Passion comes in all forms and can follow just about anything. We all have friends who are passionate about something whether it is sports, travel, cooking, action figures or even craft beer. As the popularity of craft beer rises so has the passion that many drinkers have for the tasty beverage. However this passion may rub some the wrong way.
While passion in its truest form stems from a loyal devotion, it can spin wildly out of control and become an obsession for some or can be a yardstick by which some measure themselves. The latter is more of the problem facing the craft beer industry.
Craft beer converts know that craft beer is far more flavorful and enjoyable than mass produced beer but how some go about informing others just makes them seem like pretentious windbags. The intent behind telling someone their beer is “bland and flavorless” in order to get them to try some great flavorful craft beer can be taken the wrong way. It’s certainly no way to make new friends or craft beer converts.
Many who first get into craft beer are blown away by all that they have been missing and tend to dive in headfirst and want to try everything and tell everyone all about it, thanks Untappd. This is great, however just be sure to keep a level head and remember that at one point you too were chugging mass produced beer with the rest of “them.”
If you are passionate about craft beer and want everyone you know to try it but somehow keep getting the cold shoulder chances are you are guilty of being a bit too pushy about the subject. However, here are three simple things to remember to do when trying to get others into craft beer.
1. NEVER tell anyone at a bar or party their macro beer is “garbage” or “bland” or any other derogatory term. Sure that might be how you feel on the inside, but think about your reaction when someone told you how crappy your favorite band was in high school? Did you eventually outgrow them and find vastly superior music? Sure hope so, but it didn’t happen because some jerk told you that your music sucked, chances are it made you want to like the band even more. A better approach is to be on the level with people just drink what you enjoy and if they are interested they will ask, but never insult someone’s taste.
2. NEVER show up at a party with your own craft beer because the host’s tastes suck and then not share. Not only does this make you look like some holier than thou idiot, but coming with just enough beer for yourself is rude. If you are going with beer you love than bring enough to share, you don’t need to bring a keg, but enough that a few around you can partake if they are interested. There is nothing wrong with supplying beer for yourself at a party, but to come, sit in the corner alone drinking your beer and judging the room around you is purely juvenile.
3. ALWAYS except a beer when offered to you by friends or loved ones. Now just to be clear this is not saying except a beer from a strange man in a van. This is only true when spending time with cherished ones and a friend offers you a dreaded macro beer. While maybe this isn’t your first choice don’t be rude and turn your nose up at their friendly gesture. If you are in the mood for a beer just shut up and take one and be with friends. You are much more likely to get them to try some of your craft beers if you can share some of theirs.
While there is certainly more etiquette to enjoying craft beer these three simple steps are the best way to avoid being “that guy” at the party. Craft beer is still beer and it is best enjoyed with friends so why not do things that garnish more friends instead of alienating them. So get out there and spread good cheer!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.