How To Choose The Perfect Craft Beer For You

For those new to the craft beer world, this list lets you begin to figure out for yourself the types of beers you naturally gravitate to such as bitter, sweet, hoppy, or dark.

How To Choose The Right Craft Beer For You

Walk into almost any bar these days and one thing is immediately apparent, beer selections have become massive. The truth is, with so many options available many people stick with their time-tested favorites and this is with good reason. It’s disappointing to pay for a pint of craft beer just to take a sip and realize you just threw your money right in the trash. The thing is though, selecting the right craft beer for your personal tastes is an art form all unto itself. To help give you a better understanding of how to approach a beer quest of your own, Mountain State Beverage has compiled these simple yet helpful tips.

Consider The Order In Which You’re Drinking Your Beers

Which beer you start out with for the evening is incredibly important when exploring new and different styles. If you overload your taste receptors with a strong, overpowering or rich beer too early you run the risk of ruining any chances of enjoying a lighter or more fragrant beer later. Anyone who has had this happen knows, an unpleasantly strong beer flavor can hang around in your mouth for hours in the worst way.

With this said it’s important to make sure that your first round is something crisp and light. This means staying away from beers that are particularly bitter as well. We suggest you consider an aromatic beer to start, such as New Belgium Brewery’s Belgium White. Now that you’ve established a nice balanced base you can consider stepping things up with hoppier selections such as Laughing Dog Brewing’s India Pale Ale with hints of Citrus or Magic Hat’s Single Chair Golden Ale. At this point, your taste buds are warmed up and ready to go. If you’re feeling like trying out a stronger more robust beer for the first time, such as Flying Dog Brewery’s Gonzo Imperial Stout, this is the time.

Ask For A Beer Menu

If you’re feeling experimental, never just walk into a bar and ask the wait staff what they recommend. For one thing, the bar or restaurant could have a partnership with a particular brewer or they could simply tell you their personal favorite or the most sold beer. This is a bad recipe when exploring new beer terrain (unless you know the right questions to ask). Any reputable establishment pouring craft beer will have a beer list with descriptions and key ingredients. Just like when ordering dinner you get a visual of what’s available and which beers match your personal tastes or appetite.

Keep Track Of What You’ve Tried

During your beer quest always remember to record (either mentally or maybe on your phone) of which you gravitated towards and which were a big, “what the hell was that?” This might seem easy enough but with all the new flavor combinations and brewing methods, it can be easy to lose track considering the sheer number of beers available these days. For those new to the craft beer world, keeping a list lets you begin to figure out for yourself the types of beers you naturally gravitate to such as bitter, sweet, hoppy, or dark. Once you have an understanding of what you like you can start to have a more informed dialogue with bartenders when asking for recommendations, which brings us to the next point…

Talk To Your Bartender

Many modern craft beer bars have giant beer lists or exhausting chalkboard menus on the wall. The last thing you want to do when choosing a new beer to try is to sit and try to navigate a hundred different beers, especially if you don’t know what’s what. This is the time to kick up a conversation with the bartender (instead of the wait staff). You’ll know right away if you’re in the right place if the bartender is clearly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about discussing beers with you. If you’re a newbie to craft beer don’t be shy about making that immediately clear. A bartender’s tastes are usually quite advanced so keep in mind that their personal favorite might be too complex for someone new to the world of craft beer. Just be honest because it doesn’t do you any good to pretend you have experience you do not. Tell them what you’ve tried and what you’ve liked or what you didn’t and then trust in their expertise.

Explore With A Buddy

When setting out on your beer journey it’s always better to go with a friend or a group. This basically comes down to the fact that the more people you have with you the more beers that can be tasted (if you’re ok with sharing that is). You also get the chance to chat about your experience and hear about why your mates prefer the beers they do. Most importantly it makes the whole experience more fun when you have comrades in arms. How else will you get made fun of for ordering the cookie flavored oatmeal stout?

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