Much of my time blogging gets spent in minutiae, because I like finding rabbit holes and going down them. Remember when I spent an entire post talking about linguistics1? Or when we talked about vexillology, even before Roman Mars did? Today, though, I want to address the people who have not had the time or inclination to explore beer as much as I have.
A list of things I like
I like working retail. It surprises me sometimes, because I spent so long considering myself an introvert that the thought of my mood improving by talking to people for four hours — which happens consistently — has taken some getting used to.
I like talking about beer. Our beer or other breweries’: it really doesn’t matter. I like giving tours. I like when people ask me questions about how beer gets made and I like when they ask questions about an aspect of homebrewing (and then I like it when they pretend not to notice my advice always boils down to “it will turn out fine”).
On Saturday two men came in and sat down at the bar. They said they hadn’t been here before (I like introducing people to our beer too) and asked for recommendations. “Well, what do you like?” I asked. One of them said he didn’t really know, because he had just started getting into beer.
As I poured samples of Saison #2 I realized that most of all I like helping people discover beer.
A list of things for the inexperienced but enthusiastic beer drinker to remember
Ask questions (or, if you prefer, don’t). You will not find a friendlier and more hospitable group than brewers and beer lovers.
Don’t worry about seeming inexperienced. Nobody notices or cares, because it can’t actually happen. (This one also applies to all other aspects of life)
Please ask us for samples! Yes, as an owner of a business I would like to separate you from your money, but I want to do so on mutually beneficial terms. Selling you something you don’t like doesn’t bring me any joy.
On that note: you don’t have to like everything. Maybe you don’t like IPAs, or stouts, or Belgians. I love my wife very much and the highest praise she has ever given a beer has been five seconds of ponderous silence and the proclamation “it’s not horrible.” If you try the latest Singularity and don’t like it my feelings won’t be hurt.
“There are no rules anywhere.” Liking or not liking a style or a beer or a brewery has no bearing on you being a “real”, “experienced” or “knowledgeable” beer drinker. Many people consider Singularity (Mosaic) the best beer we’ve ever made, and at least one person thinks it the best beer in Buffalo. Another person who came in on Saturday hated Mosaic hops and, despite being a homebrewer and lover of beer and IPAs did not like it at all. Ethan doesn’t much like the pure Mosaic flavor either. Everyone is right.
A list which is not a list at all
You should drink beer. You should ask questions. Not only am I willing to do it, I am overjoyed at the prospect.
I try to stick to E-Prime as much as I can in my MEL posts, and generally do a fairly decent job. ↩