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What beer/s exceeded your expectations 100%?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Beer_Stan, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (78) Mar 15, 2014 California

    I like to try a lot of strange beer being a buyer and all to make sure to have more unique offerings for my customers than some of the other stores in our market. A lot of them utilize adjuncts that are downright bizarre and strange for a variety of reasons in combination. I approach these beers with the mind that I'm not shopping for my personal preference but trying to hedge the benefits for potential buyers who may be looking for unique experiences. Some of these beers from the just the name alone or ingredients listed are downright scary but when you drink them it's such a delightful and interesting experience that you just have to marvel at what beer can really be sometimes, examples of this for me are Decadent Ales Vermont Maple IPA, ToOl Beer Dangerously Close to Stupid Amounts of Banana DIPA, Evil Twin/Jackie O Welcome to the Jungle. Just to name a few. What are some beers you expected to be trash that won you over once you tasted it?
    StoutElk_92 and Amendm like this.
  2. Amendm

    Amendm Devotee (454) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island

    Strawberry Rhubarb Feyborn Berliner Weisse from Down the Road Beer Co.

    At 1st I was not liking the color, then I tasted it. The balance of tangy sour and mild sweetness brought this beer up to the outstanding level. It reminded me of a strawberry-rhubarb pie that I also liked.

    Beer_Stan likes this.
  3. AllOfTheCats

    AllOfTheCats Aspirant (210) Mar 27, 2018 California

    I can't say that I've ever bought a beer expecting it to be trash, but I am wary of some adjuncts including licorice, banana, and orange. Usually, for me, it's the other way around where I expected something great and it ended up being very mediocre or even garbage.

    One beer that comes to mind where I wasn't expecting much based on the description (banana, cassia bark, and almonds) was Prop '17. I loved every sip of that beer and I wish I had a bottle of my own now. It's one of the best beers I've ever had. I also wasn't expecting much from Lagunitas Sucks and Waldos, but I thought they were both pretty good.
    Beer_Stan and Amendm like this.
  4. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,124) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I've had a few highly flavored beers in the past year that I bought or were gifted by the owner who just wanted me to try it and tell him what I thought. Some of them tasted exactly as described on the label and I gave them a good review though I didn't buy a second time.

    Honestly the beers that won me over in the past year were superbly crafted from just water, barley, hops and yeast.
  5. nw2571

    nw2571 Initiate (50) Feb 26, 2017 Indiana

    I will say that I'm not much of a fruit ale fan. Last time I was in Wisconsin I picked up some New Glarus Serendipity for the wife. Holy crap, what a great beer. And bonus, it's only 4%.
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,858) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    @Squire beat me to it. My favorite beers are brewed without flavorings. I do not 'object' to brewers utilizing flavorings but for me a beer made from grains, hops, yeast and water hits my personal 'sweet spot'.

  7. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (8,207) Aug 15, 2010 Colorado

    Ballantine XXX.
    woodchipper, JA_26 and Amendm like this.
  8. Milktoast75

    Milktoast75 Devotee (417) Oct 27, 2012 Wisconsin

    Plead the Fifth / Russian Imperial Stout / Dark Horse Brewing.
    I thought it might suck thinking I’d gone too far to the dark side.
    Would buy again in a heartbeat.
  9. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,218) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Society Trader

    New Belgium Voodoo Black IPA or whatever they called it. Maybe it's that I've been starved of Cascadians, but it was just terrific. Then I went back to get more and they were all gone. But anyway, ya, so very much exceeded my expectations.
    eppCOS and Amendm like this.
  10. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (687) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Two Evil....Geyser Gose

    Bunch of odd ingredients. I was not expecting the beer to be great but it’s one of my favorite gose.

  11. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,319) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    My first CBS sample during the first year that Founders released it just absolutely blew my mind as well as blew away my expectations, whatever they might have been for a revolutionary beer.
    Shanex, dcotom and scream like this.
  12. Justonemore91

    Justonemore91 Initiate (95) Nov 24, 2018 New York

    Bud light is exceptional... After trying coors and miller light I almost gave up on beer... The key was No corn syrup
  13. stevepat

    stevepat Devotee (498) Mar 12, 2013 California

    OMGWTFBBQ was a "barbecue" beer that Short's brewed some years ago. It had a diverse grain bill and smoked hops and I expected them to try to make a beer that tasted like BBQ sauce. Instead I got a beer that was too this day the greatest compliment to BBQ meat I've ever found in a beer. Forever will wish that one was canned .

    Shorts is the king of exceeding my expectations in general
    The-Adjunct-Hippie, LGHT and dcotom like this.
  14. islay

    islay Aspirant (237) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I recently tried a commercially produced kvass at a brewery simply because it was low ABV and being sold for only $1 for a pint (because it was cheap to brew and selling slowly). I figured, what the heck? I truly thought I would hate it and was ready to chalk it up as a cheap learning experience. I had only tried homemade kvass previously, always terrible. But this commercial example, while a little strange at first, ended up being refreshing, strangely enjoyable, and good enough that I purchased a 750 ml bottle to go (for $2).
  15. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,067) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    I picked up a can of Boxer Lager for 50 cents at the grocery store one day, just for the hell of it. It rates a whopping 2.26/5 on here, so I wasn't going in with any sort of high expectations. Well, surprise! I don't know if it's the Minhas house yeast blend or what, but this has an unmistakable hefeweizen thing going on that I found very pleasant and refreshing. I rated this 3.61/5, with an rDev of +59.7%. :astonished:

    Southern Tier Crème Brûlée and Wells Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale are also worthy of mention. I had much higher expectations for these, but they deliver in a big way - if you like that sort of thing. Which I do. :wink:
  16. mambossa

    mambossa Initiate (138) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    Yeah, as others have stated earlier, I don’t really buy anything I expect to suck.

    But one of my local brewery’s house beer is a Lichtenhainer, which on paper can appear extremely off-putting to the vast majority of beer drinkers. My wife got it one time we went, I had a taste of it, and it just worked! I unhesitatingly ordered one for myself the next round. Never knew how well those flavors can meld.
    dcotom likes this.
  17. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,067) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    Dammit, now I have to go find one of these.
    PapaGoose03 and mambossa like this.
  18. zid

    zid Savant (971) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Years ago, a friend of mine was going to Vermont and she told me she'd bring some beer back for me. When she returned, she gave me a few Von Trapp bottles. At the time, they weren't available in my state, and nobody on BeerAdvocate was talking about them (times have changed). The labels said, "By the family that inspired the Sound of Music." I dig Robert Wise, but marketing like that doesn't inspire any confidence. This was probably at the height of the pre-NEIPA Vermont mystique, and I was thinking to myself that she probably brought me some clunkers. On the first sip I thought, "Hey, this is actually great." Their status and distribution has grown since then, and I pretty much made all of their beers auto-purchases. But truthfully, my feelings for them have somewhat soured over time. I still buy their beers, but I no longer have them on a pedestal. Seems like their success has also led to them distancing themselves from that "Sound of Music" connection. Their "about us" on their website doesn't even mention it.
    #18 zid, Mar 13, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  19. JayWhitson

    JayWhitson Crusader (781) Feb 25, 2015 Montana
    Society Trader

    Not a huge fan of any bottled barrel aged stouts from Montana. BA Ivan leaves a lot to desire after having anything considered world class. But this one blew me away this week. It’s still about a quarter to half tier below the BCBS range but they are on the right track. Didn’t expect it at all.
    #19 JayWhitson, Mar 13, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
    dcotom likes this.
  20. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,415) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, no way licorice would ever be considered an "adjunct" but it was once a common ingredient for flavoring and coloring US brewed porters.
    Brewing Formulas Practically Considered, by A. L. Nugey. [1937]:
    The pre-craft era Stegmaier Porter (from both Steg and The Lion) was noted for it's use of licorice, but The Lion eventually upgraded the recipe to a more "authentic" (unflavored) porter recipe and a few year later, I started missing the old licorice version...

    IIFC, Bell's (?) has a porter or stout which uses licorice.

    Wow. :astonished: I take it you never had the original or even the Falstaff/Pabst variations that predate Miller's contract, circa 1998?

    (Checked your "Profile" and..." I guess not?" :wink:).

    Every few years since then the topic comes up and I take another $6 chance (maybe cheaper if I check for a fresh 40?)- only to have to relive that greatest of all beer disappointments.

    For all those years Pabst officials have discussed upgrading the Ballantine Ale recipe but never have yet. Quickly killing off the recent revivals of Ballantine India Pale Ale, Brewers Gold Ale and Burton Ale - as well as their Old Tankard Ale and Rainier Ale - made it seem even more unlikely...
    #20 jesskidden, Mar 13, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  21. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (178) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    10 Barrel Cucumber Crush Sour was a beer I went into with modest expectations (hadn't heard a single thing about it), and honestly it's a perfect poolside beer. Insanely crushable and tasty, would recommend!
    PapaGoose03 and sharpski like this.
  22. Shanex

    Shanex Moderator (1,272) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Society Trader

    I share these sentiments. FBS was fairly great, then I had KBS which was fairly excellent. CBS is from a different world. Top notch.
    stevepat, Beersnake1 and PapaGoose03 like this.
  23. zid

    zid Savant (971) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Bell's Kalamazoo Stout uses "brewer's licorice"... and it's a delightful beer.

    (What the heck man... I'm substantiating a factoid for you? And is that a typo (IIFC / IIRC)? Damn. Is the world gonna end tomorrow too? :wink:)
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  24. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,415) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Ah, I get lazy sometimes. (Plus, I often continue to add info during my 15 "edit" period and often feel rush to get it all in before the site calls "TIME GENTLEMEN" on me.) Thanks for the back-up, tho'!
    No, no - that's just a new acronym, for "If I'm F*uckin' Correct" !
    PapaGoose03, sharpski and zid like this.
  25. zid

    zid Savant (971) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    "Often?" It's gotten to the point where I won't quote your posts until 15 minutes have elapsed. :slight_smile:
    Ha. I don't think you're getting enough sleep lately. :grin:
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  26. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,415) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Yeah, I do think that's bad form on my part to "Edit" after someone's quoted me and I don't do it when I notice it, but if it's happening at the same time, it's usually too late to un/re-edit or delete...
    That is true (check the times on some of my morning posts) but just wait and get back to me in ~25 years when your brain and your eyes are the same age as mine are now.

    (I hope I'm around to read it :astonished: Or maybe someone will be around to read it and explain it to me...Say, when do you expect to retire? Feel free to raid my cellar, too - the doctors say "No more intravenous beer!".)
    zid and PapaGoose03 like this.
  27. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (78) Mar 15, 2014 California

    Well not all of the beers would have to be purchased by you (I don't think anyone buys anything expecting the worst) but if you were given a beer, at a share, or by some other means :grin:
  28. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (8,207) Aug 15, 2010 Colorado

    Nope, never tried it. Wasn't much into beer when I was 9.

    I see a $4 40oz bottle from a brand owned by Pabst, and you can imagine my expectations going in. I found it to be much better than my expectations, and much better than any other beer I've had out of a 40 (that wasn't a craft brewery's packaging stunt.)
    Beer_Stan likes this.
  29. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Initiate (135) Jul 20, 2016 Arizona

    I was super impressed by Modern Times’ Fruitlands: Rosé Edition. Can’t say I ever gave the style a truly fair shot, but I had never had a gose I liked before that one. Suffice to say that “salty and sour with added fruit” is pretty far from the descriptions of my favorite beers. I only bought it because my wife and mom were relatively interested in trying it, so I thought we could handle a single 16 oz can between the three of us. We did handle it, only we had trouble deciding who got the largest pour.

    I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. Modern Times hasn’t let me down yet.
    Beer_Stan likes this.
  30. LGHT

    LGHT Devotee (461) Sep 28, 2007 California
    Society Trader

    Not a totally off the chart ingredient but Angry Chair BA El Cucuy has peppers in it and it was a great beer. I've tried a few variations of beer with peppers and either it's non existent or too much. This was a perfect addition.
    Beer_Stan likes this.
  31. eppCOS

    eppCOS Champion (804) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    Hopslam, given the use of honey, surprised!
    Waldo's given its size, really surprised!
    Gentle Gentle, a cherry sour at Half Acre - mouth agape
    OB's latest, Can-O-Bliss, expected to hate it. NOPE.
    Beer_Stan and nw2571 like this.
  32. 67couple

    67couple Aspirant (242) Jan 31, 2006 South Carolina

    Angry Chair Rainbow Sherbert. While I knew they make good beers, this one was absolutely outstanding. Would love to have a pipeline to this.
    Beer_Stan likes this.
  33. scream

    scream Crusader (732) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    I would have to say Mother of all Storms and Father of all Tsunamis from Pelican in Pacific City Or. Been there a few times but the last was probably 5-6 yrs ago. Beer was always OK, but the venue and view are fabulous. At that point there was no barrel program that I was aware of. These 2 beers which I have acquired in the last few months are miles ahead of what I was used to from them - 1st class all the way !
    Beer_Stan and PapaGoose03 like this.
  34. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,285) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Ayinger Bavarian pils. Went into it expecting just another pils. Nope, not just another pils.
  35. StoutElk_92

    StoutElk_92 Poo-Bah (2,129) Oct 30, 2015 Massachusetts

    For some beers that sit on the shelf:

    Bell's - Lager of the Lakes
    Epic - Big Bad Baptist
    Leffe - Blond
    Gulden Draak

    just to name a few...

    Of course these beers aren't hyped up or too highly rated so it won't help people buy them much. I was thoroughly surprised at how much I liked these beers though, maybe less so Big Bad Baptist but that's one of my favorite stouts to sit on a shelf. I'm sure there are more good beers I can think of but that's my small list for now.
    Beer_Stan likes this.
  36. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,280) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    Sly Fox Oktoberfest
    Cubano Style Espresso Maduro Brown
    Straffe Hendrik Xmas Blend
    Bornem Dubbel
    Genessee Reisky Spies Barrel Aged Olde Ale
    Beer_Stan likes this.