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Operation Drink Better Beer

by: BeerAdvocate on 11-17-2004
We all get comfortable in our own ways. Even if you think you're an exception to the rule, you probably at least know someone who sticks to the same old thing without fail. Of course, people like these, who refuse to budge from their paths, are boring (though our PC term is “beer-drinking impaired”), and we've found that once people get into this impaired mindset, it tends to travel from their brains to their entire beings. In terms of beer, this results in dumbed-down palates, drastically lessened beer experiences and views of beer that become increasingly narrower. It seems that most of the drinking impaired are content simply to suck bland beer from the teats of the big beer companies, and they don't have a clue as to what they're missing, nor do they care how tainted those teats might be. Mesmerized by advertising that's bigger than the beer, these people just suck and suck and suck.

Suck on this: Drink better beer! What's better beer? In our opinion, it's craft beer, or beer that's crafted in small batches. Generally speaking, there's a level of creativity, complexity, passion and quality found in craft beer that's simply not found in products from larger brewers, who we think typically bow to the buck before bowing to the beer.

Keeping this in mind, let's say you know one of these drinking-impaired types personally. How do you go about convincing that person to join the beer revolution's rally to drink better beer? We're so glad you asked. You see, converting others to drink better beer is a tactical art; it takes some serious thought, understanding and possibly some deceit. But with our help, you'll be able to convince nearly anyone to drink better beer, and you just might have some fun in the process.

1) Never force someone to drink better beer or ambush them with something that might overwhelm them. Instead, slyly suggest alternatives that are slightly different than their usual beer of choice. With each future suggestion, stray further and further away from the original. Be patient, and never insult them by making fun of their likes, dislikes or any brands that they truly enjoy.

2) Host a party for your drinking-impaired pals, and only serve beer according to the above suggestions of engagement. Tell them you've got the beer covered this time, so that they're not tempted to bring their own. Also, take a look at our “How To Host a Beer-Tasting Party” article in the Beer 101 section of our website. We suggest that you reference beeradvocate.com, so that they'll eventually come back for more info.

3) As we all know, people at parties love to drink beer they didn't bring, usually because they brought the cheap-ass swill. So next time you're invited to a party, bring some of your absolute favorite beer. Locate that central beer repository where everyone at the party hangs out, and be sure to insert your bottled troops, making sure that you hide back-up troops for your own consumption. Once your beer is in place, sit back and watch for reactions. When the moochers start enjoying your brew, make it known that it's your beer. They'll feel guilty at first, but use this to your advantage. Tell them it's OK, and then begin your interrogation. Question them on how they like it, what they usually like, and talk a bit about the beer. Be cool, though; don't go beer geek on them. Ask if they'd like another.

4) Having friends over? Experiment by breaking out an assorted cheese plate with some beer pairings, or host a dinner party and pair each course with a particular beer. A food pairing can be a huge success and loads of fun when done right. Beer and cheese is a natural match that's sure to not disappoint.

5) Invited to a dinner party? Bring a few 750ml corked bottles of fine beer to present to your hosts, and watch their surprise when you tell them it's a fine, handcrafted, artisan beer. Insist on opening it, pop the cork, and watch reactions as you pour the lively beer into their wine glasses, creating anticipation as you briefly describe the flavors that they're about to experience. Go in for the kill by divulging that each bottle is cheaper than most low-end wines but tenfold in its complexities.

6) Word-of-mouth rules! E-mail can be a powerful tool when you're trying to grab the attention of friends and family. All you have to do is e-mail everyone in your address book and tell them to check out beeradvocate.com, a beer festival, beer dinner or any other interesting beer event. Assuming that you're a trustworthy individual, this should be interpreted as a friendly invitation rather than a load of spam.

Now, one final question: Are you one of the beer-drinking impaired? If so, reading this has been your first step toward drinking better beer. Take the next step and allow your palate to explore a bit, and open your mind to a world of better beer. You might not like everything at first, and some concepts might seem odd, but we guarantee that your palate will mature with time and that your mind will be wowed by the endless possibilities that the world of beer has to offer.

Operation Drink Better Beer complete.

Respect beer.
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