Here’s the scene: You walk up to the bar. They have over 30 craft beers on tap. You search and search for one that catches your eye. You’re thirsty, and if you don’t make a decision soon you’ll be stuck giving the bartender your best “dumb face” causing them to go on to the next patron.
Ok, maybe I have ordering anxiety just a little bit more than the next person, but this happens more often than not to me when I go to a bar. It’s like telling someone hasn’t eaten in days to pick one meal from the food court. How can I choose just one?! I like trying new things, and I like many different styles, but I hate being disappointed and getting a beer that I pay good money just to choke down.
While we were on location at Muamee Bay Brewing, we spoke with Shannon, our amazing guide, and she mentioned how she thinks people care more about the style of beer than the brand. I both agree, and disagree.
Loyalty to the Brand:
I’ll be the first to admit that if I see a beer offered from a well known brand, and the same style offered by “Brand X”, I’m more likely to go with the well known brand. These breweries have earned the reputation to get my business, right? They wouldn’t be well known if they didn’t make fantastic beer. That is the case for me with Founders. I have yet to find a Founders beer that I dislike, and I’ll buy from them over many other breweries.
Even when they don’t make great beer, I still love some breweries because I know they have the potential to make something that will blow my mind. This is my relationship with Dogfish Head. They are so unique and different that I feel the inclination to at least try everything they offer. Some, for me, fall flat, but some are downright breathtaking.
As of right now, I’m on a big New Belgium kick. This is mostly because they just arrived in Ohio the other month, but also because, like Founders, I haven’t found a bad New Belgium beer. So, on one hand, color me a brand loyalist.
Loyalty to the Style:
With each season comes the instinctual urge to have a different style of beer. I don’t drink a lot of fruit beers in the winter or stouts in the summer. Come fall, I want a nice, malty Oktoberfest, or a spicy pumpkin ale. Season usually has a big factor in what I choose, but let’s take that out of the equation.
I walk into the bar, the ‘tender is staring me down, I shake with anxiety then call out, “I’ll have the pale ale!” Normally, this doesn’t give me one beer, but narrows it down from 30 to just a handful. Now I can breathe and either choose a new brew to try, or go with a trusted, tried-and-true favorite.
The truth is, that many people only like a certain variety of beer. Not a fan of coffee? You know you won’t go with a stout. Love the lupulin? IPA’s are your beer of choice. Want something with a clean, malty finish? Grab a genuine German bock.
So here’s the question: What kind of person are you? Are you a brand loyalist, or do you order strictly by style? Take our poll, and tell us your favorite brands and styles below!