Expert Reveals The Biggest Mistake You're Making When Ordering Craft Beer

Are you a craft beer snob? If so, you can already tell a gose from a gueuze and a doppelbock from your dunkelweizen. You even know which beers should be drunk from flutes and which from snifters, and you even know your tulip from your Teku glasses. All of this is great, as long as you're not looking down your nose at the rest of us who may be a little less well-versed in the fine art of zymurgy.

If, however, you're craft-beer curious but don't really have the time or the will to delve into a serious study of all its infinite nuances, you may understandably be a little nervous when it comes to ordering one from a bar. Are you going to ask for something uncool that will cause the bartender or fellow drinkers to secretly (or not-so-secretly) sneer at you?  If so, you might want to think about patronizing a different watering hole, since having a brew is supposed to be a relaxing, enjoyable experience, not some kind of test you have to pass.

We spoke with a craft beer expert to see if she had any advice to help get you through the beer-ordering ordeal, and Stasia Brewczynski, a woman working in the often dude-centric world of beverage management, offered her number one tip: "Don't rely on sexist tropes to help you order."

Beer has no gender

Brewczynski, who has worked in both wine and beer marketing, wants everyone to know "there's no such thing as a 'chick beer'." She expresses dismay that many beer drinkers have been conditioned by social norms to think certain beers are proper for women to drink, whereas other types are meant for men. Hmm, would these be the ones that come in the pink and blue kegs, respectively? Oh wait, that's not a thing. Beer has no gender, nor does it convey any particular status on the drinker. Drinking a stout won't put hair on your chest, nor will choosing a light, fruity radler automatically revoke your man card.

Bewczynski suggests that, rather than letting such "artificial boundaries" dictate your order, you instead ask a bartender for recommendations based on what you already like. For example, she suggests that if you're into cocktails and the Negroni is your go-to drink, then you may enjoy what she describes as "the similar balance of bitter and sweet offered by West Coast IPAs." On the other hand, if you're more into wine and you appreciate "lightly funky pétillant naturel wine" (or even know what that is), you may prefer something like a French Farmhouse Saison. Try your bartender's recommendations, try your friends' recommendations, try whatever you wish (tasting flights were made for this reason), but once you find something you like, go ahead and order it, no matter what anyone else thinks. You drink you.