Revisiting your gateway beer

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by JayORear, May 3, 2013.

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  1. JayORear

    JayORear Defender (617) Feb 22, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Even though the first beer I bought on my own, in a store, with a valid ID, was Anchor Steam, I still consider my "gateway" craft beer to be Racer 5. I first tried it about 5 years ago. I wasn't super-snobby about it, I just thought, "wow, there's a lot going on here!" I started seeking it out at pubs, etc., etc.

    Fast forward to a couple of nights ago. I'm at a sports bar for a Giants game, and the best tap option by far is Racer 5, which I probably haven't drunk in a couple of years. And it was good. Not just sentimentally good, or by comparison to the rest of what was on tap, but flavorful, balanced, and satisfying. After several months of almost exclusively IIPAs and strong ales, I was really f'n pleased to drink it. I could also sip several throughout the ballgame without forgetting my own name. Overall, it made me really happy that Racer 5 had been my "first."

    Similar stories?
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  2. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (1,762) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I always have a bottle or 2 of Chimay Blue on hand whenever I am feeling sentimental.. That was the transition from drinking beer pong swill to spending my paychecks on cases of Russian River and shipping expenses.
  3. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Absolutely and a similiar story. My first craft beer was also Anchor Steam but I consider SNPA my gateway beer. After revisiting it several times over the last few years, I now always have some on hand. Great beer. Great price.
    herrburgess and Badger72 like this.
  4. Daktah

    Daktah Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Illinois

    You entered through a pretty nice gateway. Racer 5 is a great beer.

    Gateway craft for me was $2 pints of Fat Tire at the Sink in Boulder. I don't buy it frequently, but when I find myself drinking it at a party or restaurant I still enjoy it. Not on par with things I've found since, but still good.
  5. alexipa

    alexipa Devotee (439) Oct 7, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    My gateway beer was the Beast at the Avery tap room; I had never been to a brewery before. I still absolutely love that beer and drink it very often.
    djsmith1174 and SFACRKnight like this.
  6. papaholmz

    papaholmz Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Always have to have St. Bernardus ABT12 and Rocheforte 10 at my house as those were my two gateway beers, ABT12 especially. Followed by FBS for a close third. When I decided to try beer again after a few years of not drinking beer (due to the fact that all I had ever had was BMC and I hated it), I purchased those three around the same time just because I thought they looked cool sitting on the shelf of my local Total Wine. Plus Total Wine puts the BA rating on the tag and they were all highly rated.
    mecummins likes this.
  7. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (1,762) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Good random choices.
  8. shredder83

    shredder83 Devotee (423) Feb 21, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    My gateway beer was gumballhead. At a random red robin in Indiana a few miles from fff I tried it 4 years ago on a whim and never looked back. Now even though I try as many different brews and breweries as I can, I always enjoy a gbh when I get them.
  9. mental1

    mental1 Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2013 Virginia

    Grateful Dead shows and SNPA in the late 80s. SNPA is still my number 1 session beer.
  10. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (502) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Call it my IPA gateway beer, but I am always impressed with Sierra Nevada's harvest beers. S. Hemisphere should be out soon, but the N. Hemisphere is the first IPA I ever enjoyed and still do every year.
  11. klinger

    klinger Initiate (154) Oct 9, 2012 Ohio

    I can't revisit my gateway. It was Pete's Wicked. Probably wouldn't want to anyway.
    ncaudle and AstronautMikeDexter like this.
  12. MCDub

    MCDub Aspirant (289) Dec 17, 2009 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I don't really know that I have a gateway beer because I was immersed into craft at a pretty young age (basically when I started drinking). I still drank a lot of BMC at a young age due to cost but when I had the money I drank SN and locals. One story that does stick out though is when I was provided a 1/6th of a local flagship beer for a concert/party weekend. We had about 20 people partying for the weekend but only 3 of us were interested in the beer. We finished it the first day. I'll spare you the details but lets just say we were young and dumb.
  13. mtmonroe9

    mtmonroe9 Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2013 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for me. I still love it to this day!
    mental1 and BetterBeerPlz like this.
  14. mark14580

    mark14580 Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2011 New York

    Boston Lager.

    I still think it's fantastic.
  15. AstronautMikeDexter

    AstronautMikeDexter Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2013 Indiana

    Same here.
    ncaudle likes this.
  16. mecummins

    mecummins Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2012 Illinois

    St. Bernardus was my gateway too. We still enjoy it (our family calls it "Monk beer" and my 79 year old mom requests it by that name pretty often.:grinning: )

    The first craft beer I consistently bought for myself was Two Brother's Domaine DuPage Farmhouse ALe. I'll still drink it, but it's not the end all that I once thought it was.
  17. ziggyzoggy

    ziggyzoggy Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2013 Ohio

    On vacation a couple of years ago in Petoskey, Michigan, I was introduced to Bell's Oberon.

    Continues to be one of my favorite summer brews.
    herrburgess likes this.
  18. NEO68710

    NEO68710 Initiate (93) Mar 6, 2006 Washington

    Sam Adams Boston Lager, I still grab it today when I need something light with flavor :wink:
  19. gcamparone

    gcamparone Meyvn (1,425) Dec 6, 2011 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    The moment I started liking craft beer was the moment I took a sip of a Sam Adams Honey Porter. I don't think they brew it anymore though :slight_frown:
  20. JHE73

    JHE73 Initiate (199) Mar 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    IronSide Ale from Lynn, MA. RIP
  21. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,010) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Mirror Pond and Fat Tire about 12 years ago.
    GetMeAnIPA likes this.
  22. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (468) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Magic Hat #9 was my first craft beer and one way or another I end up drinking one or two each year. I enjoy it enough for what it is, but I never seek it out. As far as "flagship" beers go, it's pretty unique.
  23. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Poo-Bah (1,760) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    The first craft beer I bought and really enjoyed was Summer Ale by Sam Adams ... the first beer I remember trying and not completely hating was Guinness.

    I bought about three six packs of Summer Ale, but soon outgrew it after having more and more craft beer.
  24. DmanGTR

    DmanGTR Meyvn (1,143) Feb 19, 2008 New York
    Beer Trader

    I go back to Ommegang Three Philosophers every now and then and it makes me glad I started craft beer with it.
  25. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Champion (849) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I dont really have one specific "gateway" beer. Used to get the Goose Island and Sam Adams variety packs and went from there.
  26. Mikecap

    Mikecap Champion (848) May 18, 2012 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    It was Racer 5 and Arrogant Bastard for me. The amount of flavor and aroma in these beers got me hooked, and while they're no longer my favorites, I still enjoy each immeasurably each time I have them.
    JayORear likes this.
  27. Deanburrito

    Deanburrito Initiate (0) Feb 21, 2013 California

    Mirror Pond Pale Ale was it for me. I was the designated beer chooser that night for the party, feeling frisky I chose MPPA and Pyramid Hefeweizen for everyone. I wonder if anyone else converted with me? 5 years ago now
  28. Brodie91

    Brodie91 Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2012 New York

    My gateway beers were SA Boston Lager, Brooklyn Lager and Paulaner Hefe. Even though this started a little more than a year ago I still love all 3 and drink sam adams during every pats game and I drink Paulaner while watching Bayern Munich
  29. surfcaster

    surfcaster Defender (643) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Rogue Dead Guy.

    I really don't care for many of their other offerings but a Dead Guy with a pizza and on a fall fishin trip after a long day of casting is still one of my all time favorites.
    Dools9 and JayORear like this.
  30. HoptimusMax1mus

    HoptimusMax1mus Disciple (305) Jul 10, 2012 Arizona

    1997 for me with some SNPA. Followed by 1554 shortly after. My obsession with IPA's and Porters/Stouts starts there.
    MickJ0nes likes this.
  31. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,183) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Supporter Subscriber

    OK...flame suit on... I revisit Boston Lager...often.

    Is this enough for redemption, he wonders... On my fairly frequent trips to WI, it's Spotted Cow.
  32. Jeffreysan

    Jeffreysan Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2013 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    My first gateway beer was Schwaben Bra’'s das Echte a German Marzen/Oktoberfest-style brewed by Dinkelacker-Schwaben Brau in Stuttgart Germany. My family was stationed in Stuttgart in the late 80s while I was in junior high and the Das Echte was the beer I learned to drink on, (thank God, not an BMC beer). Sadly, it isn’t exported to the States, and since I don’t get to Germany much (haven’t been since 2001), I probably won’t be able to revisit this beer for quite a long time.

    My first Belgian gateway beer was Leffe Brune, and I have at least one of those a week! I absolutely love that beer!
    herrburgess likes this.
  33. Andrew041180

    Andrew041180 Crusader (700) Mar 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    Same story, different ending. I'll drink it if it's the best option, but my tastes have definitely moved on from SA's offerings. I don't know what it is, they seem to have some kind of syrupy consistency that turns me off.
  34. TheGoof

    TheGoof Initiate (134) Apr 10, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I live in Michigan, so Oberon was my gateway craft beer. Still love it, have about 10 per year.
    herrburgess likes this.
  35. dar482

    dar482 Poo-Bah (3,476) Mar 9, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    Bourbon County Coffee Stout. Had it a month ago. Still love it.
  36. Hdredfern

    Hdredfern Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2012 Texas

    Rogue Yellow Snow IPA for me. I bought it because it was a funny name and when I actually ended up drinking it (the whole growler) it was amazing. I revisit it whenever I can find it around.
  37. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I still buy, consume and love Long Trail Ale.
  38. mjshearer1

    mjshearer1 Aspirant (213) Dec 16, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    While Sam Adams and Guinness were my primary brews that got me to look deeper into the rabbit hole, the one that caused me to fall in was Arcadia's Nut Brown ale. Still a solid beer.
  39. Badger72

    Badger72 Initiate (53) Mar 8, 2013 Louisiana

    Laugh all you want but my gateway was a Shocktop. Drinking that beer made me realize that all beer didn't have to taste like Natty lite or PBR. Drinking that Shocktop made me go out and buy a 6'er of Stone Pale Ale. I didn't know much about beer then, but I knew that I liked the Stone logo (still do). From time to time I still go pack to Stone Pale Ale, but never to Shocktop.
  40. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,104) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I still love a nice cold sunshine wheat in the summer.
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