What was your gateway craft beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by not2quick, Jul 25, 2016.

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  1. Brestel

    Brestel Initiate (110) Mar 15, 2006 Nebraska

    Not long after that, it was Robert the Bruce on the Notre Dame campus in a bar called Legends during a Summer workshop.
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  2. gerbel75

    gerbel75 Initiate (15) Sep 24, 2018 South Dakota

    Well I found out as a 6th grader that Miller Genuine Draft has a special place in hell.

    Got into Mickey's Malt Liquor for a while in college because of the grenade bottles. Although I still think those little bottles are pretty rad, I'm glad this phase didnt last long.

    Found out that Hamm's on tap was dirt cheap for a reason...

    First craft beer (still one of my favorites) was a Crow Peak 11th Hour IPA.
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  3. Treyliff

    Treyliff Poo-Bah (4,460) Aug 10, 2010 West Virginia
    Society Trader

    Sam Adams Winter Variety Pack, Chimay Blue
  4. BRLockwood

    BRLockwood Aspirant (280) Aug 1, 2005 Florida

    2003 Blue Corn Cafe - Albuquerque, New Mexico - house brewed double ipa! I was living in Oklahoma at the time so this totally blew me away! My life was changed forever! I always wanted to go back and see if it tasted the same but the next time I went the place was closed!

    Was drinking labatts blue before that!

    I’ve come a long way since then but still love the ipa’s!
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  5. PureHubris

    PureHubris Initiate (61) Dec 23, 2011 Missouri

    Ayinger Celebrator
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  6. Can_if_you_can

    Can_if_you_can Crusader (793) Mar 15, 2012 Minnesota

    Awesome story man! can't wait for Mountain Standard this year since some of my favorite black ipa's have been discontinued recently. Always look forward to Odell's release of this treat each year.
  7. jrc456

    jrc456 Initiate (41) Dec 22, 2016 New Jersey

    Pete's Wicked Ale was one of the first I remember. Was not initially fond of the Sam Adams and Pete's was more appealing. Later on the Sam's seasonal brews were more to my liking.
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  8. hiker33

    hiker33 Disciple (398) Apr 14, 2005 North Carolina

    In 1986-87 I discovered Samuel Smith Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and Nut Brown at a store in Orono, Maine while in school. I would splurge on a four-pack when I had the money, even though they cost as much as a 12-pack of Rolling Rock. Shortly thereafter I found Anchor Steam in the same store.

    Once craft took off it was Pete's, Sam Adams, and anything else that was new.
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  9. wintersoulstice

    wintersoulstice Initiate (10) Oct 17, 2017

    My gateway craft beer was Samuel Adams Cream Stout. At the time, Guinness was the nectar of the Gods, as far as I was concerned. One bottle of Cream Stout convinced me otherwise. The first taste was ice cold, bracing and full of flavors. As it warmed, those flavors deepened and allowed me to savor the smoky, dark chocolate and coffee notes from the malt. By the time I was down to the last few sips, it had warmed and I was then introduced to a creamy, vanilla toffee finish. From then, I made it a point to try the rest of what Samuel Adams had to offer, falling deeply in love with Scotch Ale, Ol' Fezziwig, Octoberfest and Winter Lager. I still follow Samuel Adams faithfully, though I've since found several incredible beers from breweries across the country. Some of those honorable mentions are Puyallup River's Imperial Eggnog Mud Mountain Milk Stout, Caldera's Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter, Pyramid's Red Wheat and Fig, Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Belching Beaver's Peanut Butter Milk Stout, and The Iron Horse Brewery's Quilter's Irish Death. Cheers!
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  10. tnjsrich

    tnjsrich Initiate (89) Feb 1, 2012 Missouri

    Is was Mid 1980's when a friend brought home some Anchor Steam from college in Dallas. I still drank crappy beer for some time afterwards. However, after the Anchor Steam, I knew I was drinking crappy beer!!

    I'm currently hooked on barrel aged stouts...all year long!
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  11. cagedartist

    cagedartist Initiate (34) Jul 12, 2018 Massachusetts

    Anchor Porter - first tasted at some rinky-dink club during a visit to S.F. in the Fall of 1980 - ignited my love for craft brews, which is still going strong 38 years later.
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  12. jrmeeinc

    jrmeeinc Initiate (53) Feb 21, 2016 Illinois

    Has to be Sam Adams Boston Ale. Not the Lager. It reminded me of the first pint I had in England. There was very little avaiable in the early 80's other than cheap college beer. I was fortunate to work in a restuarant when Jim Koch was still wheeling cases of beer around Boston trying to sell the stuff. Changed everything. Years later I found another beer that reminded me of a my English youth; Smittytown by Temperance Brewing in Evanston, IL. There is a lot of great beers that made me think differently, these two helped defined how I have come to love the choices we have today
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  13. esands9172

    esands9172 Initiate (19) Sep 27, 2018 New York

    Good question. For me it was probably Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat that got me started. I used to LOVE them. Their Oktoberfest next, and Summer Ale after that. Not sure if my palette changed over the years, but Sams seems to have gotten worse over the years. About the only thing I still enjoy from them is their Oktoberfest.
  14. Can_if_you_can

    Can_if_you_can Crusader (793) Mar 15, 2012 Minnesota

    Black Widow oatmeal stout, it tasted like nothing i had ever had before, it was like a meal in a glass, and still not so filling you could have a second one after. I haven't been able to find it for years, don't know if it's even still made or if i'd think its a poor example of an oatmeal stout but i remember that being the first beer i really loved and hunting for it.
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  15. TQuinlan

    TQuinlan Initiate (61) Jul 15, 2011 Canada

    I was out at my Mom's cabin back in the 90s and went to the LCBO in Kenora, Ontario and found a bomber bottle of Pike's Pale Ale from the Pike Brewery in Seattle. I had no idea what to expect, I just bought it for something different. When I sat down on the front porch for dinner and had this beer I was absolutely floored with what I was tasting. After that beer epiphany, I've never looked back. The next day I went back and bought every bottle they had on the shelf and in the back store room. Pike Brewery doesn't brew this beer anymore and none of their current line-up can compete with that stellar beer. I can still taste it. Thanks Pike Brewing!
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  16. PacNWDad

    PacNWDad Disciple (371) Sep 24, 2011 Washington

    Anchor Steam/Redhook Ale/Sierra Nevada P.A. (3 way tie). Yes, that dates me a bit.
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  17. BeTheBall

    BeTheBall Devotee (433) Jun 9, 2004 Massachusetts

    My first sort of love was Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA. A couple of years later, not knowing the beer, I was served a Hop Rod Rye, and it changed my world! Kinsale in Boston, 2006; what a moment!
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  18. Fantalek

    Fantalek Initiate (174) Aug 5, 2012 New York

    Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

    Misfit in Santa Monica 2009

    Me: What do you suggest, I usually go for dark beers like Beck’s?

    Server Extraordinaire: Old Rasputin

    Served from a Nitro Tap, a new beer drinking experience was delivered and I never looked back. Still a big stout fan....
  19. ClemsonMike

    ClemsonMike Initiate (102) Aug 13, 2010 South Carolina

    Not really ‘craft’ but my gateway beer was definitely Blue Moon in the early 2000’s. I was only a Bud guy before that.
  20. Bwinebeez

    Bwinebeez Initiate (17) Nov 18, 2004 Virginia

    About 1986 Chesbay Virginia Native Dark, was the 1st to turn me into a beer geek, had in early 80's prior would be Barleywines from Anchor & Sierra Nevada.
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  21. beersampler6

    beersampler6 Poo-Bah (1,875) Apr 4, 2018 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Early on, all I drank were watery, bland but easily-obtainable Bud Light, MGD, Rolling Rock and the occasional Coors Light. I had tried other “fancier” beers a few years later, but remember thinking that IPAs were too hoppy, wheat beers had a strange aftertaste and porters were too heavy. I guess it just took time to develop and acquire the taste for craft beer, because finally one day I tried a Founders Rubaeus (on tap, nitro, at their brewery) and realized there was a whole ‘nother world of beer out there...
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  22. ivant_79

    ivant_79 Initiate (25) Aug 16, 2017 Texas

    I was never a beer guy... had only been familiar with yellow macro beers and thought everything tasted the same. One time I had Michelob AmberBock and thought it had a little more flavor so I started reading about Bocks/Doppelbocks and they sounded interesting. Stopped by a local beer place (Buddy’s Beer Barn in EP... literally a barn building that sells beer) and asked Buddy what Doppelbocks he had. He recommended Ayinger Celebrator and sent me home with a 4 pack. When I tasted it I was very surprised/impressed about all the flavor in that beer. Specially after reading more about the limited ingredients it’s made with. To this day, it’s one of my all time favorites.
    So short answer: Ayinger Doppelbock
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  23. ryan8323

    ryan8323 Initiate (60) Oct 20, 2010 Massachusetts

    Mine was a Green Flash West Coast IPA at a Deep Ellum in Allston, MA. I can still recall sitting in a dark bar and ordering it without any real idea of what was coming my way. I may have had a Sam Adams or something similar before it that I could drink relatively easily and enjoy, but this was the first beer that made me sit up and think, "Whoa, THIS is what a beer can be?"
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  24. hornblower19

    hornblower19 Initiate (120) Jan 7, 2006 Michigan

    Bells Two Hearted. Used to visit the River of same name in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and always took a sixpack along for quaffing at the campfire. That beer was soooooo floral back in the day, palates change with their exposure, so many other more fruity and floral beers today. I still keep it in regular rotation of my fridge, and appreciate it more now than ever.
  25. clucas_43420

    clucas_43420 Initiate (21) Sep 22, 2018 Ohio

    Moose Drool from Montana
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  26. WHROO

    WHROO Devotee (400) Aug 31, 2008 Australia

    For me it was a book. Our local BWS store gave away a book on beer as I was purchasing a premix whisky, I hesitantly said ok, read it over the next week or so, & HAD to try these amazing international beers. Back in 2008 our craft beer was very limited so I reckon I nearly tried everything available for the first year after reading that book. Now it's impossible .. Willie the author sold the beer sizzle amazingly so I had to give beer a go. Something I thought I would never have done given I didn't, & still don't like mainstream Aussie lagers . The first beer pack I ordered online (live a couple hours away from any decent beer store) which was 10 years ago this week, Included chimay, la chouffe, delirium .. yep I was hooked. Belgians were an amazing entry ...
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  27. BillBabbitt

    BillBabbitt Zealot (528) Nov 21, 2012 Ohio

    Hoster Brewing Amber Ale, 1991, Columbus Ohio. Drink local!
  28. Donkey_kong

    Donkey_kong Initiate (44) Jan 1, 2015 Texas

    Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA. My girlfriend was a strict IPA drinker and I said I never liked them, until I tried this. Still drink Stella, Heineken etc. but my favorites now are all IPAs. I finally get it.
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  29. Nolecat34

    Nolecat34 Initiate (76) Jul 25, 2017 Connecticut

    Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold was the first, brought over one night by friends in Buffalo (couldn't get it in CT). Opened my eyes to the rest of their offerings - Burning River, Lake Erie Monster, Eliot Ness and Commodore Perry.
  30. Tags55

    Tags55 Initiate (50) Aug 27, 2014 New York

    Sam Adams started me on my adventure to find a wonderful cornucopia of other great beer flavors offered by a multitude of breweries in this great land.:grin:
  31. blade13cat

    blade13cat Initiate (54) Apr 3, 2011 Kansas

    I remember the day! I was visiting Kansas City in 1997 and tried an Unfiltered Wheat from Boulevard. I later read that the owner of Boulevard, John McDonald, said his dream was for every town to have their own local beers. Each town would have a unique appeal that one could enjoy when traveling. That struck a chord with me. Cheers!
  32. dmueller

    dmueller Initiate (111) Dec 2, 2008 Illinois

    During the 80's made many a trip to the August Schell brewery in New Ulm, MN. The annual Bockfest in February was an introduction that there was some other great beers to be had at the time. So I will say Schell's Bock, along with Schell's Oktoberfest.
    Also a close second was Summit Pale Ale.
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  33. far333

    far333 Poo-Bah (2,366) Nov 16, 2002 Connecticut

    Samuel Smith Taddy Porter, circa 1990. I thought I was ahead of the curve with Molson Golden and Moosehead, but that porter was the best beer I ever tasted, and porter is still one of my favorite styles.
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  34. jwkeller

    jwkeller Initiate (89) Feb 9, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Stoudts (Adamstown PA) Fat Dog was my epiphany beer. Prior to that I only knew Bud Coors Yuengling. it was on tap at a local restaurant and I ordered if based on the name. And I suddenly knew that beer could be good!
    that started me on trying many local craft beers and then to start home brewing. I've been doing that about 7-8 years now and belong to a home brew club.
    I continue to explore, but to be honest, there aren't many that surpass our club beers.
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  35. Stillkickin

    Stillkickin Initiate (30) Dec 19, 2017 Tennessee

    When I was old enough (In my older sisters mind) , she took me to a concert in the park with an eight pack of ponies to see Barefoot Jerry [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barefoot_Jerry ]. I actually got a little tipsy :slight_smile: 1976. Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan did it for me many years later. My brother's best friend claims that Bell"s is the best beer made anywhere...whatever.
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  36. mpysno

    mpysno Initiate (97) Feb 21, 2006 Minnesota

    Anchor Steam. The granddaddy of them all. Had my first when I returned from SE Asia in 1973.
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  37. TheBeerTrekker

    TheBeerTrekker Initiate (156) Aug 30, 2013 New York

    For me it was around Christmas time 1995, I had just moved back to the US, living in Boston at the time. I took trip to Vermont to visit a cousin who was living in Burlington at the time.

    Her former boyfriend was going to a local college and he came back home with a 6-pack of a local nano brewery that had just started, names Magic Hat. I remember it was a pack of Blind Faith.

    My past experiences with beer was the local macro option in Venezuela called Polar, which is the Venezuelan version of Budweiser, that is what I grew up drinking when I lived there. I remember this guys telling me about the guys who made the beer and that they were his classmates, it made me curious to try.

    The first sip I took completely took me by surprise, it was like nothing I had ever tried, it took me a few minutes to process everything that was going on with my palate. From that that on I became curious to trying all kinds of beer. After a few months of that I moved to Miami where unfortunately at the time there was nothing happening in Florida so my beer of choice became Miller High Life.

    Fast forwards a few years and in 2002 I moved to NYC and that is where things got very serious for me, Belgian beers was what open my path. Orval was the first one to blow my mind, after that point I became completely obsessed with trying anything from Belgium, the Trappists, Saisons, Farmhouse ales.
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  38. AL3-drinkr

    AL3-drinkr Initiate (20) Aug 11, 2018 Georgia

    Longhammer IPA from Redhook brewing. I was working on a friend’s house when we discovered some in 16oz singles. We decided to try them, and I was instantly hooked on craft ales
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  39. DanielAron

    DanielAron Devotee (445) May 15, 2005 Illinois

    Probably 1988, a freshman in college. Someone in my fraternity was drinking a Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale. For someone who had only drunk AB and the like it was a revelation!
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  40. enjoi

    enjoi Initiate (43) Mar 7, 2013 North Carolina

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