At last the day has come for Alan, one student in our ethics group. He is old enough to drink and we are all going out to celebrate. This is a turning point in a young life and most take part in alcohol on their birthday. It is an adult party this time and not a college bash. We are going to drink beer to save money and because it appeals to most tastes. Or so we think. We will ask the bartender his opinion on a light beer for young drinkers. No heavy ales, etc. or anything that really tastes like beer. Ha!

The bartender had a few suggestions from a web site called Crack a Cold One, and we can’t resist telling his secrets. He said that people on the fence about beer don’t like it because they are drinking the wrong brand. A top choice of young adults is Corona light served with a wedge of lime. It is refreshing and easy to imbibe; it won’t bust the bank or the waistline. “My own son likes Purple Haze, a lager brewed with raspberries for a great fruity aroma. It has a slight sweet taste and fun color. Kids won’t get a beer belly on this one at 128 calories.”

Moving down the line, next on his list is a crisp, light beer called Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. It has a very nice natural lemonade flavor. If the students want something more sophisticated than Mike’s Hard, he said, then this is the route to take. For real drinkability, they often opt for Bud Light Lime. It pleases the most picky newbie beer drinker. The bar stocks Shock Top which is not yet well known, but when you try it, it has a wonderful citrus flavor. It is at its best when chilled as are most light beers and nothing is comparable for smooth texture. Blue Moon is another Belgian white beer low in calorie made with Valencia orange peels. It is a bit spicy and tangy, making it an interesting choice.

We got quite a beer education that day plus lots of great stories and photos to post on Facebook. We also learned about Arbita strawberry lager made with real juice (added after the filtration process). It is sweet and flavorful, and smells divine. It is a non-beer drinker crowd pleaser. Beer beginners also enjoy Miller High Life, known as “the champagne of beers.” It is an apt descriptor given its highly carbonated taste that goes down crisp and smooth. An alternative is Samuel Adam’s Whitewater IPA that can be made into beer cocktails to disguise the hoppy taste. It has a lovely undertone of apricots and exudes a mild spiciness. Last on the bartender’s list of light, summer beers is Landshark Lager that is highly refreshing and super drinkable for any age. You feel like you are sitting by the beach on a tropical island.

Largely due to the beer lesson and extraordinary unexpected tasting experience, we had a great time and began our beer drinking life as a group.