As a bartender in this ever expanding and exciting craft beer industry I have had the privilege, and sometimes daunting, task to get to figure out just what the customer wants. I want to talk about how “we” (you and I) as a “team” come up with this decision and some helpful tips to try and avoid when making a selection.
I personally have no problem with you tasting a couple different beers before you dive into your next pint. That being said, it is not okay to try every beer and take 20 plus minutes in deciding. Sure, if you’re the only one at the bar and you want to take your time that’s one thing but we’re in a craft beer explosion right now, and I’m rarely standing behind an empty bar so expect some neighbors when you saddle up to mine. Drinking beer is meant to be fun not a stress filled evening of second guessing yourself and me on what you want to drink.
Being decisive on what you want to drink will make all transaction between you and your bartender smooth like the 1999 three time Grammy award winning song “Smooth” by Carlos Santa feat. Rob Thomas of Matchbox20. And if you need a little help, that’s ok too. Most people have a particular style or two they don’t normally shy away from. This would be my first question; what do you usually gravitate towards? After a favorite style is established I can then easily guide you to a few different options and get you something you are sure to enjoy. If I ask you what you like to drink and you respond with “everything” that is almost zero help to me. Narrow it down to something you haven’t had in a while or your old trusty stand by to start you off while you’re still getting a feel for the list.
This brings up the taster. This is a dangerous thing, in my mind, for a couple of reasons. First, say you would like to taste an I.P.A. or two then follow that up with a couple of stouts or a cream ale. What you have just done is taint your taste buds with bitter hops. This will affect the true flavor of any following samples. Secondly, sampling tends to be abused by people who are too picky for their own good. And finally, a bar is not an ice cream parlor. On more than a handful of occasions somebody has come in and bust my balls trying multiple beers, not bought anything or thanked me for the “free” samples and just walked out. We’re a TEAM, remember? Teams don’t walk out on each other. Sit down, relax, and let’s find you a beer you can enjoy.
Oh and one more thing, no we don’t have Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, or Dos XX but if you keep an open mind and palate I’m sure we can find you something much better.
Jordan Burke is part of the team at LUCK and he is happy to help you with your next great beer.