Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

What Youth Drinks: Beer Our complete guide to the nuances of good beer

what youth drinks beer madewest brewing co ventura ca

Go to a restaurant these days and you’ll quickly realize the overwhelming number of beer choices there are. You have to be a sud-sommelier and have a doctorate in draughts to navigate this dizzying beer world. Go out with some bros for beers and the bartender will hand you a phone book-sized menu of brews — and God forbid you don’t know which one to get. I’m not saying the whole thing is bad or wrong — I’m just saying it’s fucking confusing. And that’s the downside to all the great beers being made: there’s this subculture of assholes who drink them. Instead of inclusion and welcoming all with a clink of the mugs, these guys tend to hold themselves superior because they’ve had fancier beers than you. Weirdos. But somewhere between a hick pounding warm, shitty beer and these pretentious beer snobs lies a beautiful area where you can enjoy some great beers, not spend a ton of money, and maybe learn a thing or two.

Now there are hundreds of different types, so let’s keep things simple. This is What Youth, not Beer Advocate. Within those hundreds of types, there are two main categories that all beers fit into, based on the type of yeast used: lagers and ales. Lets have a look.



Sometimes called fizzy/yellow/shitty beer. That’s unfair and sometimes inaccurate. Lager is German for “to store” — storing them in cold temps with a type of yeast that sinks to the bottom makes the beer more mild and clean. Drink lagers if you like white wine… really clean, mellow flavors.

PALE LAGERS: Hated by beer snobs, loved by Kenny Powers. Because of how they’re made, there’s not a lot of taste variety, but each brand has its fans. Budweiser, Coors, Corona, and Heineken all fall into this category. Perfect for an affordable fix, or hot beach days. If you want to step up, Coors Banquet wins awards and Sessions Lager is all malt.


AMBER LAGER: The blend of malts (aka flavor) has been pumped up and modified for the usual lager, making it darker with fuller body and more robust flavor. Yuengling Lager, Brooklyn Lager and Karl Strauss are great examples of the style.

PILSNER: The most popular beer style in the world because it’s pretty hoppy, easy to drink and light bodied. It’s for everybody. Crisp and bright with a lingering spicy bitterness thanks to the collision of noble hops and pilsner malt. The Czech do it best with Pilsner Urquell while the Germans feature a more subtle bitterness as found in Stiegl Pils. For American versions, check out the hopped up Firestone Pivo Pils and Victory Prima Pils. They rep east coast vs. west coast well.


Usually considered better than lagers. That’s unfair and sometimes inaccurate. Ale yeast tends to gather at the top and ferment faster. Drink ale if you like red wine… if you like richer and more complex flavors.

PALE ALE: The word “pale” is nearly worthless, because it’s simply there to distinguish it from porters. It’s just ale. These are nice, middle of the road, and balanced well between hops and malt. There are a million different types ranging from piney sap bombs to fruit juice forward beers, and the brewery picks the exact flavors. Sierra Nevada Pale, Dale’s Pale, Fullers London Pride, Saint Archer Pale are standouts for me.

INDIA PALE ALE: Back with the British were imperialists, they realized their troops in India needed beer to properly subdue a whole culture of people. But, India is a long way to ship English pale ale without it spoiling. So they added hops to make it last during the boat journey around the Cape. Besides being great for British soldiers, India Pale Ale is an extra flavorful and fuller version of a pale ale. They’re not for everyone, not beginner beers, and feature the flavors of everything from Cannabis to citrus and pine. Alpine, Stone, and Sculpin all are from San Diego, the hub of IPA’s, and they’re all delicious.


STOUT: The darkest of the dark, these get their crazy depth in flavor from roasting barley. The roasting makes these beers sweet, caramel-like, and extra rich. There’s also Porter, which is pretty much stout because a lot of the flavor comes from barley, but where stouts have roasted barley, porters do not. They are dark and sweet, sometimes bordering on bitter. Coconut Porter from Maui Brewing is fabulous, and Founders Breakfast stout is great. Stone Smoked Porter is unique with its light smokiness whereas Old Rasputin Stout is anything but, with a huge sweetness clocking in at 9 percent.

BROWN ALE: Clearly, brown in color. They are from Northern England. Drink them on cold foggy evenings if you like strong, nutty, and lightly hopped flavors. Alesmith Nut Brown is the best ever, and Newcastle is everywhere and so easy to drink.

WHEAT BEER: When wheat and the top-fermenting process of ales collide, beautiful golden magic happens. These beers are often cloudy and are often left unfiltered, with some yeast sediment in the bottle. Wheat beers come down to the yeast, which can create complicated fruity flavors like bananas, coriander, and pepper. Hefeweizen is to Germany what Witbiers are to Belgium, two different beers, each representing their respective countries. Hefe’s, sometimes served with a lemon (to cut through the yeast forward flavor), are full of banana, bubblegum and clove while Wits have more spice consisting of coriander and orange peel. True German Hefe’s like Franziskaner and Weihenstephaner are perfect examples of the style. Hoegaarden Belgian White is the traditional Belgian Wit, then there are amazing American examples like Allagash White and Saint Archer White, which is full of whole naval oranges.


Words by Paul Brewer.

WHAT YOUTH DRINKS: Sazerac An Evening Delight

Here’s a drink to reach for, the official cocktail from New Orleans: the Sazerac. With its ample bitters and sepia spirit, the drink is earthy and deep yet subtly sweet. While it’s served in an ice-cold glass, the unusually warm quality of rye whiskey gives me those fireside holiday vibes. It was made with absinthe…

What Youth Drinks: White Russian A Recipe Done Properly

Some consider it a “guilty pleasure,” the Dude often refers to it as a “Caucasian,” but the simple luxury of a White Russian isn’t lost on anyone who knows what’s good for them. It’s the kind of drink that seems implicitly appropriate at any time of day because of the coffee liqueur and milk…at least…

Radical Class: Some Weekend Reading A book about Australia (it’s that time again!) from an author we can’t get enough of

“Australia is mostly empty and a long way away. Its population is small and its role in the world consequently peripheral. It doesn’t have coups, recklessly overfish, arm disagreeable despots, grow coca in provocative quantities, or throw its weight around in a brash and unseemly manner. It is stable and peaceful and good. It doesn’t…

Five Songs For Your Next Surf Clip Here’s “Wonderwall” or something or other.

You ever sit down to enjoy the latest web clip and start off thinking, “Hey, the surfing here isn’t terrible.” But then, oh let’s say thirty-seconds into everything, you change your tone. Something’s not quite right. Tilting your head to the side, you raise your eyebrows a bit and say to yourself, “But the music…

What Youth Eats: Open Fire Soup When the thermometer drops, cook outside! Here’s how.

When you get close to Christmas and New Years it’s too easy to sink in to the hole of your living room, stuffed from eating and drinking heavily since Thanksgiving and let the anxieties of 12-hour family days and new year’s expectations to start creeping in. So if that is what actually ended up happening…

What Youth Drinks: Tropical Eggnog Happy Holidays, But First Drink this Punch     

To quote maybe every other person right now, “it’s been quite a year, right?” So much emotion! So much drama! Never the less we’re here, hopefully gathering around a table with a bunch of family to reconnect, catch up, etc.. But as beautiful as the idea of family togetherness is, 10-12 extended family members sitting…

what youth recommends top 5 books holiday break

Books we recommend for holiday break Spark up a fire and put some words through your mind for the holidays.

The next two weeks are an opportunity. A break. A moment to find clarity and inspiration. For most of us, in between the family gatherings and trips and travel and chaos there is a year wrapping up, and an opportunity to squeak in one or two more books to our count for the year. And believe…

what youth radical class cocktails with paul brewer

What Youth Drinks Building Blocks to a Great Cocktail

Did you know making cocktails is as easy as 1-2-3? Well, it can be with Booze-Acid-Sugar. In this brave new world of crazy ass cocktails, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all these circus dick concoctions. Artisanal aperitifs, flavored vodkas, and flair-full garnishes are all real fancy, but sometimes they cloud the basics. Because, when…

Radical Class: What Youth Reads Homage to Catalonia: a book seven decades young and still topical!

The Spaniards are good at many things, but not at making war. All foreigners are alike appalled by their inefficiency, above all their maddening unpunctuality. The one word that no foreigner can avoid learning is mañana.—George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia I bring books with me when I go on vacation for two reasons. One, I struggle…

Radical Class: “The Center Will Not Hold” Definitely watch the new Netflix documentary on writer Joan Didion

In a world full of chaos, absurdity, tragedy and Stranger Things, it’s always nice to find some larger perspective in a good old fashioned documentary. And the latest on writer Joan Didion is that. Few names have encouraged an entire generation of people and writers the way she has. And just a few minutes into the…

Radical Class, What Youth Drinks, Paul Brewer

WHAT YOUTH DRINKS: COCCI AMERICANO An Easy, Inexpensive way to Live that Riviera High Life

I snagged a bottle of this Cocci Americano stuff after seeing it on the shelf at a cocktail bar in Long Beach, CA. It was an impromptu buy — I didn’t know what it was or what to do with it, but thought I’d figure it out. Experiment! Cocktail jazz improvisation! While I’ll save the…

Radical Class, Berlin, Adam Warren

Radical Class: Hope from the Road Just when you thought it was all over: there is Berlin  

Turns out there is still hope out there. Out there, beyond your day-to-day, somewhere out on the road its not all politics, hurricanes, bad vibes and bad memes. In fact, the other day I found myself way outside the bad lands somewhere in Berlin. Just off the plane I walked around the Mitte District. I meandered…

Sign up for letters from What Youth

By enabling this page, you are acknowledging and accepting our privacy terms and conditions.