My First Beer – Am I alone?

I wish I could say that the first time I tasted beer that the heavens opened up and that I heard angels sing.  The reality was quite the opposite.  It was more like the can opened and I began to cringe.  Most kids get their first sip of a beer from their dad before they’re even able to read.  My story is a little different.

I was probably still in Jr. High because it was while my parents were still married.  My brother (three years older) and I were staying at a friend of the family’s house (I didn’t know it at the time…but he was going to be my step-dad one day) while my parents were off doing something. While staying the night, I had my first opportunity to taste of the nectar that I love so much now.

My parents didn’t drink.  They weren’t against drinking beer…they just didn’t drink. So I had never been around alcohol.  I had seen my friend Coy’s parents drink beer all the time, and I was very intrigued.  But I  never had the chance to try it until then.

I still remember the experience like it was yesterday. After a few beers, all the adults had gone to bed for the night (well passed out), and my brother and I had free reign on the house.  After watching a porno (I forgot to mention this was pre-Christ), the following conversation ensued:

My brother: “Have you ever drank a beer.”
Me: “No.”
My brother: “I have.  I drink beer at my friends house all the time.  His dad doesn’t care.”
Me: “What does it taste like?”
My brother: “It tastes really good.  You should try it.”

At this point we went into the other room and got one of the left over beers.  The tall silver can seemed to glow in the light of the tv-lit room.  My mind began to race with excitement at the thought of tasting this adult-only beverage. As I began to lift the warm half-drank beer to my lips, I had images of grandeur in my head.  But I was snapped back into reality as the warm cat’s piss flavor filled my mouth.

Fighting back my gag reflex, I did what any Jr. High boy would do in my same situation.  I told my brother that it tasted awesome and continued to finish off the can.  It was nearly a decade before I would try beer again.

We could talk all day about the things that are wrong with this story (and probably should do that with a therapist at some point), but I’m more curious as to what everyone else’s first beer experience was like.  What was your first beer?   Did you like beer from the start?  Who introduced you to the world of beer? Inquireing minds want to know.

  • Brad Ruggles

    Dude, that’s an awesome story! I’m sure so many people can relate to that.

    I remember my dad letting me have a sip of his beer as a kid. I was probably 8 or 10 and it was a Bud Light. It was NASTY! Like you, I wondered how anyone could drink that stuff (I still do actually).

    I actually got back into beer when I tried a Blue Moon a couple years ago. For a while, that was all I drank. These days I’ve expanded and my pallet has changed to the point where I rarely have many lighter flavored beers and now prefer brown or pale ales. Although I’ll drink a good Blue Moon if the mood and meal calls for it.

    Brad Ruggless last blog post..It’s Official – My Wife is Now A Blogger!

  • CJ Mills

    Middle School – summer party – I was a late bloomer ;)

    CJ Millss last blog post..Dear Jadyn…

  • Clayton Bell

    I think I had a sip of something from my dad when I was 10 or so and hated it. Drank Icehouse in High school once or twice to be cool, but when I tipped it back it was a malt liquor called St. Ides, or Ives, I can’t remember…

    It wasn’t until college and fraternity life that I started to like beer…Killian’s Red. Never went back to the piss (you said it first)-colored stuff. Everything I drink is dark, if I can help it.

    BTW, this post read like a comedy routine. How about the casualness of “watching a porno.” Classic!

    Ah, God help me as a youth pastor!

  • Steve Scott

    My first sip was when I was four or so. A beer drinker across the street gave one to my dad once and I had a sip. I still remember it, Coors I think.

    But my real start came when I was 17 in the left field bleachers of an Oakland A’s game in 1981. A bunch of guys from the church I attended went, and one guy was old enough to buy. They had these “buckets” of beer (32 oz, I think) with a lid that had perforated holes to pour out into plastic cups. It was passed around, so I took it. It was… GAG.. Old Milwaukee. Nasty stuff. I became friends with the guy that was old enough, so he became my spotter for a few years. Baseball games were Hamms or Old Milwaukee, and other times he spotted us Killians Red.

    The taste of the sub-premium stuff was nasty overall, as beer went, but it was tolerable, so I drank it. I didn’t know any better until later when I was exposed to better beer. The carbonation was kind of refreshing, even with the bad beer. You had to drink it fast before it went flat. The taboo of underage drinking added some excitement, and I’m sure made up for the taste. But, I’ll always remember the first one at the game. I probably had about six ounces total that first time.

    Steve Scotts last blog post..God’s Law? -or- God’s Law! – Followup

  • Lisa Ruggles

    As a little girl, I remember my Dad drinking beer and I loved the smell. He became a Christian when I was about 8 and then it was never in the house again. When I was about 23 I was offered a Bud Light on the golf course. I about spit it out. That stuff is nasty! I still don’t love beer, but I like to take a sip of my hubby’s. He is always trying something new. I think I will stick to my wine! Am I allowed to say that on a beer blog? :)

    Lisa Ruggless last blog post..Some days…..

  • GregQualls

    It’s perfectly fine to talk about wine…It’s just not my forte. I like beer…so I focus on beer. But I say drink what you like (if it’s got booze then even better).

  • Clayton Bell

    I thought @bradruggles was a little smoother than meeting girls by offering them Bud Light on the golf course, but I guess we know better now thanks to @lisaruggles.

    Though, I guess it did work out for them… :-)

  • Fernando Rodríguez

    After reading all these stories, I feel like the 40 Year Old Virgin! Let me tell you why…

    I grew up in Puerto Rico and came to Christ when I was 12. In most Hispanic countries, Jesus and alcohol don’t mix. After listening repeatedly that those who drank where heading to hell, I have to admit I was never “tempted” to do so.

    It was not until I moved to Florida that I was able to overcome many of the legalistic beliefs that I grew up with. For my 39th birthday I had the opportunity to have my first beer. One year later I remain a strong Christian and enjoy the freedom in Christ to sit down and enjoy a good imported brew.

    Praise be to God!

  • Roger Allen

    My first beer was a Strohs (popular WVA beer of the 70’s). My grandfather gave it to me when I was 13. I just about puked. By 16, I was drunk 3 nights a week (binge drinker) After coming to Christ at 23, I didn’t have another beer until after college in 1991. My beer of choice is Yuengling Black and Tan (about 2 a day).

    Loved the article about bitter beer units. I love the darks and bitter beers

  • GregQualls

    @Fernando: I have to say that I thought the same way until God opened my eyes. He just did it a little faster than he did for your story. But I’m glad that you’ve joined the ranks.

    @Roger: I love hearing stories of Jesus turning something that once trapped a person into something that can be used to enjoy Him more. Glad you liked the article about IBU’s. It helps keep me from buying beers that I know I won’t like (I still having gained a taste for really bitter beers).

  • Clayton Bell

    Welcome to the internet, Fernando!

    @Roger: big fan of YB&T myself! We gotta get Greg on it…

  • Rrg3

    Im drinking one of my first beers right now : ) My roommate is gone, so I thought Id try one since I don't want to do it to look cool, I just like the taste. I have never had a full bottle, just sips of the drink's of friends. It's way better when you drink a full bottle! I love the bitter, sweet, fermented taste! And it's so bubble-y! AND, it comes with so many different feelings. First I was tingly, then warm, then hyper, now I am calm and relaxed….im just a one women party!

    • Rrg3

      … 20 though, so does that just make this totally unacceptable?! if yes, oooops :/

  • JCCates

    My first beer wasn't a full beer. It was barely a sip, but it was an awful sip of room temperature Pabst Blue Ribbon I had while reffing a Beer Pong game at the University of Kansas. I promptly swore off beer forever (even if I didn't have a moral objection) until a buddy bought me a Corona, appropriately, in Juarez, Mexico.