If you read last week's blog, you'll remember that this is a new series meant to be educational and help inform the novice drinker to discover products they may not yet have tried but just might grow to love. Of course, I'd like to think these tips can apply to anyone, no matter how much knowledge you have. I find myself learning something new everyday when it comes to the beverage industry!
Since we discussed wine last week, I'd like to focus on beer for this round. For the first beer edition of "If You Like This, Drink That" I think it would only be appropriate to discuss the most popular beers in America, namely beers such as Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors Light. The brewing industry refers to this style of beers as "American Adjunct Lagers" or "American Light Lagers." These are light bodied, pale, fizzy lagers made popular by large American breweries after prohibition. They feature low bitterness, thin malts, and moderate alcohol. To mass-produce these beers, they are typically made with cost-cutting adjunct cereal grains, like rice and corn. The light versions of these lagers feature even more of these adjunct grains, leading to an even lighter body.
So, suppose you've consumed and enjoyed these beers for years but are curious of the current surge in the popularity of craft beer and are interested in trying something new. Don't worry, we've got plenty of suggestions to help you advance your taste buds in the right direction!
A good start for the new craft beer drinker might be a Cream Ale. Cream Ales, spawned from the American light lager style, are brewed as an ale though are sometimes finished with a lager yeast or lager beer mixed in. These beers feature a pale straw to pale gold color. They are typically light bodied and have a low hop character and some malty sweetness. A couple of good examples are Sun King Sunlight Cream Ale and Sixpoint Sweet Action.
Another style that might appeal is the Munich Helles Lager. This style is similar to the Pilsner, but while Pilsners feature a spicy hop character, Munich Helles Lagers are a bit more malty and in balance with the hops featured in Pilsners. While I love Pilsners, they might have just a bit too much hop bitterness for someone coming straight from light lagers. My top two picks for this style are Weihenstephaner Original and Hofbrau Original.
As always, feel free to stop by the store and pick up a pack of these awesome beers, and we'd be happy to make even more suggestions for great new beers to try!