How to look like you know your stuff.
ORDER A HYBRID BEER
Anyone can dive into a beer made with strawberries, coffee, or any number of ingredients, but if you want a drink that stands out from the flavourobsessed crowd, opt for a beer with mixed parentage. A hybrid such as Germany’s Kölsch, for example, is an ale that is held at cold temperatures after fermentation – a practice more associated with lagers. The newest style is black IPA (India pale ale), which is winning fans for combining the smoothness of dark beers with the hoppiness of pale ales.
DISCUSS SINGLE HOPPING
Unlike the prestige that surrounds single malt whiskies, beers that use only one variety of hops – as opposed to a blend – can wind up weak and depthless. That being said, single-hop beers – especially those that use hops with enough character to carry the beer alone – are excellent for teaching drinkers about the ingredient that gives different beers their unique flavour profiles.
HAVE A FAVOURITE
You’ve drunk your way through a hundred fancy bottles (or cans) and built up not just your beer glossary, but also your flavour vocabulary. It’s time to have a go-to beer that you can rely on for a good time. Order it even if the bar or restaurant doesn’t carry it. You want a favourite that’s from a lesser-known brewery, but not one so obscure that the barman thinks you’re making it up. Even if the establishment doesn’t carry it, your knowledge will impress, and it can lead to a dialogue on similar styles that you may enjoy.