What was your gateway craft beer?

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

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  1. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Grand Pooh-Bah (5,669) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Sam Adams Imperial Stout...
  2. Scott17Taylor

    Scott17Taylor Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2013 Iowa

    Boulevard wheat was my first craft beer that I drank often. Pseudosue showed me a whole new level of beer.
  3. Cork_Sniffer

    Cork_Sniffer Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2016 Washington

    Ommegang Abbey Ale

    I was tired of the usual party beers (MGD/Corona/whatever) and figured there had to be something else out there. Grabbed something off the shelf that cost as much as a 12-pack (for one bottle!) and was immediately converted :grinning:.
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  4. RaphaelSC

    RaphaelSC Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2013 Brazil

    First I tasted some random beers in a local pub, each one was by recommendation of the bartender.

    We started with Sixpoint Resin, Brewdog Punk and Três Lobos, all ipas, a hardcore start for newbies like me, and all very different of my usual american adjunct lagers.
    I didn't like too much of IPAs in the beginning because the bitterness, at this point I wasn't used with strong bitter beers such IPAs.

    But the beer that opened up my eyes was Westmalle Trippel, in the first sip I knew that it was a different "breed" of beer with it rich complex taste and full body. Since that day I became a real beer lover, and never stopped to try new beers and styles.
  5. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Initiate (0) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    Every time I reply to a thread like this my answer is different because I simply eased into it rather than having that one awesome epiphany. I started with Coors Light, then got fascinated by Grolsch (????), and Fat Tire came soon after. Breckenridge Brewery was the first craft brewery that I became obsessed with, so I would say Breck Oatmeal Stout or Avalanche Ale would be my craft epiphany beers if I had to pinpoint it.
  6. sorandomok

    sorandomok Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2016 California

    When I was still young I drank mostly Coors light and other similar beers, but I made friends with a few guys that were older when I moved out of my parent's house and they drank a variety of micro brews. I remember trying Lagunitas IPA, Red Tail, and SN which over time got me branching out from macro beers,
  7. ChrisCage

    ChrisCage Pooh-Bah (1,682) Mar 12, 2007 Canada (AB)
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Not really craft beers but Boddingtons/Kilkenny were my first two gateway beers! Still enjoy them from time to time as a reminder!!
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  8. deleted_user_1007501

    deleted_user_1007501 Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2015

    When I was in Dublin, I visited an astounding bar called L. Mulligan Grocer a bit north of the river, and a block away from my air bnb. I had a fleadh ale (an Irish IPA) by The White Hag brewery. I suppose now it would be called a red IPA, but lord did that beer change me. I had loathed IPAs up until that moment.

    When I got back, new Belgium snapshot and ranger caught my attention, as they were fairly new and upcoming, and still hold a lot of sentimental value to me. Ranger has such a unique taste that I have yet to find anyone able to replicate it. Although there are tons of more flavorful and explosive IPAs out there, that one still remains unique in my eyes.
  9. Reed

    Reed Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2012 Missouri

    Fat Tire was one of the first few beers I had, and the first one that wasn't a from major domestic brand. I was 17-18. I always bought the 750ml Smokestack bottles from Boulevard to get drunk on at parties when I was in my early 20's. I would just take 1-2 of them to a party and drink it from the bottle. Long Strange Tripel was my favorite. And then around 2010-2011 I found hops, and IPAs. And now I'm here.
  10. GoodBeerFan2006

    GoodBeerFan2006 Initiate (0) Jul 11, 2011 North Carolina

    Sam Adams BL. I remember it vividly, a July 4th cookout in 2006. I had it before, but that day it was different in a great way. That got the ball rolling. Then one December(a little over a year later) I tried something called Celebration Ale...wow....From there Bud Light et al. never tasted the same. And for that, I am grateful.
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  11. TechNBrews

    TechNBrews Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2016 New York

    My Gateway Craft Beer was SixPoint Resin!

    I continue to drink them till this day.
  12. thuey

    thuey Pooh-Bah (1,609) Nov 13, 2015 California


    But what took me to geekdom was Lagunitas Waldo's Special Ale
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  13. UrbanCaveman

    UrbanCaveman Pooh-Bah (1,866) Sep 30, 2014 Ohio
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Samuel Smith's Nut Brown was the first beer I was introduced to that made me question whether there might be more to the whole "beer" thing than the common yellow lagers plus Guinness lineup. From that, I expanded to the Taddy Porter, and eventually picked up a couple beers from GLBC by the names Edmund Fitzgerald and Eliot Ness.

    It's been malty, yeasty bliss from then on.
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  14. wally_world

    wally_world Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2015 Illinois

    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale..my brother, who is 6 years older than me, handed me one of those. That green labeled gem, combined with our first conversation about Great Divide Old Ruffian (that day, he had just bought a case of it), and I had a new obsession..er, hobby.

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  15. ClemsonMike

    ClemsonMike Aspirant (284) Aug 13, 2010 South Carolina

    My gateway beer was Blue Moon. It moved me away from Budweiser and taught me to try other beer. I transitioned to real craft beer quickly after my Blue Moon phase.
  16. Irishstuey

    Irishstuey Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2013 Iowa

    Went from Miller Lite to Sam Adams to Torpedo and Two Hearted Ale. That made me get the bug. Now this will sound crazy, but when I was really getting into craft beer in 2010 or so I found a bottle of BCBS and decided to pick it up. This is when I realized that beer can fit about every need. If I remember correctly that was the first time I had a St Bernardus Abt 12 and realized Belgium made some great beer. The best part of this story. For 3 solid weeks I walked in and found more BCBS on the shelf. Now I gotta fight to get a couple overpriced bottles.

    Oh, and that spring I got my hands on 2 cases of KBS and realize I liked it even more than BCBS.
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  17. PourMore

    PourMore Crusader (416) Oct 4, 2014 Florida

    Very initial gateway (2005 for me): Smithwick's and Hoegaarden
    Get serious gateway (2006): La Fin Du Monde and Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout
    Obsession gateway (also 2006): Old Rasputin
  18. NickSMpls

    NickSMpls Pooh-Bah (2,360) Nov 11, 2012 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Schell's Deer Brand. Moving from rural MO to rural MN a long time back. One could argue that Schell's is not 'craft' but it's better than Busch. (Pre-dates Miller Lite, that's how long ago. ) Then, on a business trip to San Francisco, my collegues came up with Anchor Steam Beer, fresh from its new home. That is what did it for me.
  19. NorfairLegend

    NorfairLegend Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2014 Illinois

    Not sure how to answer this, I think Red Dog, Red Wolf and Killian's. Then came Heineken, Becks, Hofbrau and some Leinie's Berry Weiss. They each blew me away at the time. I think my biggest revelation was bourbon barrel beers though I can't remember my first. Aging a beer in a barrel? That's some wizardry right there.
  20. puboflyons

    puboflyons Grand Pooh-Bah (4,153) Jul 26, 2008 New Hampshire

    The first sort of unusual beer I had was a malt liquor - Molson Brador in 1978. To me it was unusual. I went to college in Northern Vermont and we would do beer runs to the Canadian border and come back with cases of Brador. Drinking age was 18 then.

    During the 80's I mostly drank British imports such as Bass, Watney's Red Barrel, Samuel Smith's, Young's (original), and Newcastle.

    My first actual craft beer was Catamount Pale Ale from Vermont in 1987. After that I drank mostly Sam Adams, Harpoon, and Pete's Wicked Ale.
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  21. jds16

    jds16 Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2007 Ohio

    Mid Nineties: Leinie Red, Sam Adams Honey Porter and Boston Ale.

    Mid-late Nineties: Great Lakes flagships Dortmunder Gold and Edmund Fitzgerald, Sam Smith's Taddy Porter and Nut Brown, and Goose Island's Oatmeal Stout.

    Late Nineties: Chimay Red.

    It's evolution, baby.
  22. JackRWatkins

    JackRWatkins Maven (1,426) Nov 3, 2014 Georgia

    I basically just went through the beer aisle and bought everything that looked interesting a little at a time, I never really drank a lot of big beer though there was a lot of stella for a short (Very short) period
  23. SerialInebriate

    SerialInebriate Initiate (0) May 16, 2004 Montana

    I only bought this beer for a laugh when I saw it about 12 years ago . Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale. Said I wasn't Worthy on the Bottle but tried it any way and glad I did.
  24. treyvarious

    treyvarious Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2016 Georgia

    Victory Golden Monkey. First thing that caught my eye was the ABV. I thought to myself " theres no way beer can get that high" I was so naive
  25. Oktoberfist

    Oktoberfist Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Stone Arrogant Bastard
  26. colby600

    colby600 Pooh-Bah (1,919) Mar 24, 2015 Connecticut
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I was drinking Bud Light, then found Sam Lager and eventually stumbled upon Lights On on draft. Now I buy most of my beer from various breweries.
  27. jssf

    jssf Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2015 California

    I'm going to credit Dogfish 60 minute for truly blowing the lid off. It was an aha moment, though I had had reasonable beer in the past (Sam Adams, etc.). Sadly my palate has shifted and I no longer enjoy the malt profile in 60 and 90 minute.
  28. EdFed

    EdFed Pundit (993) Dec 21, 2008 Illinois

    Pete's was probably my first, but it didn't hook me. Same with Honey Brown. Also dabbled in Summit Extra Pale, Sierra Nevada Pale, Sam Boston Lager and Goose Island Honker's. Liked them but didn't catch the fever. The turning point for me was one December about 12 or so years ago, when I bought sixers of Leffe and Goose Christmas Ale. Haven't looked back.
  29. mudbug

    mudbug Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    Anchor Steam. '73
  30. Riff

    Riff Initiate (0) May 12, 2016 Virginia

    Got me interested in beers potential: Yuengling Black and Tan
    Interested in the craft brewery movement: Devil's Backbone Vienna Lager
    Obsessed with craft beers: Blue Mountain Kolsch 151
  31. bubseymour

    bubseymour Grand Pooh-Bah (4,374) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    My gateway progression:
    Extremely skunked /old St. Pauli Girl 1989 - hated it
    West End Export - college party 1992..thought it was amazing (but was probably cheap Austrailian swill crap looking back)
    SA Boston Lager/Boston Ale 1993 - ok but pretty bitter and chewy at that time for me.
    Dundee's Honey Brown 1993ish was ok

    SA Cherry Wheat/Pete's Strawberry Blonde/New Amsterdam/Blue Ridge Wheat/Blue Moon Nut Brown Ale ....all in 1994-1996 timeframe. Really liked all these listed at the time. I'd say this era was truly when I became interested in craft beers....started my bottle cap collection which I continue to this day.

    Intro to a couple Sam Smith beers late 90's..liked them

    Late 90's/early 2000's tried a few IPAs/Pale Ales (SNPA as one I recall)...pretty much didn't like the bitterness at all. Remember a friend gave me a Victory Hop Wallop and thought it was the most bitter and chewy beer I've ever had and drainpoured it.

    2010 - Discovered Beer Advocate website, had a Sam Smith Imperial Stout as my first review...1,839 beers sampled later here I am in 2016!
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  32. Rajaholick

    Rajaholick Zealot (654) Jan 9, 2011 Ohio

    Bell's Two Hearted. Went to a friend's bday part and there were a few 6 packs of this in the fridge. Had one and thought that it tasted/smelled like a bouquet of flowers (I have a very discerning palate). First few sips were tough but thoroughly enjoyed the beer by the end of the bottle. Had a few more that night and that's all she wrote.
  33. WIED

    WIED Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2008 Montana

    Red hook in the mid to late 80s made me dismiss corporate lagers like Grunge and alternative rock made me dismiss my hair metal. Now I drink craft and listen to everything under the sun.
  34. Donovanj

    Donovanj Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2018 Georgia

    Resurrecting this thread because it's awesome!

    I was in the Navy and stationed in Pensacola for the first time in early 1987. Back then, you could drink on base even if you were under 21 (the way it still damn well should be). The beer machines had all the standard macros but even then I didn't care much for standard AAL even though it was all that was available. We used to get Busch or Keystone and put it in our mini fridges turned all the way down.

    Two years later I was again stationed in Pensacola in early 1989. I went with a group to McGuire's Irish Pub. The brewery was brand new in 88 (oldest in FLA) and we met the brewmaster there. It was then when I discovered what "real beer" was! This was my enlightened moment when I realized that beer didn't have to be this tasteless frozen swill I had been drinking.
    They had an awesome sign on the wall next to the brewery:

    No Chemists Allowed
    Nature & the old-time know-how of master brewers get the job done here. We brew w/ only the finest malted barley, hops, & yeast imported from the british isles, w/ no chemicals or additives. In america’s best selling beers, there are as many as 96 chemicals. Heineken actually uses formaldehyde as a preservative. These facts should be required on beer labels. We disdain synthetics, scientists & their accompanying apparatus. This is a brewery, not a beer factory!

    After this, I started trying everything that wasn't tasteless yellow lagers!
    #154 Donovanj, Sep 20, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
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  35. Donovanj

    Donovanj Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2018 Georgia

    After my Mcguire's trip, I started with dark German lagers, British ales and even Belgian trappist ales. Shortly after I tried the early beer revolution brews like Sam Adams and Pete's Wicked Ale. Everything was uphill after that!
  36. Manfrombelmonty

    Manfrombelmonty Savant (1,089) Sep 12, 2010 Massachusetts

    Moved to the States 15 years ago and had the typical European impression of crappy piss weak American beer.

    Guinness was the go to, and is still my favorite beer, but it just wasn't good enough here. Then a guy working behind a bar who I started talking to because of his Star Wars rebel alliance tattoo suggested I try a SNPA.

    Blown away.

    After that it was a hop odyssey. First sixer I remember picking up was Victory Hop Devil.

    That led to umpteen years of trying to cripple my taste buds with hops.

    I should probably take that trip again at some point.
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  37. joberlander

    joberlander Initiate (0) May 30, 2014 Massachusetts

    Sam Adams variety packs in college. Their Oktoberfest was one of my favorites, but the variety only beers like chocolate boch and cherry rye showed me that beers could have more flavors other than "taste like pine needles" or "water"
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  38. Lahey

    Lahey Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    Newcastle, blue moon, Guinness and Killian's Irish red were amongst the first non AALs. Then I tried Bell's two hearted and everything opened up from there.
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  39. traction

    traction Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia

    Old Raspy popped my craft beer cherry back in 2002. I had one recently and it is still an amazing and delicious beer
  40. bl00

    bl00 Initiate (0) May 13, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Blue Moon Honey Wheat and Sierra Nevada Hefeweizen were mine
    Kb024 likes this.
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