The reason I say beer-tender and not bartender is simple. I don’t, for the the life of me, know how to make mixed drinks with more than two ingredients. What I do know is a few things about which beers taste hoppy, the classifications of Belgian style ales, and the fact that not all dark beers taste gross! Long ago I assumed that if a beer was light in color, it probably tasted better than a beer that was black as night.
When I am not studying for a test or interning at FSB I am usually behind the bar at local restaurant and beer connoisseur hot spot Burgers & Brew. I’ve been working here for about a year and I’ve come a long way since exclusively drinking Blue Moon with a lot of extra oranges. One of my favorite beers is actually Guinness nowadays. Continue reading below to see some of my favorite beers in each style. I didn’t write anything for ciders or sours because I don’t really like them, but they are sweeter and more often than not, made with fruits like apples, pears, and berries.
My absolute favorite beer is Brother Thelonious, a Belgian style abbey ale, from Northcoast Brewing Company. Its dark in color and is somewhat reminiscent of a brown ale. A few of my coworkers say it is a little booze-y to taste but in my opinion it is smooth, flavorful, and gives a great buzz. It also goes great with a side of garlic fries because it is slightly sweet. I affectionately know this beer by “Bro T” as well.
Also from Northcoast is a Belgian style golden ale I love called Pranqster. This golden ale is smooth, floral in taste and packed full of flavor. If you’re heading to B&B try an order of buffalo fries, and get a chalice of Pranqster to sip on!
IPA’s and IIPA’s and IIIPA’s
IPA stands for India Pale Ale. There are also double and triple IPA’s each with higher ABV’s than the last. These beers are not what I would give someone who is new to beer drinking, they are usually really hoppy and have a high ABV and IBU. I used to avoid them at all costs and labeled them all yucky! That doesn’t mean they don’t taste great. The best IPA I have had is Fresh Squeezed from Deschutes Brewing Company. My personal favorite IIPA is the West Coast from Green Flash Brewing Company. A great way to acclimate yourself to drinking IPA’s is to try Northeastern style IPA’s which are a little smoother to drink and less malt-y. A few other great IPA’s are Maui Waui IPA from Altamont Brewing Company and the Muir Woods IPA from Bare Bottle Brewing Company. I’ve ventured to try two triple IPA’s and actually liked both: Evil 3 from Heretic Brewing and Doom Bloom from Bare Bottle Brewing Company.
When I was in middle school and high school my best friend had a Chocolate Labrador named stout, he was the sweetest pup! Just like stout the dog, Stout beers can be sweet. On the other hand there are Imperial stouts that have a coffee-chocolate like taste. Most stouts are dark in color, however some are red like the Red Velvet Cake limited release stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company. Guinness is a favorite of mine, especially if I am at DeVere’s Irish Pub in Sacramento. Some other stouts to try are Old Rasputin from Northcoast Brewing Company, Campfire Stout from High Water Brewing Co. and Colossus from Fieldwork Brewing Company.
Like port wines, porter style beers are the dessert beer. They are typically sweet and sometimes made with hazlenut, macadamia, and flavors like peppermint and chocolate or coffee. My two favorites are the Santa’s Little Helper from Port Brewing company and the Macadamia Nut Porter from Six Rivers.
I hope that you do not give up on beer if all you have tried is Coors Light and decided it wan’t for you. I enjoy one every once in a while that is not a craft beer! The number one thing to remember is that you won’t know what you like if you never try anything. I also am a strong believer in that the first time you try a beer it should be in a frosty pint glass and you’ve got to take more than one sip to decide if it is tasty!