Beer Etiquette

Posted on September 3rd, 2009

silverplatter3

Although beer etiquette doesn’t quite have the strong tradition of wine, there are definitely some traditions and customs which should be followed when serving or enjoying beer. Today we’re going to take a look at some of them.

IN THE LIQUOR STORE:

If you don’t see your favorite beer on the shelves, ask the clerk if they carry it. Although not every liquor store gives much thought to their beer selection, and increasing amount of them do. If a store does have a serious beer section, especially if they’ve just opened one, they may be eager for feedback on their new venture. If you see a new beer, ask about it, if they don’t have it, ask about that too. There’s no better way to help your liquor store be the best it can be than letting them know what you’d like to buy.

If you do find a beer you want but it’s on the shelf at room temperature, ask if they have any of it cold. Frequently a store will keep some of their stock cold in the back, even if they don’t have any in the fridge out front.

SERVING BEER:

If you having some friends over for the game, or for dinner or any other beer-centric activity, it’s your responsibility as the host to provide everyone with their first beer or two, properly chilled with the proper glassware to go with it. Because you can end up buying beer for a lot of folks, don’t feel the need to get the most expensive brews, it’s the thought that counts.

BRINGING BEER:

Similarly if you going over to a friend’s house, be sure to bring some beer with you. Unless you’ve been told otherwise, Even if you expect to be served a few beers by your friendly host you should bring some beer of your own, simply as a way of thanking your host for the hospitality.

If you’re going to a dinner with some folks who don’t normally drink beer, take the opportunity to introduce some new folks to the world of craft beer. If you bring something that goes well with the entrée, you may impress a few folks too.

Regardless of what you bring, it’s definitely a no-no to take back the leftovers with you when you leave. The beer is a gift to the host, not your personal stash.

AT THE BAR:

As we’ve mentioned on the site before, the proper pour and the proper glassware are important for the maximum enjoyment of a beer. If you’re served your beer without a glass, or in a chilled glass (which is a no-no) politely ask your server for another. If you do it respectfully chances are they won’t mind at all.

Although the custom varies in other countries, tipping is expected in American bars. If you’re paying for your beers one at a time, be sure to tip a dollar a beer and if you’re paying for tab at the end, even if it’s just beer, you should tip the standard 18-20%. It’s just good manners.

What do you think of our suggestions for proper beer etiquette? Did we miss any? Disagree with anything we said? Let us know what you think about it the next time you enjoy a beer by tweeting your beer and adding the ‘#mybeer’ hashtag.

  • Great post. Thanks for writing.

    I'm new-ish here, so maybe you've already covered this, but whats with the taboo of chilled glasses? I rather enjoy beer from a mug that been in the freexer for a day or two. Does the decreased temperature really affect the beer's taste/ quality that much?

  • Thanks for your comment David.

    Frosty mugs can be fun, but unfortunately they tend to cool the beer unevenly and and the frost on the glass can find its way into the beer via condensation, which isn't great for the taste either. For more info see our article on the subject: http://blog.beeriety.com/?p=1030

    Cheers.

  • BRIAROSS116

    IN A RESTAURANT IS IT PROPER FOR THE SERVER TO BRING THE BEER BOTTLE, POUR HALF OF IT IN THE GLASS THEN LEAVE THE REST IN THE BOTTLE ON THE TABLE

  • why?

  • BRIAROSS116

    you could have kept that comment to yourself

  • Hey no offense was meant, I was just curious as to your reasoning behind that style of service in restaurants.

  • Hey no offense was meant, I was just curious as to your reasoning behind that style of service in restaurants.

  • curious

    Is it frowned upon to serve soft drink in a beer glass?