Bitterbill and 3 others like this.
  22. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,457) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Trust me, one of my local big retailers had Salvatore on the Shelf a year past the best by date last month. It's refreshing to see fresh Imports for a change. I truly expect it to last a season.
    Junior and Josh_McIntire like this.
  23. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,376) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Sounds like you've got a chance to be the change you wish to see. If you can just drink TW volumes of imports maybe they'll keep of fresh for you :grin:
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  24. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,313) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey

    The Beers of Fame list is a great resource for anyone looking to branch out. Some real classics on there that are generally more accessible and easier to find than the beers on the Top 250 Overall list. Pick out some that look good, read some reviews, and try 'em all! There's something for everyone:

  25. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,604) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I agreed with everything you said, except this. My father enjoys IPAs immensely, but for his palate, Two Hearted comes off intensely bitter/hoppy. It's too much for him.

    Based on what the OP said about his personal experiences with IPAs, he should probably try to seek out some of the highly rated NEIPAs with restrained bitterness and go from there.

  26. Josh_McIntire

    Josh_McIntire Initiate (30) Jun 23, 2020 Iowa

    I have not tried that one yet. I have tried Belhaven scottish ale as well as the Claymore and enjoyed both. The Claymore perhaps a little bit more
  27. Josh_McIntire

    Josh_McIntire Initiate (30) Jun 23, 2020 Iowa

    I will be looking for those for sure. The challenge for me, and maybe some others can relate, is that I live in a tiny town with my only "liquor" store choices are a small hy-vee, and walmart. So, when I get out to the Big cities with multiple page beer menus? My wife tends to start getting a little frustrated. Thanks for all the help folks, I appreciate it.
  28. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,586) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    OP, you are in Iowa, so I'd recommend seeking out Compensation from Lion Bridge Brewing Co. Its a dark mild, so its going to fall into some of the general profile you like from your beers while being a bit lighter.
    Also GG from Exile Brewing - that one is a dunkel and again, will fit with that more malty, darker type of beer you like.
  29. jonphisher

    jonphisher Aspirant (259) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey

    Do places by you so mixed 6 packs as an option? I would just got to a store you trust with freshness, pick six random beers, don’t look anything up about them and enjoy the surprises. I love drinking beers without knowing anything about them beforehand, no mental bias or anything to mess with your thoughts on said beer. That’s just what I would do and I think it’d be fun. Cheers.
    PapaGoose03, Bitterbill and ChicagoJ like this.
  30. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,376) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I would look for SN hazy little thing, the Sam Adams hazy IPA, possibly the voodoo ranger series from new Belgium, those are all more or less nationally available and are to varying degrees "easy drinking" modern ipas.

    You might also see some Toppling Goliath as they are Iowa based and they are well regarded for their ipas. I have limited experience personally and nothing I've had was super low bitterness but I found it all very enjoyable and not extremely bitter either
    CB_Michigan and ChicagoJ like this.
  31. Insomniac

    Insomniac Initiate (95) Nov 5, 2019 Canada

    Saw the title of this thread and thought I’d logged into Tinder by mistake. Anyway, on the dark side, maybe give Schwarzbier or Rauchbier a try. These are styles you don’t see everyday, so might likely be new and different for you. Perhaps a Dunkelweizen, which is a dark wheat beer.
    #31 Insomniac, Jun 30, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
    Junior likes this.
  32. Cstamp3084

    Cstamp3084 Initiate (27) May 3, 2020 Maryland

    I started off with stouts, porters, and brown ales. This spring I’ve started drinking helles lagers I really enjoy these beers on the hotter days. I was a big fan of Sierra Nevada/ bitburger octoberfest this year so when they collaborated again to make triple hopd lager I bought cases of it. If you can find it I recommend bitburger triple hopd lager.
  33. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,120) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    You could try an English IPA. They tend to be much less bitter, more malty. and also are often lower ABV. Goose IPA can be obtained pretty much anywhere. Now granted it sucks, but it does check some of your aforementioned boxes.
    Junior and PapaGoose03 like this.
  34. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Poo-Bah (1,566) Jul 27, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    “Looking to experiment and try new things”

    I suggest college and a bottle of tequila.
    Junior likes this.
  35. Providence

    Providence Crusader (752) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    If you like darker beers, I highly recommend Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout. Sam Smith's Nut Brown may also be something you enjoy. I'm not sure how available those beers are in your area, but my understanding is that Sam Smith's is pretty widely available.
    thesherrybomber likes this.
  36. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (300) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Founders All Day IPA. It's lower ABV and lower on the bitterness but will still have a nice bite, especially with a palate that is fresh to IPAs. I can also second some of the NEIPAs suggestions however my only caution there would be some of them are so low on the bitterness scale that they aren't good gateway hoppy/bitterness beers if you are trying to cut your teeth and acquire a taste.

    Since you like darker beers try some fresh Sierra Nevada Torpedo, it's a nice bridger between malty and hoppy.

    From experience don't give up and keep trying various Pale Ales and IPAs. The cool thing about the style is that unlike some others each one can be drastically different from the next and you will find some you hate and some you love and there's so many different malt/hops combinations and for me it was really fun exploring and learning about which ones my palate liked vs not.
    jonphisher likes this.
  37. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Initiate (142) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois

    Some decent recommendations here, considering the challenges posed by your location. If you're looking specifically for IPAs, I agree with the Two Hearted, SN Torpedo, and SN Hazy Little Thing recommendations. I'd also consider:
    - SN Tropical Torpedo
    - New Belgium Citradelic

    Another way of easing into hoppy beers is to try some American Pale Ales. These will typically have lower ABV than IPAs and are often less aggressively bitter. Pseudo Sue was already recommended, here are a few other options:
    - Deschutes Mirror Pond
    - Dogfish Head American Beauty
    - Lagunitas 12th of Never
    - Goose Island Green Line

    The other recommendations I'd make are hoppy (or slightly hoppy) versions of other styles:
    - Boulevard 80-acre hoppy wheat
    - Bell's Amber Ale
    - Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot

    Most of these should be available at a Hyvee, depending on how far out in the sticks you are. Our friends and family are around the Quad Cities, Des Moines, and Iowa City, but it sounds like your selection might be more limited. In any case, @Josh_McIntire I hope you reply in the thread with what you try and what you thought of it.