If I like these beers, which others should I try?
I'm a gin-drinker trying to expand my tastebuds to include beer. Surprisingly, I found a few I liked, and I'd like to find a few more.
I enjoyed Sam Adams' Summer Ale, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, and Newcastle brown ale (on tap).
I did not like any of the IPAs that I tried, or Sierra Nevada pale ale, either. I found their aftertaste to be too bitter, and their flavor not crisp and fresh enough.
It sounds like the hops might be the negative for you if you don't like IPA's, so a malty ale that is pretty well priced that I really like, is, this is almost embarrassing for my beer cred, but i like Budweiser Ale. Its been out a while and a few of my friends are of the same mind as me, it is a surprisingly decent malty ale. A little sweet, not so bitter, it does a good job at a good price. Sierra Nevada is still my fave for less than $8 a six pack, but Bud Ale is right up there.
you're probably going to want to avoid hoppy beers at least for a while. A good indication is IBU, or international bitterness units. The higher the IBU, the more bitter the beer will be. That would rule out most american pale ales and certainly ipas and double ipas. But don't give up on ales altogether. English ales are less hoppy than American. One of my favorites that's readily available in many places is Old Speckled Hen, which is a pale ale but nowhere near as hoppy as an American version. Samuel Smith also makes some good beers that aren't very hoppy. You could also go in the direction of porters and stouts, which generally accentuate malt more than hops. Or some German lagers, many of which can be delicious and complex and not overly hoppy. And then there's the world of Belgian ales, which are generally not very hoppy. Try Chimay Reserve. you can drink a lot of great beer without a lot of hop bitterness. Check out beeradvocate.com for some style descriptions along with some beermakers who produce good examples of not very hoppy beer.
I am going to suggest from my husband's tastes...he can't stand much bitterness at all. New England Brewing Co. has their Elm City lager; Smuttynose Old Brown Dog; Belgian White (I brewed my own, so I can't suggest a brewery for that style.); Hefeweizen (again from Smuttynose, but is otherwise widely available locally); Bass. I've also had some Italian craft beer from Birra Balladin that was pretty intriguing....I would guess you might find one that has some herb and spice notes that you might enjoy. Oh, and Magic Hat Wacko (summer seasonal.).