What beer got you into craft beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Todd, May 20, 2022.

  1. socon67

    socon67 (650) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    I got into craft beer in the mid-90's. So things like Rogue Dead Guy ale, Dundee's Honey Brown lager, and Sierra Nevada pale ale were what did the trick.
  2. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus (915) Apr 21, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Society Trader

    Right from my beer drinking beginnings in the late 80s as a 16 year old I was curious to try everything. So things like Labatt Velvet Cream Porter and Champlain Porter opened my eyes to beers that looked different. The bar for the first concert I attended - and snuck into with fake ID at 16 - had a bottle special on McAuslan St Ambroise Pale Ale. I remember remarking how much flavour it had compared to the Labatt 50 and Molson Laurentide I was used to. I wasn’t quite sold on it, but didn’t dislike it. The following year at college, the student hang out in the small town was a brewpub called The Lion. I drank tonnes of Bishop’s Best Bitter and Lion’s Pride by the pitcher. Also, my residence was adjacent to the original Massawippi brewery (later becoming Unibroue) and I had more than a few of those while there. One town over, a great beer bar existed even back then in ‘90-‘91 called King Hall and I tried all sorts of weird and wonderful things like Samiclaus, Orval, Schlenkerla and more. I didn’t like them all back then (Orval was weird!) but I kept trying more.

    So, I suppose I’d say lots of different beers from my beer drinking beginnings as a 16-18 year old from ‘89-‘91 or so. Since then, I’ve always sought out and tried new, usually craft beer when it crossed my path.
  3. champ103

    champ103 (1,280) Sep 3, 2007 Texas

    Lets see, back in college after I turned 21. I got to work with a professor in Chile, then Antarctica. Not that Chile then, was a bastion of good or even "craft" beer. Though there were several European like lager breweries (that I can't for the life of me remember now) but they were so much more interesting than anything I had had before, and maybe it was just the experience, I have no idea if those would hold up to what I remember them as now.

    After that excursion, when I got back to the states, I did my field coarse in Montana that same year as well. Found Fat Tire, Moose Drool, and several other local breweries I had never heard of and really enjoyed. I got back to Illinois with a new taste of multiple different styles in countries and states I had never been to before, and just started to see what else was available. Anchor, Sierra Nevada. Goose Island, Bells. Then my friends and I would make special trips to St. Louis and pick up more New Belgium on occasion (when we could save up enough money).

    Another professor would have these beers of the world parties at his house, open to students and faculty. People would bring any import they could. You put your offering in a cooler, and you were suppose to randomly pick any beer. That is how I first found Chimay.

    This was all early 2000's, and I eventually found this site after looking up what in the heck was this near $20 four pack called Bourbon County...
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  4. Shanex

    Shanex (865) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Society Trader

    My first real craft was definitely Kwak and ironically I don’t dig it much now more than 20 years later. Rarely I will purchase one but certainly won’t bother buying their special glass.

    Leffe was always a cracker in Europe and widely consumed and known but Delirium Tremens was my second and also true craft experience and I opened the Pandora’s box of unlimited Belgian beers.

    Unibroue got me into Canadian craft, and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale into the US market.

    It’s been a journey!
  5. Jasonrm72

    Jasonrm72 (350) Apr 29, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    At some point in the 90s we decided to try a beer with fruit flavor! RIDICULOUS!
    We tried it more or less on a dare to ourselves. Turns out it tasted great and I can still drink it to this day and be perfectly satisfied:
    Sam Adams Cherry Wheat

    Honorable mention to Pete's Wicked Strawberry Blonde which we tried next since the barrier was broken.
  6. Rainintheface

    Rainintheface (210) Apr 30, 2007 Florida

    Boston Lager for this Masshole
  7. moodenba

    moodenba (500) Feb 2, 2015 New York

    I loved the few Great Lakes beers (including porter) that found their way to the East Coast several years ago. For me, their beers still stand out from the pack as being perfect for my palate.
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  8. dpc166

    dpc166 (0) Jan 17, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Victory Hop Devil for me. Got it when I turned 21 at a good bar in State College. It's also my hometown brewery, so big bonus!
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  9. slander

    slander (0) Nov 5, 2001 New York
    Moderator Society

    Dock Street Amber
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  10. mickyge

    mickyge (895) Nov 1, 2014 Massachusetts

    I only had an occasional beer and a guy in work was a BA and shipped beer out all the time out of our mailroom. I used to give him a “ discount” on the UPS charges. He gave me a Heady one day to try and I was hooked.
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  11. NYR-Zuuuuc

    NYR-Zuuuuc (340) Jan 1, 2013 Connecticut

    Widmer Deadlift and Drifter.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  12. dennisthreeninefiveone

    dennisthreeninefiveone (390) Aug 11, 2020 New Jersey

    Anchor Steam in 1976, at a bat in San Francisco
  13. carolinabeerguy

    carolinabeerguy (405) Oct 10, 2005 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Sam Adams winter sampler packs somewhere around 2004.
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  14. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 (1,225) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I've only seen 4-5 different Arcadia labels, so I'm guessing that Short's doesn't have the rights (ownership?) to all of the brands. Or maybe the production of the Arcadia beers so far is an experiment, and future releases will depend on the sales of what has been released. I think I've only seen one brand at a time on my stores' shelves, and they seem to sit awhile, so maybe it's not going well.

    But you're right, the Shipwreck Porter is/was a very good example of a BBA beer, and I still consider it my all-time favorite in the barrel-aged category.
    #94 PapaGoose03, May 20, 2022
    Last edited: May 20, 2022
  15. sethmeister

    sethmeister (0) Feb 21, 2007 New Hampshire

    Sam Adams sometime back around 91 I think...

    Cream Stout. Loved it. Haven't had it in years. Do they still brew it?
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  16. Cstamp3084

    Cstamp3084 (340) May 3, 2020 Maryland

    Yuengling black and tan was the first beer I had that wasn't a AAL. I'd say it definably got me interested in trying different styles of beer. I tried just about every porter I could find after that.
    Bitterbill and Shanex like this.
  17. dd53grif

    dd53grif (450) May 28, 2017 Michigan
    Society Trader

    New Holland Dragons Milk. My adult son found it at a bar in St Louis and suggested I try it.
  18. rousee

    rousee (0) Aug 13, 2004 Massachusetts

    There was a brewpub here in Boston back in the mid-late 80's called the Commonwealth Brewery. I had never tried beers that were brewed on premises before & I was probably only about 18 or 19 at the time. I loved their beers and was blown away by them--even enjoying the ones that were served slightly warmer (cellar temperatures) They also did bottle them and they were available at my local liquor store too.
  19. beer_beer

    beer_beer (445) Feb 13, 2018 Finland

    Buckler NA on a night ship to Sweden 4.5 years ago. Not a craft beer in itself, but opened the door to the wonderful world of craft and not so craft NA beer!
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  20. Harrison8

    Harrison8 (1,355) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    Non-aged La Folie base beer was the first time I had a beer and thought it was actually good. I enjoyed La Folie quite a bit too.

    Then Boulevard's Imperial Stout X Coffee (2015) and Mikkeller's Beer Geek Breakfast reinforced the idea that beer could be grand and spectacular. Rochefort 10 was right there for me at the start too, indicating that I could enjoy more than coffee-forward imperial stouts.
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  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa (735) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    THE Iconic IPA in the Northeast!

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  22. tolar111

    tolar111 (650) Aug 17, 2008 New York
    Society Trader

    I shared one of those with my grandfather. When I showed him the label he gave an involuntary shiver and said, it's always cold on Dock Street.
    oneeye likes this.
  23. 2_Beardz

    2_Beardz (0) Apr 4, 2014 Florida

    mid-2000s at a craft beer bar in a suburb of Atlanta. I had a north coast red seal ale and it blew me away.
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  24. billlang

    billlang (0) Jul 20, 2020 Pennsylvania

    In the 80's it was Pete's wicked ale, then I had SNPA on tap, after 2 sips I thought how could anyone drink this bitter stuff. By the time I finished the glass I thought wow this is very different and good, so I ordered another then another. Thus begun my journey into craft beer!
  25. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington (800) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey

    I’d say Sam Adams BL and Bass Ale. Also Pete’s Wicked. Plus there was a brewpub (Mountain Valley in Suffern, NY) we all went to in the mid 90s before I even knew what one was.
  26. tigg924

    tigg924 (675) Apr 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    Braurei Spezial Marzen. I had other craft beers before like Sam Adams Boston Lager that I thought was way to bitter, but this was the first beer that made me want to explore more. I was so impressed with the unique smoky flavor.
  27. Cubatobaco

    Cubatobaco (0) Jan 27, 2013 Virginia

    Hard to pin it down to one beer, but I would say something from Dogfish Head (60 min or Sao Paolo) and Pete's Wicked Ale. Definitely fell off the cliff after my first trip and tour of DFH. I blame my wife, then girlfriend, who had broken up with me for 2 weeks and my buddy and I took a weekend trip to some breweries. That was it!
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  28. beerluvr

    beerluvr (0) Jan 2, 2001 Canada (ON)

    Old school super-premium domestic offerings from the mid-late 80's like Prior Double Dark, Erlanger, Stroh Signature, Christian Moerlain, good old Ballantine IPA. Things with more flavor and body than BudMillerCoors.
    nomisugitai, oneeye and Bitterbill like this.
  29. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 (0) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    Half price import night at Dick's Liquors in Las Vegas NM back in the 70's. The difference between pre-Miller Lowenbrau and PBR was stunning. Then I married a French woman whose father introduced me to Belgian beer, and a BIL who was an over the road truck driver in Europe brought me beer from wherever he had been. But that was in 1981 and American beer had not even started to get interesting, at least not in my part of the country. So when American brewers upped their game I was very, very ready for it.
  30. rgordon

    rgordon (575) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Chile, Antarctica, Montana, hmm let's see; Are you a geologist?
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  31. cl3

    cl3 (345) Aug 16, 2013 Wisconsin

    Like a lot of Michiganders... Two Hearted.
  32. champ103

    champ103 (1,280) Sep 3, 2007 Texas

    Yep :slight_smile:
  33. Sparty1965

    Sparty1965 (0) Dec 11, 2021

    Bell’s Oberon. Still a treat on a warm summer day.
  34. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill (0) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    Sounds like it was the Killian's Irish Ale that you had. I quite enjoyed it and was saddened when they changed it to a Lager.
    rocdoc1 and russpowell like this.
  35. sharpski

    sharpski (585) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Red Hook ESB in 1993, which led to the rest of Redhook’s lineup, then Pyramid’s portfolio, then Newcastle Brown Ale, Pete’s seasonals, and on and on.
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  36. Urk1127

    Urk1127 (940) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    A cultural icon around here. One of which I don't see many drink buy still respected fully
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa (735) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Maybe Victory needs to come out with a hazy version!?! :thinking_face:

    Maybe call it Hazy Devil? :stuck_out_tongue:

    Urk1127 likes this.
  38. slangtruth

    slangtruth (0) Jan 8, 2012 Kentucky

    I moved around the corner from Berkshire Brewing Company in 1997 and being able to walk five minutes or so to get an always fresh bomber or growler weaned me off the PBR and Rolling Rock. Got to watch them and the whole scene in the region grow up in the 20 years following - too many little OMGs in the years after to count. The early releases of Ghandi-Bot and Hoponius Union among many others were pretty special.
  39. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill (0) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    Besides the great imports that I enjoyed back in the 70s, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Anchor Steam Beer and the Ale, Stout and Porter from Newport Albion hooked me. I can't forget to mention Ballantine XXX was one I always bought through 3 decades.
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  40. jkrich

    jkrich (560) Nov 1, 2001 Florida

    Enjoying Samuel Adams Boston ale in the early 1990s while serving in the military put me on the road to enjoying craft beer.