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How to Introduce a Friend to Craft Beer

How to Introduce a Friend to Craft Beer

There are thousands of different flavor profiles you can find in beer, and thousands of breweries creating their own interpretations of the 100+ different styles. Whether your friend is loyal to macro brew, or prefers wine and cocktails, there is likely a beer out there for them.

Brew Bus tours are intended for people of all levels of beer knowledge, our goal has always been to show passengers our great local beer scene while also educating about the beers they’re trying. Naturally, there are often people onboard who don’t regularly drink craft beer (or any beer for that matter). 

Actually Bring Them to a Local Brewery

Possibly the most mind-opening thing you can do for a non beer drinker is to show them the inside of your local tasting room. It’s more than just beer that makes these places special. They’re a unique reflection of their town and the culture that surrounds craft beer is open and welcoming. It’s not unusual for the brewers and owners themselves to be behind the bar pouring beer that they made with their own hands.  

Tell Them the Craft Beer Story

It’s hard to imagine, but just 10 or 15 years ago depending on where you live, craft beer was probably very hard to come by. Once breweries like Lagunitas, Samuel Adams, and Sierra Nevada showed American consumers the possibilities of different beer styles there became a real demand for it. Now there are over 4,000 breweries and counting in our country which are independently owned and locally operated – that’s something no macro beer company can say about themselves.

Give Them the Right Beers to Try

It’s probably not the best idea to force something like a Barrel Aged Imperial Stout on somebody who normally drinks Riesling on the reg. There is a beer out there for every palate so try starting with the right beer for that person’s taste. It takes about 3 sips for your taste buds to get used to something new so don’t let your friend pass off on a beer before they get the full experience. 

If they like….

  • Hard cider or sweet, fruit-forward juicy wines like Moscatos, Rieslings and Ports. Give them beers that are on the sweeter or fruity side. You’re My Boy Blue is our Blueberry Wheat Ale that’s brewed with real blueberries. It’s an easy drinker that is slightly sweet and well balanced. Krieks, Lambics, or Frambroises are very juicy beers with a powerful fruit presence. Stay away from sour variations of these beers if that’s not your thing.
  • Dry, earthy, unoaked, or tart wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or even Champagne. Look for a Hefewiezen, Saison or various Belgians like Wits, Goldens, Singles or Dubbels. These styles have very little bitterness with a wide range of dry, floral, or tart profiles that can vary from earthy like fresh cut grass, or zesty and tart like lemon, apple or apricot, or even spicy like peppercorn and clove.
  • Tonic based cocktails. Let them try an easy drinking Session IPA. These beers tend to be light and citrusy without being overly bitter like a standard IPA. Our own Rye’d Around Session IPA uses a generous amount of rye malt to give it a balanced, crisp finish. 

  • Margaritas or sour cocktails. There is undoubtedly a sour beer out there they will like. An easy drinking Gose or Berliner-Weisse is a good place to start but there is a whole world of sour beers that they might enjoy. 
  • Bourbon, Scotch and other brown spirits. Any whisky drinker can appreciate a good barrel aged beer. Bourbon barrels, Wine barrels, Tequila Barrels, Rum barrels, etc. will all help beers develop very prominent flavors. If your buddy’s drink of choice is any kind of brown liquor look to malt forward beer styles like Stouts, Porters, Scotch Ales, and Barleywines.
  • American Adjunct Lagers. Easy drinking beers are becoming more and more popular in the craft world. We like to call them ‘Gateway Beers’. If your friend’s go-to is a macro brew, look for craft Lagers, Pilsners, or even something with some malt sweetness like Ambers or Reds.