Your Gateway Beer to Craft

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by dillon_1005, Oct 20, 2013.

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  1. BeerNoobNC

    BeerNoobNC Initiate (0) Sep 13, 2011 Georgia

    I feel like for a lot of people, there are stages of progression. Well, there have been for me at least.

    In high school, it was Yuengling. In college, I started with Blue Moon. Just before I turned 21, I started drinking Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada, and when I was able to buy my own, that just opened the flood gates to all kinds of possibilities to try. I also have beers that have gotten me hooked on a certain style. At first, I wasn't a huge fan of IPAs. But, after my first (and second and third) pint of Bell's Two Hearted, I became addicted and it is now my favorite style.

    None of these beers are "special" to us beer snobs, but me trying them all resulted in my ultimate beer enlightenment.
  2. Beef_Curtains

    Beef_Curtains Devotee (466) Oct 14, 2013 Ohio

    Great Lakes Dortmunder!
  3. jzlyo

    jzlyo Poo-Bah (1,669) Mar 4, 2012 Iowa

    Gumballhead is still and probably always will be a favorite of mine.
  4. Gorillahead

    Gorillahead Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2013 Missouri

    I grew up in a rural area near a small town. The only beer I was ever exposed to was BMC. I never drank in high school because the only stuff anyone ever handed me was the BMC stuff and it was all awful. It got to a point to where I thought that's what beer was, and I just didn't like beer.

    Fast-forward to the age of 20 and in college. I was at a friend's house and he poured a Guinness into a glass. I was like "what's wrong with your beer man, it looks like motor oil!". Turns out it's supposed to look like that. I tried it and loved it. That was the instant my eyes were open to the fact that all beer doesn't look or taste like stale cat piss.

    Nowadays, Guinness is weak sauce compared to the other stouts and porters I love, but it gets the credit for awakening me to the world of real beer.
  5. profholt82

    profholt82 Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2010 Michigan

    I never really thought of it as a "gateway," but I suppose Sam Adams Boston Lager taught me that beer could be delicious.
  6. DB203

    DB203 Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2013 Connecticut

    My buddy's roommate back in 96/97 was the Harpoon sales rep for Connecticut. One night our 30 pack of Bud ran out & we raided her samples! And the rest is tasty history...
    HRamz3 likes this.
  7. JimboHD2005

    JimboHD2005 Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2007 Illinois

    Goose island "hex nut" brown ale in the mid 90s. Never looked back.
  8. KingFizz

    KingFizz Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2013 Kansas

    I vaguely recall copious amounts of Boulevard Wheat in high school. I don't ever buy it anymore; there's just too much I haven't tried, but if you're offering, I'm drinking. Without a lemon, of course.
    Gorillahead likes this.
  9. StLeasy

    StLeasy Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2013 Illinois

    Well the first beer I ever tried was a Guinness, and "my first beer" was a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. As were most of the rest over the next couple years. Some Sam Adams, Bass, and Guinness in there, but SN was my favorite. I got lucky when pulling the Dad straw :grinning:
    You can guess how appalled I was at my first high school "party" where I tried my first Keystone Ice and Light.. On the plus side, I quickly learned that if I brought my own, nobody would ask me for one after I let them take a sip :stuck_out_tongue: only knew one other kid who drank craft, but lucky for me were (and still are) good friends.
    Wasn't much easily available craft-wise for me during High School, but I could still always get SNPA and sometimes Torpedo (hooked at first sip), so I didn't go out of my way to try much, just an occasional local (Schlafly's).
    Got a novelty ID when I was 18 and I've been hoppy-err, happy, ever since
  10. STKPICR0720

    STKPICR0720 Initiate (0) Mar 16, 2011 Alabama

    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
    jsurfs82 likes this.
  11. alpineclimber

    alpineclimber Initiate (0) Feb 17, 2009 Alberta (Canada)

    Tripel Karmeliet, a very dangerous brew in the hands of the uninitiated.
    snozberries likes this.
  12. afi4lifer

    afi4lifer Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2011 Colorado

    Not proud of it now but...Sam Adams New World Tripel
  13. MystikCelt

    MystikCelt Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2011 New York

    Delerium Tremens introduced me to the fact that there was actually more than Bud'n'such out there, and it was good; but years later, Old Rasputin is what really opened the floodgates of what my wife now exasperatedly calls the "beer cellar."

    I was a Guinness drinker, more or less unaware that craft beer was still a thing after the 90's crash, and a friend told me to give it a whirl, I think he described it as the black coffee version of Guinness, which piqued my curiosity, not to mention the fact I've always been fascinated by Rasputin himself.

    If it wasn't for him, I'd be rich by now. Bastard.
    StLeasy likes this.
  14. Hendry

    Hendry Crusader (729) Mar 8, 2013 Vermont

    Lagunitas Sucks led me to all the great Vermont offerings.
  15. itsjreal

    itsjreal Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2013 Vermont

    #9 was the beer that made me like beer. And I'm not ashamed to say that I still buy it from time to time when I'm looking for a crisp, fruity brew in the summer.
  16. gshak

    gshak Devotee (472) Feb 20, 2011 Texas

    Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and Samuel Adams White Ale.
  17. Schmittymack

    Schmittymack Zealot (506) Sep 3, 2008 Colorado

    Mine was back in 1992 in Colorado Springs by a since closed brewery: Pike's Peak Brewing's (NOT the one that's currently in Monument) Red Granite Ale. Then along came Bristol and Laughing Lab up off GOG Road, Back Alley's Nightstalker Alt (closed) and Cheyenne Mountain Brewery's (closed) Grannygear. From then on, it's been brew over spirits 9 outta 10 times or more.
  18. snozberries

    snozberries Initiate (0) Oct 17, 2013 California

    I'm a terrible writer, so bear with me...

    Seeing as I just turned 21 a week ago, I've literally just started my journey into beer. Throughout high school and what not, I was exposed to BMC most of the time. Luckily, my cousin loves beer and I'm so happy he has helped introduce me to the world of beer and everything about it. I'd have to say I started along with lines of Shock Top, Blue Moon, etc. My cousin then showed me more and more, Tripel Karmeliet was one of them and that was awesome. Since last week, I've bought Ommegang's Three Philosophers + Hennepin, 4-pack of Old Rasputin, and also The Bruery's Autumn Maple which was more of a gift for my twin sister. Tonight I ventured into Bevmo after work and bought some Velvet Merkin :wink: Not sure if I'm moving too fast or not, but I'm loving it so far and look forward to coming on here more and more to expand my horizons.
    Gorillahead likes this.
  19. Dan269605

    Dan269605 Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2013 Connecticut

    I never drank the typical BMC beers, I was originally more of a wine guy, but was tired of shelling out big bucks for good wines and wanted a change of pace so I started drinking more beer over the years.

    I started with the Macro England/Ireland beers. I think first was Bass, then Newcastle, then Smithwicks for a while and then Guinness and Guinness Extra stout.

    From that I had Corsendonk brown and it opened me up to aromas and taste I never knew could come from beer and I got way into Abbey beers.

    Then I discovered the "bigger" American craft breweries (Founders, DFH, Brooklyn etc.)
  20. hnandez

    hnandez Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2013 California

    I started with High Life when I was young because it was cheap. After that I moved to Newcastle for awhile. Then Sam Adams Boston Lager.

    Now it's 98% craft and some cheap beer every once in awhile.
  21. crashdavisinoh

    crashdavisinoh Initiate (0) May 24, 2010 Ohio

    New Holland's Dragon's Milk
  22. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Poo-Bah (2,807) Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    It was a long process.

    In high school, I would drink forties of St. Ides Special Brew and Natty Ice, but living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I had some friends who were beer snobs of sorts that wouldn't touch that stuff and would drink Pacifico, Honey Nut Brown and stuff like that. So that weaned me off of the forties.

    Then my freshman year of college in Arizona, a friend of mine worked at a liquor store and would bring home Fat Tire. I loved the stuff, but didn't realize it was craft beer or that there was even a concept, it simply was a good beer from Colorado.

    But then I moved to Boston and couldn't get Fat Tire any longer. In Boston, I mostly drank to get drunk since it's cold as hell and I was in college, so I didn't necessarily drink for taste. Still, I tasted my first Newcastle there and was obsessed for a long time, had my first Stella and enjoyed that for a while, Beck's same story. A lot of mass-produced European beers, but they were better than BMC, so I was with it. I do remember having plenty of Sam Adams and the occasional Magic Hat, but again, didn't take the dive into craft beer.

    Next was NYC, where I was still partying and drinking hard. I remember trying Brooklyn Brewery beers for the first time during my first year there, but they didn't do much for me. I mostly spent the next nine years drinking lots of foreign beers when I was downtown, Germans and Belgians mostly, and Presidente, Corona and Heineken when I was uptown where I lived because that's all the bodegas sold. Tragic really, since I've now learned about so many damn good beer bars NOW THAT I DON'T LIVE THERE ANYMORE. A trip to Germany was a real eye-opener for me, but that only reaffirmed my belief that I should always look for German beers when given the opportunity.

    Just as I was leaving, my friend took me to a few craft beer bars, I tried some good beers---none of which I can remember--- and I went to my first beer tasting where I had Bronx Pale Ale, Toasted Lager from that Long Island Brewery, and I think Ommegang. That was the tipping point. But, I left NYC a few weeks later.

    Moving to Albuquerque a year and a half ago, I had a whole new city to explore, the Yelp app to discover stuff, and my cousin would send me links to BA to check out beers. When I got that first taste of Elevated IPA, it was a wrap.

    Long story, I know, but I think plenty of craft beer nuts probably had a similar experience.
  23. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (2,109) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Premium Trader

    Chimay Blue.. And Allagash White. Still love them.
  24. LeeMarvin

    LeeMarvin Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2005 Massachusetts

    I'm getting like Abe Simpson with this story, but...

    Back in the 80's, a friend stole a keg of Killian's Red from the Renaissance Faire. That led to Sam Adams and Harpoon, which was the style at the time. Gimme five bees for a quarter, we'd say....
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  25. nogophers

    nogophers Aspirant (211) Jun 28, 2011 Minnesota

    Fat Tire.
    As much as I don't like the MillerCoors scene, Blue Moon has been a great gateway beer for many. This beer, that many BA's hate, has helped the growth in craft beer (which is awesome!).
  26. rozzom

    rozzom Defender (688) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    Before I moved to the US, I drank lots of cask beer in the UK (where I'm from), but I just drank what was available locally, and didn't really geek out about it (with the exception that I'd always order Landlord when I saw it).

    When I moved to the US in 2008, I assumed the beer scene was Bud and Bud Lite. Then I found this beer called Arrogant Bastard at our deli and bought a bottle. And then bought lots more. And then found out that this bar round the corner called Blind Tiger was a "craft" beer bar (still can't stand the word craft). Then found beer advocate.
  27. kylelenk

    kylelenk Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2012 Michigan

    Never any BMC for me. Wuz fed BCS through my bottle.

    But in reality, FBS was my gateway beer.
  28. Roudy

    Roudy Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2009 Georgia

    In the early 90's I was making many business trips to Leeds, U.K. Loved Tetley's Bitter in hand pulled casks from the local pubs. I then started making numerous visits to Seattle and discovered a little brewery called Redhook and specifically their ESB. Stopped drinking BMC yellow fizzy crap ever since.
  29. npala86

    npala86 Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2013 Florida

    Boston Beer Co. 100%
  30. Boonedog

    Boonedog Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2013 Illinois

    HAS to be Goose Island Honkers Ale.
  31. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    Samuel Adams, really.

    I think Guinness was the first pint I ordered at a bar. I thought of it then as I do now -- "eh."
  32. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2010 Pitcairn

    Ballantine India Pale Ale.
  33. American_Hawk

    American_Hawk Disciple (334) Jun 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    Stone Arrogant Bastard
  34. AnalogErik

    AnalogErik Initiate (0) Jul 23, 2013 Minnesota

    Well, minneapolis has awesome beers, so I've been drinking summit/schell's/surly etc etc for years.

    But what pushed me into the "I consider myself a beer snob" range was Bourbon County 2012. Yeah im a late bloomer, but ill be damned if I dont have a decent list put together so far.
  35. beerded_drunk

    beerded_drunk Aspirant (203) Aug 30, 2013 Pennsylvania

    It was destiny for me.... in high school we drank PBR, Milwaukees best, Bush and natty bo, and i hated it. but once i turned 21 i was enlightened and saw first hand what was possible, and for more than $10.50 a case there was an endless wall of flavor. my local beer store had an extensive collection of warm cases and variety packs that grabbed my interest from the start. i started buying beer that i never heard of just to see what was possible. I got a second job just so i could buy cases and 1/2 cases that ranged from $25-$80 the rest is history!!! if my memory serves (which it doesn't) Im pretty sure Kronnenburg 1886 was one of the first beers i tried that i had never heard of...
  36. steve8robin

    steve8robin Savant (928) Nov 7, 2009 Massachusetts


    As I look over others responses, I realize how odd my gateway really was. I was always a High Life / Bud Light Guy, but my buddy got into craft beer hardcore back and kept brining me different beer to try. BCS is the first beer where I had been like, "Whoa! Beer can taste like that?" Still have a love affair with BCS.
  37. ipamonster

    ipamonster Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2013 Rhode Island

    Rogue Dead Guy Ale and a couple of Pyramid beers on a trip to Portland, OR
  38. cpxc

    cpxc Initiate (132) Sep 23, 2013 Pennsylvania

    lots of Sam Adams and DFH 60
  39. MikeG304

    MikeG304 Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2013 New York

    Davidson brothers oatmeal stout from Davidson Brothers in Glens Falls NY.
  40. rkentb

    rkentb Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2012 District of Columbia

    Guinness was the first beer that got me thinking outside of the normal light industrial lager box. Once I got used to the idea of flavor in my beer there was no turning back.
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