Suggestions for a Brand New Beer Drinker

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by ohyayitstrey, May 17, 2013.

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  1. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (518) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Find a local bottle shop and go in at a time when not crowded--that would not be Sat afternoon--but perhaps when it opens. Introduce yourself and tell him your story. Skip the grocery store and Total Wine.

    You will find a person that likes his or her job and will be excited to fill a basket for you.
    Go back and tell them what you did and didn't like.
    Gradually try new things as you explore styles.
    My two cents--avoid going straight to the DIPAs and hop bombs--you will miss the subtleties. I agree with starting with quality Pale Ales, Belgians and Pilsners--it is summer right now.
  2. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (377) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    You're getting lots of good suggestions for beers to try, so I'll offer a different bit of advice instead: Alternate glasses of beer with glasses of water. Staying sufficiently hydrated will keep you a happier person, especially on the morning after.
  3. beerme411

    beerme411 Initiate (0) Sep 28, 2010 California

    Another tip that I found out when I started out. The first few months there were many styles that I didn't think I was too fond of, but then about 6 months after that I returned to the ones I thought I didn't like. Well I found out I like these styles as well, I just wasn't sure what I was supposed to be tasting at first and it just took some time.

    Also once you find a beer you really like get the full 4 pk or 6 pk and just drink that for a couple days, YMMV, and you begin to taste more parts of the beer which may be good or bad, but your appreciation goes up.

    At the end of the day it's just beer have fun:grinning:
  4. Tidesox28

    Tidesox28 Disciple (344) Apr 21, 2013 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Sam, like a lot of people said, is a great start. I also think Sixpoint The Crisp would be a nice entry beer. Cheers
  5. J_Dub

    J_Dub Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2013 Texas

    Enjoy the whole new world of beer you are about to experience. As others have said, a good style to possibly start out in is a hefeweizen. Weihenstephaner is great and you should be able to find it in OK (I can in N Texas at least). From there a good direction to move onto is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (it was my intro to craft beer). SN Pale ale will give you a good idea as to what hops taste like. I know I struggled at first with identifying certain flavors and BA can really help. Read some reviews for what you buy and find the common denominator and see if you can spot the flavor. After trying enough different brews you will start to understand what a hop/malt/etc flavor tastes like. You might also like to try a german beer like Spaten. It tastes like "traditional beer" but with much more flavor. Of course your own personal tastes should guide you. I wouldn't recommend a porter or stout to most beginners but I started with stouts so it's really up to you. If you can find a make-your-own 6 pack I would definitely try to get a few different styles.

    Lastly, don't write off any certain beer at first. You'll find that your tastes evolve as you try more styles. It took me forever to get back to the "yucky bitter IPA's" but once I gave it a try again I loved them. Do yourself a favor also and make sure you pour into a glass. Everyone says I'm just being pretentious but smell is part of tasting so don't just drink out of the bottle.
  6. Auror

    Auror Defender (635) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    One thing to mention... Narwhal is part of the rotating "High Altitude" series by Sierra Nevada. It hasn't been made since December. Due to it's style and alcohol content, Narwhal will be great to drink now, however some beers and styles are best to drink as fresh as possible. Be aware of bottle dates and stock rotation at that store, since if they still have Narwhal, they might have other old stock.
  7. JellyJacket

    JellyJacket Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2012 Illinois

    Lots of stuff's already been said about some very solid beers and good introductions to different styles. Gotta say, though, it was a couple very intense and "big" beers that really opened up my world to how vastly different and incredible just a few changes in process and ingredients can be. A good stout like Narwhal is a great ingress into those, and for me Three Floyds IPAs were really eye-opening (though harder to find in OK, I'm sure), so it was all extremes until I really found my groove. It really is a matter of trying as many styles as you can and then honing in on one that's particularly delicious to you. That said, don't be afraid of the weirder or slightly more expensive finds. Around $12 for a bomber isn't bad if it's rated well on this site, but a good brewery's tasting flight is a great way around that.
    Also, don't neglect the sours! They're harder to find and more expensive, but it took me entirely too long to jump into them, and I ain't one bit sorry. Lindeman's Cuvee Rene Gueuze is a pretty solid and relatively easy to find sour (no fruit added) that doesn't have some of the tastes people who hate sours find objectionable. Other sours have more "funk" (you'll know what I mean when you get one) or a more vinegar-y base that could really turn you off, and it might not be your thing at all, but they're some of my favorite things in the world right now.
  8. mondegreen

    mondegreen Devotee (419) Nov 4, 2009 Georgia

    Pick a style you want to explore and go to the BA page for that style. Near the top of the page is a link to view the most popular beers in that style. Click that link. So, if you were exploring American IPAs, you'd land here:

    Go down the list and see which top examples you have access to. A good resource if you aren't sure of distribution is Try as many or as few of the top examples of each style until you figure out what styles you really like.
  9. SirBottlecap

    SirBottlecap Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2013 California

    Always remember that for new beer drinkers, it is common courtesy to send out a couple of their local brews to people who respond to their threads on BA. Thanks.
  10. sammy806

    sammy806 Disciple (396) Feb 29, 2008 Maryland

    If someone already suggested this, mea culpa, but I did a quick read through and it did not jump out at me. Another good way to start is by getting a brewer's sampler pack (if offered). Sam Adams usually has, at least, one out at any one time which will have 2 bottles each of 6 different beers at a fairly decent price.
    SkitzIrish3 likes this.
  11. 19etz55

    19etz55 Disciple (321) Aug 12, 2007 New Jersey

    Pilsner : Sam Adams Noble Pils
    Lager : Brooklyn and/or Sam Adams
    Pale Ale : Sierra Nevada
    IPA : Stone and/or Harpoon
    Porter : Brekinridge Vanilla Porter
    Stout : Dog Fish Head Chicory Stout

    GOOD LUCK!!!
  12. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,019) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    If it says "Bourbon Barrel-Aged" buy it. Right guys? :rolling_eyes:
    brenty0man and DropDead like this.
  13. ohyayitstrey

    ohyayitstrey Initiate (0) May 16, 2013 Oklahoma

    I'll send you one if you send me one :slight_smile:
  14. Tomdee74

    Tomdee74 Aspirant (269) Jan 18, 2009 Connecticut

    Couldn't agree more!
    SkitzIrish3 likes this.
  15. shand

    shand Meyvn (1,417) Jul 13, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Sweet call on breaking edge. I've always been part of the punk scene, and even when I didn't drink (was underage, like most "edge", who really just don't enjoy the party scene) I thought the whole thing was kinda silly. And it goes beyond silly and into dangerous when you have the whole militant edge thing. Anyway...

    Go ahead and plug your town/the biggest major town/city into this site and find the nearest bottle shop that sells singles. Go completely nuts there on single 12oz bottles to find what you like. Try to spead between styles.

    Hopefully you don't have any tattoos you need to cover up!
    Extravadanza likes this.
  16. DropDead

    DropDead Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2013 Illinois

    Don't forget the amazing Germans like Ayinger Weizenbock/Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier/Schneider Aventinus. Their user friendly :slight_smile:
  17. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Zealot (515) Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Drink everything Sierra Nevada makes. Pick a favorite style. Drink that style from as many breweries as you have access to. Pick a favorite brewery. Repeat with that brewery.
    SkitzIrish3 likes this.
  18. EdTheEdge

    EdTheEdge Disciple (392) Mar 26, 2011 California

    Stop before it's too late!!!!!
    SkitzIrish3 and Flight0011 like this.
  19. SirBottlecap

    SirBottlecap Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2013 California

    Deal! And l'll throw in another because anyone from Oklahoma deserves an extra beer right about now!
  20. ohiobeer29

    ohiobeer29 Defender (677) Feb 2, 2013 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    read the labels and pick based on your tastes and throw a few maybe likes in there.your find your style of beer and stumble onto great beers along the way.enjoy the journey
  21. MammothTarantula

    MammothTarantula Devotee (483) Jan 22, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Welcome to the world of beer! As long as you know that you're a sinner now, it's okay. Enjoy!
  22. Hdredfern

    Hdredfern Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2012 Texas

    try a samual smiths organic chocolate stout!! it is to die for!!!!!!!!!!
    kyle86 likes this.
  23. WhatdaHec

    WhatdaHec Initiate (0) Aug 6, 2003 California

    Remember, whenever you go to a bar with multiple taps, don't forget that you can ask to sample a particular brew before you order a pint. Get samples of brews that seem interesting and if you like 'em, order one. Then build your list of beer tried. The rest is history.
  24. jkn09

    jkn09 Aspirant (239) Oct 17, 2012 Texas

    A mixed six-pack of SNPA, Torpedo (IPA), Kellerweis (Hefe), Stout, Porter, and Seasonal (Summerfest atm) is a fantastic place to start.
  25. brureview

    brureview Meyvn (1,267) Jan 20, 2012 Massachusetts

    Prairie Hop is an excellent saison.
  26. TheGator321

    TheGator321 Aspirant (239) May 29, 2013 Connecticut

    Don't worry about what it is, just try it.
  27. Beerpastor

    Beerpastor Initiate (0) Jul 12, 2013 Ohio

    My favorite year round accessible beer is Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald. I recommend that.
  28. OptionParalysis

    OptionParalysis Aspirant (258) Jul 12, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    For me, It started with Sam Adams and Dogfish Head. Then, I was introduced to this site which has steered me in the right direction countless times when I've been curious as to what to buy, or even curious what people had to say about whatever brew I find in my local distro.

    One thing to keep in mind is to remember that you shouldn't let a number rating scare you away. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and one great aspect about this site is that you can use those opinions to see if it's a beer that you might be interested in. That beer that has an 84 overall can easily wind up being world class in your book!

    Sample beer flights, mix up your six packs, approach the world of craft beer with an open mind and most importantly, have fun and enjoy yourself.
  29. TomTown

    TomTown Disciple (319) Feb 7, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    In a different direction, I would recommend getting an app such as "untappd" to help keep track of what you've had and what you've liked. I used to keep notes in a little tasting book when I got started, but would usually forget it at home or feel silly pulling it out at a pub, so this was a much easier fix.

    Best of luck and welcome!

    eaterfan likes this.
  30. brew44

    brew44 Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2010 Ohio

    Bell's Oberon , Goose Island 312, SNPA and Dortmunder Gold would be a few , easy to get , great beers. Then on to bigger and better things. Also, pair up with someone that has more beer knowledge than you so they can help you with your choices. Beer is good!
  31. SkitzIrish3

    SkitzIrish3 Initiate (0) Feb 18, 2011 Illinois

    Do this.

    Either Sierra Nevada or Samuel Adams will be fine. (Boston Beer sampler packs gave me adequate examples of MANY styles that helped me build a base when I began learning.) This is a perfect way to start your beer education. Obviously drinking all of Sierra Nevada's portfolio will take a long time (or Samuel Adams). Just find some styles you enjoy and move on from there.

    Beer drinking will always be fun and full of surprises, but advice to a new drinker...ENJOY the experience! Cheers!

  32. SkitzIrish3

    SkitzIrish3 Initiate (0) Feb 18, 2011 Illinois

    Also, I've been keeping an excel spreadsheet log with full details on each beer such including name, style, date, brewery, state/country, ABV, personal rating, and description since I turned 21 two years ago that has helped me learn a lot (and as a beer geek is always fun to go through when I'm bored). I would recommend the same for any new or experienced drinker.


  33. eaterfan

    eaterfan Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Couldn't agree more. Untapped is how I keep track of what I've had. I often check it before I buy a beer to make sure it's something new or at least something I enjoyed. When you are getting up into the dozens, hundreds or even thousands of beers tried it's impossible to remember every one and your opinion of them and this is a great way to recall it.
  34. machalel

    machalel Aspirant (282) Jan 19, 2012 Australia

    USA is famous for its IPA/DIPA "hop bomb" type beers, so if you want to try a bookend on the sweet, rich, and malty side of the scale, try to get a hold of : Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock.
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