Looking to try something new

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Myth1897, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Myth1897

    Myth1897 Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2019

    Cheers all,
    I’m new to the beer community, so feel free let me know if this post is ridiculous. So Lately I’ve been drinking Sam Adams, and I absolutely love it. Quality beer in my opinion. I used to drink Heineken, and it was alright by me, but nothing special, and of course I’ve had the standard Bud Light every now and then. I’m looking to try a new beer, either craft or macro. Based on my little experience with beer, is there any brands that you all would recommend for me to try? Note, I am on a college budget, but I’m not dirt poor. Thanks!

  2. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,426) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Your question is not ridiculous at all. Many newbies come here to ask for suggestions, and there are many threads that were created. Only your tastes can define what you'll like, but if you let us know what specific beers or styles that you've had and likes, we can suggest specific beers. It will be helpful if you go into your personal data and let us know what state you live in so that some local beers can also suggested.

    Since there are many newbies who have asked the same 'help' question, there are a collection of threads on the topic. Here's a link to a search that asked for 'newbie' in the thread titles:

    Happy reading.
  3. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,411) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
    Hofbrau Original
  4. Mr3dPHD

    Mr3dPHD Initiate (194) May 6, 2008 Florida

    I second Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. If you like Sam Adams, then you probably have a taste for hops. The next logical step would be really any American Pale Ale, and Sierra Nevada is a very easy one to find. Also easy to find are Kona Fire Rock, Dale's Pale Ale by Oskar Blues, and 312 Urban Pale Ale by Goose Island. These are beers that are most likely available at most retailers that sell beer around you.

    What you should really do, however, is go to the closest craft brewery with a tap room and get a flight of whatever they've got. That's the best way to really try new things.
  5. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,325) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I don’t see what state your from, but as mentioned Sierra Nevada PA is a great beer, it’s consistent, and it’s available everywhere beer is sold as far as I know. It’s cost effective as well.
  6. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,167) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I'm with @Mr3dPHD, in this day and age you're probably best off finding a near by brewery that's well regarded and makes a wide variety of styles and try a flight of different styles to get your bearing.
    Also it would help to know your location so folks could reccomend regional breweries that package stuff.
    In general, in addition to sierra Nevada (pale ale, sierraveza, summerfest when it shows up next month), I'd add Bell's and founders as other options that are reasonably priced and should be available near you
  7. puck1225

    puck1225 Poo-Bah (2,550) Aug 14, 2015 Texas

    Welcome! You are in for an adventure! Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, Deschutes, and Founder’s are all widely distributed and all have a variety of excellent beers at a reasonable price. Cheers!
  8. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Aspirant (233) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Best advice for someone new to "craft" beer: check bottles/cans for dates before you buy. You don't want to base your opinion of a brewery or style that is new to you off of a beer that is well past is prime. Also, pour your beer into a glass, if you're not already doing so.

    Wish someone had told me both of those things right when I started drinking beer... It was several years before I learned those lessons.
  9. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (2,747) Dec 11, 2006 California
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    Back in the day when i was in a new city i would google the name of the city and the words “beer advocate” and a list of the best bars/restaurants, bottle shops, and breweries popped up. I don’t see that now, but when I googled my hometown a bunch of threads popped up. Give it a try with your area.
    Shanex and PapaGoose03 like this.
  10. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,414) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Go to the import section at whatever place you shop at. Try anything that looks good. Forget about American beer for now they are lost.
  11. PNW

    PNW Initiate (151) Dec 23, 2019 Washington
    Society Trader

    The best advice anyone can give you is to find a local bottle shop. A bottle shop isn’t a liquor store, not that there’s anything wrong with liquor stores, its a store that just carries craft beer (and often wine and/or cider) and sometimes they have taps. Talk to whoever is working there and ask them what they’ve been enjoying lately. Go back often and explore.
    beertunes likes this.
  12. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,870) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    To progress from Bud Light, try a true Erupean pilsner like Pilsner Urquell. Most beer stores in the US will carry this. If you want to try the IPA craze, start with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or their Torpedo. All of those are relatively cheap for craft beer and easy to find. Have you ever had Guinness or other stouts before?
  13. DavetotheB

    DavetotheB Disciple (321) Sep 30, 2017 Pennsylvania

    When I was getting into craft beers 4-5 years ago, I'd typically buy mixed 12 packs from some of the more well known, widely available breweries-especially mix packs that had different beer styles. It was a relatively inexpensive way to get exposure to a lot of the different types of brews available and figure out what you like/don't like.

    Good luck and enjoy the ride!
  14. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Aspirant (233) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    While I completely understand and mostly agree with what you're saying, and I would definitely advise him to avoid the haze craze, milkshake IPAs, pastry stouts, glitter beer, beer brewed with candy, cupcakes, unicorn tears, etc, I would still have to recommend he check out Bells, GLBC, SN, Deschutes, Founders, Anchor, and the like.

    I'd also warn him that it's even more important to check the dates on imports and imports often use the less intuitive methods of dating do be prepared to Google how to interpret their codes.
  15. RickBelgique

    RickBelgique Initiate (65) Jul 16, 2014 Illinois

    The previously mentioned idea about buying pick-your-own-mix 6 and 12-paks is a very good idea. If you don't like something, it's only one bottle.

    Keep an eye out for beer fests in your area. Yes, they can be a touch pricey, but you get to try gobs of different beers and styles. If you're going to try as many beers as possible at a fest, ask the server for only a half-pour. You'll be able to last much longer. If you like it, they'll be happy to pour you some more. And don't be afraid to dump a beer you don't like - look for the buckets on the floor.

    Finally, look into brewery tours in your area. It's almost guaranteed that they'll serve some complimentary beer, before and/or during and/or after the tour. Read the description of the tour to see if the tour-fee-to-complimentary-beer ratio is worth it. The tours that give you unlimited beer for an hour or two can be well worth the money.
  16. Mr3dPHD

    Mr3dPHD Initiate (194) May 6, 2008 Florida

    We still don't get Deschutes in Florida. =(
    DoctorZombies likes this.
  17. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,325) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    PU is a great beer, but now you have to explain to him how to figure out how old it is. If it’s 4 months it’s a buy, older which is more likely not a buy. Gotta be able to check dates to be fair.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  18. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,601) Sep 3, 2007 Texas

    Good suggestions so far, I would say add your state location to your profile. Which would help with other suggestions. My advise, try to find a local brewery that does happy hour. I know some states can't do that, but most do (I think). Any place that does $3 pints (I visit several places in Houston that do that, so its still out there) is a good way to try other things and explore places in your area on the cheep.
    nc41 likes this.
  19. beerwego

    beerwego Initiate (44) Dec 5, 2019

    Sam Adams is a well ignored, but perfectly delicious beer. Few comparable beers available widely that compete with it. Not sure what to recommend, as you haven't said much else.
    KentT, DavetotheB and PapaGoose03 like this.
  20. officerbill

    officerbill Devotee (452) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader


    First off, welcome to BA

    You didn't say where you are so some of the suggestions might not apply.

    Don't worry about imports for now. With rare exceptions there will be freshness issues and you don't need to look overseas to find good examples of European styles.

    Don't worry about IPA's, NEIPA's dark ales, goses, sours, et Al for now. Concentrate on regular pale ales and lagers until you decide on your preferred flavor profiles.

    Since you enjoy Boston Lager you should start with the pale ales and other lagers.

    Sierra Nevada, Founder's, and Great Lakes are widely distributed, reasonably priced, and very good. I'll throw Anchor in also if you can find it fresh. If you're in the Northeast you can't go wrong with anything from Jack's Abby.

    Once you've tasted a variety of beers, and settled on which styles hit your sweet spot, start exploring variations on those themes.

    Visit the New Beer Sunday & What Beer Are You Drinking Now threads. These are the primary threads for just chatting about beers and the folks there will be happy to answer questions about the beer they posted.

    Finally, the regional forums are a great resource. Find the one for where you are and ask about breweries in your area. As mentioned before, the best way to find out which styles you like is to find a good local brewery, with a variety of styles, and sample what they have to offer.

    Finally, finally. :slight_smile:
    Don't be afraid to ask questions.
    Some people on BA can be jerks (You're an idiot if you don't know the difference between a pilsner and a helles! Anyone who likes Bud is a moron!), but they are a small minority; just ignore them.
  21. Longhorn08

    Longhorn08 Aspirant (235) Feb 4, 2014 Texas

    Jump in head first without floaties and try a trapist Belgian quad. It’s a $5 experiment at best, and if you like them then......

    Rochefort or St. Betnardus are pretty easy to find, at least here in TX.

    Good luck.
    officerbill likes this.
  22. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,015) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I like your questions. Weihenstephaner anything is a good start. Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale or Oatmeal Stout, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Ipswich Oatmeal Stout if in New England. Sam Adams Boston Lager is always a very good beer and I applaud your taste. Take your time and utilize your obvious curiosity. These are good times for beer and you are lucky. Cheers.
  23. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,035) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    My honest recommendation is to head to the nearest craft your own six pack section of any given store that has it and just keep trying new beers and new styles. Find out what you like and what you don't, and figure why you like what you like and what you don't. Make sure your hoppy beers are fresh, but just have lots of fun trying new beers. Everything else will come in time.

    No Deschutes in New York either, sadly, but I don't expect to ever see them here. Our market is simply too crowded. New York is an insane place for beer right now, but it's mostly NEIPAs and milkshakes and whatever is "hype". At least craft lagers are pretty accessible, which is great.
    rgordon, PapaGoose03 and islay like this.
  24. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,927) Sep 24, 2007 Liechtenstein
    Society Trader


    A: Fuck taster trays. Sure, ya can try 4-6 different beers but, also; what can ya tell from tasters? Sure, I'm about to get beat up by the "SuperTasters" ,who can bounce around between 6 styles, and not have palate confusion. Congrats to them. Most of us though, are better served by "fuller" pours, say 8-12 oz. If you're not yet sure what you're into samplers only confuse things.

    B: Try everything. Don't think you'll like sours? Cool, but, try a few. Try every style there is, or at least what you see. It's OK to not like a style, as long as you've given that style a fair shot.

    C: Didn't like a Beer or style? Cool, but go back later and revisit. I've had it go both ways; either I liked it at first, and hated it later, or the opposite.

    D: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, have fun! Try a couple new things, and then drink some Sammy's with your peeps. Just roll with it. There's so many beers, and so few friends.

    Welcome aboard buddy!
  25. BalancingBrooms

    BalancingBrooms Champion (879) Aug 22, 2013 Illinois

    as other have said sierra nevada, but also check out new belgium. they have solid beers in most styles for very reasonable prices. if youre on a college budget, you can try some decent Belgian styles like triple/double and sours for standard US craft prices instead of the import prices.

    if you do mix sixes, be careful of buying expired beer.

    PapaGoose03 and seakayak like this.
  26. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,325) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    To follow upon beertunes recommendations, some places offer 1/2 pours too, so you’ll get an 8 oz glass. You might have to ask they don’t usually make grand announcements. To date I’ve never bought a flight anywhere.
    beertunes likes this.
  27. islay

    islay Disciple (328) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    As a "SuperTaster," I think most people have the ability to be "SuperTasters" and either don't stretch their palates enough or don't give their palates enough credit. Yes, historically, most beer has been consumed in what I would call very large quantities (10 oz. or more), but bear in mind that drinking beer serves multiple purposes, including, among other things, alcohol delivery, sustenance, refreshment, as a centerpiece for socializing, and general flavor enjoyment. All of those aspects are served by large serving quantities of a single beverage (although a flight works equally well, except arguably for the last factor I mentioned). Flavor recognition, palate honing, etc., however, simply don't require such large quantities, especially (but not exclusively) if the drinker is paying close attention, and there are rapidly diminishing returns in that arena to each additional ounce consumed. In other words, there are reasons to drink a lot of ounces in a row of the same beer, but learning about that beer, let alone beer in general, from a flavor perspective is not really one of them.

    Anyway, I write this not simply because I disagree with this take on flights but because my best advice to anyone trying to get into or deeper into beer as a hobby is to go to a bunch of different breweries and order flights from a diverse array of styles. It's a quick and efficient way to gain a wide range of knowledge without taking in excessive alcohol and calories. I promise you that you will have a substantially better understanding of beer from drinking flights than you will from drinking a similar total number of ounces of beer via large pours after any given amount of time.

    I'll also point out that I don't think we'd see such a practical consolidation of styles and rejection of beer-that-tastes-like-beer as we have in recent years if more people pushed themselves regularly to sample a wide array of styles, as flights enable. If you're going to get only one or two pints, instead of trying several small pours via a flight or two, you're likely to gravitate to the beers in styles you already trust the most (thus eschewing an opportunity to develop an appreciation of something else) or that stand out on the menu (perhaps due to gimmicky ingredients). On a similar note, I very often find that my favorite beer of the flight is the last one that I picked (i.e., the one of the four or five that initially grabbed me the least).
    #27 islay, Feb 15, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020