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Bottle Share Etiquette

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

  1. nc41

    nc41 Advocate (600) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008

    You pour what you bring, you don't reach for another guys beer and help yourself.
    Catracho5 likes this.
  2. robbrandes

    robbrandes Aficionado (245) Oregon Nov 30, 2010

    logic dictates that more people = greater chance that someone clueless about bottle share 'etiquette' will be present. just like the more people you have in a theater, the greater the chance you'll have some toolbox texting/yakking throughout the movie.

    putting myself in position of that 'overzealous opener' i'd like to think i'd at least have had the common sense/decency to say 'hey, this sure as hell doesn't look natty light, can i try it?' i'd also share the crap out of my natty light.
  3. Hessma

    Hessma Disciple (70) Colorado Oct 19, 2012

    HOLY COW, this thread got BIG! This is getting pretty serious...
  4. Beer is serious business.
    riverlen and Hessma like this.
  5. will_eye_e

    will_eye_e Savant (380) Florida Jul 29, 2013

    Glad I found this thread before creating a new one.

    So, what is your take on inviting a guest to a bottle share that doesn't have bottles to offer? I have a couple of friends I'd love to invite to a share, that are into craft beer, but not into some of the subcultures - trades, whale hunting, truck chasing, etc. I was talking to a friend about this yesterday and he suggested:
    • Get an OK from the host / group on the invite
    • Have the invitee go to a local shop and pick out a few brews they are interested in trying and wanting to share (I like this suggestion)
    Thoughts?
    TonyJ815 likes this.
  6. Besides getting the ok to bring someone if youre not the host, I would cover for the friend I am bringing providing appropriate bottles for them to bring and if they liked the event they can work on getting bottles for next time.
  7. Abbbp

    Abbbp Savant (385) Texas Mar 9, 2013

    Only you know the quality of the bottles at the share. As you mentioned your friends are into craft beer but may not be aware of the difficulty to acquire some bottles present, therefore if at the share the parameter is for people to bring two bottles apiece, then maybe you can bring an extra bottle for each of the friends your inviting, and they buy the other bottle to bring.
  8. I have done this before. I trade rarely due to money constraints. So if I get an invite to a share, and I don't have anything bottle share worthy on hand, I have a friend who lets me take some of his bottles and I throw him money for it. It's a win-win- I get to bring cool stuff, and he usually picks stuff he'd want to try at our shares anyway.
    pknyc and Abbbp like this.
  9. I've never experienced a real bottle share before... and I have a few friends that's been really pushing me to attend one of these events. I have a few hard to get bottles that I wouldn't mind sharing but I've heard stories about people bringing in shelf turds to these events. What do you do when these guys walk up to you and offers a pour? Do you give them a pour of the beer you brought? My friends say to just avoid those people and stick with the crowd that brought the whalez... but I'm curious to hear other people's experience on this.
  10. riverlen

    riverlen Aficionado (180) Illinois Sep 16, 2009

    I disagree with the "if it's not your's hands off" opinions. Isn't the whole point of a bottle share to get some of what's not yours? And of course you return the favor by bringing your bottles to the party knowing that someone else will put their hands on those. This isn't a byo party where the guy who brought the Bud Lite starts helping himself to the Chimay.
  11. jivex5k

    jivex5k Advocate (550) Florida Apr 13, 2011

    I'm glad I don't have to think about all this shit when I go to a bottle share. There's basically one rule: Don't be a stingy asshole.
    But I rarely go to bottle shares with strangers these, having them with close friends is much more fun. We are all on the same page.
  12. fredmugs

    fredmugs Champion (820) Indiana Aug 11, 2012

    If it's a planned share there should be a list beforehand. If it's a bottle release like Dark Lord Day then you have no idea what's going to get passed around and it will vary signficantly. At my DLD some guy was walking around with a regular Stone IRS from 2007 acting like it was Moby Dick himself.

    As far as bringing someone is concerned I brought a friend to the KBS bottle share and made a deal with him that if he paid for the transportation I would provide more bottles on his behalf. You should work that out with your guest and not with the group because the group is generally going to say OK.
  13. fredmugs

    fredmugs Champion (820) Indiana Aug 11, 2012

    The rule is if you didn't bring it don't open it. How would like to bring something you've never had before and it gets drank without your knowing it. If you see an open bottle then help yourself.
  14. beerindaglass

    beerindaglass Savant (300) Florida Feb 20, 2013

    I've never been to a bottle share, (No will I am, I'm not asking for an invite :D..) but I assumed this is how ALL bottle shares went down. After reading this thread they sound stressful. I think I'll just stick to sipping cool ones with close friends and family.
    albertq17, dianimal and will_eye_e like this.
  15. thewrongtone

    thewrongtone Savant (355) Texas Oct 15, 2006

    It's funny how people treat a bottleSHARE as some sort of in-person, open-bottle pour trade.

    If you are there as a true advocate to share what you have acquired, then do so. If you want to work on your one-upping skills at some snobby whale-fest, then do so.

    Just don't pretend you can do both. We need a different word for the second one. Maybe bottle contest?
  16. Jeffries55

    Jeffries55 Savant (355) Ohio Sep 5, 2013

    Well said, this needs to be in your signature...!

    This is as far as I got before the 14 yo in me burst out. Generally, and I'm speaking in generalities here, but when I'm in a room full of dudes, I abide by this rule lol.
  17. All "bottle shares" that I have attended involve individuals bringing special bottles from their cellars/collections. We determine an order and then open them one by one and all discuss each beer. Once one is kicked, we then move on to the next one. Stories are shared, food is eaten, laughter ensues... With this approach, each person gets to both share and taste their (and all) beer(s). I would be pretty pissed if, unbeknownst to me, someone opened my 2009 Cantillon and drank it before I got a proper taste/review.

    Perhaps it is definitional; I consider a "bottle share" the same as a real beer tasting. Sounds like what some of you are describing is what we called "quarantines" back in college.
  18. It just depends on the format you are going with. If it's beers in a ice bucket/bin and no order to the tasting, then you just don't open someone else's bottle. Nothing to say after that.

    I have the stance that if they opened it, poured it around in their dick swaggering, then put it down, once the bottle is opened and put down, then it's up for grabs on pouring. Though typically it's nicer for the owner to pour it for you. It avoids potential hurt feelings if it's perceived you heavy handed your own pour.


    But bottle shares where you set them up and knock them back one by one seem to avoid all those etiquette questions.
  19. AdmiralOzone

    AdmiralOzone Savant (335) Minnesota Jun 26, 2014

    Me either.
  20. sssence

    sssence Aficionado (105) Missouri Oct 23, 2013

    Our group of geeks does it a bit different:
    Everyone puts their beers in a large ice bucket. We then go around the circle, one at a time, each person selecting a bottle of their choice to open (doesn't matter who brought it) and pouring everyone out a glass from said bottle. Sometimes we finish the bottle entirely before the next one is opened, sometimes if there's plenty left in the bottle we set it to the side and finish it off at the end. Each person gets a turn to select and pour (even if it's a guest).

    I've been to shares where the etiquette is to open the bottle you brought, and if you want to open something you did not bring, then you should ask.

    Seems the simplest resolution to an issue like this is to not invite said person back to the next share.
    Biff_Tannen and tommyguz like this.
  21. MarkyMOD

    MarkyMOD Advocate (630) Colorado Apr 5, 2012

    How is not opening someone else's bottle at a share even debatable? If it's a big share and you think you may not get to an unopened bottle you see, just find the person who brought it and ask if they wouldn't mind opening it next/soon. This is what parenting is for...
  22. MrDave

    MrDave Advocate (540) California Jan 23, 2013

    THIS^^ indeed!

    "Would you like to come to my bottle contest? Feel free to bring a couple bottles to open and a couple to feature on the liquid trophy mantle temporarily. In the event of a tie, rulers will be provided for, well, you know..."
    thewrongtone and patdunkel like this.
  23. briang01

    briang01 Savant (270) Maryland Dec 9, 2009

    Normally the 'bringer' of the beer talks about and does the first pour and then passes it around the table. The 'bringer' is allowed the largest pour and gets leftovers should they exist.

    That's how it has worked out at our events although it was never specifically discussed.


    If you are up for a little more planning I always enjoy a blind tasting:

    1. put each bottle in a bag (40 style)
    2. pass the bags around so everyone has one
    3. the owner of the bag pours for everyone
    4. rate the beers without knowing what they are (be prepared to change your opinion on whales or even your ability to correctly guess the style)
    BarrytheBear likes this.
  24. Blind tastings are the best. Without "label bias", be prepared to change some of your ratings.
    patdunkel likes this.
  25. briang01

    briang01 Savant (270) Maryland Dec 9, 2009


    Agree 100% - its worth the hassle to try this occasionall
  26. will_eye_e

    will_eye_e Savant (380) Florida Jul 29, 2013

    @TonyJ815 and I were actually talking about you the other day. You bring all the whalez and we'll bring the Miller Fortune.
    TonyJ815 and beerindaglass like this.
  27. I think the rules are drastically different depending on what type of share you are at. If this is a share with my close buddies I wouldn't give a shit who opens what when (obviously).

    From the OP this sounds like more of a public share with a decent amount of people many of which he didn't know. If this is the case, the general rule I think you go by is DON'T TOUCH OTHER PEOPLE'S BEER! Pretty simple. I couldn't even fathom just grabbing someone's beer, thinking to myself "Damn, this looks pretty tasty and crack it open". Then again I try to be at least somewhat cognizant of the impact my actions have on others. (Crazy concept I know).

    The exception to this rule is if there is a predetermined location you can put beers that anyone is free to go after "big plastic ice tub in the middle of the room". If that big plastic tub was not intended as a free for all cooler then all I can say is welcome to the world of inconsiderate dumb shits we live with.
  28. ASTMONATE

    ASTMONATE Aficionado (210) Illinois Apr 23, 2014

    From time to time, my group will do a "blind' tasting. Everyone brings a predetermined # of bottles to share but there is one rule...it must be brought in a brown paper sack. We all write our names on the sack and then take turns pouring our own beers. Its always a good time and it can often lead to some interesting surprises as it cuts out the pre-conceived notions of what we "think" we will think about the beer itself. The beer isnt revealed until everyone has finished their pour and at least taken a stab at guessing the identity of said beer. As far as regular bottle share etiquette, I say the person that brings the beer is the person that pours said beer. Cut and dry.
  29. socon67

    socon67 Advocate (600) New York Jun 18, 2010

    I've generally done bottle share's with my local group. We always have food and try to at least "plan" the order of the bottles being consumed so we have time to enjoy the selections without palate fatigue. The person who brings the bottle gets the honor to open and pour it.
    TonyJ815 likes this.
  30. Any new word on the next Beer Belly one?
  31. Haven't heard back. But basically with World Cup dominating the last few weeks, it didn't seem like any good windows were available. Hoping for some time in the next Month to do at least one.
  32. Isn't one of the issues with a scramble or blind approach, as many of you advocate, palate wrecking, pun intended, early in an event? I would hate to attend a brown-bag event and have the first "mystery" beer be Crime or Punishment; could ruin some of the subtle nuances of beer to follow. That is why we try to make a rough order before starting. Similar to the approach we take at beer events.
  33. Heretic42

    Heretic42 Savant (410) Texas Aug 31, 2011

    Aside from the other suggestions, esp providing beers for said friend(s), some shares will welcome food in lieu of beer. Preferably something significant/thoughtful, e.g. nice cheeses, meats, chocolates or maybe a special pairing of a homemade dish with a beer.

    Just be sure to at least bring enough for the entire group.

    Maybe I'm reading a different thread, but I didn't get that impression at all. This isn't about quid-pro-quo with some rare beers, it's about respecting other people's stuff. Hell, the bottle that spawned this thread was V@S.
    will_eye_e likes this.
  34. guinness77

    guinness77 Savant (465) New York Jan 6, 2014

    I don't want to start a controversy and don't want to hijack this thread but I have 2 questions since I'm an admitted savage who's never been to one and is, frankly, a scared to go.

    1) how do you not get absolutely shitfaced at something like this? Or, matter of factly, hungover from all the different beers/styles?

    2) how can your palette really (and I do mean really) discern what's pleasing and what's not pleasing after a few different tastings in such a short period of time?
    keithmurray, T-Bird and Homebrew like this.
  35. Jwale73

    Jwale73 Advocate (670) Rhode Island Aug 15, 2007

    That, and if it is opened "to share" don't pour yourself a huge pour when there's only one bottle and several people who may want to try it!
  36. I've never been to the bigger style shares and I just assume everyone at those do get shitfaced. I'm more comfortable with 3-6 people and 6-10 bottles. You get a generous pour of each bottle and can remain coherent and appreciate the bottles that are being opened.
    guinness77 likes this.
  37. Heretic42

    Heretic42 Savant (410) Texas Aug 31, 2011

    1) Have smaller pours, plenty of water, stick to lower ABV beers (easier for some "themed" shares), skip some beers, drink over a longer period, or just have a smaller share altogether

    2) Palate cleanser between beers, switch styles somewhat often, and don't front-load all the heavy/intense beers
    guinness77 likes this.
  38. MarkyMOD

    MarkyMOD Advocate (630) Colorado Apr 5, 2012

    Yes, exactly. Make sure everyone has the same amount of liquid in their glass (including yourself!) because you know, sharing, and try not to get any yeast in the pours.
    Jwale73 likes this.
  39. Pintofbrown

    Pintofbrown Advocate (540) Iowa Jun 25, 2011

    Don't be this person at a bottle share:

    - Opens someone else's bottle without getting the okay to do so first.
    - Brings no beer, or a tall boy of a macro from the gas station (unless your tasting is "ironic").
    - Pours twice as much as everyone else.
    - Is more worried about their Untappd / other phone app than the people around them.
    Quickicks likes this.
  40. TheSamKuehn

    TheSamKuehn Advocate (535) Florida Aug 27, 2012

    I'm going to a stellar share on Saturday with a buddy just getting into true craft beer. I let the host, who is a good friend, know ahead of time he was coming and that I'd cover his bottles. This will be his 2nd bottle share (I was with him at his 1st as well) and my...I've done too many of these. Ill be helping him throughout the night on the do's and don'ts. Odds are he'll bail me out of some sort of situation I find myself in and a couple of bottle share bottles will be the least of my concern.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
    Skrypt, PA-Michigander and will_eye_e like this.

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