Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

How To Identify a Rookie Beer Drinker

By Jay Brooks
Thursday, June 17th, 2010 at 10:36 am in On Beer.

When you’ve been in the beer world as long as I have, you hear a lot of crazy complaints from people who are new to drinking craft beer or simply haven’t figured out what they’re doing yet. This is even more acute for bartenders, who deal with these complaints daily. Today, L.A. Weekly tackles five of the most common ones in an article entitled L.A. Beer Experts Mythbust 5 Complaints of Amateur Beer Drinkers. The five they highlight are:

  1. There’s too much head on the beer.
  2. This glass isn’t frosted.
  3. Why such a small pour for higher alcohol content beer? What a ripoff.
  4. What’s up with this girly tulip glass?
  5. This beer isn’t cold enough.

Then three L.A. area beer experts, Larry Caldwell (GM at Father’s Office), Christina Perozzi (co-author of The Naked Pint and co-executive editor of, and Ryan Sweeney, owner of The Surly Goat and Verdugo Bar, each tackle why these complaints are so wrong. Take a look for yourself.

The frosted glass is one that really bothers me personally. Ask me first, but don’t ruin my beer. At an area restaurant that will remain nameless, I was once brought a bottle of Chimay with a frosted glass. When I inquired if I could perhaps have an unfrosted glass, the waitress replied they didn’t have any. I had to ask if she could maybe run some warm water over it so it wouldn’t ruin the beer. Naturally, I was the bad guy and though she did it, she wasn’t at all happy about it. She didn’t want to know why I was so fussy, all that mattered is that I had inconvenienced her.

The other one, though not mentioned, is the lemon wedge that’s often served with a hefeweizen. I really wish bars and restaurants would serve it on the side, not already in the glass, or at least ask first if I want it. Once the fruit is in the beer, it can’t be undone and I personally don’t need or want the extra flavor component it brings. I like the flavor of wheat beer just fine without it, thank you very much.

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