Beer for people who hate beer: A taste test

by Angelica Leicht

There are some people who love beer, because beer is delicious and it gets you drunk. And then there are those weirdos who hate drinking beer because they don’t have refined tastes or know what living truly is. Our staff writer, Amanda Push, is of the latter group. She hates beer.

“If I’m really drunk I’ll drink beer,” she said. “I’ve done it before. I didn’t enjoy it, but…”

She does claim to tolerate Bud Light when she’s so inebriated that she can’t remember, but that doesn’t count. If you can’t remember it, it didn’t happen.

Given that this is an office of beer lovers, we were puzzled by her disdain for the golden goodness, and had all sorts of questions about her deep-seated beer hatred. Why does she only drink beer when drunk, and why does she not enjoy it? But, our most important question was how we could help her find a beer that would convince her to change teams.

We decided to consult the wild Internet caverns for the best hacks and suggestions to help beer-haters find a love of the beer, and came back with suggestions like, “drink beer out of a green bottle.” Internet: y’all have lost it.

Anyway, here it is, friends. How to find the right beer for people who hate beer: A taste test.

Internet advice: Try sour beers.

The beer: Ballast Point Brewing Company Sour Wench Blackberry Ale

The Internet said to try sour beers because beer-haters will LOVE them since they taste like Sour Patch Kids, so we tried sour beers. Strike that – our staff writer tried sour beers. Or, one sour beer, to be exact: Ballast Point Brewing Company Sour Wench Blackberry Ale, which is a mouthful in more ways than one.

Taste profile, according to our staff writer: A little bit of blackberry – “I’ll give them that.” – and sour. Layered underneath the sour is blackberry.

Immediate reaction: “Do I smell it first? I don’t know if I should smell it first. (Makes face.) I don’t know how I feel about that. I can’t tell if the sourness makes the bitterness of the beer better or worse. It’s getting a little better the more I drink it. Seems like the bitter taste is going away the more I drink it and the sour stays. But I don’t know if I’d go to a bar and order a sour beer.”

Noob rating: 2 out of 5 Natty Lights

Internet advice: Add Bloody Mary mix to a Corona.

The beer: A Corona, obviously.

We bought McIlhenny Co. Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix, mostly because it was the cheapest, at $3.99 for a giant glass jug of the stuff. We bought one single huge Corona because we didn’t want the shame of keeping the rest of an 18-pack in our fridge after this experiment. Then we mixed it, beer first, because we seem to recall making a huge mess with mimosas by pouring the champagne in last, and wanted to eliminate any Bloody Mary beer fizz spillage. Our staff writer made faces as we poured.

Taste profile, according to our staff writer: “I like the after-spice of the mix. The beginning is more beer-like and the ending is more Bloody Mary. The beginning you can taste the bitterness of a beer.”

Immediate reaction: “Oh, this looks gross. I’m really nervous about this one. This is the one I was nervous about. Goddamn it, I’m gonna barf. (Tastes beer.) Okay – so it cancels out the beer taste for sure, so it feels like I’m just drinking Tabasco Bloody Mary mix. There’s a little hint of beer and then the Bloody Mary takes over. I’d rather have a Bloody Mary, but it’s okay. It doesn’t smell great thought. (Drinks more.) Okay, I can’t drink that much of it.”

Noob rating: 5 out of 5 Natty Lights

Internet advice: Drink beer in a green bottle because it’s “cute.” Who the eff…whatever. Let’s do this.

The beer: We went with a beer that had a green label instead of a green bottle, which was Shiner Sea Salt and Lime.

It’s surprisingly hard to find beer in a green bottle, at least in the mix-your-own-six-pack fridge at Discount Liquor over by Walmart. Shoutout to that tiny fridge, though. It saved us 10 percent AND kept us from having a bunch of gnarly leftover beer. Felt like a major win.

Taste Profile, according to our staff writer: “It has a sweet swing to it. Not as awful as I thought. I thought this was gonna be the worst one and it isn’t. But not the idea. The specific beer.”

Immediate reaction: “Oh, god. Whoever thought this would work is an idiot. I don’t have any faith in this idea cause it’s stupid. It’s just gonna taste like a beer I don’t like. (Drinks beer and then yells loudly, presumably because of all the beer she’d ingested.) SEA SALT AND LIME IS NOT BAD. But the green bottle idea is stupid. I don’t think drinking it out of a specific container changes it.”

Noob rating: 3.5 out of 5 Natty Lights

Internet advice: Drink a canned cocktail that looks like a beer.

The beer: Fugu Cucumber Vodka Soda

This one doesn’t look like a beer. It looks like a La Croix, but it was what was hiding in the back of our fridge, so it wins by default, cause we forgot to grab a canned cocktail at the liquor store.

Taste profile, according to our staff writer: “It tastes very cucumber-y, so it has a very kind of cool taste. It’s the opposite of bitter, I would say, but it’s also not overly sweet. It’s kind of in the middle.”

Immediate reaction: “It smells good. (Drinks it.) I like that a lot. It’s not bitter at all. It’s got a nice soothing cucumber taste to it, and it’s fizzy, so you kind of feel like you’re drinking a sparkling water. It’s very soothing. I like that a lot.”

Noob rating: 5 out of 5 Natty Lights

Internet advice: Mask the taste of the beer by drinking one that has ginger in it.

The beer: Boulevard Ginger Lemon Radler

We had some local ginger-infused beer in our fridge (a straggler leftover from a sampler pack), but opted to get a Boulevard version instead, just in case the shit-talking was strong afterwards. The only option in the singles was Boulevard Ginger Lemon Radler.

Taste profile, according to our staff writer: “The lemon isn’t super strong, which I like. The ginger is more overpowering than the lemon.”

Immediate reaction: “All right. So this is ginger beer that I’m trying. Um, I like that cause it’s not as bitter as beers tend to be. There’s not really any bitterness with it. The citrus zing helps, and obviously the ginger. I feel like I’m drinking more of a weird soda than a beer. It doesn’t taste like a beer at all. It’s very citrusy. I would hang out in the summer and drink this on my porch, for sure. Might be my favorite so far. It tastes like I’m drinking sunshine.”

Noob rating: 4 out of 5 Natty Lights

Internet advice: Drink a beer with fruit infusion.

The beer: Rodenbach Fruitage

This was the only fruit beer that came in singles, so we grabbed it, despite it looking REAL suspect. This thing looks nothing like a beer. It is tiny and red, and was somehow dwarfed by any human hand that handled it.

Taste profile, according to our staff writer: “It tastes like I’m drinking a Red Bull right now. Like a slightly alcoholic energy drink. I can’t really taste any specific red fruit. I can’t pick it out really. It just tastes like a super processed sugary drink.”

Immediate reaction: “I feel like I’m about to drink a Monster. It smells good. It smells really good. (Drinks beer.) This is good. I would drink this. It’s very fruity. It’s very sweet. I can’t identify any fruit in it, so I would compare it to drinking an energy drink or one of those canned margaritas. It says that it’s ‘red fruit,’ so I would guess cherries. This is a good party drink. It doesn’t look like a beer at all. I don’t really care if people think I’m drinking a beer or not. It’s a good, chill party drink. It’s not great but it’s not bad.”

Noob rating: 4 out of 5 Natty Lights

Internet advice: Drink a red beer.

The beer: Red Stripe

Yeah, we know what a red beer is, but we figured it would be WAY more fun to give our subject a Red Stripe instead. We bought the giant 24-ounce bottle just to be extra awful.

Taste profile, according to our staff writer: Disgusting. “Made me want to puke in the sink. It’s the opposite of what someone who doesn’t like beer should drink. If you don’t like beer, that is not a good thing.”

Immediate reaction: “Holding it in my hand, it feels like a giant soda bottle. I feel a little trashy right now, even though I know it is fancy and brewed in Jamaica. I don’t think this is gonna taste good at all. (Drinks beer; makes horrible face and gags.) NO. NO NO NO. OH I HATED THAT. OH MY GOD I HATED THAT. My immediate reaction was to gag as soon as the aftertaste hit me, which was a sour taste, but not like the sour beer. This one had a nasty taste. Oh my god, that was so gross. I can’t drink any more of that. That’s as good as it’s gonna get.”

Noob rating: 0 out of 5 Natty Lights; would be negative Natty Lights or an empty beer fridge if given the option.

Internet advice: Drink cider instead.

The beer: Strongbow Cider. Strongbow Cherry Blossom Cider, to be specific.

Goddamn it. This is cheating.

Taste profile, according to our staff writer: “Very sweet.” Cherry and a little hint of apple. Not sure that’s actually in there, but that’s what she tasted. Extremely fruity.

Immediate reaction: “Amen. This is right up my alley. If you don’t like beer, just drink a cider. It’s very sweet. I don’t think I could drink a LOT of these because it’s so sweet, but it’s much more preferable to drinking beer. I have a lot less anxiety drinking this because I don’t have to control my facial expressions after drinking it. Any time you have the option to take a cider, do it.”

Noob rating: 5 out of 5 Natty Lights

Angelica Leicht

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