I was enjoying lunch at a local low-key establishment that happens to have a really good bottle selection of craft beers and about 10 decent taps, when the following situation occurred:
Two gentleman came in and sat at the bar (a few stools down from where I was). The bartender asked if she could get them a drink and the first guy immediately inquired about a new tap handle he didn’t recognize (which is exactly what I would do), while they painstakingly examined the beer list. She informed him that it was Revolution Anti-Hero IPA, and he declined, stating that he’s not really “an IPA guy”. He then moved on to the bottles and noticed one that caught his eye. It was Yin Imperial Stout from Evil Twin Brewing. She told him what it was and he stated that it sounded “too heavy”. Then he said, “I’ll just get a Shock Top, because I know I like that.”
If you’re already getting frustrated, you might be a beer snob, but buckle in because this is about to get much worse. If you’re not annoyed with the situation at this point then the jury is still out on you, but let’s see how you feel as the story progresses.
It was now time for the second gentlemen to place his order. He had also been perusing the bottle selection and was taken by “the bottle with the sheep on it”, as he put it. The bartender found the bottle he was pointing to, which turned out to be Baba Black Lager from Uinta Brewing. “What is that? It looks good…”, he asked. She told him what it was and he said, “Is it dark?” (he used the same tonality you’d use to ask a child “Does it hurt?” after they skin their knee). The bartender just nodded affirmatively , probably getting frustrated herself and not wanting to show it. The guy quickly shrugged it off with a sound a horse might make if you tried to feed it a dirty sock. “No, no,…. I’ll have a Corona Light“.
At this point some of you are probably thinking I’m a bit too beer-snobby, and I’m gonna rail on these guys for ordering shitty beer, but that’s not the case. If a couple of guys want to pop in and order a Shock Top and a Corona Light on their lunch break, more power to them, that’s their right. My issue is, what the heck was that whole dog-and-pony show they put on prior to ordering?!? I might have been willing to forgive the first guy, henceforth known as the “Shock Top Guy”, because maybe he was looking to try something new and break out of his low-quality Belgian White comfort zone. He wimped out in the end, but I’d like to believe that’s why he made the inquiries.
I said I “might” have been willing to forgive, if it had just been him, but it wasn’t. His buddy, henceforth known as “Señor Sheeplover” was there. If you’re someone that drinks Corona Light as your go-to beer, what the heck are you doing scrutinizing a craft bottle list, and asking questions about beers that you’re clearly not going to order? After all, we’re talking about a guy that thinks regular Corona is bit too heavy. It seemed like some unknown assailant didn’t like this female bartender (who seemed pleasant enough), and paid each of these jabronies $20 to go waste 8 minutes of her time, then told them to act normal in some kind of twisted attempt to slowly drive her mad by filling her day with things that just don’t make logical sense.
Instead, this scenario was driving me mad while I tried to eat my lunch and enjoy my Revolution Eugene Porter. What were the odds that Señor Sheeplover really had any intention of ordering one of their craft beers? Maybe he felt obligated to put on that front because his pal had seemed so interested in the craft beers, but then he just ended up ordering a Shock Top anyway, so what did it matter? Maybe he was trying to impress the bartender, but when you’re inevitably just going to order a Corona Light, that plan is doomed from the get-go, so that can’t be it. Maybe he’s always just wanted to drink a beer with a sheep on the label (he did seem enthralled with it), and was really hoping when he asked what kind it was a miracle would happen and the bartender would tell him it was a light Mexican Cerveza-style beer, so he would be comfortable ordering it.
If your proverbially pulling your hair out right now, congratulations, you’re a beer snob. The good news is, that’s not a bad thing and you’ve got plenty of company. The bad news is, this story may haunt you, as it has me. Especially the question that keeps echoing in my head, in Señor Sheeplover’s nasally, disdainful voice… “Is it Dark?”