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What your beer order says about you (from a longtime bartender).

What Your Beer Order Says About You: Perspectives From Behind The Bar

Zack Schrader

Man, how great is beer? The modern craft movement has brought about more styles and flavors than our forefathers could’ve dreamt of.

Seriously, do you think your great-grandfather ever thought about the possibility of a farmhouse Saison while sipping some lukewarm Old Milwaukee in the basement?

Now, we’re looking at a craft beer boom that just keeps booming.

From fruited sours to DIPAs, there is really a beer out there for every palate. With the selection, there are bound to arise some stereotypes. I’ve worked in bars since I was 16 – everything from a Pittsburgh TGI Fridays while in undergrad to a small brick oven, and most recently, my beloved and now-shuttered Craft Manayunk on Main Street Manayunk beside all of the other famous watering holes. I’m now behind the bar at Adelina’s, a new spot upscale spot in Chestnut Hill (come check us out!). Bartending has really become a part of my personality, and I like to have fun back there. So, that’s my preface for everyone to remember that this list is all fun: if you’re sitting at my bar, I’ve got your back, regardless of whatever jokes I may crack below. So, without further ado, here’s what I assume about your personality based of your beer order:

- IPA: A lot of meme attention has been paid here as of late. A burly guy with a beard and a beanie orders an IPA, turns to his buddy, and goes “Woah man this tastes so bitter and bad, isn’t it awesome?. A secret from a fellow IPA drinker: that’s exactly correct. It’s

certainly an acquired taste that becomes the gold standard in craft beer. In general,

though, if you’re insistent on an IPA, it likely means you’re too cool to be seen drinking a

Miller Lite and if you’re not sporting a full beard and a flannel, you will be soon.

- Stouts: Gotta be honest, I can’t stand stouts. I’ve tried and tried and just can’t do it. If

you love them though, you’re likely a man 40 or older who actually just wants a decaf

cup of coffee. Either that, or you’re one of the coolest girls to ever live (Cool girls like

stouts, I don’t make the rules.).

- Sours/Gose: This style gets a lot of undeserved bad press from beer traditionalists.

They’re clearly delicious, even if they’re pink (RIP Dogfish SuperEight Gose). But again,

this is an assumption-based list. So, if you order this, you’re likely a 20-something girl

that’s getting sick of vodka tonics. Or you’re a 20-something guy that has doesn’t care

what traditionalists say. And you know what, you’re right, and good for you man.

- Wheats/Hefeweizens: You’re likely trying to find that nostalgic taste of $1 Blue Moons

that were served up in bulk during a nightly special at whatever bar you frequented right after turning 21. Either that or you’re REALLY a traditionalist and are searching out old-school European beers to stay nice and pure.

- Helles Lagers: You’re a genius. A beer with unique flavor but also doesn’t make you

want to not eat for the rest of the day? GENIUS. Always respect this order, whether it’s

deserved or not.

- Belgians (Tripels, Dubbels, etc): I’ve lost count of the number of times someone orders these after asking “what beer has the highest amount of alcohol in it?” To which I always ponder; has someone hurt you? Are you okay? These are usually delicious, but I can’t help but assuming you’re trying to go on a quick mind-eraser bend. Beer was never

meant to have a wine-level ABV.

- All The Fancy Stuff: This includes all the new kids on the block. Sour IPAs, White

Stouts, Milkshake IPAs, etc. You’re an adventurer. Yes, some will be gross. Some will be

fantastic. But I respect your courage for branching out.

Again, this is all fun and games. Order your favorite beer with pride! A good bartender willembrace your uniqueness.

P.S. – tip your bartender/server. Well. They care about your experience and want you to have fun. Also, drink Kenwood Original.

Zack is a doctorate student at Drexel University and a frequent behind the bar and/or on the service floor for the past 8 years. He enjoys placing a majority of his happiness on the success of the Philadelphia 76ers, drinking beer, discovering bars, and spending time with his girlfriend and puppy. You can find him on Twitter @ZackSchrader15.

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