It's a wild and crazy world of beer out there, and getting more so every day! If you're just getting into craft brews, all those colorful labels and zany beer names might feel a little overwhelming, yes? Here are our recommendations for some good introductory craft brews. What are yours?
One of the best ways to start learning about beers is to go to a bar or restaurant with a decent beer list and just try something new. One glass is a pretty small investment for something that you might end up liking a lot! Once you find a new beer you like, try other beers by that same brewery. Chances are good that you'll like those, too!
Keep your eyes open for these:
• Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing Company - This was my own gateway beer into the craft brew scene. It has toasty malt flavors and a nice balance of fresh citrusy hops. It's just a good all-around beer!
• Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company - Sierra Nevada deserves a lot of credit for bringing pale ales into the mainstream. This beer is super smooth and has a nice tangy citrus flavor. It's well-balanced and not overly hoppy.
• Blue Moon Belgian White from Blue Moon Brewing Company - I like to share this one with new beer drinkers just because it's so completely different than your average light lager (ironic, since Coors owns Blue Moon). It's thick and creamy with distinct flavors of orange, banana, lemon, and even some bubble gum. Sweet, yet very drinkable and thirst-quenching.
• Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery - This beer starts out fairly sweet and nutty, but then slips into a smoky molasses flavor. There are just enough hops to keep it from being too sweet, but not so much that the beer turns bitter.
• Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company - Silky and rich, this beer is like your favorite coffee drink served over ice. It's dark with roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors, but with a touch of sweetness to keep it from being too bitter.
What beers do you remember from when you first started drinking craft beers? Which ones would you recommend for new beer drinkers?
Related: Quick and Dirty Guide to Lagers