So, you’re sick of scoring your craft beer from friends? Really not into hanging out at some weird dude’s house for a few hours wondering if he’s going to provide those sweet, sweet brews or turn you into a skin tuxedo? Totally over wondering about the freshness of those double IPA whales your friends swear are “Fresh as fuck”? Well, you’re in the right place. We at Beer n’ Loathing know a thing or two about buying craft beer, and the good news is you don’t have to be too crafty to get your hands on it.
Let it Begin!
The first step is super obvious: find a store that sells craft beer. This may be simple or challenging depending on your local liquor laws. If you’re in Canada, just look for a store marked “Beer.” In the States, it might not be that simple. If only there was some sort of engine that searches and indexes millions of electronic web pages and then sorts them in order of relevance for us…
Oh well, until someone invents that magical tool, grab a map, compass and your best walking shoes because you’re about to go on a hunt. A fantastic, wondrous hunt.
Once you find a store, don’t immediately approach the door. You don’t want to charge in there like the fighting 69th in case it has a password. This was not common at all a few years ago, but true blue beer geeks and nerds need a way to sort out the riff raff. Stand back for a bit and wait to see what happens when some other people approach. Eventually, someone who knows the ropes will show up and demonstrate exactly what you need to do to gain entry.
You’re in! You’re really in!
Ok. You’ve gained entry. Now try to act like you fucking belong there. Rule #1: DO NOT ASK FOR HELP. Beer people know everything about beers at all times and don’t bother the sales associates. Those people aren’t there to help anyway, just take your payment. Even the slightest hint of uncertainty could give you away and get you booted. If you need to stall while looking at a beer, say things like “Hmmm,” “Ahhh,” “Not sure how the nose will be,” “The brett needs more time,” or “How many bottles of this do I have laying around the house already?”
Finding your Brew Love!
When it comes to selecting your beers, figuring out which bottle holds the most rewarding liquid can be taxing. Even downright exhausting. Sure, it’d be easy as fuck if you could just taste it before you buy it, but those goddamn bottles and cans are total cock blocks. Here are a few quick tips on how to determine the quality of the liquid inside.
Hold bottles to your temple – Truly great beer forges a psychic connection with its imbiber almost immediately, and since the temple is technically just a membrane attached to your skull and jaw, it provides the path of least resistance for that connection.
Smell the beers through their cans/bottles – Glass is more porous and gives a better essence, but all the old pros know to do this little trick. It will help you figure out your beer and assimilate to the beer store environment.
Lick the cap/cork – It is a scientific fact that alcohol creates tiny little microscopic holes in these lids that let out tiny essences. A quick lick will let you have a taste of that essence. Remember, this isn’t beer: it’s mostly hop gas that’s escaping because it reacts aggressively with yeast particles. Also remember this isn’t a toad that gets you high so just get one lick in and move on.
Shake it really goddamn hard – Most noobs don’t realize that sound has a huge factor in determining the quality of a beer. First, listen for sloshing to verify beer is actually in the container. Those cheeky motherfuckers put up dummy bottles and cans to trick people (i.e. you). Once you confirm the slosh, listen for a slight hiss and wheeze. This is the yeast waking up and activating. This is key to getting an actual carbonated beverage. If you hear the slosh, but no hiss or wheeze, that shit’s gonna be flat and you don’t want it. Lastly, listen for any clinking. If you do, drop it and run. That shit’s been booby trapped, dawg.
Finishing the Transaction!
So you found a beer and didn’t get your face blown off with a booby trap? Excellent, you’re almost ready to get the fuck out of there. The last obstacle you’ll encounter is paying.
First, you need to rub that beer on your butt to officially claim it, otherwise a feral buyer can snatch that shit from your hands while you’re walking out of the store.
Finally, you need to remember that craft beer vendors do not accept money in a conventional sense. You need to find unicorn tears, a leprechaun or a shitload of bitcoin on the innernez. Keep in mind, owners will also accept first born Chinese sons and wampum, so if you have access to any of those things, you’re pretty much set for life.
Be free, little beer champion!
And voila! You now can go out and purchase your own goddamn craft beer without relying on others for that annoying hook up. Even though, after writing this all out, I feel like you might be better off sticking with a hook up rather than buying your own. Yeah, yeah that’s the way to go. Don’t buy craft beer.