How to blend in at a craft beer bar (also entitled - "a post for the beardless")

I love a great craft beer bar. It's usually rocking great tunes, laid back bartenders, wood everywhere, and obviously a plethora of distinctly delicious brews available for consumption. It's truly a great place in the universe. But it can be an overwhelming and unwelcoming experience if you're not properly prepared, both physically and mentally. Just like our post on how to order a beer at a bar, your experience at the neighborhood craft beer bar depends on your level of PMA (positive mental attitude), your inclination to try new things, and the general state of your facial hair. Generally speaking, the more of all these things, the better.

For those needing a little prep, here's what you're getting yourself into, along with some keen observations and helpful advice on how to make the most of it:

  1. Depending on prevailing weather conditions, put on your Chucks, Tigers, or flip flops. Don't have any? Buy some and put them on. Comfortable footwear is critical to peak beer enjoyment.
  2. In all likelihood, the ambient lighting will be low. If you're wearing your favorite pair of Wayfarers, remove them before stepping over the threshold to avoid the classic "blinking too quickly and then squinting like you might have just farted" look. 
  3. You'll probably hear Vampire Weekend, The Band, or an Avett brothers tune blasting over the sound system. This is "music" and its job is to put you into a harmonious state of bliss and banjo valhalla. According to science, IPA's always taste better with banjos. 
  4. If you do happen to be one of the lucky ones with an appreciable beard, run your fingers through it lovingly and thoughtfully as you approach the bar. Stimulation of facial hair follicles organically enhances your perceived knowledge of bourbon-barrel stouts and IBU counts.
  5. When you've ordered your beer and sat down at the nearest picnic table, refrain from scooting around too much. This furniture is probably made from wood reclaimed from ancient elvish brewing villages in Iceland, and is bound to cause splinters if you wiggle or squirm excessively.
  6. You can converse about anything you like besides politics, current events, the weather, the traffic, and Apple products. These topics don't taste good with good beer.
  7. Order another beer. 
  8. One more. Probably this one should be a stout.
  9. "You doing one more? I will if you do".
  10. Just one more.

These hot tips should help you blend in to the point of being a regular during your next visit to the local craft brewpub. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

- Chris




Chris McClellan