Men often get a regular brand of beer and stick with it. Whether it’s a domestic or import brand, men find a brew they love and are loyal to the end. Sometimes change is good. As men age, tastes can sometimes change. Finding a new brand of beer to love can be an adventure into a new phase of life.
When I went from college to my middle aged years, I found myself drifting away from my “el cheapo” days of beer drinking to develop more sophisticated tastes. I ended up completely changing the type of brew I buy on a regular basis simply because I came to love other tastes as I got older.
One Bottle at a Time
First, go with types of beers that are already familiar. If lagers make the top of the list most often, start with other types of lagers to branch out into other varieties. Try different colored lagers or ones with higher alcohol content. Don’t be afraid of flavored or specialty lagers either. Most certainly include local breweries when trying to find a particular one to latch onto when searching for a new favorite.
There are plenty of websites to find beer reviewers who have tried similar flavors. BeerAdvocate.com and RateBeer.com are just two examples. From national brands to local breweries, search for various flavors. Many review websites will offer tutorials on how to read into beer flavors. It just takes some practice to discern flavors and terms such as hops, acid units, malt, barley and mash. I took a month just to figure out what different flavors were when I asked brewmasters what was going on with my palate.
Finding the next perfect beer is like an election campaign. Candidates must earn votes over the course of several months in order to be picked as a party’s nominee. Choosing a new regular beer is the same way. Take time to ascertain what varieties might seem appealing. Take notes. Keep a log/blog/journal of the experience to be specific about which ones seem to be the best. I kept a detailed journal of the time, place and bottle of beer I tried. Some entries were simple such as “no way in he–” while others were more specific. The most memorable beers elicited an emotional response in my mind and those stuck with me the most.
Buying new kinds of beer can be expensive. That’s one reason to take it slow and don’t rush. Have a budget that is no more than the actual amount of money spent on regular beer in the first place. Plus there doesn’t need to be an obnoxious sum of money spent on an unnecessary item that could go towards food, house payments and clothes. My wife wouldn’t appreciate it if I took up more of the family budget on alcohol.
Keep an Open Mind
The most important aspect of finding a new beer is to keep an open mind. A fruity flavor that seems too exotic just might be a hit. Some varieties passed over in the initial search may taste better during another season. Don’t be afraid to re-visit unworthy flavors during the process to see if they might pass the test upon further review. And remember–always have fun trying to find the next best beer. The journey is part of the fun. My evolution from watered-down American beers to European flavors was years in the making.