The Best-Tasting Beers for People Who Think They Don't Like Beer
There are more than 50 styles of beer. And that's a beautiful thing because it means there is a perfect match out there for almost any palate.
The most common reasons for avoiding beer are that it's too bitter to enjoy or that it is thin and flavorless (like those cans you pull out of a cooler at a tailgate). In the case of bitterness, it's true some beers are much more bitter than other alcoholic beverages. IPAs are especially likely to pack on the bitter bite because their flavor leans on hops. If you're avoiding biting brews, an easy rule of thumb is to steer clear of any beer claiming to be an IPA, Pale Ale, or "hoppy."
As far as those flavorless watery beers, "light lager" is a dead giveaway that you're about to open something with very little, if any, flavor. (Some craft breweries are making more flavorful light lagers but these are few and far between.) For just a small step up in flavor intensity look for beers called "pilsner" or a "craft lager." There will be subtle notes of water cracker and white bread mixed with a fruity or floral contribution from the hops. Firestone Walker's Lager is a widely available craft lager that fits the bill.
But maybe neither of these common reasons are the culprit behind the beer avoidance. If that's the case, here are a few examples offering a range of flavor profiles. Pick the one that sounds the tastiest and start a path to craft beer fanaticism.
This approachable wheat beer is a great introduction into yeast character. There are subtle notes of clove, banana, and pepper but they are not as intense as those flavors in a true German Hefeweizen or Belgian Witbier. Plus, lots of wheat in the grist of this beer gives it a soft, creamy, and very un-offensive mouthfeel. If you can't find DreamWeaver, Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' is a widely available wheat ale that's just a touch sweeter. Order it online!
Who doesn't like a little bubbly?! This farmhouse beer drinks like a flavor-forward champagne. Notes of grapefruit and green apple give way to a crisp dry finish that will make you say "I can't believe this is beer." Order it online!
Sometimes an easy way to ease into new flavors is by complimenting them with familiar flavors. Young's Double Chocolate Stout has a hefty dose of chocolate to enhance the coffee and cocoa flavors of the malt. For a choice that obscures any beer flavor even more than Youngs, try Stone Brewing Company's Xocoveza. It's a special release each winter that brings chocolate and baking spices into the mix for a dessert-like beer. Order it online!
Instead of beer, think of this one more like drinking a nice red wine (a Burgundy, in fact!). The addition of cranberries, cherries, and raspberries and aging the tangy beer in oak casks gives it a vinous quality worthy of a celebration.
Allagash White is made with grains like oats and wheat which give it a softer mouthfeel and comforting bready flavor. It is then spiced with coriander and orange peel for a subtle yet familiar twist. A six pack of this one is an easy way to please both beer aficionados and beer beginners. Order it online!
This may be an IPA but the flavors have a lot more in common with orange juice than they do a bitter amaro. As one of the most popular craft cans out there Hazy Little Thing showcases all the fruity hop qualities without much of their bitter side at all. A healthy dose of wheat and special yeast keeps it smooth and juicy, just the opposite of what you expect from a stereotypical beer. Order it online!
It's reddish copper color leads people to expect dark roasty flavors but you won't find any of those here. Chimay Premiere has a sweet balance and (also known as Chimay Red) packs a huge punch of banana flavors as well as notes of candied berries. About as far a way as you can get from burnt and bitter. Order it online!