Can I just chime in here as a long time beer drinker? Have you ever noticed that the split between beer lovers and haters is largely gender specific? This thread is a pretty good indicator of that. More than half of the people who have responded that they don't like beer are women, while the beer lovers are more than half men. While I've observed this for several decades, I've never seen a good explanation of it. A female acquaintance of mine back when I was still a sailor put it down to the fact that men are inherently idiots, so OF COURSE we'd prefer to drink swill.
Also, those who think that American beer is all terrible simply hasn't visited a liquor store here in a very long time. I think the variety and quality stacks up against the best beer anywhere else in the world.
While there's been a good selection available since the Germans and Belgians first emigrated here in the mid 1800s, Prohibition put a damper on things until about the 1970s. After that, though, there's always been a very good selection here for those who were willing to look. Heck, even Walmart carries a decent selection these days.
A very, very small sampler of American brews that I really like:
* Almost anything brewed by Summit Brewing
* Almost anything brewed by James Page
, even after they were bought out by Stephen's Point Brewing.
* Fat Tire Amber Ale
* Anchor Steam
* Polygamy Porter
(Tagline: "Why have just one?")
Beers that I don't like? Anything too sweet. I pretty much can't stand the fruitier ones like Blue Moon Belgian White
, so I stay well away from them. Instead, I tend to look for beers with strong English, Irish, German, or Czech heritage.
Beer isn't necessarily an acquired taste. Clearly, though, there's a wide range of beer geared for different people.