Gateway microbrews for the novice craft beer drinker

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Lost Coast Great White - American Style Whitbier (4.8% ABV)

[image-1]The Lost Coast Brewery out of Eureka, CA, has been making some of the most delicious and reliable craft brews since 1990. They make some of the best classic session-style beers to date. Their Great White Ale is a light, straw-colored brew with notes of coriander, citrus with some subtle spice. This is a perfect brew if you are looking for a light, well balanced session craft beer. Not only will you not want to drink another macro brew again, but this is a good intro to this style of beer. This beer pairs well with most seafood such as steamed clams, spicy shrimp boil, gumbos and a well made lobster Po' Boy.

Abita Purple Haze - American Style Raspberry Whitbier (4.2%  ABV)

Abita Brewing Co. is based out of Louisiana, just a few miles north of New Orleans. This brewery has been making very solid craft brews since 1986. Their Purple Haze is a light brew that has subtle fruit and wheat aromas followed by a nice crisp [image-2]wheat taste that has a simple yet not over powering fruity raspberry finish. This brew is a great tailgating, barbecuing and social drink. It's very approachable to the new craft drinker and pairs nicely with most lighter fare, such as salads, fruit and desserts. Recently, Abita put released their SOS brew, which is a Weizen-style Pilsner. The proceeds from this beer go directly to the relief and restoration efforts of individuals and the environment due to the Gulf oil spill disaster.

Harpoon IPA - India Pale Ale (5.9% ABV)

India Pale Ales are usually the first style of craft brews that the new drinker will fall head over heels for. IPAs are full of hoppy bitterness and have many different characteristics, such as floral, citrus, bitterness, piny, and a pronounced sharpness. Harpoon Brewery out of Boston, MA, has been making great craft brews since 1986. The Harpoon IPA is their flagship brew, and for very good reason. [image-3]As an IPA it has a very well balanced tasting profile. The aromas are very floral and citrusy due to the Cascade style of hop, which leaves a nice crisp medium bitterness on the mouth and is not overwhelming with its malty finish. This beer is a solid IPA and is a staple brew when I have people over for barbecues and dinners. It pairs well with many spicy foods because it emphasizes the  flavors and  the spices.

Craft beer is well made, with some of the best ingredients and flavors you could possibly want in a brew. Not only are you drinking better and higher quality beers, but you're also helping small businesses across the nation grow with every bottle or pint purchased.

Drink better, eat better, live better.


Thomas Barris

The Wild Cicerone

Light, cold, crisp, drinkability are all terms that are used to describe most of the brews in the macro beer scene. Brands like Coors, Miller, Bud and Busch all boast about how light and flavorless they all are. Sure, someone who enjoys slamming 30+ brews might be drawn to their water-like quality — and, if one ever needed to put out a small brush, fire these would surely come in handy.

Now, as the pendulum is swinging in favor of the craft beer world, these companies are seeing direct competition from the micro world to their light beers.

Most non-craft beer drinkers associate these small batch brews as being darker, heavy and filling beers. While these aforementioned styles are delicious, there are also more than enough well-made, lighter options for the non-craft drinker to enjoy.

The following is a list to help convert the masses from light, tasteless beers to the goodness of the craft beer world. These breweries and beers mentioned are in no way superior to other brands or styles. They are just, in my opinion, very approachable and are the more common beers being added to menus and stores around the area. With that being said, I hope this helps to spark curiosity and encourage people to go out and try some of these craft brews that are popping up in stores near you.

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