Take a chance. Life might surprise you. We all like things we know, things that are familiar. They make us comfortable. We think that being comfortable and always knowing what to expect is living. It isn’t.
I know I will drink any beer at least once. I’ll try anything and I know that makes me a little different from most people who walk into a bar, but part of the point of craft beer is to give you choices and let you drink different things. That is why the customer that came into Craft Growler Shop one day last week was so frustrating to me.
She comes in with her boyfriend and asks if we have the Lost Coast Apricot Wheat we have had on a couple of times this spring. No, we haven’t had it in at least a couple of weeks, I replied. I then proceeded to give her samples of a couple of other wheat beer we have on tap. Her boyfriend was like that’s a good beer, etc. We are both trying to get her to pick something when she finally says why she can’t pick anything, “I don’t like beer, I just liked that one and it is the one I came to get.”
On one hand, I’m glad she found a beer she liked. On the other hand, she has decided any beer that isn’t that specific one tastes bad. It didn’t matter how my beers I let her taste, she had made up her mind that it sucked before tasting it. It was like she took one step out of her beverage comfort zone and that was far enough. Who knows what might happen if she starts liking pale ales.
I would never force someone to drink a beer they didn’t want or didn’t like. If she had just not known what she wanted and couldn’t find a beer she liked, that would be one thing. What she had decided was there was only one beer she could drink and nothing else was going to satisfy her. She had closed her mind to the possibility that something else could excite and please her palate.
A recurring theme in the short time I’ve been writing this blog, is the idea that we in the craft beer community should try to do one thing, get beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers to open up their minds just a little bit. All the commercials that have told us what beer is since the 70s have seeped into their unconscious decisions about beer and shaped the box into which all things beer exist. Our job as advocates for craft beer isn’t to get them to think outside the box, but it is just to get them to acknowledge that their beer drinking is in that box and there are other things that might taste just as good if not better then what they are used to.
Here is my advice. If you are a craft beer drinker already, get one of your friends to go with you to good craft bar and buy them a flight to show them what the possibilities are. If you aren’t a craft beer drinker, go to craft bar and ask for something like the thing you drink the most. Better yet, ask for something as different as possible from your normal beer just to see what happens.