One doesn’t go from drinking VBs one day to Russian Imperial Stouts the next, the journey to better beer drinking is a series of steps that allow one’s taste to mature and adapt to new flavours and styles.
In my experience, there are many beer drinkers out there who are open to trying new beers but unsure of where to start or what to drink next. Now I’m going to look at what are the greatest ‘gateway beers’. Beers that introduce beer drinkers to a new style of tastier beer, before they progress to more complex and challenging beers.
I blogged about my beer journey over the past few years and noted a key moment was when I tried Little Creatures Pale Ale. This was my ‘gateway beer’. Nowadays, Little Creatures is a little too subdued for my taste but at the time it was an important step in my beer journey. Here some other great gateway beers. They are not the most challenging beers out there but they are valuable in introducing beer drinkers to new styles and craft beer:
The hoppy pale has become an Aussie standard, there’s a heap out there, but few better than this one. Once a taste for hops has been developed, bolder IPAs await.
Recommended Gateway Beer: Kooinda Pale Ale
My Gateway Beer: Little Creatures Pale Ale
Belgian-style Witbiers and German-style Hefeweizens are easy to drink but, at their best, can offer a lot of taste too. Feral offer a solid easy-drinker as a starting point.
Recommended Gateway Beer: Feral White
My Gateway Beer: Hoegaarden
This English style of beer has a stronger malt profile. Murray’s offer a great new-world (read hoppy) interpretation with a lot of taste at a low ABV of 3.9%.
Recommended Gateway Beer: Murray’s Punch & Judy
My Gateway Beer: Holgate ESB
While no beer drinker will need an introduction to the lager style, they may need an intro to what a ‘good’ lager tastes like, this is one of the better ones out there.
Recommended Gateway Beer: Boatrocker Hoppbier Beer Garden Pilsner
My Gateway Beer: Samuel Adams Boston Lager
American Amber/Brown Ale
This style presents strong malt and hop profiles – and some of my favourite beers out there. Two Brothers offer up these solid brews.
Recommended Gateway Beer: 2 Brothers Grizz Amber Ale
My Gateway Beer: 2 Brothers Growler Brown Ale
The world of Belgian beers is an expansive one. The saison is good place to start, while heavier and more challenging beers await.
Recommended Gateway Beer: Bridge Road Chevalier Saison
My Gateway Beer: Leffe Blonde
A journey into dark beers can be a rich and satisfying one. Familiar tastes of chocolate and coffee can help one to become accustomed to the bolder tastes.
Recommended Gateway Beer: Holgate Temptress Chocolate Porter
My Gateway Beer: Coopers Extra Stout
In my next post, I’ll outline the next steps (beers) that beer drinkers can ‘progress to’, in each of these styles.