You know the type. That guy who is somewhat new to craft beer, and always is talking about it. He asks the waiter “What microbrews due you have?” and often orders the trendiest one. He (or she) berates your choice of beverage, and seems to bask in the superiority of having ‘discovered’ beer.
The problem is; he doesn’t really like it. He thinks he’s supposed to like an IPA so he drinks it, but his palate isn’t used to the bitterness. He’ll hear about some new super double IPA and have to have it, not prepared for the intense taste. This guy actually is a disservice to beer, as anyone that is trying to follow him into the world of beer may be turned off by the intense flavors. Real beer is not about intensity, it’s about flavor. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a good wheat beer, or a simple pilsner that’s well crafted. Just like some people will never enjoy 100,000 scoville unit hot wings, some people will never enjoy 100 IBU beers.
That’s the transition stage from beer douche to beer geek. But It’s also a good way to figure out what you like. Some people rave about Imperial Stouts. I tend not to like them too much so I don’t order them, even if they’re somewhat trendy. IPAs are acquired tastes, and many people don’t want that much bitterness in their beer.
Another problem is that there are a lot of mediocre breweries out there. They’re usually still better than the Bud stuff, but just because a beer is micro doesn’t mean it’s good. So as someone breaking into beer (and I can see it being pretty daunting these days) just trying new things, it’s easy to find stuff that’s not very pleasant. But as you learn what’s delicious, both in general and to yourself, it’s a world of difference. Sixpoint, Troegs, Brooklyn, and Flying Fish are some of the breweries I trust to make high quality beer ‘around’ NYC.