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Bottle Share Etiquette

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Siggy125, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Siggy125

    Siggy125 Advocate (635) California Nov 10, 2006 Beer Trader

    I heard of a little drama at a bottle share recently where someone removed a bottle from a big plastic ice tub in the middle of the room, popped it open and began pouring it with others. The bottle was not one that he brought. The person that brought the bottle was a little miffed at this.

    If I placed a bottle out in the open for all to enjoy, I don't think I'd get bent over someone else opening it. However, if I had a very special bottle tucked away in my own bottle bag, I wouldnt appreciate it someone went digging and cracked it open.

    What are your thoughts on this? Is there any type of prescribed bottle share etiquette somewhere?
    neenerzig and Rainblows like this.
  2. Its just part of human psychology - if someone brings something for others to enjoy, they want the recognition that they are the ones responsible
    dianimal, yemenmocha, bens0n and 27 others like this.
  3. I think it's pretty simple: only open the bottles you brought. If you want to open a bottle that you didn't bring, ask the person that brought it.

    Isn't this the kind of stuff that's taught in kindergarten?
  4. Exactly. This is like 'acting like a human' 101. I would be pretty miffed too honestly. It's simple manners.
  5. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    We don't open a bunch of beers at once. You hand a beer you brought to the pourer, he pours it for everyone *drink* then repeat.

    I would never grab someone elses' beer, open it and start passing it around without permission. That's rude.
    neenerzig, BrettHead, Gear54 and 16 others like this.
  6. xnicknj

    xnicknj Advocate (740) Pennsylvania May 25, 2009

    If it's not mine, I don't open it without asking. This goes for my friends that I've had since I was 10 years old to complete strangers at bottle releases. Common courtesy.
  7. Revenant

    Revenant Savant (350) Minnesota Aug 8, 2012

    Are you guys serious? It's a bottle of beer. :cool: I mean it's not like a swinger party where some guy just grabs your wife and starts going to town, right?
    neenerzig, Boca-X, tzach and 13 others like this.
  8. Went to a bottle share Sunday. We didn't have a pourer or anything but we basically handed it to the person who brought it since they were all laid out in the center. The person who brought it opened it and he poured it for everyone in his range then passed it to someone else to pour for the rest of the group. But we absolutely did not open a bottle that wasnt our own. It's just common courtesy. Yeah, we were egging some to open their bottles but we didn't open it nor did we force them to open it. Once everyone got a pour the remains were a free for all. But to open someone else's bottle without permission is rude
  9. ridglens

    ridglens Initiate (0) Indiana Jan 10, 2010

    Depending on the beer, i would probably want to open and pour myself. It might be because of greediness that i want to "get credit for it", but i would like to think it's kind of like mailing someone a gift vs giving it to them. The enjoyment i get out of personally sharing, seeing enjoyment, etc., is really what it's all about and what convinces me most often to bring tough to find beers! It it nice to be thanked? Sure, but i honestly get much more enjoyment out of pouring people beers they thought they would never try/etc. and seeing them get excited. I've been there, I've been poured a taste of an "i-can't-get-this" whale, and it's pretty exciting, i like paying that forward to others.

    Regardless of the motivation, though, i would never open someone else's bottle, at least without asking (and depending on the beer/person, i probably wouldn't even ask!). that being said, unless that bottle was a monster/major part of the tasting, i probably wouldn't cause too much drama if someone cracked one of mine that i was planning on opening anyway, i'd just keep my miffedness to myself and enjoy the beer!
  10. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    I'd be a little annoyed as well. Was the dude already drunk when he opened the bottle that didn't belong to him?
  11. FTowne

    FTowne Initiate (0) Missouri Jan 27, 2012

    On the topic of bottle shares:

    Do you go to enjoy the company of others as well as trying new/great beer or do you put your game face on and get pissy when people aren't drinking their pour fast enough so that you can tick the next whale?
    cck5, rather, Bung and 2 others like this.
  12. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (855) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Maybe we can get some grown ups to chime in on this thread and help us decide.


    I guess it's natural to be a little miffed if you were looking to impress a bunch of people, but if that were the case then you should have offered it up for pouring right away.

    Apathy is the real solution here.
    sharpski, 1000lbgrizzly, Bung and 6 others like this.
  13. New great beer and enjoy other like minded people's company. Taste the beer, discuss it, joke around, eat some food, drink water to cleanse our palates and repeat with the next beer. No one is rushed at all
    Bung, AnnArborJoe, ehammond1 and 2 others like this.
  14. quirkzoo

    quirkzoo Initiate (0) Colorado Jul 7, 2011

    I think it is common courtesy to at least ask before opening a bottle that someone else brought. I think simply asking "Hey can we open up the Wooden Hell next?" would be the best route. But I also believe that if someone brought a bottle to a bottle share, that they should be okay when said bottle gets shared.
  15. I think it is a violation of the etiquette of the event, but to make a big deal out of it would be just as bad. A "normal" party often features coolers full of beer and it goes without saying that guests should help themselves. This is a different kind of event, but it can sometimes be tricky to adjust, or to remember that the rules are now different. I am quite sure that this is not taught in kindergarten, and it is not "acting like a human 101," it's a much more advanced class.
    drtth, 5thOhio, smitherz22 and 2 others like this.
  16. never being to one of these things, i had a dream about it a few weeks back... someone opened a bottle of beer i had brought and never had before... they opened, poured for everyone else and i didnt know until the bottle was gone. I was pretty pissed and the guy said to me "welcome to beer nerds." While i'm not accusing, it was pretty funny... But in the end, I wouldn't open a beer i didnt bring... seems a bit rude.
  17. Yes it's only a bottle of beer but it's also simple courtesy to ask first. I might be annoyed but if it was something really special I wouldn't toss it in a tub in the middle of the room.
    AdmiralOzone and ShaBizzle like this.
  18. I have never been to a bottle share, but if I were to go, I can't imagine I would open anything I didn't bring.
  19. But, not unlike the OP's situation, wouldn't it be extended (oops, Freudian slip) expected at a swinger party for someone else to start thowing down on your wife? Isn't that what you went there for? To share?

    I don't know. It's been awhile since my last swinger party.
    AdmiralOzone, Revenant and Siggy125 like this.
  20. Somewhat irrelevant, but reading this suddenly made me recall an episode from kindergarten. Our teacher had asked us to bring some autumn related items to decorate our classroom with. Over the weekend, my mother and a few friends went on a hiking trip. I ended up collecting a whole bag full of rustic leaves and proudly brought them to class on Monday. We were sitting around in our customary positions in a circle as the teacher was going over who brought what item. When the time came to my bag of leaves, as soon as she asked for who brought it, a random boy raised his hand and started shouting "ME!!!". I couldn't believe it. Even at that age, I was flabbergasted and became very angry. We had a policy of not speaking until we got called out for raising our hand in class. But my teacher simply told me to put my hand down and be quiet while all the fame and glory went to my thunder stealing classmate.... :(

    Now we're adults and things are still the same.. No, in all honesty though, the guy who opened it didn't probably even realize it was a beer of value that this person brought to the party. He was just probably drunk and looking for the next thing to drink and share with others. I highly doubt he was intentionally trying to claim it for his own, but can still understand why the person who initially brought the bottle would be upset.
  21. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Subscriber

    Maybe people should establish the ground rules first at these things? Just seems to make sense to me. Either one person opens and pours for all, or each individual opens and pours what they brought to share. But in a group setting where the intent is to share the beer, it's a tough call whether it is really rude or not. What it actually sounds like is someone's ego was bruised because they weren't recognized.

    The implication of the event is that beers are going to be opened and shared, discussed, etc. So - have a little chat beforehand on how it should go down. Seems simple enough for the host (or even the group) to agree how it should roll up front. Pot luck - whatever gets opened gets shared whenever. Host opens - well, it's their event and their plan. The real affront to me would be everyone not getting to taste each beer - that would be bad manners no matter how the event was organized, IMHO.

    Thinking about it, I would prefer it to be "run what ya brung" as we say at the race track, so if you brought it you open and serve. It might be a pretty arbitrary personal feeling, but it would enhance the experience for me (never having been to one of these things) to open whatever I brought in the sense of personal sharing (referring to ridglens post). But if the format were different, I don't think I would get warped about somebody else opening and serving as long as everybody gets to taste. You are gonna chat anyway - if it is that important to say "I brought that XYZ" and tell the story of capturing Moby Dick, the opportunity would present itself.

    To me, the big plastic tub almost implies free choice by whomever. Thinking of some of our family type events, whatever we put in the coolers is up for grabs and it will be a mixed bag. Whatever is on the side table is not - offered to all interested, but sort of controlled at least a little. Nobody raids the hosts personal stash either - look but don't touch kind of thing - but if you spot something you want to try, we open 'er up. But without us "establishing the boundaries" up front, who would know? And it wasn't a big thing, it just kind of evolved.
    AdmiralOzone likes this.
  22. At least it wasn't a "big salad."
    thomda11, jdb288, pknyc and 9 others like this.
  23. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Advocate (745) Oklahoma Oct 22, 2010

    I prefer to open the bottles I bring and I would not open bottles that others brought. That's just me - maybe a Southern thing. I didn't let another kid present my show and tell item when I was in grade school either.
    JonathanC, AdmiralOzone and Azzy like this.
  24. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (975) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    There's really nothing to discuss here, opening someone elses beer without their permission is not cool.
  25. I would have taken it and THROWN IT ON THE GROUNNNNNNDDD!!!!!
  26. BTPete

    BTPete Savant (295) New York Jan 28, 2009 Subscriber Beer Trader

    Not a huge deal but it is common courtesy. I have never opened someone else's bottle at a bottle share. It isn't a drinking party with a kiddie pool full of Utica Club.
    pknyc and AdmiralOzone like this.
  27. sil1

    sil1 Savant (290) California May 19, 2012 Beer Trader

    Has anyone had a situation where there is no one designated to poar, and have some people grossly overpoaring beer they didn't bring ? I thought it was pretty fucken rude, I mean it's a tasting.
  28. BILF

    BILF Advocate (725) Israel Jan 9, 2010

    You don't light someone else's joint unless invited. You don't catch someone else's wave unless they call you onto it. You don't
    Feed someone else's dog. You don't comandeer the hosts BBQ tongs. You don't get busted staring at your mate's wife.

    And you sure as fuck don't open someone else's beer.
  29. krl2112

    krl2112 Advocate (680) Illinois Nov 10, 2012 Beer Trader

    Agreed. Plus it is just polite to ask when not sure. Better to be safe than sorry IMO.
    AdmiralOzone likes this.
  30. i guess it depends. if i brought something commonplace i probably could care less ( even if it was rude and i certainly would never open a bottle without permission ). However if it was something rare, i probably wouldn't be too happy.
    AdmiralOzone likes this.
  31. beercollector

    beercollector Savant (270) Oregon Jan 31, 2005

    Don't think there are absolutes here. Several of us have beer tastings. Recently we did the Stone Vertical Epic 03.03.03 to 12.12.12. We had designated pourers, there were taster glasses for each one for each person tasting. Once everyone had their set and had finished, then any remaining bottles opened or closed were free game. At other tastings w/o a designated person to pour, then the host establishes the ground rules. finally, at summer parties, it's clear that the cooler full of beer or the outdoors beer fridge are free game. If you have somethimng special you bring a separate cooler for yourself. If you don't know the rules or the host doesn't post. Ask.
    AdmiralOzone likes this.
  32. Yep. 2 guys showed up to a tasting, didn't bring any beer at all but knew a guy there who actually left really early. Kept over pouring beer and finally one of the other guys decided to pour for them when we got to the pricier beers. He even told them "this is a $40 bottle of beer, once everyone gets some you can get more" when they looked at him like he was being stingy with the beer. They left soon after. Didn't speak to a single person there after their friend left, but still overpoured on everything.
    argock likes this.
  33. sil1

    sil1 Savant (290) California May 19, 2012 Beer Trader

    Yea it pissed me off, everyone had tasting glasses and they for some reason thought they were special and had regular size glasses,I didn't know them.. But my buddy did. I went over and told them "u know this is a fucking tasting right" both looked at me pissed and didn't say shit.
  34. ant880

    ant880 Advocate (655) New York Nov 7, 2010

    This is the most ambitious #2 post by a member in the history of Beer Advocate...I like the cut of your jib kid, I've got my eye on you.
  35. Hey. Swingers do not just grab and go to town. They MUST be invited by the respective party(ies) to join in. In my circle, whoever brings the bottle usually presents it and opens/pours it. Just our way. Thanks.
    AdmiralOzone likes this.
  36. RDMII

    RDMII Savant (485) Georgia Apr 11, 2010

    This is one of the reasons I don't attend many bottle tastings. Too many people beating their chest about what they brought being better than everyone else's, or people literally talking shit about lesser beers. I don't fly around the World weekly, so I can't bring shit that no one has ever heard of.

    Secondly, the "we all get the same amount except for the cooler people, they get double" mentality. Someone is always going to think the beer they brought should be consumed by them only, or hoarded away for only the people they want to share with. And someone else will always try and snag beers from others since they brought lesser stuff.

    Hell with that. If I'm sharing a bottle, which I rarely do with anyone, I want it to be a tension free, relaxed, enjoyable time.
    Rutager, mikeburd1128 and Bung like this.
  37. Are some of you just having parties with good beer? i.e. a gathering where anybody can show up and drink the beer and people bring friends?

    Any bottle share I've ever done is highly controlled, small guest list, and often some of the bottles are predetermined in advance. I can't fathom anybody just blindly opening a bottle at a bottle share without the owner of said bottle being well aware it is about to happen.
    quetzal013 and nanobrew like this.
  38. mecummins

    mecummins Savant (425) Illinois Nov 16, 2012

    I've never been to one of these. Are they usually made up of strangers/ acquaintances or of people who know each other somewhat? Because yes, I would think it incredible rude to open a bottle that didn't belong to me if I was at an event where there was a certain formality to it. But if it was a Sunday afternoon with a group of friends, I probably wouldn't let it bother me one bit. Very different situations.
    gpawned and MarkIntihar like this.
  39. jsilva

    jsilva Savant (365) Massachusetts Nov 10, 2009

    In my best Chris Tucker voice " Dont ever touch a black mans radio" aka "Dont ever open someone elses beer." Sounds like tomfoolery to me. If your coming to a tasting you better have been invited and bring a few bottles to share.
    gkatsoris likes this.
  40. Pittsky

    Pittsky Savant (250) Florida May 28, 2009 Beer Trader

    my thoughts on it is you don't touch stuff that isn't yours...i dont care if it's in the middle of the room, the side of a room, on the floor....if some random drunk dude i dont know walks up to my stuff and just casually takes a beer of mine out and walks off with it, i'm saying something. i dont care how drunk he is. if im familiar with you it's fine.

    i dont see whats wrong with getting recogniztion for bringing a nice bottle for people to share....i enjoy doing nice things for people and it doesnt suck to get recognized for it. it makes you feel good. if you dont get recognition it's all good too. i'm a police officer, believe me, im used to it. lol
    Bluecane likes this.