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#344885 - 09/30/07 12:59 AM How do you acquire a taste for beer?
Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 539
Loc: 25 mi. NW of Monks Cafe, Phila...
How do YOU acquire a taste for beer and its many varied and international styles?

Beer is universal. It has existed in different forms and styles - even within some of the most obscure nations of the world - for 10,000 years which says a lot for its seductive side. When I started to discover the different sides of beer, I "thought" I did not like many of them. My tastes, however, have changed.

I have seen debates about whether beer should be lightly tasted, or guzzled in large quantities; whether beer or wine are better with food; whether the purpose of beer drinking is to catch a serious "buzz", or lightly lubricate social interaction; and comments, from some, that beer fills them with gas or imparts a heavy hangover.

I came across a great comment about beer from Beer Hunter Michael Jackson's first article in Playboy Magazine - from August 1983 - called "Beer Chic." In it, he says,

"There are easy tastes and difficult ones. What comes easily can quickly disappoint. Many of the best things in life are acquired tastes: oysters, steak tartare, marrons glaces. Like sex, good beer is a pleasure that can better be appreciated with experience, in which variety is both endless and mandatory. The pleasure lies, too, in gaining the experience: the encounters with the unexpected, the possibility of triumph or disaster, the pursuit of the elusive, the constant lessons, the bittersweet memories that linger."

So I ask again, how do YOU acquire a taste for beer and its many varied and international styles?
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#428591 - 06/20/08 05:39 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor]
kboodle Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Yosemite, CA
First you totally withdraw from sodas and any sweet liquid at least a couple of days. Second, if you've not really gotten into beer, try it when it's really hot outside and you're sweaty and tired. Press that cold bottle (not can) against you and appreciate the temp diff.
Third, drink a foreign beer in its native country among your newfound friends. In the state, avoid most commercial American beers, you know, the top five! Get into color and weight, lots of hops. Try ales! Try microbreweries! Tour major breweries and try their lessor known beer like Killian's Red.
Fourth, certain foods demand beer--BBQ, Mexican food, Thai food, but sushi needs saki!
Before I went to New Zealand in 91, I despised beer. My husband had worked for Budwiser for 30+ years and I probably hadn't drunk a six pack in 10 years put together. But there I discovered Lion Brown and lost my heart to beer. Touring NZ pubs we were drinking Lion Brown by the pitchers, yes, plural! One for me and one for him. Every time I saw the Lion Brown neon sign in a window, we would pull in.

Then we had our first trip to Alaska in 92 and discovered Alaskan Amber Ale on a Princess cruise. We drank so much and introduced it to so many other passengers that the ship had to go out and buy cases of it in the second port, lol! Here in Central California, we used to have to drive 5 hours to buy it. Gradually it worked its way south till now we can buy it in our very small town of 1800 people.

Basically, through trial and effort, I've come to have my preferred styles of beer, usually darker. Boston has lots of great British pubs where you can get pints. I even had a very distinctive blueberry ale in Massachusetts that I wouldn't hesitate to order again. Just keep trying!

And if you think you like Corona, wait till you get further south in Mexico and try the Corona de barril in the little short round barrel-shaped bottle! Fantastico!

In China we tried every type available (5) and our best bus driver would keep a cooler stocked with beer. We even learned to drink it room temperature, not that I'd recommend it. How's that for personal growth?

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#428598 - 06/20/08 05:48 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: kboodle]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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I would add to be REALLY careful about skunking. So many beers you buy in normal situations are already skunked! Start with good quality beers in dark containers. That way you have the best chance of trying something that *does* taste good smile
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#428611 - 06/20/08 07:22 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Lady J Offline
Elephant

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 4607
Loc: West Central IL (USA)
skunking?

Personally I HATE HATE HATE the smell of beer. I cannot get past the smell (on a person, permeating from a person, or in the container) to even try to enjoy the taste.

I also might be biased as my birthmother was an alcholic as well as many of my sibs and they drank beer beer and more beer.
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#428612 - 06/20/08 07:23 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Lady J]
Lady J Offline
Elephant

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 4607
Loc: West Central IL (USA)
btw.. my aversion is so profound I cannot even eat foods made with beer. The tea room in the same building as my spa serves a beer cheddar bread with their soups and I tried it and had to go throw up when I could taste the beer. most people think i am crazy, but I can taste even the most minute amount in something.
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#428620 - 06/20/08 09:18 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Lady J]
Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 539
Loc: 25 mi. NW of Monks Cafe, Phila...
You have a lot working against you in the subject of beer, Jase, so I would guess that you are one of the few who will never experience a beer you will love. With so many thousands of beers to choose from, and well over a hundred different styles, it's too bad you have such an aversion to beer.

For me, it's like hearing a person say, "I hate green food." Lettuce tastes different from green jello, which tastes different from green tea, which is different from spinach pasta, which tastes different from buttery mint candies that melt in your mouth.

kboodle, I find your post fascinating. My own experiences with beer have been similar to yours. I was once a wine drinker, and thought I hated beer until I experienced High Rollers Wheat Beer from Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Northern California. Then there was Orval, a Trappist beer from Belgium, and I said, "What is this stuff?" and went on to try (and love)the lambics, tripels, IPAs and dubbels....and on and on.

Jase, you might actually like the gluten free beers that are made with totally different grains like sorghum, quinoa, or chestnuts. They can taste quite different, although Anheuser-Busch makes Redbridge that is similar to other gluten-rich beers. Mbege, by Sprecher, may be one you would like...or you might try a lambic (Boon) or Flanders Red like Duchesse du Bourgogne.

Skunking is caused when beer is exposed to light, and can occur in the best of beer that is exposed for as little as one minute. Brown bottles help, but be aware that bottles left on display may get skunked, even under constant exposure to low levels of fluorescent light for an extended period of time. Find a beer vendor who knows how to care for beer, and who has a good turn-over. Some beers with high alcohol levels are meant to be aged, while others are best experienced fresh.
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#428623 - 06/20/08 09:40 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor]
Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 539
Loc: 25 mi. NW of Monks Cafe, Phila...
I can understand how you must feel though, Jase. Being on the receiving end of an alcoholic household must have been terrible, and I feel sad that you had to experience that. Unfortunately, you have the whole mental image to overcome regarding beer, and that's a pretty tall order, wouldn't you say?

I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I never had that kind of thing to contend with, and regard beer as a delight to "taste"- not something that should be consumed in mass quantities until you are numb and hallucinogenic.

For you, a beer festival would be out of the question, but a high-end beer dinner in a restaurant with a superb chef may be a starting point. (if you ever decided you wanted to work on acquiring neutrality regarding beer.) Hate is a pretty strong word, and neutralizing that hatred may be a move in a positive direction.

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#428628 - 06/20/08 10:47 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor]
Cate - Home Finance Offline
Amoeba

Registered: 07/16/07
Posts: 90
Loc: Northeast US
I associate beer with food or thirst. For example, at our favorite steakhouse, I have a specific brand I always order and enjoy, just at that restaurant and just with my favorite dish.

I usually only drink beer during the summer months with typical cookout and grilled foods--burgers, dogs, chicken, steaks, ribs, etc.

OR if I'm really, really hot--there's nothing like a cold, tasty beer to make you feel better!

Just one...after one beer I lose my taste for it.

:-) Cate

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#433820 - 07/08/08 01:34 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Cate - Home Finance]
rachael24 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Binghamton, NY
I just went through college, and eventually acquired a taste for beer. Now I cannot get enough of trying new beer and new flavors of beer. I consider it a fun hobby.
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#433834 - 07/08/08 02:05 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: rachael24]
ChelleT&L Offline
Chimpanzee

Registered: 09/04/05
Posts: 7165
Loc: Lake Lanier, Georgia
My husband and I were just having this conversation last night.

A commercial came on for one of the many Samuel Adams beers and I said, "I kind of wished I liked beer- because they make theirs sound so good."

And my husband asked me what types of beers I had ever tried.

Really it's only ever been the "typical" American beers - Bud, Coors, etc and then I've tasted Guiness both bottled and on tap because that's hubby's favorite, so I've tasted his.

His reply was that Guiness is basically unlike any other beer out there, and the others I was talking about were conisdered "horse [censored]" by most beer lovers (his words not mine!)

I do love cooking with beer. I like the flavor that beer gives to chicken, both as a marinade and frying, and iof course frying mushrooms and other veggies. And i've cooked with it in other ways, too.

So I guess my questions would be - where do I start to find a beer that I like?

I tend to like sweeter drinks, like Reisling and white wines as opposed to reds (other than for cooking), and my cocktails always tend to the sweet side as well - usually chocolate or fruit based.

Any ideas?

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#433840 - 07/08/08 02:21 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: ChelleT&L]
Vance Today in History Ed Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Wolf

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 5377
Loc: Gloversville, New York
Michelle,

Are there any microbreweries near you? I went to one in New York when it first opened in the mall I worked at and they had a sampler platter. It was a bunch of beers of different flavors in small glasses and you could drink them and see if there are any you like that way.

The only other suggestion I have is just keep sampling different ones when you are out for dinner or something and see if there are any you like that way also. However, tatses can vary. You can have a Budweiser one day and it will taste really good and then another day it may not taste all that good.

Different things can affect the taste of beer. Bottled beer can get "skunky" if it is cold, then warm and cold again or if you are at a bar and the tap lines are not very clean, that can also affect the taste of a beer as well.

When I used to buy beer, Molson Golden was my favorite and I used to go to wholesale drink distributors, buy some beer that is not in their cooler, take it home and dump it in a cooler and fill it with ice and let it sit in there for awhile until it was very chilled.

Store coolers are not very cold and by the time you get it home, it is warming up and you have to chill it more and that is one way that beer can get skunky. Can beer is not much better because sometimes you can get the aluminum taste of the can. Not too often though and light doesn't get into the can which is another factor for skunky tasting beer.

It really comes down to your taste preferences though. Buy different ones and try them.
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#448643 - 08/31/08 12:44 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Vance Today in History Ed]
Straycat Offline
Shark

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 240
Loc: Missouri
I agree with Vance about the Microbreweries. Once you've had a good quality beer you'll never drink the mass produced swill again.
Sierra Nevada in Chico Calif. is another good one.
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#448649 - 08/31/08 01:15 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Straycat]
Trish-Contest/Sweepstakes Offline
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Parakeet

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 927
Loc: Michigan, US
I have some of the same obstacles Jase does when it comes to beer. The alcoholics in my family always drank the American swill you guys have mentioned. But I do like liquors, sweeter wines and drinks. I've also had homemade cordials and mead which were all wonderful. You all are making me curious about "good" beers now.
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#448698 - 08/31/08 04:46 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Trish-Contest/Sweepstakes]
chloe21 Offline
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Registered: 02/22/06
Posts: 3021
Loc: East Coast
I like the taste of beer but I find it to be very bloating and I don't like that feeling. I prefer to sip wine.
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#451148 - 09/10/08 01:26 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: ChelleT&L]
MissChook Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 38
I love beer, but sometimes feel like something lighter, or sweeter, maybe. On these occasions, I have a dash of lemonade in my beer. Not like a shandy, just a touch. They call it a "top" in the UK.

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#464962 - 11/01/08 04:39 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: MissChook]
voiceovergal Offline
Jellyfish

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 169
Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Having a hubby who loves pubs, I'm acquiring my tastes by trial and error. I tend to like dark beers and also ones that are not too bitter. Not too crazy about fruit beers. Although when we went to the Guinness brewery in Ireland, I was introduced to the Guiness and black currant mixture (the tour guide said a lot of women like that combo). It is not too bad, and I often order it now. smile

Tend to drink different ones in summer and winter. Heavier ones in winter.

Nowadays when we go on holidays, I write in my little travel journal what pub we went to, what we drank and how I liked it. Had I started doing this when we married almost 12 years ago, I could have written a book by now! ha, ha!
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#467973 - 11/13/08 03:16 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: voiceovergal]
saga61 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 28
Once I discovered micro-brews, I never went back to bland, un-hoppy beers. I started home-brewing about a year and a half ago, and it's amazing to me how much my tastes have changed. I'm much more into ales than lagers now, and I love IPAs. The hoppier, the better! So, if you like beer at all, I'd say ditch the usual "Bud, Miller, Coors" stuff and try a micro-brew.

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#472243 - 11/30/08 05:09 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: saga61]
Robin - Fragrance Editor Offline
Parakeet

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1022
Loc: Land O Lakes, FL
Maybe I have never tried the right beer - I just LOVE the smell, though.

Perhaps I should try it again and see if my tastes have changed. From the posts - maybe I will try a microbrewed one.
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#495987 - 02/21/09 04:12 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: ChelleT&L]
zeriva Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 41
Loc: London
It depends on your taste of course but try a fairly easy tasting beer like Pabst Blue Ribbon or Schlitz. Belgium beer like Duval or Leffe. You could also try one of the Belgium fruit beers, although personally I don't like those.

When you have a real taste for beer then go for the big one, Guinness although that should be tasted in Dublin.

Down the hatch.
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#520041 - 05/10/09 10:41 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: ChelleT&L]
MisterD Offline
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Registered: 05/10/09
Posts: 3
[quote=Spirituality&SFFMoviesEd] And my husband asked me what types of beers I had ever tried. Really it's only ever been the "typical" American beers - Bud, Coors, etc and then I've tasted Guiness both bottled and on tap because that's hubby's favorite, so I've tasted his. His reply was that Guiness is basically unlike any other beer out there, and the others I was talking about were conisdered "horse [censored]" by most beer lovers (his words not mine!) So I guess my questions would be - where do I start to find a beer that I like? I tend to like sweeter drinks, like Reisling and white wines as opposed to reds (other than for cooking), and my cocktails always tend to the sweet side as well - usually chocolate or fruit based. Any ideas? [/quote] What your husband says is basically true, but not always. Try a Blue Moon from the keg. My guess is you will like it based on the wines you like.

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#520054 - 05/11/09 01:46 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: MisterD]
Angie Offline
Zebra

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 3426
I do not care for American beers; I enjoy beer when visiting Europe. We have an Alehouse in town that has a catalog of beer that they serve. Pilsner is good.
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Angie
Life is Full of Surprises

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#520060 - 05/11/09 03:27 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Angie]
leahmullen Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Parakeet

Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 851
20 years later I still associate beer with frat parties in college so I never got into drinking it. Then again I don't drink wine or any other type of alcohol as I've never taken the time to learn about them. I plan to tho in the future.


Edited by leahmullen (05/11/09 03:28 AM)
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LEAH MULLEN
LIFE COACHING


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#529675 - 06/17/09 01:41 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: leahmullen]
gekkohq Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/16/09
Posts: 27
I love belgium beers, Hoegaarden is one of my favourite, with slice of lemon even taste better! Usually Belgian beers are much stronger than British ones.You'll find that 5% is one of the weaker beers. 7% or 8% are common and even 10% or 11% isn't exactly rare.

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#530793 - 06/22/09 12:22 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: gekkohq]
beersavorer Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 1
I developed a love for the entire spectrum of beers while working in a brewery where I had the opportunity to sample almost all of the styles. I find that my girlfriends that aren't acquainted with craft beer are surprised at the flavors when I present them with beer & cheese or beer & food pairings (the maltier beers are especially good with chocolate!) Today, American breweries are highly revered by Europeans as being innovators; taking English, Belgian and German styles and making them into American styles (usually with American-bred hops). Most grocery stores now carry an assortment of craft beers; even the big breweries are now developing beers with more flavor. Beer styles can be sorted according to body (how much malt went into it), % alcohol, color, or bitterness. On the lighter end of the spectrum are wheat beers (Hoegaarden is a Belgian wheat beer; there are American clones). Mid-range styles include Pilsners, Oktoberfests. Stouts are actually lower in body, alcohol & bitterness than most styles--although their color is very dark; they can be "floated" on top of other styles. On Mother's Day, my college-aged son & I cooked up a simple homebrew from a kit of "Honey Wheat" that is very tasty; he's sharing with friends and I hope they begin to appreciate the craft of beer (savoring flavors rather than guzzling)! If you really are interested in learning more, an excellent book is "Tasting Beer" by Randy Mosher. Also, the Brewers' Association has a great website, look for "education."

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#545095 - 08/28/09 01:30 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: ChelleT&L]
dasli Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/06/09
Posts: 8
haa... usefull:)

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#566098 - 11/21/09 07:03 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor]
sharapoa Offline
Amoeba

Registered: 08/25/08
Posts: 53
If you are familiar with the ordering and creation process, or want to review prices, click on Pardon That Vine to review all personalized wine selections. I recently came across while surfing the net. Hope it will help you.

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#572110 - 12/23/09 05:00 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: ChelleT&L]
Alexajo Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/23/09
Posts: 2
Here in Central California, we used to have to drive 5 hours to buy it. Gradually it worked its way south till now we can buy it in our very small town of 1800 people.


Edited by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu (03/09/11 03:36 PM)

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#612554 - 07/26/10 02:34 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: ChelleT&L]
Meg657 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 3
Start drinking social light beer, perhaps even flavored beer like a raspberry wheat ale. I found the best way for me to start drinking beer was to try the flavored beers first, then the dark beer, then the light. However, like I said, a lot of people start with light beer. Regardless of type of beer, it's always easiest to start drinking socially. That way your own apprehensions are not the only thing on your mind.

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#629284 - 09/16/10 06:15 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: ChelleT&L]
codybeach Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/16/10
Posts: 6
i like the fruit beer

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#637038 - 10/18/10 12:10 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: codybeach]
Screwy Brewer Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 2
Loc: Mercer County, New Jersey
I like the wheat beers like a german wiessbier, they're always refreshing and easy to like.



Edited by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu (03/09/11 03:36 PM)

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#648385 - 12/08/10 06:48 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: ChelleT&L]
Rahnjoseph Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 17
Beer is real seductive drink which is on my first preference when it takes light and a fine appetizer giver when their is a roast cuisine.

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#667347 - 03/04/11 05:21 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor]
Sci-fiGal Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 2
I was the same way before moving to Colorado. I have been living here for over 10 years and I enjoy drinking beer now. I suggest starting with a microbrewery beer, low in alcohol, and least hoppy. I started with stouts that were carbonated with nitrogen which makes the beer so much smoother and creamier. I have just started liking the hop flavor which is probably why you don't like the taste of beer. Go to your local microbrewery and order a taster set, this way you can taste beers in small amounts instead of buying a pint than wasting it because you don't like the taste. It does take time to find which beers you enjoy drinking. You might never acquire the taste for beer but try mead or wine instead.

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#755624 - 04/06/12 05:17 PM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor]
Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 539
Loc: 25 mi. NW of Monks Cafe, Phila...
I had an interesting experience this past weekend. I was presenting "Beer Camp for Women" at the Atlantic City Beer Festival. It was a mini-seminar that taught 10 little tips about beer. During the show, we paired super-foods with beer. Oranges with witbier or Pale IPA, Brown-Sugar coated Walnuts and Almonds with Black IPA, Oatmeal Cookies (made with beer) with Oatmeal Stout, and Dark Chocolate with Framboise.

Since it was "for women," only women got seats. Some men were on the perimeter, trying to take it all in. At the end of one session, I asked one of the guys if he would like a cookie. "It's made with beer..." I sang. He said he didn't like beer - he was there for his girlfriend.

Then he decided to cautiously try the cookie. After 2 bites, he asked to try it with the "matched" beer - Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. When he tasted the combo, his eyes got real wide.

"This is delicious! he said. "I didn't know!" he continued, as his girlfriend quipped, "See? I told you."

He then decided to always have beer with food, concluding that not doing so was a mistake.
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Carolyn, Beer & Brewing Editor
The Beer Fox

Beer and Brewing Website
Beer & Brewing Forums


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#759730 - 04/28/12 07:41 AM Re: How do you acquire a taste for beer? [Re: Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor]
sarahyoung75 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/11/12
Posts: 3
[quote=Carolyn-Beer & Brewing Editor]How do YOU acquire a taste for beer and its many varied and international styles? Beer is universal. It has existed in different forms and styles - even within some of the most obscure nations of the world - for 10,000 years which says a lot for its seductive side. When I started to discover the different sides of beer, I "thought" I did not like many of them. My tastes, however, have changed. I am not a big fan of beer. I think it takes some time to acquire the taste of beer. Thanks for sharing this information. I have seen debates about whether beer should be lightly tasted, or guzzled in large quantities; whether beer or wine are better with food; whether the purpose of beer drinking is to catch a serious "buzz", or lightly lubricate social interaction; and comments, from some, that beer fills them with gas or imparts a heavy hangover. I came across a great comment about beer from Beer Hunter Michael Jackson's first article in Playboy Magazine - from August 1983 - called "Beer Chic." In it, he says, "There are easy tastes and difficult ones. What comes easily can quickly disappoint. Many of the best things in life are acquired tastes: oysters, steak tartare, marrons glaces. Like sex, good beer is a pleasure that can better be appreciated with experience, in which variety is both endless and mandatory. The pleasure lies, too, in gaining the experience: the encounters with the unexpected, the possibility of triumph or disaster, the pursuit of the elusive, the constant lessons, the bittersweet memories that linger." So I ask again, how do YOU acquire a taste for beer and its many varied and international styles? [/quote]

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