When Does Beer Start To Taste Good? (Flavor, Age, and Preferences)

If you’ve ever been to a bar before you know how popular beer is, but some people don’t enjoy it at first. It may seem like everyone else likes the taste, so you may be asking yourself: when does beer start to taste good? 

First-time drinkers may be put off by the bitter and intense flavor of popular beers. While there is no specific age at which beer will become palatable, factors such as your age, the range and styles of beer you have tried, and your overall exposure to the flavor of beer over time will affect how long it takes for your to enjoy your pint.

If you’re still dubious that beer can be delicious, keep on reading! I’ll be going over if beer is as popular as it seems, why you may hate it now, and if there is hope for you still to one day enjoy beer.

When do people start liking the taste of beer?

Despite what you may think about the flavor of beer now, it is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. Many love the variety of flavors different beers provide, from hoppy to sour and even sweet.

While incredibly popular, many people’s first experience with beer is not always pleasant. Its intense and often bitter flavor can be incredibly offputting, particularly for younger people. However, the age at which you start to enjoy beer is entirely up to you.

The factors that impact if you like the taste of beer include you:

  • age
  • experiences trying different types of beer
  • exposure

Fun Fact: In 2018, the world drank over 298 billion bottles of beer. That’s equivalent to filling the Tokyo Dome with beer 152 times.

Does anyone actually like the taste of beer?

If you hate the taste of beer, you may be wondering if everyone is pulling a prank on you. Does anyone actually enjoy this bitter flavor? The truth is that, yes, many people enjoy the taste of beer. 

Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the United States. For example, in 2018, more than 20 million gallons of beer were consumed by Americans. With the variety of flavors and types, there is a beer out there for almost anyone. 

No matter your flavor preferences, there is likely a beer out there that you will enjoy. Over time as you grow to love the taste of beer, you’ll find yourself gravitating to different types, whereas initially, you might think that all beer tastes the same. With practice, you will begin to distinguish all the unique flavors different beers have. 

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At what age does beer taste good?

Just like trying a sip of your dad’s black coffee when you were a kid, that first sip of beer can send you reeling back in disgust. Overall, the age at which beer tastes good depends heavily on when you start drinking beer.

As with dad’s coffee and other forms of alcoholic drinks, the more often you drink it, the more likely you will learn to love it. Therefore the earlier you start drinking beer, the sooner you will begin to enjoy the taste – assuming you drink it with some regularity. 

For many Americans, their first legal drink often occurs at a bar to celebrate their 21st birthday. This usually entails a fun cocktail to start the night. Beer for many young people is not their first choice of alcohol. After a few months, however, the pull of beer may grab ahold of the young 20-year-olds – either because their friends enjoy it or the high cost of cocktails forces them into a less expensive alternative.

Why does beer taste so bad at first?

It is very rare that someone takes their first sip of beer and immediately loves it. For most, beer is an acquired taste like many other alcoholic drinks. 

The yeast, malts, and hops in beer make a unique, intense flavor unlike anything you may have had before. The bitter flavoring instantly repels you, much like black coffee. As you continue to try it, however, you will begin to acquire a taste for beer. 

An exception to this may be a genetic predisposition to not liking beer. Very similar to how certain people think cilantro tastes like soap, for some, beer may forever be disgusting no matter how many times they try it. 

Fortunately, an ingrained dislike of beer is not very common. Odds are you’ll be able to find a beer you love over time!

Does beer taste better as you get older?

Since beer is often an acquired taste, beer will likely taste better as you get older. If you’ve tried beer hundreds of times and it still does not taste good, it’s possible once you reach 40-50 years of age, you might start to enjoy it.

This is because once you pass 40 years of age, your taste buds begin to shrink, making it harder to taste flavors. This might allow you to finally enjoy the taste of beer. You will still be able to taste, just not as well as before, which will dull the intense flavor of the beer. 

If you don’t want to wait that long, the best course of action is to simply keep trying different types of beer until you acquire the taste and/or find a beer that matches your personal preferences. 

Can you force yourself to like beer?

Acquiring a taste for beer is possible, but you cannot force yourself to like beer if that doesn’t work. Some people just simply prefer a glass of wine over a pint of beer

While you cannot force yourself to enjoy the flavor of beer if you’re destined not to like it, you can help yourself acclimate to it more quickly by drinking regularly. I’m not saying go out a get drunk every night, but try to have a drink or two a week to let yourself get used to the taste.

You may also want to try out different styles of beer until you find one you love. There are many different types and flavors, each with its own flavor profile. You’ll find yourself craving a cold one eventually. 

What is a good beer for a first time drinker?

If you are still hesitant about taking your first sip of beer, or you’ve hated everything you’ve tried thus far – don’t fret.

Here is a short list of a few beers that may be palatable to a first-time drinker:  

  • Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy – A great first choice for a hot summer day. If you like Mike’s Hard Lemonade, this is a great next step to working your way up to beer. 
  • Bud Light Lime – Bud Light is very common as it’s one of the easiest beers to drink because of its very tame flavor. Add in the hints of lime flavor and you got yourself an easy first-time beer on your hands. 
  • Blue Moon – A classic orange-based Belgian White beer, this one is easy to sip with a light and fresh flavor. As a bonus, most restaurants serve this beer with a slice of orange on the glass! 
  • Abita Strawberry Lager – If you like sweet drinks, this lager with a strong flavor of strawberries might be perfect for you. If strawberries aren’t your thing, Abita has several other fruit-based brews to try from, such as Purple Haze with its raspberry flavor.

Don’t give up after just one bad experience with beer. Keep trying and find what you love!