Author Topic: What were your gateway beers?  (Read 6078 times)

Online theDarkSide

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Re: What were your gateway beers?
« Reply #45 on: January 15, 2013, 06:30:36 AM »
[...]Hiney Wine[...]

you can find it in the finer stores, right between the buns!

I used to hear those hiney wine commercials driving to school in the morning.

We used to pre-game with Bud pounders that we could get at the Mobil station right down the street from the dorm.  A guy in our suite had a Mobil credit card his father gave him for gas, but this particular station didn't differentiate what was being purchased.  You know it's bad when you drink the "good stuff" beforehand  ;D
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Offline majorvices

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What were your gateway beers?
« Reply #46 on: January 15, 2013, 07:35:51 AM »
Mine was Dinkel Aker Dark. I loved that beer, and still do when I can find it. Then it was Pete's Wicked Ale. My first foray into American IPA was Bert Grant's and Anchor Liberty Ale.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: What were your gateway beers?
« Reply #47 on: January 15, 2013, 08:34:35 AM »
Wow, I must be weird.  I didn't get into 'craft' beers until after I had started homebrewing.  I was a Bud and Old Mulewalkee drinker all through college.  My wife and I 'upgraded' to Killians Red in the early 90's, but still didn't really dabble into craft or imports. 

It wasn't until I stumbled onto an Octoberfest event that my old club, North Florida Brewers League was hosting that I even thought about anything beyond the megabrews.  They were serving homebrew.  What, I could brew this??? And thus with the customary homebrewing kit as a Christmas present, my lifetime has been 'wasted' with homebrewing.  It was my association with NFBL that I was thoroughly introduced and indoctrinated into craft brews and beers beyond mega-lager.  That is where my true beer appreciation come from. 

I do have to admit that it was Pete's Wicked Ale that was a gateway for me, but that was after I was homebrewing and sampling any craft beer I found.  Now that I know how that beer was contract brewed and had such spotty quality and taste, I recognize how lucky I was to have sampled that one bottle of Pete's that was truly phenomenal.  That would have been the early 2000's. My personal favorite homebrew is my American Brown Ale that is quite similar to that Pete's bottle.  Its the beer I hone and savor.  I've brewed it to the point where it has scored in the mid 40's with National judges and remains a beer that gets brewed once or twice a year. 
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Offline mugwort

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Re: What were your gateway beers? Let us honor them.
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2013, 03:39:28 PM »
I guess we all owe a heap of thanks to these life transition brews.  Some are long extinct but a number are still around in some form or another.  These gateway brews are not necessarily remarkable in themselves, but more so in the way they helped us embark on a never-ending quest for flavor, both subtle and over-the-top.

Whether or not we ever go back, even once, is not a decision to take lightly.  Are there some people and some beers that can pull it off?  Maybe there really are people out there that can--with a sip--relive the glorious memory of those brews that began to hone their unseasoned palates.

But because we as craft drinkers are constantly evolving, it's just as easy to wreck a memory as it is to confirm and affirm it.  Many times we don't really know if it was the beer that changed or if it was us, and I think it's dangerous to make assumptions so easily shattered.

There are so many things that get better in memory.  It is often best to leave a cherished drinking history just as we remember it.  Respect the past by moving forward I say.
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Offline skrag6713

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Re: What were your gateway beers?
« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2013, 04:05:33 PM »
during my college years (read as: bud light years) i picked up a 12pak of killian's every now and again, which led me to amberbock during the bartending days that followed.  a few friends who had already discovered guiness ego checked me by way of "you're not a man if you don't like guiness".  and so i adapted my palate.  but my whole world changed when i had my first sip of sam adams alpine spring.  after that it was practically my job to find great new beer every weekend.

Offline The Professor

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Re: What were your gateway beers?
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2013, 04:49:08 PM »
Wow, I must be weird.  I didn't get into 'craft' beers until after I had started homebrewing.  ...

Then I guess even weirder... my very first beers were my "gateway" beers and fueled my desire to try brewing. 

While as a kid I was permitted  by my Dad to have a few sips and eventually a very small glass of his Ballantine Ale or Kruger Pils with dinner,  the very first sixpack I ever bought for myself in the late 1960s was a bock beer...and the second one was an IPA (not knowing the significance  of either one at the time).  Those spoiled me for good and all, and as a result when I eventually got to college I didn't much care for the comparatively bland stuff my friends were drinking.  My go-to beers during those college years included Aas Juleol, Lowenbrau Maerzen, Prior Double Dark, Yuengling Porter, and of course  Ballantine XXX, Ballantine IPA.   

So I had my gateways pretty much right out of the gate;D    Ten years later when the "craft" movement began rolling in, I was ready for it!

I took a lot of ribbing during my  college years for my strange beer choices (and especially for paying more for beer than they were),  but now most surviving members of my old crew with whom I still talk profess to being  craft beer afficianados.   They also finally seem to "get it" that there was indeed some good beer around in the so called "dark ages" B.C. (before craft). 
So now, I get to rib them with a satisfying "I told you so".  LOL
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Offline barliman

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Re: What were your gateway beers?
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2013, 07:18:44 AM »
These are mostly chronological order.  Different beer for each level of beer nerd-dom. 
1. Labatt Blue
2. Killians Red
3. Guinness Draught
4. Moose Drool
5. Surly Furious
6. Bell's Hopslam
7. Stouts on nitro
8. Cask ales
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Offline kgs

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Re: What were your gateway beers?
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2013, 08:55:34 AM »
It was the 1970s and I had a police-officer friend who invited me for a walk on Ocean Beach and then as we chilled out on the dunes brought out a bottle of homebrew. I honestly remember nothing about the beer, and forgot this moment for decades to come, but I'm really grateful in retrospect that I said something like "Yum." I had no idea what was involved in making beer (and I am thinking it wasn't legal at that point :-) ). 

Next up was a friend when I was stationed at Chanute in 1985 who turned me on to seriously good beer with the argument (still valid, imo) that a good beer was more affordable than a comparable wine.

My next gateway was being stationed in England and Germany in the 1980s. I can remember delicious pints of bitter at local pubs in England, followed by buying amazing beer at the local German supermarket and taking it home in these plastic crates you brought back to the store with your bottles. Don't ask me what beers they were -- it was like buying bread or cheese, you bought beer and drank it. (I dimly remember a dunkelweizen.)
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Offline snowtiger87

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Re: What were your gateway beers?
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2013, 02:52:04 PM »
Mine was Lowenbrau Dark in college. We would go to ths one bar and order a pitcher of it before we went to the other bars to drink swill and chase women.
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Offline mugwort

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Re: What were your gateway beers?
« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2013, 10:18:04 PM »
For me, the gateway to Belgian beers was a separate and delayed entry compared to that of general craft beer.  For years, I had an unfortunate impression of Belgian-style ale as unreasonably yeasty and harsh.

I can attribute my ignorance to one badly-treated Trader Joe's-stocked Chimay in the early-mid 90's.  Why that was the one and only Belgian brew I tried I can't say.  Unfortunately, with a glut of quality non-Belgian craft to try and a lack of spirit to explore further the Belgian side, so it was that my appreciation of Belgian-style brews was much delayed.

It took a new friend from Rochester to bring down the hammer of Unibroue upon my head.  His insistence that I forgo my old prejudices and learn the wisdom of his favorite La Fin Du Monde was what push me though that gate.

That was only the beginning.  Cheers to you Chad.
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