How To Drink A Beer

As the world of specialty and microbrewed beer grows, you perhaps find yourself wondering more often: "have I received the proper training in the art of beer drinking?" And odds are, you probably have not. Whether your beer impulse is to "grab some Buds" or just be a pretentious dick, you could probably stand some coaching in what used to be the well-known and widely practice are of beer-drinking.

Be it known, and please, allow this information to inform how you read this piece: I am writing this as I fly upon the wings of pints of Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA, Lion Stout, Yuengling, and Guinness. And I might finish this post off fueled by a little something from Terrapin. We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, if you wish to drink a beer, follow these simple steps.

1. Find a kindred spirit. It doesn't actually matter how well you think you know this person. Find someone who you believe is a kindred spirit. Call an old friend.  Approach a stranger at the bar. The only requisite is that this person be the sort who will allow you to slap him on the back. (Which brings up sub-point: "kindred spirit" almost always insists upon same gender. If you are a man drinking with a woman, for example, you will not give the beer its due if you are paying attention to a female. The drinking of beer is meant to be done amidst compatriots...and I'm sorry, but your wife or girlfriend is not your compatriot.)

2. Buy this kindred spirit a beer. Determine what kindred spirit likes. Since he is a kindred spirit, he will appreciate what you do, et vice versa. Therefore do not worry. Order what your heart pleases.

3. When your beers arrive, slap your kindred spirit on the back when he first sips his beer. Don't worry about any spillage; remember, you bought this beer. It's yours to waste. Part of the back-slapping ritual involves declarations of love and affection. Tell your friend, whether he be old or new, the things that you appreciate about him. Praise his faithfulness, choice of sports clubs, and taste in women. Intersperse throughout these professions of affection hearty backslapping.

4. I just ordered a Racer 5 from Bear Republic for both of us. I hope you enjoy it.

5. Hoist the fresh pint your kindred spirit has ordered for you. Expect a hearty back slap when you put said pint to lip. Graciously accepts your compatriot's professions of love and faithfulness.

6. Rope in more kindred spirits. At this point involve others who are present at your choice of drinking spot (be it bar, restaurant, or party). Hail likely-seeming fellows with bonhomie as you offer to buy them beers. Slap-backing at this point is a requirement.

7. A round for everyone! Offer to buy the next round, but do not be so ungracious as to refuse another the honor.

8. Back-slapping all around, possibly involving a song. This is not really a fresh step. Instead, it is steps 3-5 in a communal setting. The group atmosphere will mean that professions of loyalty and faithfulness (i.e. friendship) will be curtailed; all members of group ought therefore to support these briefer professions with the buying of pints. This should continue for hours.

9. Sing a maudlin song. This act will bring your beer drinking to a close. Most Americans are only familiar with one song appropriate to his stage: Auld Lang Syne.  Many English and Celtic tunes are appropriate. If you are a rugby player, you have a leg up here. I suggest to you The Parting Glass as an excellent beginner's tune.

10. Bid your friends, new and old, adieu. Kiss your woman when you emerge. She might be at home, she might be in the next room. Regardless, you will be emerging from intimacy among (now) old friends; it will appear to you therefore that she is both as fresh and new as the sun's rise, and as lovely and familiar as the sun's setting. This is how hanging with friends is salutary to love. Be careful not to attempt mounting her until you are safely alone.

And there you have it. You now know how to drink a beer. Okay, you know how I drink a beer. Don't you think this is how you ought to do it?


  1. Great Post!
    I'm glad it was more than, "Bend elbow. Repeat as necessary."


Post a Comment