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beer noob

hi there... I like the taste of beer...I like Guiness, Sam Adams, a few lagers. I like Blue Moon, Corona, Labatts... I kinda go with the flow for beer. But, I would like to start trying different ones... any suggestions? I'm from Buffalo NY...so if you're from around there to get an idea of local beers...and if out of the area any major ones that I could find. Or anything online? Thanks...

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    1. Southern Tier
      Weyerbacher
      Dogfish Head

      .. cant go wrong with these craft beers if you want to experiment

      1 Reply
      1. re: yankeefan

        thanks guys... i'll keep them in mind.

      2. What do you like in particular, about the particular beers that you like?

        11 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00

          I like Guiness for the dark heavy taste, but smoothness... Blue Moon is a good medium (tastes really smooth with some lemon) not so much of a hard flavor as the Guiness. blue moon goes good with pizza
          The Corona is a good light beer that everyone enjoys...its goes down easy, it tastes great ice cold with a burger off the grill.
          Other than that... I want to try new flavors and see what else is out there...

          1. re: tdiprincess

            When you try a beer, take a look at beeradvocate or ratebeer and see what others are tasting in it. You can also learn something about beer styles this way.

            1. re: tdiprincess

              definitely seek out other stouts, you will not be let down. I promise:

              victory storm king
              dogfish chicory
              there are so many in the area that you would enjoy

              as suggested, definitely check out beeradvocate

              1. re: tdiprincess

                I gotcha. What I would suggest is that you try stronger and more profound variations of what you already like. That way you'll have recognizable a point of departure and more easily notice the beers features.

                Guinness as you know is a stout so I'd suggest trying an oatmeal stout. These are noticeably richer, smoother and "yummier" (to me anyway) than standard stouts (which I also enjoy btw). A couple that might be distributed your way include: Samuel Smith and Wolavers oatmeal stout.

                You mentioned Blue Moon and I assume that you are talking about their Belgian Wit? If so, then as an alternative I'd suggest a dunkelweizen which like Belgian Wit uses wheat but doesn't have herbs added. Dunkelweizen will also be clove-y and banana-like with roasty darker flavors. Again ones I would suggest include: Ayinger Ur Weisse and Julius Echter Hefe Weissbier Dunkel.

                As for a Corona alternative, well it's pretty tame. And for something completely different (and seasonally appropriate), I'd suggest barleywine. Just think massive! Ones I've enjoyed are: Victory Old Horizontal, and Rogue Old Crustacean. Massive!

                1. re: Chinon00

                  My best suggestion this time of the year, would be to buy a mix-sixer from a good liquor store.

                  My favorites are the ones that go by season, there are ones out there now that have six different seasonals that really differ in style and you can find out what you like without fully committing.

                  Another suggestion is to get to a brewpub that brews their own and make your way through the sampler. Youll learn a lot about what you like and what you may want to try out.

                  Beer is a great thing.

                  1. re: yankeefan

                    These all sound really good...chinon thanks for the help and yankee fan too...and the links. It all sounds really good and Now I have an idea of where to start spreading my beer wings.
                    Thanks again! I'll keep everybody updated when I try new stuff...

                  2. re: Chinon00

                    Wow, talk about completely different! Barleywine as an alternative to Corona. While I would advocate virtually anything as an alternative to Corona, Barleywine is pretty intense for someone in the early stages of beer discovery. Maybe a DIPA, Double Dog, widely available, just something hoppy, isn't Hop Devil in that area?
                    I'll be interested in your experiences. Keep us informed of what you find appealing.

                      1. re: Bobfrmia

                        Barleywine I'd think a lot more approachable that a DIPA hop bomb.

                        1. re: Josh

                          I guess it all depends on which ones.
                          I find Bigfoot to be much heavier, richer, more complex beer than Double Dog.

                    1. re: tdiprincess

                      I'll recommend Old Rasputin Imperial Stout by North Coast to follow the stout category.
                      Trumer Pils for an alt to Corona.
                      Gordon Birsch Marzen might be enjoyed, not to hoppy, not too rich, but great for spring.

                  3. One of the best ways to learn about different beer styles is to learn how they're made. There are tons of great books on homebrewing (a wonderful hobby) that are very useful if you just want to learn about all the categories of beer, even if you don't want to brew your own. Since these books give you the important points for the way your brew should taste, they are an excellent guide to the flavor you'll find in beers brewed by the big (and not so big) pro breweries.

                    Another great place to start is to try sampler packs. Sprecher (Milwaukee, WI) produces sampler packs that are very representative of various styles (I love their "Beers of the British Isles).

                    1. hey there.
                      i'd go into premier gourmet (www.premiergourmet.com), which is in kenmore. they've got, literally, 1,000 different beers. don't let the selection intimidate you, because the staff is super friendly. just tell them the same things you mentioned in your post, and they'll help you out. there's a guy named ethan who's particularly helpful/knowledgeable. some of their prices for european and british beers are pretty high, but they've also got a great selection of microbreweries from across the u.s. As far as local breweries go, I'd agree with the Southern Tier suggestion. They make some great beer, and are relatively local. They're in Lakewood. You can even take a tour!

                      1. The idea of sampler six packs is good, but be careful about how you drink them. If you try too many different beers in one sitting your taste buds will get overloaded and a beer that may taste good on its own may taste awful after 2 or 3 other different beers. If you don't mind taking a little road trip, visit the Middle Ages Brewing Company in Syracuse. I believe they offer tours of the brewery and they have a room where you can sample most of their beers for free (they have tip baskets for this) and you can buy your favorites either in growlers or in six packs.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: HeBrew

                          And with samplers you need to take care to drink the beers in the proper order, so you don't, e.g., follow a hop monster with a delicate, malty beer.

                          1. re: Jim Dorsch

                            i was thinking that when I do pick up a beer to try, I'll research it before I drink it. Get an idea of what it should taste like. I'll even drink it while I reread to get some flavors that I should get and concentrate on finding it. Also, trying the samplers sounds like a good idea. I shall be trying the tips. And I'll bookmark the premiers website. Thanks everybody very much for the tips... and like I said I will make various posts about the beers I try. (Maybe I'll do a blog of them when I try new ones..LOL)

                        2. Welcome to the world of beer. :)

                          I think ratebeer and a lot of beer snobs in general have general likings toward heavier alcohol percentage beer (like say 8.5 or above). Among the ones that are recommended here, I will add my humble opinions (with places where they are brewed in parents---also note that most of them are northeastern...as that's where I found my taste in beer...)

                          Darker beer:
                          -Harpoon Munich Dark Ale---very smooth and perhaps on the sweeter side, although not traditional stout, I don't think. (MA/VT)
                          -Victory Storm King---very very complex beer, coffee, chocolate, very malty--it can hit you pretty hard with 9% alcohol (PA)
                          -Otter Creek Organic Oatmeal Stout---very malty beer, and a lot of hop...I personally prefer the first two, but some of my friends really love it (VT)

                          (India) Pale Ale
                          -Dogfish head 60 minute IPA (Delaware)---this is really really good...if you haven't tried it you have to try it.

                          Belgian style
                          -Victory Golden Monkey (PA)---Belgian beer that doesn't cost a fortune. It tastes just as good as those made by the monks.
                          Things that will break your wallet:
                          -Chimay (Belgian) made by monks, one of the more famous belgian. I like the red the best
                          -Westmalle (Belgian) again made by monks, I like Chimay red better.
                          -St Bernardus Abt 12 (Begian) has picture of monks but not sure if it's traditional trappist...I think it's made by monks... it has a lot of alcohol percentage.

                          Canadian:
                          -Unibroue La Fin du Monde (Quebec), again higher alcohol percentage, bottle fermented, it's complex like the belgian beer (whit beer, so think of it as stronger, more complex version of Blue Moon).

                          Others:
                          -Long Trail Double Bag (VT)---I think it's 8.5% alcohol beer, but smooth.
                          -Long Trail Hit the Trail Ale (VT)---I like it. It's got taste and it was cheap ($5 for 6pack) in Vermont.
                          -Magic Hat No. 9 (VT)---pretty tasty and dependable...again not too expensive

                          Overall, people do pretty good job with Hefeweizen, I think.
                          -Sam Adams Hefeweizen (MA)
                          -Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen (MA/VT)
                          -Julius Echter (Germany)

                          For watching ManU games in a British pub
                          -Boddingtons (England)

                          Among these, I would really recommend Golden Monkey and Dogfish Head IPA 60 min...so good...

                          1. Most of the responses have been for big beers(high ABV or hops) but if you want to try something a bit smaller try some Fullers
                            http://www.fullers.co.uk/frames.phtml

                            Good beer that you can have a few of without ending up on the floor.

                            1. http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/city/48

                              I admit I am no good with Western NY geography, but you can check out some of the places on this list.

                              1. Beers I like and would (Please not that this list will not include heavily hopped beers as I don't like them at all)
                                Alagash White (http://www.allagash.com/beer.htm
                                )Bell's Winter White (http://www.bellsbeer.com/
                                )Weyerbacher Heresy (http://www.weyerbacher.com/cwo/Home
                                )Magic Hat No. 9 (http://www.magichat.net/
                                )New Glarus Spotted Cow (http://www.newglarusbrewing.com/
                                )Mishawaka Brewing Company Kolsch
                                Goose Island 312 (http://www.gooseisland.com/AgePage.as...
                                )St Bernardus Brown
                                Asahi Superdry (best if drunk while eating edamame)
                                Surly Bender (http://www.surlybrewing.com/index.php

                                )

                                In getting to the point where I like all of these (I went from 0 to beer crazy in 4 years) I've found the best way to expand my pallet was to go to a beer bar with a wide selection and ask for tastes of stuff that sounded interesting in styles I liked well that or getting dragged through brewpubs by friends and snagging sips of theirs.

                                Also some of the above are good midwestern regionals which if you can't get on the east coast bear remembering in the off chance you end up in this neck of the woods.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: frittering_away

                                  Had the Alagash yesterday with a cheesebuger; oh my! My new favorite beer

                                  1. re: ibstatguy

                                    Next Christmas, look for Moylan's White Christmas. One of the best witbiers I've had.

                                    1. re: Josh

                                      Josh - I had the Alagash at Neighborhood so give it a try. I'll be on the lookout for the Moylan's unless you can tell me where to find some.

                                      1. re: ibstatguy

                                        Yeah I've had Allagash. It's a nice one. The Moylan's was really unique though - it had cinnamon and mace along with the usual witbier spicing. You won't find it now, but around the holidays. I picked up mine at the Pizza Port bottle shop in Carlsbad.

                                    2. re: ibstatguy

                                      Love this beer!
                                      I was in Maine last September and the Allagash was by far my fav..
                                      Tried to get into the brewery in Portland but it was closed..
                                      Good call frittering away, ibstatguy and dg.

                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                        hmmm...an affinity for cheeseburgers AND alagash, you've got exceptional taste

                                        1. re: ibstatguy

                                          Thanks! Just trying to keep up with you..

                                          Is Allagash with 1 'L' or 2?