How I choose a beer

You need beer! Either for a party or for dinner or just to have sitting in the ‘fridge in case of emergency. But what to choose… Here are my rules.

1. Pick a good beer shop – (or two) I go to various places to buy beer. BevMo, Whole Foods, liquor stores heck there is a 7-11 near me that stocks a small list of good stuff. Point being that one store does not carry all of the world of beer. Take a Saturday and scout out places near you.

2. Talk with the people who select the beer – You will be amazed. One of two things will happen. You will either encounter someone who knows nothing who asks the manager who knows nothing and you will know to leave. What happens far more often is that you will get great suggestions that you might not have otherwise thought of as you walked in the store.

3. Ask for it – Again you will be amazed. Flat out ask the store if they will carry something or even special order. Some items like The Abyss from Deschutes just won’t happen but if you ask for Full Sail Session Black you just might get it. Maybe not there and then but maybe next week. And if enough people ask for it, they will regularly stock it.

4. Weather – I buy according to the weather. If it is hot (like now), I head to the pale ales and kolsch’s of the world. A great stout doesn’t have the same zing in summer as it does in winter.

5. Food – What are you eating tonight? If you are having steak, a good malty amber or brown ale might be the best bet. Or are you going to a picnic? A lighter fruit beer might be the ticket.