How to Walk Into a Brewery Like a Full Babe
If you've never been to a brewery it can be really confusing + intimidating
but don't even worry. follow these simple instructions
+ you're going to totally intimidate someone else.
which, let's be real, is probably why you're reading this post, right?
My second home is the brewery up the street, so when I walk in I look like a full beer babe. I know which line to get in to get my growler filled, and how many IPAs I want in my flight. I assume I look very intimidating if you have never been to a brewery before. But I'm not. Well I am kinda, but I'm also way nicer than I seem.
If you've never been to a brewery you probably need to ask someone like me how it works, and you'll probably be too scared to do it, as I do look pretty intimidating, so don't worry I've got your back now.
BTW I'm not just being a total snob right now. I see people come in who clearly don't know how it works + they look so nervous + confused + are probably not getting the most out of their first few trips. That's why I'm writing this post! So you can think breweries are the most fun ever, just like me + my full babe posse, even on your first visit.
Step 1:be a full babe
Wear high waisted jeans + have long flowing blonde hair + a super fly baseball cap, that you just oh-so-adorably, very casually put on at just a sliigggght angle.
I guess that's optional but that's kind of how I do the brewery scene.
Although I also go in workout gear. And post work gear. And wedding gear. And post-bridal-shower gear. And post-voting gear. And pre-camping gear. And I'm meeting my friends-for-dinner-later gear. And I'm heading to the beach gear.
As in, I go all the time. Once they know your name you can get away with a lot of fashion choices.
The goal here: Walk in knowing you're a babe, but like, so cool, you don't even care you're such a babe that you're actually super friendly.
Step 2: Growlers // Beer-to-Go
You can get beer-to-go at a brewery- what they do is take a special glass container for beer and fill it for you. That's one of the reasons I show up wearing so many I'm-going-somewhere outfits, I'm often popping into the brewery so I can endear myself onto a new friend or host with my babely beer selection. Also, it's cheaper (and better) than most beer in the liquor stores. Better for the environment too // support small local business. Flawless.
If you don't have a special beer receptacle, don't worry you can get it at the brewery + they'll just add it to your bill. Once you have it's yours until you accidentally leave it a friend's house party, and you can take your growler to any brewery you want. It does not have to be made by the brewery you're at. As a matter of fact, it's often a point of pride to have it from somewhere else, and it's a great conversation starter if you have a rare one, or see one you recognize, like mine from Quesnel.
Here's a sample conversation starter: "oh hey, Quesnel. Where the hell is that?"
to-go beer receptacles explained:
Growler: The biggest ones are called Growlers and they hold the equivalent of a 6-pack of beer. No matter the brewery it's always called a growler.
Howler: 1 L of beer
Meowler: 1 pint of beer,
Meowlers + Howlers change their name depending on what brewery you're at, but nobody will sneer at you for calling them that. Especially if you do it with a ton of confidence.
Growler fills usually will have a special line or be just in the front, outside of the "tasting room." If you see paper that looks like it's for labeling you put your name + type of beer you want on the label and put it on the growler and hand it over. If there's no labels you just tell them what you want.
You can try it first!
Just ask if you can taste whatever beer you want just like you would at an ice cream shop. They'll put a few sips into cup for you and you can try it before committing.
Should you stay or should you go now
If you want beer to go, and but aren't quite ready to leave yet, because let's be real, you didn't borrow your mom's high waisted pants from the 80s for nothing, just let them know and they will store the beer in the back room until you're ready to go. You can't openly bring full bottles of alchohol into the tasting room with you.
The tasting room
In BC liquor laws mean that the tasting room has to be a special area, and that's where you can actually drink the beer. Depending on the liquor license they may or may not be able to serve meals, and you might be limited in the amount of beer you can get, but they'll tell you if you're only allowed one before you get too settled in. Some breweries have full menus, but because a lot of them don't (maybe just bread + sausage) they often partner with food trucks that are outside and you can order food there + bring it in, and you can bring other food in too- especially nice if say you're with a vegan and need to bring in a delightful vegan pizza to eat with your beer.
A lot of the breweries have communal tables so you just ask "anyone sitting here?" before joining a table. Sometimes I strike up conversations with the people beside me, sometimes I don't.
Most breweries will have 2-3 sizes of glasses they serve the beer in, and the best way to try is to get a flight, which is usually 4 little tasting beers in a wooden bat of some sort. Again, you can ask to try the beer before you get a full glass of it, even the little glasses for your flight. A flight is the most fun way to drink at a brewery, and lets you try variety of the beers, and is great for someone who doesn't want to commit to a full pint or something big like that.
Now I'm going to teach you how to be really, really cool. Especially as you now know how the general system works + won't have to look all lost when you get in.
I'm most likely writing this post for people who don't like beer but who want to be as fly as me + love beer eventually too, or someone is dragging you to a brewery, or you just want to go see what the fuss is all about. If you love beer you probably are just here for the hilarious witticisms + general agreement.
Here's my favourite part about beer, it's actually not as snobby as Kyle + I like to pretend it is, as in, you are right with whatever opinion you have on the beer [although I'm probably even more right as I have perfect taste] If you don't like it, try a different one. You can tell the brewer what you're looking for "maybe something a bit brighter, and crisper" and they'll give you something else to try. [This is a lesson on how to be a beer babe, so hot tip, don't make a grossed out face if you get a hoppy beer. Just say you're looking for something lighter tonight as in, you totally drink hoppy beers, but you're just switching it up.] And the beers usually taste like what you're drinking. I find with wine it's like, uhhh hint of some... rich ... berry? citrus? wolf hearts? tennis balls? whereas with beer it's like, hoooooo man this is a cup of coffee.
Generally speaking if you don't like beer you're going to want a light beer. The other suggestions are really dark beers like Guinness, or something totally weird for a beer, like a sour or a barley wine [BEWARE THE BARLEY WINE HANGOVER] What you probably don't like at all are IPAs because they're hoppy. If you want to want to work your way up to being a real beer drinker and eventually be ordering IPAs left and right a good place to start is with the Pale Ale which is a less hoppy version of the IPA (India Pale Ale) or in a rare case they may have a white IPA, which I suggest you try a sip of before you dismiss it out of hand.
the most important thing for you to know is pay attention to the alchohol content
Some of the beers, like a barley wine, may have like 14% alcohol, which is like the biggest glass of wine you would ever, ever have. Some, like a raddler may only have like 3% which means you're essentially having a juice.
The beers will also often list the IBUs, the higher the IBUs the more hoppy, and more likely less you'll like them if you're just starting out.
- Saison (we refer to it as the champagne of beers as it comes in a bottle with a popping cork like champagne)
- Sour (tart and often made with fruit. Beware of these too, they're really acidic and can make you feel really ill if you have a lot of them)
- Barley Wine (not a standard by any stretch, it kind of tastes like a really funky wine)
- Trippel (pretty sweet, and pretty dangerous)