Imagine your wife or girlfriend joining you in your quest for amazing beers. Making drives across the state lines just to get beer not available in your state. Texting you when your favorite brewery just tapped something you’ve been waiting for (because she follows the brewery on Facebook and Twitter). Imagine her saying, “Of course you should buy that $300 craft beer order, there are some rare ones in there and that seems like a pretty good deal for all you’re getting.” You can open your eyes now!
You want her to appreciate craft beer so you can enjoy it even more? Yes, you do! So stop stashing your brewery receipts in your car, hiding your beer at work, avoiding explanations for your exorbitant FedEx “beer mail” charges, and claiming you have to work “over time” so you can enjoy your favorite brews! As the saying goes, “don’t beat them, join them” This is your new mantra. Get her to join in and beer life suddenly becomes so much better!
Before I began my love affair with craft beer, I was completely convinced that I hated beer. I couldn’t stomach Bud Light. The only beer that was remotely drinkable for me was Guinness. It seemed to be the only thing with any real flavor. If your wife or girlfriend hates beer, I promise you, there’s hope!
One of my first craft beers was Sam Adams Utopias. Looking back, I realize I had no business (as a complete newbie) drinking this highly sought after beer. My first thought of the beer was “oh god this tastes like a piece of fruitcake that was soaked in rubbing alcohol and served in a glass!” Only the ohs and ahs of my beer loving company prevented me from dumping it in the nearest shrub.
Tips to Convince Her
I had a very clear picture of what “beer” was before being introduced to craft beer. It was foamy, light yellow, and foul. I was surprised to find that this certainly does not describe many beers after all! (Thank god!) To convince your girl that beer is some of the most amazing stuff on earth, start with “lighter,” yet non traditional beers (what she thinks of beer: Bud, Coors, horse piss, etc.).
Introduce Craft by Style
- Fruited Wheat Beers: One of my favorite starter wheat beers is Florida Ave Blueberry. This was my craft “gateway” beer. Drop some real blueberries in here and watch them dance in the carbonation. The lava lamp effect will hypnotize her to fall in love with craft.
- Witbier: With a beautiful Belgian yeast, an easy to obtain beer in this style is Blanche de Bruxelles. A light, smooth version of beer that will make her swoon. If you can’t get your hands on Blanche de Bruxelles, try Wittekere, another solid example of the style.
- Berliner Weiss: With fun syrup choices to add like raspberry or Woodruff, leave the choice up to her! (You know how she likes to be in charge!) This sour and effervescent beer with a low ABV will change her mind about what “beer” means! My personal favorite is from Rapp Brewing, a local place in St. Petersburg, Florida.
- Meads: B Nektar Meadery contributed to my change of heart early on when it came to craft. I had no idea that something as amazing as meads existed! With many fruit inspired options, there’s a good chance you will find a mead to suit her need! A favorite of mine is Zombie Killer, a sweet cherry mead bursting with flavor!
- Lambics: A great Kriek with a sour cherry flavor or other fruit lambics like strawberry, peach, and raspberry can be a great beer to introduce craft. Although sometimes a challenge to obtain, Cantillon offers some beautiful options!
Introduce Craft by Her Current Go-To Flavors
- Likes margaritas? Try a gose. A gose is lemon, sour, salty, and refreshing. This style may be a bit of a challenge to find, but well worth the search! (You can even introduce beer mail here!) Westbrook and Rapp Brewing both make exceptional goses.
- Loves Reece’s or peanut butter? DuClaw’s Sweet Baby Jesus has a peanut butter flavor that will make you swear you are eating crunchy peanut butter! (The chocolate falls a little flat, but the peanut butter makes up for it.)
- Enjoys wine? Try B Nektar Orange Blossom Mead. Pale and clear, this smells like orange blossoms, but the flavor is more like a sweet honey Pinot.
- Champagne drinker? Try Goose Island Sophie, a Belgian saison that is slightly dry, aged on wine barrels, tart sparkling ale. Mild white pepper and citrus adds to the complexity of flavors in this one!
- Likes tea and lemonade? Grab a B Nektar Kill All the Golfers. This Arnold Palmer inspired drink is sweet tea and lemonade with an ABV of 6%.
- Wants something sweet? Ciders may just do the trick! Rekorderlig has several different flavors including a Strawberry Lime that is delicious with a twist of fresh lime. Another sweet brew is Rubaeus. This raspberry beer tastes like a Jolly Rancher candy!
- Feeling dirty? Tap into your girl’s inner naughty side by offering up a Dirty Hoe. This combination of Hoegaarden and Lindemans Framboise Lambic is delicious without being overly sweet. Also known as a “Red and White” in more classy parts of the world. (Don’t yell at me for the drink combo all you beer purists…we are trying to get her introduced to craft! Whatever it takes…one of my early favorites.)
- Sour lover? Sours are for the adventurous kind. There are mild sours and then there are mouth puckering, blister your tongue sours (some of my favs!). Cascade, Russian River, Almanac, and Jester King all have some incredible sours.
- Coffee fiend? This can be a tricky one. Once you get into craft, you can introduce some stouts. Stouts can be a bit heavy for a newbie. A nice coffee stout like Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) by Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel can introduce the style without being too overwhelming.
- Don’t call porters/stouts “chocolate”! Most aren’t sweet enough to a newbie’s palate to provide the expected flavors.
- Don’t start with IPAs. My least favorite style when I started drinking craft! The bitterness and hoppiness was just to much for my newbie palate. I now adore a good IPA. Lemon Cello is a good one to start with for an IPA that has a lemon twist. If you can get your hands on some Heady Topper or Pliny, drink it! I mean share it with your girl! These two highly sought after beers are in demand for a reason, they are smooth examples of great IPAs.
- Don’t just hand her a beer menu. The variety of choices can be too much if you don’t know much about craft beer. When reviewing a beer menu, help break it down to the style first. Having some suggestions in mind can narrow it down to something she will like.
- Do go with flights. A flight with 4 or 5 choices can help her decide which style she enjoys the most.
- Do split bottles. If you get a bottle to share, there’s less pressure about finishing a beer and more focus on enjoying the experience. Also, buy singles of a variety of beers to try!
- Do get samples. Many bars and breweries will give you a sample to try before ordering a glass. Take advantage of this!
- Do go to tasting rooms. Breweries can be more laid back and beer focused than bars. You want her to experience beer, not cheesy pick up lines from drunken bar hoppers.
- Do go to brew pubs. Scope out some local brew pubs. Having dinner along with the beer makes it a date and not a beer fest. Girls like dates.
- Do have a few choices in mind. Plan ahead of time which beers you think your girl might like. Offer a couple of ideas based on the suggestions above. Be her beer hero!
I have found that an overwhelming number of people in the craft beer community are so willing to share their knowledge of craft. I certainly am not an expert by any means. I am grateful to the many people along the way that have shared their love of craft with me. This continues to be a learning experience and a fun adventure!
It’s my hope that this helps encourage your girl to start on the craft beer journey. I can’t promise she’ll start dressing like me, but hopefully she’ll start drinking like me!
Stop by and say hi on Instagram CraftBeerVixen, a playful and fun way for me to share my love of craft beer!