Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Party manners: What do you do at a party with only swill beer?

By William Brand
Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 7:27 pm in Uncategorized.

Here’s a question I picked up from a thread at Beer Advocate: OK, it’s the holiday week and you’re invited to a party by friends. “We’ll provide the beer,” they tell you.

So you show up and there it is — the beer: Bud Light, Tecate Light and et – Bud Light. What do you do?  How can you prevent the situation next time?

I’ve always gone with a bottle(usually a 750 of something really good, tucked it in a hidden corner and surreptitiously poured myself a glass from time to time.  But is that the right way? Do I need better friends? Should I move? Comments welcome.

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  • craig

    don’t be a snob….drink what ever is offered..and don’t go empty handed…take at least a 12 pack of somthing drinkable to share….my buddy always moans about the beer…i say grab one,shut-up and smile politely….

  • Dan S.

    I don’t mind drinking a swill beer every now and then. Helps me remember why craft beer is so much better. I won’t drink more than one and usually end up carrying around a half-full bottle for most of the party. There’s no reason to drink if there’s nothing that’s worth drinking.

  • jeff

    I concur with Dan S. If there is nothing decent to drink beerwise I magically become the wife’s best friend and will agree to be the designated driver. Life is to short to drink cheap, crappy beer.

  • William Brand

    Amen to that, why waste the calories on swill.

  • http://GoodBrewer Julie at Good Brewer

    I’m with Jeff. If it’s not worth drinking, I don’t drink, I’ll stick with water instead.

  • http://www.brewedforthought.com Mario (Brewed For Thought)

    Bring a 6-pack or a couple 22′s.

    I imagine it’s a little different for you William. Some people might be intimidated by your credentials.

  • William Brand

    Nope, not my light-lager, wine snob friends. I always bring great beer; they’ve grown to expect it and usually admit they like what I bring. But when I go, say to other parties, I just bring my own and am quiet. If I’m caught at a party with only crap, I doo hold a can of crap in my hand, but I neer drink it.

  • Alexander

    I don’t think it’s rude or poor manners to bring your own deliciously good beer. If they really want to judge you for it then they will, and that’s fine by me. I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, and yes crappy swill beer is just too crappy to drink. Also: I can’t remember the last party I went to where swill beer was THE ONLY beverage offered… mix it up!

  • http://www.thebeergeek.com Chris

    We have friends that know better…

  • http://www.sudsorduds.com Travis

    Depends on the occasion. I have been known to bring a 24 pack of swill to a softball game. Being a baller on a budget I can’t afford to stock the team with cans of 21st IPA. However if I am going to a fancy-ish party, I will usually find out what they are serving and offer to bring the beer. 9/10 times it works for me to bring the good shit.

  • http://flickr.com/troymccluresf troymccluresf

    Screwdrivers. Though normally I’d bring a six-pack of say, Prohibition, to a party anyway… I’d just be a little more protective. ;)

  • Vic

    Ask yourself: “What am I doing hanging out with cretins?”

  • http://wortblog.blogspot.com/ Dr Wort

    This is a multiple Q and A!

    I think everyone has covered my answers…

    A. Bring your own beverage is an option, but it’s funny that those who have no palate for quality beer, usually find that offensive. Go figure?!

    B. There are a lot of people who will drink quality beer if it’s around, but not buy it. So, if you bring quality beer, you may end up with a bunch of cheap ass “Swill Masters” looking for a good beer on the cheap.

    C. I can’t never quite figure out some Wine People. I know a lot of Wine people who enjoy and buy only quality Beer and Wine; While others only buy quality Wine, but like quality beer. Can’t figure out the angle… ;-}

    B. Have a cocktail or a non-alcoholic beverage (God Forbid!)

    C. I think my final answer would be it depends on the company you are sharing. I have friends of all walks of life and social status.

    -The Wine crowd would have Wine….So I would just have wine.

    -The Cocktail crowd would be serving cocktails…So I would have cocktails.

    -The “Swill Masters” have swill….. So, I usually have a cocktail or an Ice Tea! ;-}

    *Haven’t had a Budmilloors touch my lips in 20+ years! If it was about being polite to the back slapping, jovial “Swill Master Joe”, I’d just Decline the Cheap Beer and drink nothing. Of course, that would be a quick party…. I’d be feeling ill within the next 30 minutes! ;-}

  • easong

    At my age one does not dump in useless calories in the name of politeness, especially foul tasting ones. I was surprised the other night when I went to a good friend’s house who knows what I drink, and he offered me a Blue Moon. Good god, I thought! Sweeter than an oat milkshake, less hoppy than a Pale Ale…I begged for some wine, he poured me a $30 red. I can never understand how some folks understand good wine but prefer wheaty water as a beer.

  • brewnot

    I can’t ask, “What you got?” Get an answer and then decline. I make the decision: Drink – Yes or No. Yes: Then settle for the best I can get.

    I am a guest in their house. I cannot be that rude or that much of a snob.

    When I get the can of Bud or bottle of Miller Lite and asked if that is all right. My standard response. “That is my favorite kind of beer.” “Really?!?!” they ask. “Yeah, the cold-free kind!”

  • http://geistbearbrewing.com Thomas

    I agree with Chris “all my friends know better”

    That said I attened a corporate event over the holiday was such a situation. I asked the bartender he went through the list and I ordered Red Wine, most parties have it, I am a wine health and can drink any basic red so I drink that instead.

  • http://geistbearbrewing.com Thomas

    er attended
    and health = heathen