I've come up with my own set of beer-related cardinal rules over the past few years. Because I buy the vast majority of my beer at bottle shops and grocery stores, my rules are centered around bottled beer. Others of you might have your own rules related to beer festivals, brewery releases, tap-only beers, homebrewing, or other aspects of beer. Anyway, here are mine: Always check the beer section, whenever you're in a store that has one. You never know what you'll find, or where. If you see a limited beer you want to try, grab it. Even if you expect to see more or find it later at a better price, you'll be kicking yourself if you didn't pick up at least one when it was within your reach. If there's a beer you're really interested in finding and don't see it out on the shelves, ask the beer guy to check in back. You never know what they're keeping back there. (I often don't do this, as I generally don't like to support stores that hide the "good stuff"; but some beers also just move fast on the floor and they might not have had a chance to restock. So it can never hurt to ask.) If you miss out on a certain beer that you wanted, don't sweat it. Aside from certain one-offs, if it's good, they'll probably make it again and usually they'll make more of it. It's simple economics; breweries generally like to make beer that people want to buy. Even if it's not a hyped beer, if it sounds good to you, try it. Anyone else have any cardinal rules of beer that they live by? Cheers?