4 Tips to Help You Walk Into a New Brewery Like You Own The Place


We’ve all been there – you go to a new brewery on a date, you decide to meet at your friend’s local watering hole instead of your own, or your she-tribe wants to try out trivia in a new place. You walk in and it looks like the breweries you’ve been to before, but it doesn’t have that one beertender who seems to remember you, Steph, and the menu looks like it’s in another language. You point to the first beer listed and say “this looks good” because you don’t want to be that girl who looks like a newbie.

Maybe you end up liking the beer, maybe you don’t – but at least you avoided looking like a moron in front of your people so it’s good enough, right? WRONG.

Gal pals – we need to stop thinking about a pint of craft beer as something to get through or survive.


Imagine with me…. You walk into that same new brewery but YOU END UP WITH LIQUID GOLD and everyone you’re with is asking if they can take a sip of your beer because it’s just. that. good. You’re not just surviving the beer, you are THRIVING with the beer. Every part of your brewery evening gets even better because the beer is enhancing your night instead of detracting from it.

So much more fun right? Right.

Now that that’s all sorted out, let me help you get there. Use these four tricks to fearlessly try out a new brewery.


1. Don’t read the names of the beer – skip straight to the descriptions

I find that sometimes the scariest part of a brewery menu are the names. Some are cute and punny while others seem to have more letters than seems necessary. Not to fear, the descriptions are all in easy to understand flavor term!

If you are just starting to test out the craft beer waters look for something that says light, easy, or refreshing, or mentions a fruit you know you like.

Ready to expand into a new style a little? Check out the darker beers that are described as having chocolate, coffee, or any kind of nut.

If you start your selection process with flavors you know you like, most likely you will enjoy the brew that follows.


2. Chat up the beertender

The people working the bar at smaller breweries are not only there to take care of you, but many play a part in the brewing process. They know the ins and outs of all of the beers on tap.

Here are some easy ways to start the conversation with them:

  • I tried a dark beer last week that kind of tasted like caramel squares – do you guys have anything like that?
  • I’m curious about trying more IPAs – do you guys have anything that would be a good intro brew?
  • I’ve been liking sour beers, but I prefer the ones that are sour like lemons, not sour like warheads. Do you think I’d like this one?

Once they know the flavors you are looking for, they can more easily help you navigate the menu.


3. Get a taster

Every craft brewery wants to make sure that you are paired with a beer that you LOVE (so you keep coming back for more)! The easiest way to judge if you and the brew are a good match is to… you guessed it… TASTE IT.

Simply ask your beer-tender that you want to try a beer before you commit and they will bring out a little shooter for you.

Taste, think, order or try another…. Easy as that.


4. Try a flight

If a lot of brews are sounding good, consider trying a flight. These normally consist of four or five adorable little glasses that are enough to give you a taste with out making you commit to one beer.

In crafting your flight I’d suggest starting with a few brews that you are pretty confident about and then moving into a few brews that push the limits of your comfort zone. If you have NO CLUE where to start, lean in on that new beertender friend you just made.

I personally like building a theme when I grab a flight (all lights, all darks, all really funky beers) but there really are no rules.

No matter how you do it, flights are a great way to get to know a brewery quickly, which makes ordering your second round much easier.


Equipped with these tips, you can now fearlessly try a new brewery. Let me know how it goes! Have you tried any of these before?

4 Tips to Help You Walk Into a New Brewery Like You Own The Place2021-02-11T09:56:23-07:00

Shopping for a New Beer at the Liquor Store


Trying a new beer can be scary. I think we can all agree that spending money on the unknown is not in anyone’s comfort zone. When you are shopping for a new beer at the liquor store things get even tougher. Rows upon rows of beautiful, brightly colored cans send your brain into sensory overload and the fear of ‘six pack’ commitment leads many to stick to their tried and true beverage of choice.

While this isn’t the worst thing, many people say the best way to grow is to spend time outside your comfort zone. Today, I want to give you a few tips to keep in your back pocket for the next time you go shopping for a new beer that make expanding your boozy comfort zone just a little bit easier.


Grab a variety pack

If you are open to drinking most styles of beer, this is by far the most economical way to taste something new. Each mix is a little bit different, but most variety packs include a light beer, an IPA, and a seasonal or signature brew.

Get this if you are at least a little curious about everything in the box OR if you know you like the brewery.

DO NOT get this if you KNOW you don’t like one of the beers included. Trying new things should be fun. You should never feel like you need to ‘get through’ part of a box or pawn it off on someone.

Look for the cheat sheet on the side of the can

Most brewers want to help you understand what you are getting into when you by their wares. Beer buying is really a team sport. The better they can describe their product, the clearer your expectations. The clearer your expectations, the more likely you are to purchase something that brings you joy. Joy = repeat purchases and the wheel goes round and round.

Almost every can has a rectangular block with three to four descriptors. These could be foods the beer tastes like (chocolate, strawberries, honey) or adjectives (tart, crisp, crushable). I, personally, find the food descriptors to be more helpful – if I like the ingredients, I’ll probably like the beer.

To get more familiar with the adjectives, you can pick up a beer that you KNOW you like and then shop around for a beer with similar words. 

Pick up some singles

No, we aren’t talking about the dating scene. We are living in the golden age of craft beer. Liquor stores have picked up on the fact that we, the aspiring beer pros, want to try it all and they have done their best to make it easier to do so. Most liquor stores now offer a single can section where they will split up six packs and let you create your own variety pack or buy them individually.

My local liquor store has two different singles sections: one for bigger breweries and then one tucked away in the corner with more of a micro brew focus. I normally make a bee-line straight for the sneaky corner fridge. With the commitment of a six pack gone, I find it much easier to test out new styles.

This option tends to be a little more expensive than purchasing a premade variety pack, but the ability to choose your own adventure far outweighs the cost.


Give these tips a try and let me know how shopping for a new beer goes!

What is your normal go-to liquor store purchase? Why does it feel safe?

Have you explored the singles section before? What did you find?

Shopping for a New Beer at the Liquor Store2021-01-12T01:14:33-07:00

Blinded by the Light (Beer)


So far we’ve learned about beer vehicles, but we haven’t really had the opportunity to talk about the beer itself. When I was a fresh 21 and started drinking beer I knew I only needed to say 4 words to get something that was pretty safe in my eyes: “light but not hoppy.” I’ve been able to rely on my tried and true beer phrase for years whenever I’m in need of an easygoing porch sipper.

Cue quarantine 2020. In an effort to support local businesses, I frequented breweries around town where I’d often utter my favorite 21-year-old-Natalie phrase. I was met with kolsches, pilsners, blondes, and MORE. It took isolation to ask the tough question – what the heck is the difference between each of these light beer variations? I teamed up with Brandi and Tyler from Landlocked Ales to learn what every porch sipper should know about light beers.

The basics:

Beer in general can be segmented into two major groups: ales and lagers. Lagers undergo cold fermentation (known as lagering… perhaps where they got the name) over a longer period of time. Ales, on the other hand, are created with warmer temperatures and can be brewed much more quickly. What dictates the style of fermentation you may ask? THE YEAST! Lagers tend to be described as crisp and clean while ales typically have more fruity esters in the flavor.

Easy enough so far, right? As you can imagine, there are infinite ways to describe and segment light beers as there are so many different interpretations and evolutions of recipes. For your convenience, here’s the guide Tyler and Brandi provided for 6 of the most popular “light but not hoppy” varieties of beer:


  • Lager
  • Delicate with clean bitterness
  • Clear
  • BONUS FACT: A good pilsner is a sign of a strong brewer. With such straightforward flavors there is very little to hide behind and all mistakes show.


  • Ale
  • Sweet like a green apple, white grape, or Pinot Grigio
  • Clear


  • Ale
  • A great base beer that’s often flavored with other ingredients
  • Without any extra flavors added, this tastes the most like your general light beer with a little more body


  • Ale
  • Spicy (like spices, not like heat)
  • BONUS FACT: Saison is French for ‘season’. This style of beer was brewed in the winter and drank in the summer to keep workers “hydrated” in areas where the water was not safe to drink (it seems to us that backyards meet those specs).


  • Ale
  • Notes of coriander and orange
  • Cloudy


  • Banana and clove
  • Cloudy
  • ^ You only need to try these one time to know exactly what this means

With all of this newfound, beerventure knowledge I think the only logical thing to do next is to put my palate to the test. Stay tuned for a blind taste test video!

Of these six varieties, what’s your favorite? Did we leave any other easy drinkers out?

Blinded by the Light (Beer)2021-01-03T22:33:59-07:00

Glass Class


This week I kicked off my journey to beer enlightenment by asking questions I’ve had for YEARS – why do breweries have so many fancy glasses? Are they just for show? Do they make the beer taste better? To answer these questions, I teamed up with Dave, co-founder and Director of Brewing at Joyride Brewing Company. This discussion about glasses turned into a lesson of history, culture, and a hint of beer artistry. For our first blog entry, we decided to focus on the vessels that hold our favorite beverages: an experience we’ve titled ‘Glass Class.’

As it turns out, much like the different glasses used to house beer’s grape-based alcoholic cousin, wine, most of the different shapes are meant to develop or enhance aromas. As with food tasting, a good portion of the flavor of your drink is experienced through your nose instead of your taste buds. According to Dave, we are limited in what we taste to the main groups, sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami, but what we can smell goes way above that.

Here are our top 10 discoveries when it comes to glass shapes (ranked by the order in which we recalled them):

1. Tapered tops help retain foam, which hold in aromatics so you can enjoy them for longer.

2. When glasses bulge out, flavors have a chance to breathe and develop.

3. Laser etching at the bottom of the glass encourages CO2 production, which brings more aromas to life.

4. If your glass has a stem, it basically has a built in thermostat. Holding only the stem keeps your beer cooler for longer. Cupping the glass warms it up a little bit and opens up more happy smells.

5. Glasses with no stem, but a bulb about ¾ of the way to the top are designed to keep you from being too handsy with your beer. Again, this is another temperature control tactic.

6. At breweries, smaller glasses typically mean that you are either drinking a strong beer or an expensive one. This means that going drink-for-drink with your pals provides similar levels of fun, though damage to your credit card may differ.

7. Tall glasses celebrate the beauty of a beer – either the color, the clarity, or how the bubbles dance as they rise.

8. Practically, breweries seldom have different glasses for each item on tap. A big decision in choosing their ‘standard’ glass is stackability to make beertenders’ lives easier.

9. Mugs are heavy and sturdy to withstand aggressive clinking.

10. Steins have lids because they tend to have a higher beer holding capacity. The covering helps to keep the cold in for longer, prevents spillage, and keeps unwanted objects out.

Dave suggested paying more attention the next time I head out to a small brewery. Does the brewer use different glasses for their different brews? If they do – can I pick up on why they might have chosen that particular shape? Am I enjoying this beer more than when I’ve tried it at home in my old pint glasses? He said I’d probably be able to notice the biggest difference if I drink the same beer in two different shaped glasses side by side. Challenge accepted. Prepare for a video in the future.

As I learned about glass core concepts Dave told some great stories about how they came to be. We will dive deeper in our next article to cover everything he taught us but my general takeaway is this: choosing the proper shape of glass is showing respect to the brewer’s craftsmanship. Special drinks deserve special treatment.

Do you have a favorite shape of glass? Is it enhancing your beer drinking experience? Let us know!

Glass Class2021-01-03T21:30:36-07:00
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