How to Try More Beer
Various ways to try more craft beer and fill out that Untappd profile.
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Why try more beer?
To be quite honest, for me I find that there aren’t too many beers that I would drink again. I think that most beers are drinkable and pretty good, I just think that I am picky/sensitive to various hop flavors. There is so much beer out there that is good that I don’t want to just keep on buying the same beer over and over again. Additionally, I am drinking beer for the flavor instead of for its intoxicating properties, so it doesn’t really make sense to drink the same beers over and over again, you want some variety in the flavors.
I don’t think that there is any real new insight on how to try more beer in this article, but I think that there is still benefit in collecting it all together and presenting it within the context of my other beer articles. Trying new beers is something that I really enjoy doing (at the time of writing this article I have tried 945 different beers), so I do and think about all these things in this article and hope to be able to help some other people do the same.
Some specialty beer shops or liquor stores will sell cans/bottles by the each which allows you to only buy a single can as opposed to a four or six pack. A lot of times they are a bit more expensive, but sometimes the shop will offer a small discount for buying multiple singles at the same time. I’ve previously written about buying beer if you want to understand how to optimize buying cans.
Another way to try more beers is to buy and share cans/bottles with friends. This could be done in multiple ways, one way is to buy a four/six pack and then give everyone a can, or you could buy a single and then split it between everyone. This is something that I do with my friends often. We will bring one or two cans each and then pour them into glasses for everyone participating and try it together. This is fun because you don’t have to drink the whole can, but also you get to talk about what you like and don’t like about the beer.
Restaurants and Breweries
Restaurants, bars, breweries and beer bars can help you try more beer in two ways because they usually have a large collection of beers that go beyond the basic. Additionally they will usually allow you to get smaller pours which allows you to try more in one setting because it is less liquid and less money that is consumed.
Finding a Good Beer Bar
- Beer bars or brewpubs will have larger tap menus that stray from the macrobreweries meaning that you will be able to get more unique beers to try.
- A lot of normal bars have to serve a larger customer base so that usually means carrying very bog standard beers.
- Beer bars curate their beer program pretty well usually meaning that there should be a wide range in styles and breweries represented.
Going to a Brewery’s Taproom
- Breweries often allow you to get small pours. So if you don’t want to have to buy cans that a brewery releases, you should be able to visit their taproom and get to try a variety of their beers. Sometimes the brewery will do a flight of the new releases too, like Other Half did for the 4/20 Munchies release.
- Not all of a brewery’s beers that they make are canned and distributed so whenever you go to the taproom there are often beers that you will only be able to try there.
Flights & Tasters
- Not all restaurants and breweries allow for flights because they may not have the glassware or glass holder that allows for easy flight serving.
- Most, if not all breweries will let you try before you buy in the taproom. I try not to abuse it too much.
- Self-pour systems is a newer technology that allows customers to pour the beer/beverage themself and pay by the ounce.
- These places usually have a good variety of beers, seltzers, ciders, hard kombucha, and they usually also have some wine and cocktails as well.
- A big vendor that provides self-pour solutions is PourMyBeer, so you should definitely check out if they service any locations near you.
- I often go to self pour brewpubs because they are fun to do with friends and you can pace yourself and just chill and hang out. These are some of my favorites ones:
This is something that at the time of writing I have not been to before, but I want to go to one eventually and have seen many advertised, so I definitely wanted to include this method. I think that Big World, Small Girl puts it best, “a beer festival is any event at which you purchase a ticket to drink a variety of beers”.
In DC there’s Snallygaster, and I saw that in Berlin, MD Burley Oak put on Controlled Chaos, so there’s definitely no shortage of beer festivals happening around me. There’s of course the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, but I don’t know how I would feel about paying for travel and going out of my way to spend more money. I think that I want to eventually go for the experience, to GABF or just any festival in general, but I am unsure how cost-effective going to these are because it is a lot of time and money to go to. Paying up-front for a ticket can be both good and bad because you know exactly how much you need to consume to “get your money’s worth” but that could force you to consume more beer than you may have really wanted to.