I’ve recently subscribed to an online dating website in order to help jump-start my flailing dating life… and in setting up those first meet-ups with fellas, I decided to establish a go-to bar for these dates, so that I was on comfortable territory. My criteria were as follows:
- The bar had to be in my neighborhood – a first date/meeting guarantees nothing, so I don’t want to travel out of my ‘hood’
- There had to be good craft beer available at the bar
- It couldn’t be one of my ‘regular’ haunts, so that:
- I wouldn’t be distracted by people I know, and…
- If it didn’t work out or he ended up being a crazy, if he went back there, he wouldn’t find me
So… one of the interesting things I’ve discovered, is that I’m totally judgy about what my ‘dates’ have ordered, in terms of the beer! The first time I had a date with a guy there, I ordered Ithaca Flower Power… and he ordered Hoegaarden. The second time I met a guy there I ordered Flower Power again… and he ordered a Stella, and the third guy I met up with there ordered a Newcastle, while I ordered a 21st Ammendment Back in Black IPA.
Now, I clarify to people ALL the time that I consider myself to be a “beer geek,” not a “beer snob”… but I think that I’ve been snobbing-out a bit on these dates! I mean, I’ve intentionally selected a bar that does have a decent selection, both on tap and in bottle, of craft beer options… and I guess that in addition to the obvious reason of wanting to make sure that I’d be able to drink what would make me happy… I think that maybe I also picked it partly so that I could judge these guys on what they ordered!
Shame on me???
See, I know that in a LOT of ways, I’m still definitely a beer novice. AND, part of my “mission” is to help introduce girls to craft beer who either aren’t familiar with it or staunchly insist that they do not like beer. SO… *I* was willing to learn about craft beer, and started from a point of zero knowledge… and I’m willing to help guide other gals through the exploration of craft beer… but it would seem that I have a bit of a double-standard when it comes to what beer guys choose to drink!
There’s a lot of talk in the social media craft beer sphere about how us ladies don’t want to be singled out in terms of breweries or bars marketing specifically to women… maintaining that we’re just as interested in quality, and beers with robust flavors, as men are.
And yet… we are in the minority still—those of us ladies who are big-time lovers and advocates of craft beer—and so, I will honestly admit that I love the look of surprise and admiration that we women can often experience when we are able to hold our own in a conversation about beer, or when we belly up to the bar and DON’T need help ordering a beer (heck, and often times end up offering advice to a guy!)… because, let’s face it… guys still don’t expect us to be truly into and knowledgeable about beer. Right?
And yes, there’s definitely a huge contingency of men who are active in the social media sphere who are aware of our presence and recognize and appreciate our love of craft beer (many of whom are on the producer side of the equation!)… but for the randoms you run into at a ‘regular’ bar, *we* still come as somewhat of a [pleasant] surprise. And I like that.
Apparently, what I don’t like, is a guy who isn’t up to speed.
I know, I know… I shouldn’t judge… and I *know* that there’s always the opportunity for me to shepherd a guy through the wonderful world of craft beer, just as so many guys have shepherded us ladies through the wonderful world of craft beer over the years… but… ugh, can I help it if I find myself frustrated that a guy is ordering a Hoegaarden, Stella or Newcastle??
Or… should I take the high road and acknowledge that everyone has different tastes, and if that’s what they like, then they should go with it?! Such a hard line to tread…
And… in the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit—’cause I know some of my friends will call me out on this—that I do drink macro beer… but hey, sometimes I just want some fun water, and am too full to have a good craft beer! I never hide this fact, and am comfortable with ‘slumming it’ on occasion… but what I’m talking about here is first impressions…
Oh, and I should, in all fairness, add on that the guy who ordered a Newcastle is interested in good, craft beer… and even (in subsequent dates) procured for me some of his friends’ homebrew… but Newcastle was his first love, so he’s happy to order it when he sees it on the menu. Even though my initial reaction to his order was one of judgment, he did prove himself to be beer-worthy in the end
Soooooo… ladies, who else among you judges guys on their beer selection? Am I on my own here?
And fellas… if you’re into craft beer, do you think we should stick to our beer-loving guns… or cut the guys a break?!