I like beer. There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not thinking about an old favorite or finding a new beer. I’m not as much snobby as I am opinionated about beer. I might make fun of a friend that only drinks Miller Lite, but that's his deal. I'm just being a jerk.
Over time, I’ve come to realize that I like beer that mostly tastes like beer. My humble beer drinking years started in college with Milwaukee's Best or whatever was cheap. By the time I was graduating, I had moved on to Labatt. My taste in beer continues to evolve.
I’m currently on an IPA kick. Last year I was on a Belgian beer kick. Last night I had a very floral Pure Project La Vi En Rose Saison. It was pretty good and tasted like a nice summer beer. Then again, most fruity and floral beers seem to be refreshing on a hot, summer night in Vegas.
“You miss 100% of the beers you never try.”
There was a tap takeover at a local bar, 595 Craft and Kitchen, last night. The staff was sampling the new beers while I was enjoying a new Stone IPA and banh mi sliders for happy hour. One of the favorites from the new taps was a sour beer. I don’t like sour beers but I’m always curious so I tried it. Nah, brah. Not for me.
I’ve learned a lot about beer since moving to Las Vegas. It’s almost as though my beer tastes have expanded while the city beer offerings have grown. There’s a beer for every food and every mood. There’s even beer that pairs with donuts. Who knew?!
Finding the right beer isn't the same for everyone. It's kind of like a choose your own adventure book. Find the path that's right for you and explore. You may hit a wall and start over again. That's okay because learning about beer is fun. Hopefully my journey will help if you’re looking to expand your horizons or just impress friends when they visit your new Man Cave.
Let's Explore Beer
Like everything in life, we each have certain flavors that we prefer. I like beer that tastes like the next levels of beer I first started drinking in college. Some people prefer beer that tastes like there was a dessert dropped into it.
You might explore new beers only to realize that you're happy with the champagne of beers. There’s a lot of different kinds of beer for different tastes and moods, so let’s take a look at some options. The first transition is probably the easiest.
If you like the taste of beer look for new types of Ales and Pilsners. There are plenty of local and regional options to try. The next step from here might be a Pale Ale. These are more hoppy, spicy and flavorful. Many of my favorite beers recently have fallen into this category.
If you don’t love beer but you like it enough and want something boozy in a bottle you can try a fruit cider (apple, pear, etc.) or a beer with a hint of fruit. Covers’ senior writer Patrick Everson loves a good Shock Top and you'll find a similar Blue Moon in many sportsbooks.
Magic Hat #9, an apricot(ish) flavored beer, changed my life as a beer drinker. I had no idea that beer could taste like this. I think I slept in a car in Springfield, MA the night I found Magic Hat #9. There are many different kinds of fruit flavored beer available. The next step here might be a sour beer. These are a bit more tart but still fruity.
After realizing I didn’t like sour beers, but liked fruity and floral beers I continued to explore. I found Delirium Tremens and fell in love. This has been my favorite beer since the first sip. In addition to the higher alcohol content (8.5% ABV) it’s a pale ale that’s kind of sweet and spicy but still tastes like beer. This beer opened a door to the lovely beers of Belgium. Fun fact, I’ve had every beer from Belgium that Tag Bar at The Linq will comp (and some they won’t).
The menu at Eureka! in downtown Las Vegas has dessert but also recommends “more beer” for dessert. In addition to the Bourbon Barrel Cake I had another IPA.
Some beer drinkers I know might have chosen a more appropriate stout. These beers are very dark and might have a chocolate, coffee or heavy fruit flavor. They’re a bit too extreme for me, but I know plenty of people who love these beers at any time of the day.
I love exploring beer and I encourage all beer drinkers to do the same. Not everyone likes the same thing in life and beer. I’m moody, and over the years I’ve found different beers to fit my different moods.
When I’m at a bar, I’ll drink flights of beer or ask for taster samples to try something a little different. Flights usually come in six two ounce servings so you can take your own journey. Yardhouse at The Linq offers a few different beer flights. Banger Brewing in downtown Las Vegas offers flights of their beers so you can experience their different flavors.
I buy sampler packs from brewery’s that I've already tried to see if there's anything new I might like. If there’s something I don’t like, there’s usually only three or four bottles wasted. That’s a bit more economical than buying a six pack.