Too many times before I’ve seen a noob walk into a craft beer bar and feel like a complete tool by their actions or feel totally overwhelmed and have a bad experience. Sometimes I feel really bad for those uninitiated into the craft beer world other times I’m the guy giving those noobs the side eye. I want to spare you the embarrassment because yes a craft beer bar can be a little daunting so here are five tips to shed the stench of noob.
1. Don’t ask for more than two taster samples
It should not take you more than two samples to know which beer you want. It’s a bar not a brewery tour with free drinks, get your stuff together and if you don’t know by the second sample go with an old faithful or a wild card.
2. If the bar is busy don’t ask the bartender about every beer
I’ve seen it too many times on a crowded Friday or Saturday night and there comes the guy that wants to ask 30 questions on 6 beers with a full bar waiting to be served. Take your phone out of your pocket and look it up yourself if you’re really dying to know if that beer was dry hopped with citra or cascade and above all have some courtesy.
3. Don’t ever compare craft beer to macro beer
Every time I’m at my local bar I hear people either order a beer saying things like “I like Blue Moon. What do you recommend” or “this beer tastes a little like Shock Top.” If you have that outlook you’re in the wrong place. I’ve heard a number of bartenders tell people “you’re in the wrong type of bar, try the bar down the street” when someone talks like that. Save yourself the embarrassment and never ever mention macro beer unless you’re talking about how shitty it is, even then everyone there already knows that.
4. Don’t ask the bartender what he/she recommends
If you do not know the bartender well, never, ever ask this. Why? The bartender does not know your tastes and he/she could like that smoke beer that tastes like water run through an ash tray. Is that what you want? Probably not. Pull the phone out of your pocket and do your research.
5. Don’t order cocktails
I will never understand why someone would go into a craft beer bar and order a cocktail. I don’t care if its a simple rum and coke, don’t do it. You’re in a BEER BAR! If you were dragged there by your friend and you don’t think you like beer, let your hair down and give beer a shot. Don’t be that person to walk up to a craft beer bartender and ask for the French Martini. Instead be honest with your bartender and come out of the noob closet and have a little dialogue.