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?