"No thanks, I don't like beer"
How many times I have heard variations of this statement when someone is offered a cold beverage. Many people have a steadfast vision of what beer is, how it tastes, and why they don't like it. In reality however, there are as many different types and tastes of beer as there are of food. By this way of thinking, to say one doesn't like beer would be quite liking saying one doesn't like food. This of course is a foolish statement. The quest of this article is to persuade the reader that thinking "I don't like beer" is just as foolish.
In no particular order; ginger, espresso, chili peppers, spruce, cherries, stawberries, peaches, pumpkin, apple, blackberries, tea, dandelion, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, oats, wheat, watermelon, oak chips, coriander, cinnamon, and hazelnuts. These are just a few of the different ingredients seen in beer brewed both commercially and in the home. These are just ones I have personally tried. The actually list is virtually endless. Then you have the different styles of beer that each unique ingredient can be used in; porter, stout, bitter, pale, india pale, so on so forth. Also, you can affect flavor further by using different types of yeast, water, grains, and hops within each style. The point is, when the mathematics of these many variable are explored, there are literally hundreds of thousands of different flavors that can be achieved in the final brew.
So, now that the variety available is evident, let's address some of the common complaints that beer haters seem to have.
It's too bitter!
There are beers such as sweet stouts, bocks, dopplebocks, and certain belgian fruit beers that have little bitterness, and in some cases can be quite sweet. The Lambic style of beer brewed with different fruits actually reminds me of liquid sweet tarts!
I don't like that much carbonation!
The level of carbonation in different beer styles is nearly as variable as the styles themselves. Some stronger brews such as Barleywine are so high in alcohol that they contain very little carbonation at all.
It gives me a headache.
Look for beers that are bottle conditioned and not filtered or pasteurized. These beers still contain live yeast and vitamin b which is leeched out of the body with alcohol consumption. Drinking live ales & lagers naturally replaces the vitamin b which should minimize the effects of the alcohol.
Hopefully the information presented in this article will persuade the reader who is convinced that he/she does not like beer to open up their mind and palate and explore the diverse world of craft brewing. Those that partake of this journey may find that with a little sampling here and there they may just be pleasantly surprised at what is found!