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21 on the 14th!!
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Addison Page
(Nihilist_Voyager) - F

Locale: Down the Rabbit Hole!
21 on the 14th!! on 11/13/2011 19:32:49 MST Print View

Not necessarily a backpacking related beer question, but I was hoping it'd be more likely to get answered here and everyone on this site seems to have good tastes for drink (dark and heavy, love it).

I'm turning 21 tomorrow, what kind of beer should be my first purchase? I need a real no-nonsense beer. After being forced to drink only what older people buy me, I'm looking for something good.

I wish I could get something harder but I'm in a dry county, and it's a 20min drive to the county line. I don't have a car, so if I walked this would be backpacking related I guess!! Lol.

We sell wine and beer here though, but I'm looking for something more than my staple Wild I'.

(and don't get me wrong, I'm young but I've been drinking for awhile, I have a good palate for drink, I can handle your mountain man brews)

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: 21 on the 14th!! on 11/13/2011 19:55:38 MST Print View

Stone Ruination.

It grows hair on your palate.

Addison Page
(Nihilist_Voyager) - F

Locale: Down the Rabbit Hole!
Re: Re: 21 on the 14th!! on 11/13/2011 19:57:42 MST Print View

Hahaha Hell yeah! That's exactly what I'm looking for! +1 for you!

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
21 on the 14th on 11/13/2011 19:59:52 MST Print View


Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: 21 on the 14th!! on 11/14/2011 07:29:32 MST Print View

After being forced to drink only what older people buy me....

Lol...that is exactly the punishment for being a minor who drinks gets. If you were to buy for minors (which you better not!!) you'd do the same. Although that is being generous. If it were me I'd buy them something really nasty like a case of Lucky Lager. Hahhah. Some sweet gut rot ;-)

I never did get the whole beer thing. So I am no help. I could tell you what to drink for Vodka and so on. Beer no matter how fancy or well beloved has always reminded me of warm suds. Give me a shot glass or a mixed drink instead. And the shelf life is good, easily portable. Bang for the buck.

Ahh...the memories of being 21 ;-) Now there was a day.

I don't miss drinking (I haven't had a drink since 2005) but sometimes I miss a glass of imported cranberry vodka. That was heavenly......

Tim Haynes

Locale: Mid Atlantic
21 on the 14th! on 11/14/2011 11:36:46 MST Print View

Depends on where you are in the country. My tastes run to imperial stouts, imperial IPAs and barleywines. Of course, any good barleywine is going to be best aged a few years, so any barleywine you buy now I wouldn't recommend drinking until your 23 or 24th bday. That said, it's never too early to start some barleywines aging, so I'd recommend picking up a couple of barleywines NOW to start the process. If I know where you live, I can make specific recommendations...

That said, as for something you can have today, North Coast's Old Rasputin' is a solid imperial stout that is pretty widely available, as is Thirsty Dog's Siberian Night. I'm personally partial to Bell's Expedition Stout and Founder's Breakfast Stout as even better options, but they can be harder to find, depending on where you are.

Imperial IPAs... Weyerbacker's Double Simcoe is solid and in wide distribution. I don't love much of what comes out of Flying Dog, but their Double Dog is a pretty good choice. If you have Founder's, then Double Trouble is excellent.

All that said, I'd recommend jumping on or and looking for reviews of the best beer store in your area. Any good beer store should have staff that can make recommendations on the best brews available in your area.

I don't think any top beers are nationally available, so knowing your local options -- and getting to know the staff at your local store -- is your best bet. Many of the most intriguing brews are small batch seasonal beers, and the best way to get ahold of them is to get to know your local staff, so they can set things aside for you.

Happy birthday, and bottom's up.

Addison Page
(Nihilist_Voyager) - F

Locale: Down the Rabbit Hole!
Re: Re: 21 on the 14th!! on 11/14/2011 18:01:27 MST Print View

Sarah: Not a huge fan of beer either, I'm more of whiskey (or any dark liquor) and red wine. So wine I can get, but no liquor sales here :(

Tim: I'm currently trapped in the dirty south. 45 minutes outside Savannah, Georgia into the farm country (and to answer your next question, no, unless you like hiking dirt roads, there is nowhere to backpack here lol). The problem is that the only place with a large selection or beer is the Walmart (yes, I'm hanging my head in shame)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: 21 on the 14th!! on 11/14/2011 19:04:45 MST Print View

Travel will be your friend! :-)

Bummer on the dry county. Those are just odd. Stayed in one for awhile in my early 20's, down in Texas. No thank you on that!

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
Forget WalMart on 11/15/2011 00:52:39 MST Print View

WalMart's beer selection is shameful at best. I have trouble even finding one of my safety beers there. If you want to enjoy beer do yourself a favor and skip the Chinese embassy. The recommendation on Beer Advocate is solid; that is a fantastic site. There must be a beverage or package store close to you but if not I recommend anything Samuel Adams makes except Cherry Wheat or Cranberry Lambic. I find Boston Lager to be pretty darn good and it makes my safety beer list. Consider me another vote for barleywine and if you can find it J. W. Lees Harvest 2000 barleywine is beyond amazing right now. Of course it better be at $10 per 10.2 fluid ounce bottle. If you can lay your hands on anything made by Cigar City (Tampa FL) grab that; those guys are absolute geniuses. Ditto Southern Tier (NY but distributed widely in the SE). Stone is another outstanding brewery and I'm also partial to Great Divide, Goose Island (good luck finding them in the SE). Another very interesting brewery to check out is Magic Hat and #9 can be found at nicer grocery stores. I've been able to get several people who thought they hated beer to start experimenting with it by introducing them to Magic Hat #9.

In short you should avoid the tasteless America light lagers (TALLs) that 99.99999% of the beer drinking world calls "beer". If it was made with rice or corn give it a pass.

EDIT: I forgot anything Rouge especially Dead Guy Ale

Edited by ChemE on 11/15/2011 01:02:37 MST.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: 21 on the 14th!! on 11/15/2011 00:55:18 MST Print View

Negra Modelo.

Addison Page
(Nihilist_Voyager) - F

Locale: Down the Rabbit Hole!
Asahi Black and a couple bum-wines on 11/15/2011 05:02:47 MST Print View

My drinks. Didn't go crazy last night or anything, just had a chill night in with my lady friend. Not exactly "21st birthday style" but it was a monday, partying will commence on the weekend. I also got some Wild I' and MD 20/20 for when I wanna make really bad decisions later lol.

And I didn't even get carded!

EDIT: I wish I had had my computer on me when I was getting this stuff, because I couldn't remember anyone's suggestions (horrible memory) but now I have many ideas of what to start trying. I'm excited! (my liver is not)

Edited by Nihilist_Voyager on 11/15/2011 05:07:04 MST.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
! on 11/15/2011 12:58:35 MST Print View


Mark Olah

Locale: New Mexico
Homebrewing on 11/15/2011 23:27:29 MST Print View

Since your local gov't is still stuck in the 1920's, you should try brewing your own. You can make it as strong as you like and any style you like. No need to drive anywhere, everything you need can be ordered online. Check out or and get a starter kit and recipe kit. Its not that hard, and once you have the equipment its a lot cheaper than store bought.

Since homebrewing takes some time and investment, in the meantime you should look for IPAs or Stouts from local microbreweries, or anything from Dogfishhead, Stone, Anderson Valley, Samuel Smiths or New Belgium. If your local stores don't have any of those, you can't go wrong with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which I have found in the furthest corners of the country.

Good luck and stay away from those fortified wines. Corn sugars are only good for you after yeasts have converted them into nutritious alcohol and C02.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
21 on the 14th!! on 11/16/2011 08:45:59 MST Print View


Keith Bassett

Locale: Pacific NW
Homebrewing on 11/18/2011 15:21:15 MST Print View

I second the homebrewing. Cheap, excellent brew can be made with only minor effort. And most of the items you need can be bought online and shipped to you.

A habit almost as addictive as MYOG...

Check the "Joy of Brewing" out from your local library as a great and simple place to start.


Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
21 on the 14th!! on 11/18/2011 15:58:50 MST Print View

Cred: Try the beer I list and it'll speak for itself, but... I'm a beer fanatic. I traveled a lot of Europe choosing towns to visit based on beers I liked (Bamberg in germany originated the smokebeer, so I went, etc.) and did weird things like bike for hours to visit towns that were famous for beer but not serviced by public transport. I get that I'm weird there. =P

As for what's good: That's severely dependent on your tastes and availability. It's a weird thing, everyone will LOVE what beer fanatics tend to like, and call what beer fanatics LOVE weird and nasty. To each their own!

I'd get them in this order:
*Belgian* - The ones listed are dark heavy and delicious, but expensive ($10 or less per 12 ounce, yeah, it's a celebratory beer, but I think that's what you are after).
Trappisted Rochefort (#8 or #10) < -
st bernardus abt. 12
st bernardus tripel (bubbly, light in color, heavy on flavor)

*Great Locals*
Deschutes Black Butte (good porter w/coffee)
Hop Rod Rye (rye IPA, one of my favorite styles, hoppy)
Stone ruination (hoppy socal angry beer)
Negra Modelo (Mexican beer, they got the style from German immigrants, it's cheap and great, easy to find)

Edited by Trout on 11/18/2011 16:28:21 MST.

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
+1 for Homebrewing on 11/20/2011 12:25:46 MST Print View

I enjoy homebrewing tremendously for many reasons; geeking out, making styles that don't really exist, tweaking the perfect recipe for my wife (oatmeal stout with a IBU/GU ratio of 0.4), or just seeing how cheaply I can make a batch of amazingly delicious beer (works out to be around $0.24/bottle).

Another amazing beer that I forgot to recommend is Duchesse De Bourgogne a really nice Flanders red ale which enjoys pretty wide distribution in the US. Not the highest ranked Flanders red ale but it is wildly unlike anything most people have ever tasted, crazy complex, and just superb.

Tim Haynes

Locale: Mid Atlantic
21 on the 14th! on 11/22/2011 09:04:50 MST Print View

Would love to try one of your homebrews sometime -- sounds like you've got it dialed in, and I appreciate that you've tailored it to your wife's preferences. That's great.

I've avoided homebrew not so much because of lack of time (though that is a driving factor) but because part of my enjoyment of beer comes from trying new beers, and I seldom want more than a six-pack of anything. Often, just one beer is enough. The idea of having 5-gallons+ of just one type of beer is daunting (or however much you choose to make in a batch).

Of course it helps that I live in an area with a pretty good beer selection -- certainly more styles than I will ever have the time and money to try. I keep a pretty good selection of barleywines and imperial stouts aging at all times, and I usually have on hand six to 12 beers (usually seasonals) "to try," but there are a handful of things we drink year-round, and are the beers I would be most-likely to try to emulate if we ever tried home brewing. Top consumption beers in our house, in order, would probably be:

1. Stone Levitation (amber ale)
2. Founder's Porter
3. North Coast Old Rasputin' (best value for a great imperial stout)
4. Founder's Red Rye Pale Ale
5. Dogfish Head Festina Peche (seasonal, but we get extra to last through the year)

These aren't necessarily my all-time favorite beers, but are definitely the easy-drinking comfort beers. The Stone Levitation, in particular, seems overlooked -- best flavor I've ever found in a moderate-alcohol (4.4% ABV) beer.