How Hipster are You Based on Your Beer Choice?

Hipsters and beer: a love affair like none other. If you drink beer, you’re probably a hipster of some kind.

Here is my guideline to discerning your hipster status based on your beer order. Data has been compiled from my extensive undercover investigations as a hipster and drinker.

Session/Saison

You’re vanilla, but you think you’re cinnamon. You hang out with the hophead hipsters, but you don’t really relate to them. Eventually, you will give up on new beers, sticking to lager classics.

Wheat Beer

You’re a hipster, but you’re not annoying about it. You probably do write in moleskins and have whimsical knick-knacks in mason jars, but also shop at Costco and occasionally enjoy Budweiser. Wheat beer lovers are everyone’s best friend!

Lager

You’re not a hipster, you’re a dad.

Pale Ale

You’re an entry-level hipster: you’re too self-aware for boring beers like lager and Session, but not quite ready to flaunt how nonchalant you are by ordering an IPA or cask brew.

Cream Ale

There is two types of people who drink Cream Ale: wee English grandparents, and new drinkers who think Cream Ales should taste like cream soda. It doesn’t. Not hipsters.

Porter

Did you ask for the Porter? You’re pretentious, and you own that title. You have great taste.

Did you ask for a dark beer and were confused by follow-up questions, and somehow ended up with Porter? Aw, you’re cute. Feel free to ask more questions and get a beer you like.

Are you confused about the difference between Porter and Stout? Don’t worry, everyone is. You’re probably not a hipster.

Are you an old person wearing argyle who specifically asked for Porter? I like you. Let’s smoke some cigars.

Stout

See above, with the caveat that not all stouts taste like a traditional stout and you are confused by that. You drank warm Guinness in Dublin, goddammit, you know stout!

India Pale Ale

So hipster it hurts. Your hipster flag flies loud and proud and is hand sewn with locally sourced fabrics.

Sours

Sour drinkers are the most confusing beer drinkers. They’re just strange. If they were a Harry Potter character, they would be Luna Lovegood or Mrs. Figg. These are the people who eat candy for dinner but don’t post it on Instagram. They are the people who make their own clothes, but their creations look like Zara’s new line.

I don’t get you guys, you strange magical creatures. On a hipster level, you’re an elephant mermaid.

Cask

Go home, hipster, you’re drunk.

This post was made with love for, and without harm to, hipsters and dads. Here is a bonus dad joke: What do you call an earless bear? B.

Statements that Won’t Help You Order Your Next Favourite Beer

Craft breweries! San Diego’s old news, Toronto’s new passion.

On the side, I serve and bartend at a Torontonian craft brewery in the glorious West end. Having worked with, and sold, craft beer for eons I have encountered lots of confusion with patrons who don’t “speak beer.” There is disjoint between what the drinker knows, and the language the server speaks.

Here are some statements to avoid to actually get the beer you want on your next night out:

“I don’t like hops.”

Sorry not sorry,  but craft beer is all about the hops. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule: many beers are brewed for flavours that come from the yeast. However, the majority of craft beer drinkers and lovers don’t like the bread-like, funky, grassy, affect yeast has on taste.

Beer has a limited number of ingredients. (Pro tip: if a brewery brags about their four ingredients, it’s not special. It’s standard.) Hops, water, sugar, and yeast are the basic ingredients. Sugar can be found in starches and wheat and gives the yeast something to eat to create alcohol. Alcohol is just yeast poop.

Hops act as a preservative and give the beer its flavour. Certain strains are bred to promote certain flavours. Chances are if you don’t like hops you just don’t like beer (which is A-OK!)

“Is it dry?”

Beer can be dry. However, unless you’re a sommelier or work with alcohol you do not know what this means. I guarantee it.

People think “dry” means:

  • a beer that isn’t fruity
  • a “grown up” alcoholic drink
  • the proper way to inquire as to taste
  • something else I haven’t figured out, because no one knows what this word means.

To be honest, the beer industry fails the consumer in educating them on how to drink and how to order a beer. How to drink is a plethora of knowledge and experience for another day. For now, I will tell you now the idiot’s guide to dry:

Does it make you thirsty?

Sounds stupid, but that is literally what dry means. A “dry” beverage is one that you gulp down because it makes you thirsty. It’s a drink that requires a side of water. It does not mean a “grown up” or “not fruity.” Many (not all) dry drinks have elevated sugars to create a more balanced beverage, but that is more common in wine than beer.

“I don’t like bitter.”

Yes, hops are bitter and we have already established that beer is hops. Did you know that hops can also be savoury, funky (barnyard), and sour? There are differences between each flavour. If a drink is sour, you can expect a tingling sensation or dryness – which means that it makes you thirsty. Sour often makes me gasp, since it’s sensation and taste I don’t particularly enjoy. A funky drink will just confuse the hell out of your mouth. Bitter is jalapeños, chard, or Starbucks Pike place roast.

If you can learn the difference between these tastes, it will better help you understand what beers you do like. Often times brewery goers cannot differentiate these tastes, lumping them together as “bitter.” They’re actually very different! I am rarely surprised when a stout drinker enjoys sour beers, but I am always surprised when a double IPA drinker loves a sour. There are relationships and differences between these flavours.

“Do you have anything like Canadian/Coors/Heineken/Corona?”

No, and get out or STFU and take this generic lager we slapped together for heathens like you. You should be thankful a microbrewery bothered with a drink as boring as a lager.

“I like all beers.”

Do you? DO YOU? Because I drink all day every day and there are definitely beers I do not like. That’s like saying “I love absolutely everything about my spouse!” when in reality you hate their morning breath and how their poops clog the toilet.

If you haven’t met a beer you dislike, it’s because you haven’t been adventurous with your choices and you are drinking the same thing constantly. Take a chance and try out the strange and the rare! If you’re not sure where to start, ask your server what beers the brewmaster was most creative with. Order a tasting flight of these beers and allow yourself to be horrified. It’ll be fun!

Anyone who has ever said to me “I like all beers” has not liked all beers. Sometimes tastes and palates are defined by what you don’t like, and that’s absolutely fine. Trying the new unusual keeps your palate and mind sharp.

“What’s your favourite? Can I have that?”

This is a great conversation, but it doesn’t help your server give you the drink you want. I love stouts, porters, Belgium beers, APAs, and IPAs. Those are not popular beers to drink, and I don’t expect someone new to craft beer to enjoy any of them. I also dislike wheat beers and lagers, but those are always popular selections.

If your server is skilled she will tell you one of her favourites and a best-seller, and then ask what you like to drink. Based on what beers you do like she should be able to suggest something you will actually enjoy, not something she does.

“I don’t like beer. What should I get?”

Well, why are you wasting time in a brewery?