Why Get Into Beer?
Reasons why you should give beer a chance.
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I’ve previously addressed how to get into beer, but today I hope to present a compelling case on why you should give beer a shot. Beer and craft beer have different stereotypical people associated with them, but both of them are just types of older white dudes. While older white dudes do love beer, so do all kinds of other people of different races, genders, and age! And while the number of POC-owned breweries is low now, the number is growing (a good resource to learn about diversity in beer).
Although I am very into beer, I don’t think that you have to be super into it in order to get some enjoyment out of the beverage. I think that having a bit of general knowledge of beer and your personal tastes will take you far. However, if you give it a couple of tries and you don’t like it, that’s completely fine. I think that there is no use in trying to make yourself like something if it’s not going to benefit you somehow. While I do think that there is a beer out there for everyone, that doesn’t mean that it is immediately accessible and can take some time and effort to find.
I think first and foremost is that craft beer is fun. The names are fun, the can art can be wild, and some of the flavor combinations are straight up bananas. Beer doesn’t and shouldn’t take itself seriously because that’s where some of the best products are made. I hope you can see fun as an overarching theme or common thread throughout the other reasons to get into beer that I go through in this article.
New Gustatory Experiences
Contrary to common belief all beers do not taste the same. However, beers of the same style can definitely taste the same. The most popular beers in the US are American Light Lagers and although there is a tense competition and fierce loyalty among drinkers of different brands, they are honestly quite similar. A Lager will taste different than an IPA which is different than a Sour. Sour beers are the easiest to differentiate within the category because oftentimes they’ll use different fruits or other add-ins, so the flavors can vary wildly. IPAs do taste different but those flavors are a lot more subtle so if you are not a super taster or are not used to the hop flavors, then you may not be able to differentiate them. Also, a lot of popular IPAs are probably using similar hops so in all honesty the flavor profiles are probably not all that different.
Hop flavors are very unique for a drink, you can get normal fruity/citrus notes, but also dank, peppery, piney, and grassy notes. That may not sound appealing to some people, but I think that it’s so fun to have a flavor that is quite unique to the hops in beer. You can dive into Smoothie Sours, Smoked Beers, Milkshake IPAs, Pastry Stouts, and more and never get tired.
Travel Destinations & Community Spaces
Anywhere you go will have a brewery so you can enjoy a nice beer in a new place and support a local business at the same time. Or, in the opposite direction, you could travel somewhere specifically for a renowned brewery/one that you really like. While a lot of breweries share the same industrial aesthetic, there are some that are different and more cozy. I think that it is definitely possible to find a good brewery and treat it like a coffee shop, a place to get out of the house and get work done, or just to meet up with friends. Breweries all over are trying to be a part of their community and run various events to bring people together, trivia being a prime example, but there is so much variety.
If there aren’t any breweries around, there should at least be a bar or beer bar that serves beer. Beer bars are a really cool kind of place because since they are not affiliated with just a single brewery, they can serve beer from all kinds of styles and breweries. Even at a regular bar, liking beer gives you a wider range of beverages to choose from at the bar. Especially because beer is usually lighter so that you can drink more of it in one sitting, as opposed to cocktails. It makes it fun to go to new bars and see if they have anything that you like or could like.
Beer as an Interest/Hobby
Beer itself is not a hobby, but “collecting” beer can be a hobby. You could absolutely drink a beer everyday and never drink the same beer. There are so many breweries out there releasing beer constantly, you just have to know where to look. Similar to other collecting hobbies you can build an encyclopedic knowledge on a topic, in this case about breweries, brewing methods, awards, and more.
If you wanted to be more a producer than a consumer, you could get into homebrewing as a hobby. Making beer at home is a lot easier than you might think; they say the hardest thing about making beer is having to wait. Beer and brewing is incredibly scientific and innovation has boomed over the years, but at the same time brewing has been around hundreds of years. Brewing can be as basic or as advanced as you want to make it. There is a mountain of information to read up on and geek out about if that’s something that interests you, even if you don’t end up brewing your own beer.