I write about beer a lot. It’s become this thing that people sort of know about me, which is great. I love that folks are reading my Books & Brews posts or articles/interviews in which I’ve mentioned my love of craft beer. But there’s this one little unintended consequence of my very open, very frequent, and very public profession of beer-love that’s been nagging at me lately.
Here are two scenarios that occur with surprising regularity: 1) someone says “I was going to bring beer, but I would have NO idea what to bring you,” when arriving at my house for dinner/a party/hamburgers on the patio; 2) I’m told “Sorry, we only have *insert non-craft beer brand*,” when I’ve been invited to someone else’s home for dinner/a party/hamburgers on the patio. I’d like to take a moment today to assuage all these fears people have about serving me beer:
- I invited you to my house because I want your company– it’s totally fine if you show up empty-handed. But I get it, I don’t typically do that either, especially if it’s the first time someone has invited me over. That being said, I could care less if you bring me a tall-boy of PBR or that bottle of Pliny the Elder you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Seriously. Thank you for coming. Thank you for wanting to bring a gift. Just thank you.
- You invited to me to your home. Did I mention the part about how we’re in the middle of the age of obligation and it’s a little hard to connect with people? And yet you took the time out to invite me over and made that amazing pesto chicken. Serve me Dogfish 60 Minute or Budweiser or water– trust, I’m not here for the beer.
Maybe, in the past, some pretentious craft beer aficionado looked down their nose at what you offered them, and if that’s it, I’m sorry. We’re not all like that. Please stop worrying about what to serve me because it’s not actually about the beer at all. That’s right. I love the beer, but make no mistake, it’s never really been about the beer– it’s always been about the stories we create and share over that pint.
*And just in case you need further proof, I submit this very dark, mostly unflattering, picture of myself drinking a PBR. (And no I don’t always hold my pinky out like that. And no I have no idea why I am doing so in this photo.)