Best Beer for Beginners or New Drinkers (Tasty & Easy To Drink!)

Every future beer drinker has to start somewhere! So what kinds of beer are best for beginners? 

Beginner beer drinkers should start with well-known beers with good reputations, such as Sam Adams Boston Lager and Blue Moon Belgian White. The best starter beers are mild and lean toward a more basic flavor profile. Try a variety of beers and across a range of styles to find your preference. It may also be helpful to start with lower ABV beers.

Keep reading for more on how to get started trying beer and which beers to try first. 

What is a good beer to start with?

While everyone’s tastes are different, it’s generally best to start with a mild and fairly basic (which doesn’t have to mean boring!) beer before moving to stronger-flavored or potentially experimental offerings. 

There are many styles of beer to consider, starting with the largest category of lagers versus ales. A lager tends to have a more crisp, refreshing profile, whereas ales can be richer. The varieties therein – such as India Pale Ales (IPAs), pilsners, porters, stouts, and many, many more – each have their own flavor profiles and characteristics. 

To start learning about the vast world of beer, begin with some of the well-known, well-regarded representations of any given style. You’ll notice Guinness below; while some people may struggle with such a dark beer in the beginning, it is a tremendous benchmark for Irish stouts. 

Some beginner beer suggestions include: 

  • Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • Blue Moon Belgian White
  • Guinness
  • Allagash White
  • Modello Especial
  • Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing

…And more, covered later in this article. 

How do beginners drink beer?

There are a couple of ways for beginners to get started trying various kinds of beer. Regardless of the avenue(s) you take, you’re likely to run into a beer or two that you really, really dislike. Don’t give up! Keep trying different styles of beer and, with time and practice, you’ll be able to pick the perfect beer for yourself like a pro.

One way to try out different kinds of beer is to get a ‘pick six’ at the grocery store or bottle shop. In a lot of stores, bottles or cans of beer are sold individually, and the shopper can assemble their own 6-pack without committing to six bottles of one kind of beer. You will get a good idea of what is available in your local store in addition to trying six different kinds of beer in the privacy of your home. 

Another opportunity to try various beers is to ask for a sample or two at a bar or brewery. Choose one or two beers off the bar’s list, and more likely than not the bartender will pour approximately an ounce of each for you to try. You can start compiling a mental Rolodex of how various beers taste through this method. As a courtesy to the establishment, keep the number of samples low and, as an added bonus, order one you sampled (but only if you like it!). 

Some local breweries host occasional tastings, usually to premier a seasonal or new beer. Attending these tastings is a great way to familiarize yourself with a particular brewery’s style. 

The most important aspect of trying out all kinds of beer is to experiment responsibly. Be aware that beer can range from 4% ABV up into the 8-9% ABV range (and some go into the teens!). Take note of the ABV before consuming. Pace yourself by spacing out your drinks, drinking plenty of water, and eating something. Never drive drunk and remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving. 

The best tasting beer for non-beer drinkers and beginners

There are thousands of beers out there for non-beer drinkers and beginners to try, so we’ve tried to narrow down a list of a few that are widely available to get started. 

This list covers a number of popular styles but is not exhaustive. Many areas have great breweries that only distribute locally, and we’ll also be skipping over heavy-hitter styles like tripels, imperials, and barrel-aged beers.

These are our top picks of the best-tasting beer for beginners: 

  • Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • Blue Moon Belgian White
  • Guinness Draught
  • Allagash White
  • Modelo Especial Mexican Lager
  • Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing
  • Left Hand 1265 Pilsner
  • Abita Purple Haze Raspberry Lager
  • Miller High Life
  • Founders Robust Porter
  • New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale

1. Samuel Adams Boston Lager 

  • Brand: Samuel Adams Boston Brewing 
  • From: Boston, Massachusetts
  • ABV: 5%
  • Taste: Made with two-row barley and German Noble hops. Slightly sweet, roasted with notes of caramel and honey. Smooth, dry finish with a pleasant citrusy bitterness.
  • Why you might like it: The Boston Lager has a caramel-y and spicy taste with a smooth finish.
  • Where you can find it: Drizly, grocery stores, bars/restaurants, and some local bottleshops.

Want to know more about Sam Adams’ flagship brew? Check out this article!

2.  Blue Moon Belgian White

  • Brand: Blue Moon 
  • From: Denver, Colorado
  • ABV: 5.4%
  • Taste: A wheat beer brewed with Valencia orange peel for a subtle sweetness and bright, citrus aroma.
  • Why you might like it: Blue Moon has a distinctive orange taste with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. If ordered at a bar, it is often served with an orange slice. 
  • Where you can find it: Drizly, grocery stores, bars/restaurants, and some local bottleshops.

Have you ever noticed Blue Moon is always served with an orange slice? Read this article to learn why!

3.  Guinness Draught

  • Brand: Guinness
  • From: Dublin, Ireland 
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • Taste: Perfect balance of bitter and sweet with malt and roast characters. Chocolate and coffee notes with a creamy and smooth mouthfeel.
  • Why you might like it: This is a great dark beer to start with because of its medium-light body and chocolate notes. We recommend trying it on draft at a bar before trying it in the bottle or can.
  • Where you can find it: Drizly, bars and some restaurants, grocery stores.

Want to know more about Guiness? Read this article for a complete exploration of this beer’s velvety chocolate and coffee flavor.

4. Allagash White

  • Brand: Allagash Brewing Company
  • From: Portland, Maine
  • ABV: 5.2%
  • Taste: Allagash White features a refreshing balance of citrus and spice. Wheat, coriander, and Curaçao orange peel round out the flavor of this pale straw-colored, hazy beer.
  • Why you might like it: A soft and easy-drinking white ale with orange and spice flavors that pair well with many foods.
  • Where you can find it: Drizly, some bars/restaurants, grocery stores, and some bottleshops.

5.  Modelo Especial Mexican Lager

  • Brand: Modelo
  • From: Mexico City, Mexico
  • ABV: 4.4%
  • Taste: Well-balanced taste and light hop character with a crisp, clean finish. Modelo Especial is characterized by an orange blossom honey aroma with a hint of herb.
  • Why you might like it: Crisp and refreshing, Modelo Especial is great for a hot day or alongside spicy or grilled foods.
  • Where you can find it: Drizly, some bars/restaurants, grocery stores.

Want to know more about Modelo? Check out this article for its tasting notes, apperance, and the best foods to pair with it.

6.  Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing

  • Brand: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • From: Chico, California
  • ABV: 6.7%
  • Taste: Juicy hops and silky malt meet in a Hazy Little Thing with fruit-forward flavor, modest bitterness, and a smooth finish.
  • Why you might like it: A great introduction to the balance of bitter and fruit that IPAs offer, the Hazy Little Thing has hoppy but not overly piney qualities. 
  • Where you can find it: Drizly, grocery stores, some bottleshops.

7.  Left Hand 1265 Pilsner

  • Brand: Left Hand Brewing Company
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
  • ABV: 5.2%
  • Taste: Light bready malts reminiscent of a freshly baked baguette. Delicate hop notes of citrus with a subtle spicy character.
  • Why you might like it: The 1265 is a crisp, thirst-quenching beer with iconic pilsner qualities.
  • Where you can find it: Drizly and some bottleshops.

8.  Abita Purple Haze Raspberry Lager

  • Brand: Abita Brewing
  • From: Covington, Louisiana
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • Taste: Brewed with real raspberries added after filtration. It is brewed with pilsner and wheat malts and Vanguard hops. The berries add a fruity aroma, tartly sweet taste, and subtle purple color and haze…you may see fruit pulp in the beer.
  • Why you might like it: The sweetness of the raspberries plays really well with the pilsner’s crisp qualities.
  • Where you can find it: Drizly, some grocery stores, and some bottleshops.

9.  Miller High Life

  • Brand: Miller Brewing Company
  • From: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • ABV: 4.6%
  • Taste: A crisp, easy-drinking lager brewed with a proprietary blend of malted barley, hops from the Pacific Northwest, and Miller yeast.
  • Why you might like it: The ‘Champagne of Beers’ is light, refreshing, and clean. It pairs easily with a variety of foods or watching the big game with buddies. 
  • Where you can find it: Drizly, grocery stores, some bars.

Curious how a mass-market beer made this list? Learn what makes High Life stand out in this article.

10.  Founders Robust Porter

  • Brand: Founders Brewing Company
  • From: Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • ABV: 6.5%
  • Taste: Chocolate and caramel notes with slight hops. Full-flavored and silky smooth.
  • Why you might like it: This is great for people who like rich chocolate desserts and strong coffee. It’s creamy and bold but not too heavy for a beginner. Take note of the elevated ABV and consider having just one to start.
  • Where you can find it: Some bottleshops and grocery stores.

11.  New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale

  • Brand: New Belgium Brewing
  • From: Fort Collins, Colorado
  • ABV: 5.2%
  • Taste: A flavorful, balanced beer with a fresh herbal hop profile, fine malt presence and a touch of fruity yeast.
  • Why you might like it: An approachable and classic amber ale with some citrus notes and a biscuity, nutty flavor.
  • Where you can find it: Drizly, some bars/restaurants, grocery stores.

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