I’ve been in the “craft beer game” for ten years now, and there are a few things I wish I knew before I started my journey.
- It is more of a marathon than a race. There are SO many breweries to explore and even more beer to try. You will NEVER get to them all. Don’t feel like you have to visit them all or try every beer. You will quickly be burnt out (and broke) if you do.
- Speaking of money, craft beer isn’t exactly cheap. When you go to a brewery be prepared to spend anywhere from $5-$8 on a beer. Yes, domestic beer is cheaper, however, remember what you’re paying for when you buy craft. You are supporting local and you are probably getting fresher (and tastier) beer.
- Most craft beer drinkers are not “Beer Snobs” like you have probably heard. When I first got into beer I was nervous that maybe I wouldn’t be accepted into the community because I was still learning. The majority of craft beer drinkers are helpful and welcoming. Don’t let what others say scare you away.
- Craft beer is more than just drinking beer. It is a chance for you to learn about what you’re drinking. If you visit a local brewery, the brewer is probably somewhere in the back. Have a question about what beer you’re drinking or how the beer was made? Go ahead and ask! Most brewers love sharing their passion and will be willing to answer any questions you might have.
- The beertenders at a brewery usually love to talk to you and give you recommendations. I feel bartenders at traditional bars are so busy making cocktails and taking orders, that they often don’t just have time to talk to their customers. Now I am not saying beertenders don’t get busy, but it does take less time pouring a beer than making a cocktail. I feel like beertenders use their downtime to really get to know their customers. They also love to give you recommendations on other local places to visit.
- There isn’t nearly as much competition between breweries as you might think. Breweries seem to love to work with other breweries. They are often making beers together and helping each other out in various ways.
- Beer calories sadly DO count. Beer is damn good, and just like a lot of things that taste good, it isn’t exactly good for you. If you are trying to lose weight, you might want to watch your beer intake.
- Watch the ABV levels when drinking craft beer. Craft beer has a tendency to “sneak up” on you. When you are drinking a regular ol’ domestic beer the ABV is usually much lower. However, that isn’t usually the case when drinking craft beer. Keep that in mind before you head out for a night of drinking.
- It can be a bit addicting. Not necessarily the alcohol, but just the thrill of it all. Once I became hooked, I was hooked for life. I love the community, the passion, the beer, brewery exploring, and everything that goes with it. Before you know it you are booking vacations based on what breweries you want to visit.
- Lastly, craft beer will bring SO much more into your life besides a few extra pounds and lighter wallet. I’ve met some of my best friends at beer festivals, bottle shares, and breweries. These are people who “get me” and understand why I would stand outside in 90 degree temps or in terrible downpours just for some beer. They are people that I absolutely love and I know will always be there for me. Do you find it difficult making friends as an adult? Head to your local brewery and I can almost guarantee you you’ll meet someone and will form a friendship.
So there you have it! My list of 10 things I wish I knew before I started my craft beer journey. Anything I missed? Let me know!