It’s the summer, you know that. You’re sweaty, you’ve been out in the yard, or out playing golf, or just overall relaxing. And what pops up in your email? An E-Vite to a good, old fashioned, backyard barbecue. All you have to do is bring the beer.
So, you quickly scan the guest list and see that the other people on the list aren’t going to appreciate your 10 year oak aged barrel stout, or your whiskey barrel aged pale ale. And they’re going to make a bitter beer face at the Triple IPA you’ve been saving for that special occasion.
Yeah, I know. What’s wrong with them?
So, here you are with a quandry. You want to bring good beer to this event, you don’t want to condemn your beer snobbery by bringing any old beer. And you cannot–under any circumstances–bring Coors, Miller or Bud Light. You just can’t. Let some other schmoe bring that for ten bucks.
You’re going to impress the crowd and make them all want YOUR beer.
So, what’s the strategy here? You have to have one before you go into the liquor or beer store.
1) Don’t Go Crazy: You can’t bring that wild beer with you. As much as you’d like, you just can’t. That’s not going to interest people, and it’s going to be wasted. If you share it with folks, they might even pour it out. Save that for the party with your beer friends or when you’re just hanging out.
2) Don’t Try Something New: Bringing something you’re not sure you’re going to like is not going to help sell new beer to your friends. Anything you try and might get rid of yourself is a big risk. Less people are going to try it. You and your beer are not going to be a hit of the party.
3) Stay Away From IPAs: This one hurts me deep in my soul, but it’s true. IPAs are an acquired taste. You have to start slowly with good beer. And IPAs are usually hopped to the max and that’s going to turn off people until their palate has adjusted. Sorry, dude, that Pliny the Elder is going to go to waste.
So what do you bring? Pale Ales usually sit well. They give you the hops you want, while supplying guests with malts. They’re usually very smooth, but they don’t taste like they’ve been over hopped. They go down easy. In the summer, the German beers usually sit well too. Wheat beers (but not Blue Moon) or Blondes are always very drinkable, and people want more.
What about you, Beer Snob? What do you bring to a BBQ? Do you risk the hops?