Just because the craft beer craze is blowing up in time for summer’s brewery tours and foodie festivals doesn’t mean you have to waste precious day-drinking time actually learning anything about beer. Don’t let your crippling fear of choosing the wrong beer stop you from jumping on the bandwagon! Just fudge your way to impressing even the most pretentious cute, bearded, rustic wooden table-building, home brewing banjo player with your selective palate.
Listen to What Other People Are Ordering
Before throwing some bows at the bar, hang back and observe what your fellow patrons are ordering. It is imperative to stand close enough to the bar to hear what people are ordering yet far enough away to look like you’re not even thinking about ordering yet. Whatever you do, do not make the rookie mistake of jumping on the bandwagon and ordering the most popular beer. This applies doubly if it’s a light-colored beer (just look at the glass). Everyone is ordering that beer because of its “drinkability” but they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Keep your eyes peeled for someone who confidently orders the first non-light beer you see. Take a peek at the bartender as she hands off the beer, raise your eyebrows, and shake your head while smiling. Order the same beer and say something like, “I’m really impressed this place carries Hella Good, even though we’re on the East Coast.”
Choose TWO Beers
The quickest way to look like a brewski rookie is to flat-out ask for a recommendation. Play it a little closer to your chest. If you make it seem like you need a deciding vote between two local brews, suddenly you’re just a couple of pros talkin’ shop.
When the bartender asks you what you’d like, wait a couple seconds while staring intently at the menu. Then, exhale a bit of breath and allow an amusedly pained look to cross your face. Admit to him/her that there are, in fact, TWO beers that you’re deciding between. The phrasing of this is of utmost importance! Be sure to use a phrase such as “debating between” or “torn between.” This elevated language will imply a hefty knowledge base that is crowding your brain with facts and making it nearly impossible to deem one beer more worthy. Stick to the statement and above all, don’t ask for help deciding. The bartender won’t be able to resist weighing in. It no longer matters what you pick because you’ve already established yourself as an expert with discriminating tastes!
Choose a Beer with a Wordy, Precious, or Hateful Title
Any craft beer worth it’s salt should have a wordy name that means almost nothing. Avoid anything with a word that actually describes a real flavor, like “lemon” or “fruit”. Words that look like they might be names of obscure towns are usually a safe bet. However, be sure to AVOID anything that sounds too New England, like Sam Adams, which is gross and unacceptable.
Beers with misogynistic names are always a good call, since you, a woman, wouldn’t shout something offensive in a hip crowded bar unless you knew from experience that it was worth it. People will admire your bravery for ordering the Dumb Bitch IPA and assume you’re a real hophead. They’ll say “That lady just said ‘Dumb Bitch.’ She must be an expert!” Who know, they might even copy you!
If the name is overly long and sounds like the name of a show dog or race horse, GO FOR IT. This summer’s offerings include Fancy Dancy Takes a Bow Brown Ale, Old Misty Blue-Eyed Mud Dog Lager, Dumb Bitch IPA, etc.
That little number next to the name of the beer is the alcohol content. If all else fails, and you find yourself choking under the pressure, simply choose the beer with the highest number. If nothing else, you’ll look like a badass for going for it and soon you’ll be too drunk to care what anyone thinks. Bottoms up!