Not everyone likes craft beer. It’s understandable; there are so many delicious beverages out there and unique taste buds to match. But, what if we told you there was a beer out there for everyone?
Yes, everyone — from the most devoted vino enthusiasts to the posh crowd who frequent speakeasies to get served by top-shelf cocktail mixologists. There’s a brew for the cider sippers, the milkshake maniacs, chocoholic cake lovers, even the corner store slushy sippers.
There is, in fact, a craft beer for every taste preference imaginable. Here are six creative brews that will make believers out of ‘non-beer drinkers!’
The Wine and Diner
Westbound & Down Brewery - Still Grape Squad + Cab Franc Sour Ale
Beer or wine? The best answer is both! If you need help convincing a die-hard wine fan to give craft beer another chance, then Westbound & Down’s Still Grape Squad + Cab Franc makes a great case.
To create it, the brewers blend 8, 14, and 20-month old Golden Sours aged on Cabernet Franc grapes, harvested from California's Central Coast (vintners aren’t the only ones blending or using wine grapes). The grapes deliver bold notes of blackberries and red currants with floral nuances. But, the part that wine aficionados might appreciate most about this wine-inspired Sour Ale is that its carbonation is ‘still.’ Or, in layman's terms: non-carbonated, like traditional wine.
The Slushy Slurper
Drekker Brewing - Braaaaaaaains Raspberry Strawberry Lime Smoothie Sour
You can find Drekker on most Top 5 lists for Smoothie Sours, Slushy Sours, Sundae Sours, or whatever new-fangled term beer nerds are using for fruit puréed brews as thick as Jamba Juice. Search Drekker’s social media, and you’ll find leagues of fans describing the Braaaaaaaains series like “can’t believe this is beer,” “belongs in a blender,” and, “I don’t even like beer, but I love this!”
The Cake Eater
Hoppin’ Frog Brewery - Peanut Butter Hazelnut Caramel Chocolate Cake Stout
Two words: ooey gooey. This drippy 8% ABV sipper is like a gourmet chocolate cake, layered with creamy, homemade peanut butter and hazelnut spread, and drizzled all over with warm caramel. Undertones of coffee and vanilla amp up each sip to delicious sensory overload.
With all its creamy, nutty opulence, it figures the 5-time GABF award-winners at Hoppin’ Frog initially brewed this dark treat for National Peanut Butter Day. Hand this Stout to your friend who thinks beer is too bitter, or to anyone who said they don’t like Dark Beer after only trying Guinness.
The Milkshake Monster
Mountains Walking Brewery - Opaque Thoughts Marshmallow Milkshake IPA
Classic American IPAs and West Coast IPAs have a reputation for being an acquired taste. Initially, those styles can taste joltingly bitter, piney, earthy, resinous, and malt-forward. The Milkshake IPA is none of those things.
Brewers dry-hop to draw juicy, fruity flavors from the hops and omit the harsh, bitter notes. They also use creamy sweeteners like lactose, vanilla, and more to give the brew a velvety shake character. Mountains Walking’s Opaque Thoughts series nails the style. The marshmallow variant is even more decadent than a typical Milkshake IPA, so one sip has the potential to hook anyone with a sweet tooth.
The Cider Sider
Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales - Havoc Graf
Wild Ales and Sour Ales often appeal to cider fans who crave tartness. A Graf is a Malted Cider hybrid that brewers primarily make with apple juice and a small batch of lightly hopped ale wort, blurring the lines between beer and cider.
The Wild Ale specialists at Black Project bring nature’s terroir to the mix by creating a spontaneously fermented take on the Graf style. It’s for cider fans who enjoy tanginess and rustic, fruity funk.
The Cocktail Connoisseur
Alesong Brewing & Blending - French 75 American Wild Ale/Saison
Cocktail-inspired Barrel Aged Wild Ales are superior to their liquor-based originals in a number of ways. They’re typically lower in ABV, making them more drinkable, more refreshing, and giving the drinker the ability to enjoy more sips at a time.
To provide a real speakeasy-quality tasting experience, Alesong matured their dry, French-style Saison in Old Tom gin barrels from top-shelf Ransom Spirits. They aged it for nearly nine months with Brett (wild yeast). The results beam with notes of citrus, juniper, and white pepper. Then, they aged it on fresh lemon zest to add a zing of tanginess to the spiced herbal flavors of the barrel. It would take a ton of muddling to reach the bright French 75 cocktail notes found in this brew.
If there’s someone in your life that you’ve always hoped would give craft beer another chance, these genre-defying brews may be the solution. If not, well then, there’s more deliciousness that you don’t even have to share!