No one likes to seem like they're out of their element. You know that feeling–you're in a wold with which you're not familiar, surrounded by people who know what they're doing. You don't want to seem like a fool, but hey, you don't want to sit idle for eternity, either. Sometimes, you have to fake it till you make it, even if your knowledge on the subject isn't what it should be. With micro-breweries and artisan beer bars being so popular these days, it's not uncommon for a regular. Joe Six-pack to feel overwhelmed by the technical terms and lingo, but fear not, because we've got you covered with a few tips on how to order in a beer bar and sound like a beer connoisseur.
Tip #1: Know Your Enemy. Maybe "enemy" is a little strong. After all, beer is your friend, right? But friend or no, it pays to know a little something about the finer points of brewing beer. That way you don't end up fumbling with your words and dropping technical jargon at the wrong time. There's more to beer than Light vs. Stout, after all. So take a headlong dive into your favorite search engine and do some serious boning up on beer. For example, what the hell is beer wine? Is it like regular wine? What precisely can you expect when something is described as "happy"? And for the love of everything, how do you pronounce some of these frightening German brands?
Tip #2: Be Confident. Okay, so you've managed to glean a little information about beer from the Interwebs, and you're at the bar. The key to sounding like a beer connoisseur versus a beer novice is just that: sounding like a beer connoisseur. Think about it–how would a pro sound? Like he knows exactly what he's doing. Like he knows everything. So be like that, even you have only a thimbleful of knowledge. Confidence is sexy, so exude that air of self-assurance when you order.
Tip #3: Ask Questions That Sound Thoughtful. Chances are you are not the first person to have questions about beer in a beer bar. In the good establishments, the staff will be friendly, patient, and knowledgeable. Use this to your advantage, and asking probing questions. Ask your server to compare the merits of two beers when paired with a certain type of food. Nod thoughtfully, maybe ask a fellow connoisseur, people will simply think that you are. Remember, if you tell a big enough lie, and you tell it often and well, people will believe it almost without fail.