We have a huge (walmart size) liquor store just a few miles away from us. They have an unbelievable selection of artisan beer there, and will let you mix and match a 6 pack of any bottles. I highly recommend this approach if you have the resources! I've found beer to be unbelievably complex and no two beers are anywhere close to the same. I'm personally drawn to the IPAs and unfiltered wheat beers, and have not had much luck with the darker ales and stouts.
There are many from the lists below that I'm going to add :)
One I keep going back to is Harp Lager. Very smooth and easy to drink, but has real flavor when compared to the gross bud/coors/miller crap.
Well, it really isn't fair for any beer to be classified as a "beginner" beer. Each beer brewed has it's place on the palate of life's experiences. If anything, a beginner beer is the one you drink first because you want to enjoy ALL the flavor that it has to offer. After a few sips, you aren't going to get much new experience from the second beer. So really, all the good beers are beginner beers, and all the cheap watery beers are just chasers. I'm not going to make a list of beers that I would allow a newbie to try and beers that I would tell them not to drink. I might tell newbies to drink the coronas while I tend to the imports and micro-brews, but that's just because I don't like corona. I don't like corona not because it's a bad beer, but because it is boring.
That said, when it's hot outside and you want to cool down, coronas, XXes, Coors/Bud lights are all refreshing, if somewhat tasteless and watery. If you want some flavor in a lighter body, lighter drinking brew, try a "saison" or a "farmhouse" ale. IPAs can be refreshing in the heat as well, such as Racer 5 IPA (one of my personal favorites). But beware if you are a beginner beer drinker that the IPA may be too bitter or sharp for you. This is because of all the hops used. I might move up slowly from a Pale Ale to an Extra-Pale Ale, then to an ESB (extra special bitter), moving up the ladder in hop content before reaching the IPA. From there, if you like the bitter side of beer drinking, you can try double-IPAs and maybe a barleywine style. Barleywine ales are full bodied, sometimes "chewy" in texture, and can be aged like wine.
I would also recommend that a newbie to beer drinking try a porter. It is a heavier beer meant more to be drunk in he winter time. Sometimes chocolatey, malty, or even smokey in flavor, the porter tends to have a sweeter, softer palate. Newcastle, while not exactly a porter, is on it's way down that road and might be a good clue if you'd enjoy a darker porter or even a stout.
While I don't like hefeweizen myself, wheat beers definitely belong on the table next to a tasty sandwich on a summer's day. But I will not tolerate these malt liquor drinking parading as beers. Please don't "fruit" your beer and be very wary of those sweet "wine cooler" drinks. They are basically headaches in a bottle, filled with sugar and low quality alcohol. These should NOT be classified as beginner alcoholic drinks, but should be classified as a blight upon our liquor store shelves.
Beer is beautiful. Beer is community. Beer is born from the experience. Beer is a million dead little yeast bugs floating around in their own piss and shit and god damn do they taste good. Enjoy in good health, and whatever you do, NEVER get behind the wheel of a car after you've had more than one or two (depending on your weight) beers.
I tried a Hefewiezen at a place called Wingnutz, a Utah chain? I think it was called Boulevard Hefewizen quite good.
Also, went to Squatters in Salt Lake for the first time in ten years, I forget what beer I had but it was some sort of Amber, it was also delicious.
I am certainly not a first time beer drinker. (Long before my days in the "church"... I drank, quite frequently).. but if someone was trying alcohol for the 1st time, I would suggest looking into either anything by Bell's, Great Lakes Brewing Company or Founder's Brewery.
yeah most sam adams beers are pretty good. they have 30 something varieties though, and I've only tried a few.
seeing this group made me feel like I can really contribute something to the website! hahaha. I would reccommend the following beers, for people who seek truly good-tasting drinks.
Shock Top (original wheat)
Shock Top Rasberry
Fat Tire (new belgium)
Mighty Arrow (new belgium)
SUNSHINE (new belgium)------everyone I know loves this beer
Moose Drool (any variety--this distillery knows what they're doing :) )