Saw this tweet recently*, and while all these things are just engagement farming repeated endlessly across the internet, and people are allowed to have subjective opinions all they want, I thought it’d be fun to dissect/do my own.
This person is clearly more of a party person than I am, but to me, the best beers are never _before_ things. At the start of things? Sure, but not before. I’ll enjoy a beer at the beginning of the game, but before in the parking lot? Not really my thing. Sure, I’ll have one or two on the right occasion, but they’re not great. Days I know I’m going to be drinking all day, especially outside, are days I know that are going to end with me tired, worn out, drunk, and very possibly with a headache. Beers before a trip on a plane? Nah, I hate getting up on the plane to pee and traveling can be rough enough without adding in alcohol before it even begins.
Now, waiting beers? Those CAN be great. Plan a group trip to Vegas and those first beers at the hotel bar while you wait for everyone else to arrive? Gold. You’re early to a party or are hosting a party and for once have everything ready to go? That first beer of anticipation as people arrive and the party gets going can really be a great warm up.
Special shout out to the third beer of the night at a great beer spot. The first two are often more of a hype beer, you get excited for something and order that, but by the third you’re probably already feeling good and are ready to settle in and make an informed decision and choose the best beer on the menu for you. Sitting with that beer is a rare pleasure, and you’re probably not deep enough into the night that you’re not appreciating it either.
“One for the road” beers. NOT driving. Obviously not driving, be safe people. These are the commuter beers. The beer you have at the end of dinner when you realize you don’t want to leave yet. The beers you have on the train home from work, or the last beer you have at the end of a great party where you got 30 minutes to just shoot the breeze with the people you like most that are still there because they want to be there. (Side note to this one, if you’re the host and your spouse is elsewhere cleaning up and putting stuff away while you ignore it, take your buddies and at least bag up some trash)
This beer is great, and it can be a good throwback to earlier in the day too. “You got anymore of that smoked peach Kölsch? That was fire, let’s finish that off.” This one shouldn’t be heavy, in most cases. You’re just looking for something with a little bit of character to complement a moment.
This one’s not for everyone, but the beer you have at a group meetup, a social event, a holiday party, etc, that keeps you company while you still feel awkward and don’t know where to stand, who to talk to, or what to do. This beer is good enough that you can pay attention to it, and interesting enough that you can use it as a topic of conversation. The one that you take out your phone, open a notes app, and jot down notes to blog about later. Novelty type beers can often seem silly, but they make good conversation openers!
I realize I have not actually made a top-5 list out of this, but who really needs a list anyway? I think I may make a whole series out of these, with longer thoughts, as they come up. “The commuter beer”, and my relationship to it. Also terrible beers, like the late-evening 14% BCBS that your friend who showed up late to the party insists you taste with him.
Here’s an unhinged TikTok I found to cap off the post that’s not quite beer specific but I thought it was a funny drink/place pairing video.