Just a few years back, pubs were simple and unfussy, and your choices were limited to a handful of commercial beers that were available in bottles and packets of peanuts.
Usher in the era of globalization and craft beers. Today, the entire pub culture has undergone a massive transformation and bars today are no more the gloomy, dreary places for broken hearts. With the rise of gastropubs and themed ones, pubs are now the coolest spots in town.
Beer now enjoys an elite status and has a cult following. But, does that mean the rules of drinking beer have changed? Not sure, how to navigate through the unknown waters of craft beer territory? Worried, if you’ll put a wrong step forward and end up committing a major social faux pas?
Fear not, we are here to help you out. In this article, we list out the etiquette rules for drinking craft beers. Irrespective of whether you’re a craft beer virgin or a seasoned craft beer connoisseur, this guide is sure to help you get the basics right.
Let’s dig in.
NO ONE LOVES A FREELOADER
With that said, most craft brewers encourage their customers to try out a few of their samples before ordering a full glass. In fact, many breweries offer free samples to help find out the right beer that suits their tastes.
With that said, you should know where to draw the line. It’s disrespectful if you keep on trying sample after sample, and leave without ordering anything.
VOICE YOUR CRITICISM IN THE RIGHT WAY
This reminds me of one time when at a craft beer festival, I watched a woman rush up to the stalls and request a beer. Just beer and she didn’t mention her preferences. After tasting it, she declared her criticism openly and within earshot of a dozen people. She kept on repeating her displeasure with the beer and even went on to force others not to taste it.
You have to remember that there’s a huge difference between not liking a particular beer and the beer being bad. What appeals to one person, may be off-putting to another. It all depends on the tastes.
Most brewers are open to honest feedback, but it’s good if you can temper the criticism. Diplomacy never hurts.
RESPECT THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS
This is an extension of the above point. While most people understand that they have unique tastes aren’t ready to acknowledge and accept the opinions of others. This is often manifested on social media where you can see fans of hop heads criticizing malty beer drinkers, beer snobs taunting light beer drinkers, people who woe about the prices of beer and several others.
Let’s celebrate the diversity of beer fans and drinkers. This is what makes “Beers” one of the most favourite drinks in the world.
ACCEPT THAT BEER IS A DRINK FOR ALL SEXES
You would have grown up hearing the saying, “Beer is a man’s drink, while wine is a woman’s drink.” This one is no longer relevant and is far from the truth. In fact, an increasing number of women end their day with their favourite beer and even know more about beer than half the male drinkers.
Raise a glass to beer fans irrespective of their gender.
CUT OUT ON HEAVY PERFUMES
Strong odours like fragrances and perfumes can interfere with the notes of the beer. So, go light on the fragrances.
HONOUR THE RULES OF THE PUB
If the pub has a policy of “No outside food,” try to follow it without arguing with the manager. Leave your snacks at home and get ready to enjoy a new culinary experience.
DON’T FEEL SHY TO ASK
If you have any queries regarding the flavour of the beer or not sure which beer to begin with, all you have to do is ask. Most servers and bar tenders in craft breweries love to talk about their beers. So, when you open up, you can be pretty sure that you will receive helpful advice that will make a beer connoisseur out of you in no time.
TIP YOUR SERVERS
This one has nothing to do with craft beers but is for your generosity. Most of the servers in craft breweries are college going kids, who are looking to supplement their regular income. So, ensure that you tip them generously to help them out.
A good deed you do is a good deed that comes back to you.
ENJOY YOUR DRINK
Craft breweries are more than places where you drown yourself in pint after pint to get drunk. Instead of just getting drunk, try to take the time to appreciate the various flavours and tones in beers. We can guarantee that you’re in for a pleasurable culinary experience like never before.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
This is the most important of all beer etiquettes. If you plan to get drunk, assign a driving buddy before you go out for the evening. If you’ll be heading home alone, then it makes sense to stop before your beer glass begins to double.
THE LAST WORD
The world of Craft beers is quite welcoming and is very accommodating. Shed your inhibitions and come fall in love with a whole new world of beers.
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