Bottle Share Etiquette

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

  1. LeRose

    LeRose Savant (962) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    OP says there was a big blue tub, though....
    BTPete likes this.
  2. Johnnyramirez

    Johnnyramirez Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    It was at a bar and one of the guys invited took 2 of his friends. No one blindly opened bottles, however we didn't have a pourer so after we got our pour we passed it around using the "honor system"
  3. Lazerlobe

    Lazerlobe Aspirant (262) Mar 1, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I've been to larger bottle shares before a beer release where a bottle simply cannot be shared among all the attendees (>50 people). There is usually a table for beers waiting to be opened but as a rule, you open what you bring. I've had other people open a bottle that I brought to share and pour it when I wasn't around leaving me without a chance to try it.

    It's not always the 'prestige' that comes with opening your own bottle, but if you've traded for a limited beer and burned some calories trying to acquire it, it's nice to get to try it.
  4. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2008 California

    Reading this and other type of threads makes me grateful for my friends, RS people I trustee for, and trade partners. I have gone to a lot of bottle shares, and never has the etiquette of who should pour been brought up. It has always been either the person who brought the beer opens the beer, or they ask someone to open the beer, or is asked if it is okay to open. This has been the same for bottle shares with 3 to 20 people and even events like Woodshop and Stone Festivals.
  5. DrLasers

    DrLasers Initiate (160) Apr 18, 2011 California

    My solution is not going to these "Tastings" anymore. The mere thought of being in another room full of beer nerds is enough to give me moobs.
    beerindaglass and davemike2112 like this.
  6. Myst

    Myst Disciple (315) Dec 13, 2011 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Grab a bottle, show it to group, if everyone nods and says yes, pop it open, pour and pass. If owner of bottle wants to say a few things bout beer, they do that then , pop pour pass.
  7. gueuzegeek

    gueuzegeek Initiate (0) Aug 11, 2003 New Jersey

    I think it is best if you just lay out some ground rules at the onset, such as, if you put your bottle on the beer tasting table (larger events do this) it is fair game OR ONLY open your own bottles, but it is best to make the rules clear so that does not happen. I have been to BOTH versions, and personally, I like the former, whereby, the rule can be interpreted as, don't put it on the table if you do not want it consumed. In BOTH cases, no one should go reaching into another person's stash. It could have been something they brought for a beer trade/gift for a friend.
    cavedave likes this.
  8. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Manners & brains.

    Some got'em, some don't.
  9. westcoastbeerlvr

    westcoastbeerlvr Poo-Bah (1,565) Oct 19, 2010 California

    The old rule I used to always hear was, "If it's on the table, it's fair game." Ice chest was a holding zone. It was polite to wait until the owner pulled it out and was ready for it.
    cavedave and gueuzegeek like this.
  10. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Beer tastings are dick-waging fests, the bottle you brought is an extension of your ticker-wagger.

    Never touch another man's ticker-wagger, bro.
    BILF and Bung like this.
  11. jl28r1

    jl28r1 Zealot (511) Jan 10, 2011 Texas

    This thread makes me really thankful for my tasting group. I couldn't imagine anything like this, we are all friends and treat each other as such.
    Thanks Guys (and Gals :slight_smile:)
  12. LeRose

    LeRose Savant (962) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    Think I might have to find another hobby. Between tastings, glasses, whaling, ticking, reviewing, cellaring, snobbery, manners, etc. this is wayyyyyy to complicated for proper relaxation....implied smiley winky face since iPad is stupid.
    mikeburd1128 likes this.
  13. Nectar

    Nectar Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

    This. I know everyone in out tasting group and we rotate through each others places each month.
  14. colonelforbin

    colonelforbin Initiate (117) Aug 23, 2007 California

    I was at a tasting not too long ago at which someone stole a nice bottle I had brought. I put a few beers into the cooler at the beginning of the tasting and a few hours later when I went to look for it so I could open it, it was gone. I (along with others) searched everywhere it could have been and it was not to be found.

    Pretty shitty. Was a really nice bottle too (maybe the reason why it was taken).
  15. jmgrub

    jmgrub Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 California

    If it's a bigger share and I bring a prized bottle, I want everyone to get at least some, but, as with many things, I am going to try to make sure that my closer friends get taken care of first. I heard a story of a (big, organized) bottleshare event last weekend where attendees brought bottles, handed them over to the management, management gave them a glass, and then management just proceeded to open beers randomly and pour to whomever wanted it. If I brought a prized bottle to something like that, you're damn right I'd be pissed if I didn't get a taste of it, though this seems like a much more extreme situation that what went on at OPs bottle share.

    Default Rule: If it's not yours, don't open it.
    Bluecane likes this.
  16. thenamestsam

    thenamestsam Initiate (121) Sep 13, 2012 New York

    I guess I've never been to a bottle share as formal as the ones being described. When I get together with people to share bottles of beer, the people are my friends, and the bottles of beer are brought to share. I don't care who opens the beer: to me the whole point of bringing things to share is to share them, and I really don't need to make any kind of speech or perform a sacred ritual for my beer before its opened. If I want to make sure I get a pour I'll use the secret, special phrase: "Hey, can I get a pour of that?". I'm not sure how everyone has managed to make sharing some beers with some friends quite so complicated.

    In conclusion, my $0.02: It's not totally clear to me what the person described in the OP is annoyed about. If the other guys opened and drank all the beer without offering the rest of the room a pour, those guys are assholes and I understand his pain. My advice: Don't go to bottleshares with assholes. But it sounds like he's just miffed that he didn't get a chance to physically open the bottle. Not sure I understand that.
    nophunk, rightcoast7 and AngusOg like this.
  17. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2012 Oregon

    I adhere to the Law of the Tongue, he who slays it gets first pour...period!
  18. C2H5

    C2H5 Disciple (383) Jan 7, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Never rub another man's rhubarb.
    Open your own stuff, dont open anyone's beer, even further don't even ask to open beers that aren't know what!? Leave, get out! Who invited the mooch!?
    AxesandAnchors likes this.
  19. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (4,932) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    "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."

    Me either. If I brought bottles, and I would, I would actually appreciate someone else opening one or all. No doubt, I'd have had the beer before, well usually, so it would be a thrill to see someone else get some joy out of it. Call me different, I guess.
  20. ForkAndSpoonOp

    ForkAndSpoonOp Initiate (0) May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Don't mow another man's lawn.
  21. robboyd

    robboyd Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2011 Indiana

    Apparently I've been doing it wrong at swinger parties.
    SageO likes this.
  22. buffs9

    buffs9 Aspirant (291) Apr 28, 2008 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I normally hit tastings of 4-10 people and that's about the max I'd like. No one has ever said a word about procedure, but just naturally whoever brought the beer: opens it, pours themselves some beer then just passes the bottle to whoever is closest. We usually have 3-5 open bottles going at any time, which I dig. Sometimes there's a "will you open the ____ now?", which is always answered positively as the beer wouldn't (shouldn't) have been brought if you didn't want to share it.
    robboyd likes this.
  23. TonyTalon

    TonyTalon Disciple (392) Mar 20, 2012 Wisconsin

    Lets say your going to a public bottle share and you are bringing some beers that are pretty expensive and take some effort to get. When you looked at the list, yes there is a spread sheet of who is bringing what, you noticed some guys are bringing some off the shelf, meh, averaged priced beers. How do you feel about that?
  24. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    you don't open bottles you didn't bring. How hard is that?
  25. sil1

    sil1 Aspirant (227) May 19, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Ha ha ha
  26. robboyd

    robboyd Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2011 Indiana

    If it's organized, it's really up to the organizer to determine what an even shake is and up to you on if you want to participate. No point in getting upset once you're there. If it's just a random public event, say a line at a beer release for example, I'm happy to pour anything for anyone who is interested. I usually bring far too much beer (almost exclusively expensive and hard to source beers) than I could personally drink on my own, along with a lot of extra cups, with the expectation that some might not contribute anything at all. It's only beer and it's a whole lot of fun.
    zekeman17, luwak and TonyTalon like this.
  27. ewright

    ewright Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2007 North Carolina

    This thread makes me thankful for the group of guys I open beers with. We all throw our bottles in a big group and go around the room, each person gets to pick a beer (anyone's) to open. We often want to open our own bottles, but sometimes open someone else's, particularly if it's a big want for most people in the room. We like to keep it to 6-8 people who all know each other. Never had this sort of problem.

    Thanks for being a great group of guys ... you know who you are!
    rightcoast7, jasonmason and cavedave like this.
  28. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,165) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    This is how we do it.
  29. TheSaboteur

    TheSaboteur Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2010 Nebraska

    How is this even a conversation?
  30. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    #1 How Rare was that bottle in regards to the others being shared?
    #2 Was that person who opened it the one hosting the bottle share?
    #3 was everyone poured evenly when all was said and done?

    Azzy and gcamparone like this.
  31. smitherz22

    smitherz22 Initiate (0) May 8, 2012 California

    I am on the side of the people who are aaying that they are free for people to grab. Sticking them in the giant tub of ice in the middle of a crowd of 50 people at a "BOTTLE SHARE" to me means "drink up!" If you don't want to share with anyone and everyone, then keep it by your side and share with only those you wish to share with. And I also agree that this isnt "common knowledge" or anything like that. The one and only bottle share I have ever been to there were a lot of people asking this exact question...
  32. skycracksopen

    skycracksopen Initiate (0) Jul 12, 2012 Colorado

    If there are only 4-6 people at the bottle share, it shouldn't really be a big deal... but if there are more, then there's a good chance that the person who brought the bottle won't get any.

    The word SHARE implies that the person who brought the bottle gets some, too. It's not called "bottle giveaway" for a reason.
    C2H5 likes this.
  33. gcamparone

    gcamparone Meyvn (1,308) Dec 6, 2011 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    Yeah it's worse :open_mouth:
    RBassSFHOPit2ME likes this.
  34. Siggy125

    Siggy125 Devotee (453) Nov 10, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    #1 Not rare. Based on the comments I heard, I believe it was a Vic@Sea.
    #2 No.
    #3 No. It was a pretty sizable group and the bottle was split by a smaller group of 4-5 which didn't include the person who brought it.
  35. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    Based on #2 and #3, I don't blame your buddy at all for being annoyed. But a bottle share of that many people with beer just hanging around in the middle....seems a bit odd to me.
  36. ColdOne

    ColdOne Aspirant (218) Jan 19, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    I've never been to a formal share, just had post festival (TAP NY) fun with friends back at the lodge afterwards. The unspoken rule was that anyone can pop one, but we ALWAYS get the thumbs up from the dude who brought it. And it always goes pretty much like this:

    "Yo--mind if we crack your Golden Delicious?"

    "Do it!"
  37. brewbetter

    brewbetter Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2012 Nauru

    For bad etiquette, I'll also add leaving the tasting early with someone else's bottles in your cooler.
    LostHighway and AWSBeerDude like this.

    CORKSCREWFISH Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2011 Illinois

    Damn right it's not!
    At swinger parties my wife is fully capable of telling the dirty, bearded,sausage fingered fat boy not to touch her.
    Unfortunately my beer can't speak!
  39. gpawned

    gpawned Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Last bottle share I went to, I brought an butt ton of beer and left it out for people to drink. I got so distracted by people shoving beers in my face that it never occurred to me that all of my bottles and growlers were just sitting there untouched.

    In a room of 40 strangers, not one had the nerve to open one of these beers that I brought and put out (though I wish they would have) it seems that there is some law of the jungle at play here. Sorry to hear about the asshat at your tasting OP.
  40. devlishdamsel

    devlishdamsel Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2009 Washington

    I guess if its my beer being shared, i brought it for others to enjoy not for me to drink. If it was that valuable I would leave it at home rather than worry about "fairness". The point of a tasting IMO is to try as many beers as possible ( i am finding the smaller the amount the better of each beer). What you are describing sounds super unorganized. Perhaps even a bit chaotic and random. I have actually partook in something of that nature many years ago and would definitely steer clear to avoid it again. I think its perfectly possibly to arrange a tasting where everyone can play fair and just enjoy and experience new beer, which is the point in the first place.
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