Try A New Brew: Your Guide to Enjoying New Types of Beer

Picking up your favorite fizzy beverage may seem like a no-brainer, but how do you make the right choice when you go to buy beer? Today, craft brews, imports, regional beers and offerings from the big labels can make it hard to pick a beer. With so many options available, how do you know what’s right for you? The main idea is to have fun and try something new. After all, if beer is about anything, it’s fun.

Beer tastings are a great way to find breweries whose offerings you’ve never tried. Usually, tastings are free, but some stores require payment. You’ll get your money back when you make a purchase, so it’s almost like paying a deposit. Your local grocery store or gourmet food market may offer samples on weekends, so call around or sign up for stores’ e-mails.

If you can’t find a beer tasting but want to venture into uncharted territory, head to the liquor store or a well-stocked grocery store liquor department. You’ll most likely find tall bottles of craft, import and domestic beers. If you don’t like the one you chose, you won’t lose a lot of money. Even better, you can grab a few friends and pick up several bottles. Everyone can try a little of each beer and compare notes. You might want to write down the ones you like, especially if you’re doing a lot of sampling.

You could even do beer flights to impress a date, assuming your date likes beer. Jot down the name of each variety, and pour a small amount into a flight glass or liqueur glass; even a shot glass will work in a pinch. You get extra points if you have a small plank of wood lying around to serve it on like those used in restaurants and bars.

Whether you’re new to beer drinking or a full-on beer snob, broadening your horizons is as easy as grabbing a bottle that catches your eye. The more beers you try, and the more you pay attention to what you like about each one, the more likely you are to truly enjoy the beer drinking experience. When you look at it as an adventure for your taste buds, every time you buy beer is an opportunity to create a whole new experience.