The Beer Counselor Is In: There Is No Right Answer

When you first walk into Craft and look at the tap wall it can be a bit much.  There are 36 taps with the names and descriptions (which people don’t read) written above them.  It can often take a new customer and even regulars a moment to orient themselves to find something they like or want to taste.  That said, a strange thing happens with a lot of people.  They freeze up.  They stare, they ask for a taste of something, they ask you recommendation, they ask for another taste, they demur, and then they finally ask for a beer almost apologetically if it isn’t something they think a beer snob would love. They look at the wall and it seems like they are flashing back to school and taking a multiple choice test they have only partially studied for the last few days.

To those people here is my advice:  Chill the fuck out.  It is beer.  Buy a pint.  If you don’t like it, we have 35 other taps.  Or you know, you could buy a flight of five.  There is no right answer or wrong answer.  This isn’t like all the multiple choice tests you took in school.  This is an essay test only you can grade. Did you like the beer?  Why or why not?  Did you try a different beer?  Why or why not?

I’m not a teacher.  I’m not grading you.  I’m not judging you.  If you are in Craft and you are buying a beer, you are not going to get a bad beer.  Any beer we have on our tap wall is a good beer.  You might get a beer you don’t like, but that doesn’t make it bad.  Also, if you taste a beer and it tastes like something is wrong with it, before you tell the bartender make sure it isn’t the style of the beer.  Hefeweizen’s are supposed to be cloudy and sours are supposed to be sour.

I was a liberal arts major in a time when essay tests and 5 page final papers were how you were graded.  It wasn’t a multiple choice world.  You had to know things and understand things as you accepted that there were other things you could not or would not every really know definitively.

I think the unknown nature of subjective answers scare people.  We like black and white answers and easy categorization.  Those are easy to find multiple choice tests, but in the real world, we live in a constant state of gray.  You make decisions with partial information and choices with 50/50 odds of things turning out either good or bad.  We can’t see the future so anything you decide to do that takes place over a time longer than 20 minutes into the future is guess.

Please remember this.  As much as I love beer, it isn’t that important.  It should be the toy store or the comics’ page in the newspaper.  Just try one.  The worst that can happen is you don’t like it.  The bartender isn’t going to throw you out or shoot you for your choice.  Also remember, even a bad craft beer is still a craft beer.  Try something.  You never know, you may find a new beer you will love.