If you are like me, you don’t know anything about craft beer or imports or even the pale yellow stuff that comes in a gimmicky bottle. For the adventurous, one way of learning about beer would be to take one of the various beer tasting class where they teach you how to order, look at and smell a beer before tasting. But if you don’t have the time, do what I do: fake it.
Most people don’t care what you know about beer. Friendly beer drinkers find out what other beers you like and make suggestions. But there’s always going to be that guy at the office or the girl who’s dating your best friend who tries to win influence and gain respect by throwing around terms like hops and Lovibond and Parnesian Slow Drip Open Cask Fermentation Technique. If you find yourself backed in a corner and you have to fake beer knowledge, follow these steps.
It’s best to ask your beer nemesis what they suggest. Let them make the first move. No matter what they say, just reply, “Are you going to drink that out of a tall boy PBR can?” This will A) make them second guess their choice and B) wonder for the rest of the evening what the hell you were talking about. While they are still reeling, tell the bartender you’ll have the beer that has the most animals carved into the tap.
Somehow the color of beer affects the taste or the taste of the beer affects the color. I don’t know. What I do know is that you can stare at a beer for a good long time. Take a couple angles on it: over the top, through the glass, from the bottom. Then, without a taste or a smell, send it back and ask for something else. When your companion starts to question your actions, ignore them, look at their beer and say, “Are you really going to drink that poisonous swill?”
Waft and Tent
Once another brew shows up, make a big show of smelling the beer. I like to set the beer on the table and use both hands to shovel the air over top the glass into my face. It’s best to make questioning noises at first and then work your way into agreement mumblings and finally full out orgasmic grunts. Then, put both hands over top of the glass like a tent and stick your nose in the opening. Turn your head and exhale then dive right back in. Once you are finished, proclaim that the beer is slightly earthy with an acrid tooth.
Hold the glass to your face. Ask the beer connoisseur at the table if the beer feels too cold. If they touch the glass with their hand to test the temperature, say, “Oh, you don’t use the Trappist Monk technique?” If they ask what the Trappist Monk technique is, smile and say, “I’m sorry, I've said too much already.”
Here’s where it gets tough. By this time, your beer nemesis will be thrown off by your bizarre techniques and will want to step up with their knowledge of both taste and ingredients. Let them! Just reply back to anything they say with, “I can see where you would say that,” or “I’m sure that’s probably what you were taught.” If they start to question your questioning, just gargle the beer while they are talking and then reply, “What did you say? I couldn't hear you during my Over Tasting procedure.” If they start talking again, gargle louder. After about three minutes of gargling, you should look down to see that they are gone.
Congratulations! You've won. Now order a tall boy PBR and let that cold, tasteless swill join the pride that fills your belly. But not before you give it a good tent wafting!