Time machine: you're in a craft beer bar, and its 1995. What do you drink?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by SCW, Jul 24, 2015.


You've been transported to July 1995 and these are the most popular styles. Which one do you go for?

Poll closed Oct 22, 2015.
  1. 1. Vienna Lager - e.g. Samuel Adams Boston Lager

    77 vote(s)
  2. 2. German Hefeweizen - Paulaner HefeWeizen, Hacker-Pschorr

    102 vote(s)
  3. 3. West Coast Amber - e.g. Mac and Jack's African Amber, Alaskan Amber, Boont Amber

    24 vote(s)
  4. 4. Brown Ale - e.g. Pete's Wicked Ale

    82 vote(s)
  5. 5. American Hefeweizen - e.g. Widmer Hefe, Pyramid Hefe

    22 vote(s)
  6. 6. Belgian Style - e.g. New Belgium Abbey, Celis White

    29 vote(s)
  7. 7. Smoked Beer - e.g. Alaskan Smoked Porter

    38 vote(s)
  8. 8. Scotch Ale - e.g. Bert Grant's Scotch Ale

    14 vote(s)
  9. 9. American Pale Ale - e.g. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Snake River Pale Ale

    280 vote(s)
  10. 10. Lambic - e.g. Liefmann's (Cantillon not widely distributed at the time, so not considered)

    15 vote(s)
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  1. SCW

    SCW Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2004 New York

    A friend of mine told me the other night that he wanted to open a craft beer bar, and his theme would be to "only serve beers that were huge in the 1990s." I told him I thought his business would fail because many of those styles people want nothing to do with nowadays - but applauded his risk-taking brazenness!

    So that had me thinking how far the industry has come - beers that are prevalent nowadays were not even available 20 years ago. Similarly, beers that were everywhere 20 years ago are nowhere to be found nowadays. The same can be said of beer styles - but perhaps they will make a comeback?

    Pretend you're in a time machine, and you've been transported back in time 20 years ago. You walk into a craft beer bar. This is the tap and bottle selection of the day - these are considered cutting edge selections for their time and day. What would you be going for? What style of beer would you like to see make a comeback? Do you think any of these styles will see their day in the sun again?
    #1 SCW, Jul 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
  2. lambpasty

    lambpasty Initiate (0) May 3, 2013 New Hampshire

    Well in 1995 I was 9, so, we'll use my current palate to answer this :slight_smile:

    German Hefe, I would pass on Paulaner's though and go for Weihenstephaner or Ayinger.

    If I'm sticking strictly to this list though, probably an amber.
    #2 lambpasty, Jul 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
    DarthVorador, mtvolkens and Lucular like this.
  3. AlpacaAlpaca

    AlpacaAlpaca Crusader (711) Apr 2, 2014 New York

    Can't go wrong with a SNPA. I'd be interested in tasting the difference between then and now
    icormier, rronin, CowsandBeer and 9 others like this.
  4. thegoon55

    thegoon55 Initiate (0) Oct 27, 2012 Massachusetts

    PerHops likes this.
  5. MeauxJoe

    MeauxJoe Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2015 Louisiana

    just the fact that 1995 was 20 yrs ago is very hard for me to grasp, sorry i'll get out of the way
    wspscott, mfnmbvp, Brad007 and 20 others like this.
  6. Tsar_Riga

    Tsar_Riga Poo-Bah (2,833) Sep 9, 2013 Indiana

    I picked the Hefe, but I agree with thegoon55, the real answer is I have a lambic. Because in 1995, that was about the only craft brew I drank.
    foundersfan1 likes this.
  7. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Initiate (178) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont

    Of the options above: Boston Lager for sure.

    But, my personal choice:

    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I was 16 when I first had one (and granted it was 18 years ago, not 20). I was working a summer job in Auroville, CA, not too far away from their brewery in Chico, so bets are it was super fresh. It blew away all the other beer I'd tried up to that point. I still drink it to this day, a testament to SN's longevity and mastery of craft.
    icormier, mfnmbvp, rronin and 6 others like this.
  8. WillQC4Beer

    WillQC4Beer Initiate (0) May 1, 2014 Vermont

    A really nicely done Hefe is a thing of beauty in its own right. I love berliners which I feel like would have been available but probably scarce in the US. A solid nutty/chocolate-y brown ale would be a reasonable one to add, finding a good one is becoming harder and harder.
  9. MisSigsFan

    MisSigsFan Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 California

    Maticus likes this.
  10. McMatt7

    McMatt7 Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2014 Pennsylvania

    West Coast Amber. Boont. Was Red Seal around in 1995? I used to love Red Seal. I should get some Red Seal.
    Chaz, ahawkman, thebeers and 3 others like this.
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,824) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I will abstain from voting but I will tell a story instead.

    One of my favorite craft beers of the very late 80’s early 90s was Brooklyn Lager on draft served in 22 ounce Pilsner glasses at Binni & Flynn’s (a combination Mexican cantina & Irish bar; how wild is that!?!).

    I was relatively new to craft beer during that timeframe. What I noticed about the Brooklyn Lager on draft was that sometimes the beer had a very noticeable hop aroma (and sometimes it didn’t). For those times when the hop nose was ‘on’ I would drink more 22 ounce glasses of that beer than I should have; it was just so darn good!!

    I had a Brooklyn Lager on draft about a year ago. That beer had a nice malt backbone but there was no perceptible hop aroma in that beer.

    Shane, if your friend could ‘commission’ Brooklyn Brewing to provide a Brooklyn Lager of circa 1990 with a hop nose that ‘pops’ I would frequent his craft beer bar. I suppose I would have to bring my wife along to be the designated driver.:flushed:


    #11 JackHorzempa, Jul 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
  12. SCW

    SCW Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2004 New York

    Hi Jack,

    Its funny how strong a role that scent plays with memory. It also is said that taste is 90% smell.

    I always considered the hop aroma to be the "perfume" of a good beer. When its spot on, its so enticing it almost is impossible to peel you away from that beer glass. There something that is truly magical about that fresh hop aroma that beckons you for another pint (or in your case, another 22 oz glass.)

    I was recently in Germany working with some hop farmers and there is some great work being done there. After centuries of growing and producing the same stuff, they really are branching out now and doing innovative things. That being said, you cannot really top that aroma of fresh Hallertauer and Tettnanger hops. When its fresh, and when its good - it has that fresh cut grass & floral nose to it that is deliciously enticing.
  13. Treyliff

    Treyliff Poo-Bah (5,525) Aug 10, 2010 West Virginia
    Society Trader

    Alaskan Smoked Porter, all day.
    Dizbro21, sulldaddy and charlzm like this.
  14. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Savant (967) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan

    Besides the list posted above, probably...

    Zima :stuck_out_tongue::grinning::flushed:
  15. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,088) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    God help me if I had only two beer choices in 1995. I would have been (and was) drinking beer from Grant's, Pyramid, Redhook, Deschutes, Hale's Ales, Pike, Mac & Jack's, Maritime Pacific, Elysian, Fish Brewing, Diamond Knot, Widmer, Bridgeport, Full Sail, Rogue, Henry Weinhard's, Alaskan, Sierra Nevada, Anchor...

    I think a place that served only beers available in 1995 from these breweries would do just fine, even today.
  16. MUTINY

    MUTINY Meyvn (1,135) Feb 6, 2015 Virginia

    I saw Hacker-Pschorr & knew what I had to do.
    ivorycannon likes this.
  17. halo3one

    halo3one Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2014 Georgia

    I would have been 15... so whatever my friend got from the bootlegger or his parents pantry probably.
  18. MUTINY

    MUTINY Meyvn (1,135) Feb 6, 2015 Virginia

    I love the concept of this thread, lots of fun!
  19. SCW

    SCW Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2004 New York

    I believe there are 10 choices, not 2. At any rate, is anyone surprised to see the amount of love for the German Hefeweizens? You couldn't give those beers away a couple of years ago. Perhaps they are set to make a comeback...
  20. MUTINY

    MUTINY Meyvn (1,135) Feb 6, 2015 Virginia

    Agreed, I figured APA's would run away with it.
  21. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,088) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    Did you change the poll? When I first looked at I think it there were two choices (the top two listed)...
    #21 draheim, Jul 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
  22. WillQC4Beer

    WillQC4Beer Initiate (0) May 1, 2014 Vermont

    I have surprised myself lately by drinking a few of them and its one of those styles that if the stars are aligned (yeast, malt, and water in this case) its really really delicious.
    SCW likes this.
  23. SCW

    SCW Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2004 New York

    and its one of the hardest styles to produce actually. How many outstanding examples are produced stateside? The answer is very few, because they are incredibly hard to do well.
  24. WillQC4Beer

    WillQC4Beer Initiate (0) May 1, 2014 Vermont

    Oh I think there are ALOT produced here, pretty much every brewpub makes their own hefe, and sad to say have destroyed the style in the minds of most people but I would say there are maybe 2 domestically produced... that I can think of that are outstanding.
  25. rynegne

    rynegne Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2014 Illinois

    Sierra Nevada is one of the beers that got me into drinking craft, that got my vote.
  26. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,819) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Kind of funny, in traveling to some more rural parts of Colorado I've discovered that there are places still thriving on those styles. Brown ale, honey/raspberry wheat, pale ale, stout, blonde ale, etc.
    At this point they tend to have those styles down to a science and I usually really enjoy them, too. Brown and pale are usually my go-to, although the flavored wheats can be really good too.
    TheDoctor likes this.
  27. LancetherealLeader

    LancetherealLeader Initiate (0) Jul 12, 2013 South Carolina

    Pete's Wicked and Newcastle were my 'gateways' into this terribly expensive habi....hobby!! :grinning:
    mfnmbvp, Dandrewjohn, timnyc and 4 others like this.
  28. bowzer4birdie

    bowzer4birdie Poo-Bah (1,905) Aug 16, 2012 Illinois

    Likewise. Close call between that and Vienna Lager (just going with the options listed).
  29. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,108) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Haha in '95 I had sworn off drinking for 3 years at that point, at my ex wife's "suggestion". She said she'd leave me if I didn't stop brewing and drinking beer. Started enjoying beer again around 2001 and homebrewing again around 2010. Damned if she wasn't just blowing smoke. Took me suing her for divorce, 19 months of hell, and 20K to finally pry that bitch out of my life.

    Loved me some pale ales back in the day (and now too), I surely would have grabbed for a SNPA
  30. SCW

    SCW Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2004 New York

    She got the house - but you got the beer. #CaveDave #Winning
  31. gatheredwaters

    gatheredwaters Devotee (426) May 1, 2014 Vermont

    Would be drinking a Fat Tire thinking it's the best thing in the world.
    Dandrewjohn and jmueller216 like this.
  32. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,108) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    I got the house, and the beer, she got the boot
  33. rogerdandy

    rogerdandy Initiate (0) Mar 25, 2011 Canada (AB)

    If I could go back to that time, as a Canadian, no questions asked McNally's Extra by big rock... all day long. That beer WAS so good.
  34. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (2,319) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut

    If I were one of 3 people in craft beer bar in '95 I would be drinking a SNPA toasting the owner and wishing him good luck in whatever business he was going to run after his craft beer bar closed in a week. If Duvel or Chimay were options in this poll, though, which they would have been back in '95 I would be having that. Also, I think in '95 it would have been a micro brew bar.
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,824) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    You should have a conversation with Bill Manley (@sierranevadabill) on that topic (i.e., Kellerweis).

  36. kevanb

    kevanb Poo-Bah (2,740) Apr 4, 2011 Illinois
    Society Trader

    That dusty bottle of Cantillon sitting in the fridge that no one has ordered in 3 years
  37. charlzm

    charlzm Poo-Bah (2,464) Sep 3, 2007 California

    Is it really time for 90's nostalgia now? I guess only Seattle music plays in this bar? Dresscode: flannel only.
    BrettHead, foundersfan1, vurt and 4 others like this.
  38. tylerstravis

    tylerstravis Meyvn (1,067) Feb 14, 2014 Colorado

    Milk, because I'm 15.
  39. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey

    Since it's a time machine, do I get to drink my Pete's Wicked with a 20 years younger me? Because I got stuff to tell me.
    Buy Apple and stay away from that cute Redhead who seems really nice.
  40. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,088) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    Not sure if this was just a Seattle thing, but I still remember wearing a pair of long underwear under cargo shorts and, of course, flannel. I kind of miss those days... and the Sonics.
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