How To Order Craft Beer At A Bar Like A Total Pro

Between lagers, IPAs, sours, and the other various types of beer, walking into a bar or brewery can make anyone feel like they're at their wit's end. So how do you go about placing an order when there are an overwhelming amount of options?

In order to get a beer you're happy with, you should communicate your preferences to the bartender. This could mean mentioning a beer you already like or describing specific flavors you're interested in trying. Sticking to these elements can help them serve you as efficiently as possible.

If you truly have no idea what kind of beer you prefer, a flight allows you to drink small servings of several brews without committing to a whole pint. If you have your eyes on only one beer, most bars or breweries will let you try it before ordering. But, if they don't offer samples, how do you navigate ordering?

Communicate with the bartender

If you know a brand you like, say it. It could be as simple as asking, "Do you all have Yee-Haw's Dunkel on draft?" While the particular bar you're in might not have it, the bartender can typically name a similar beer they have. You can also mention domestic beer brands you like and dislike. Say you're a fan of Bud Light but hate Guinness, your bartender may recommend a light lager. If you're drawing a blank and can't name a brand of beer, describing the type of beer you're interested in can help the bartender serve you.

Say you like hoppy and citrus flavors, a bartender may suggest an IPA or a pale ale on draft. If you tend to gravitate to dark and rich flavors, stouts or porters could be for you.

If you're at a brewery rather than your neighborhood bar, you can trust that the staff is extremely knowledgeable about everything on tap. Like servers at a restaurant, beertenders have sampled many, if not all of the brews and won't steer you wrong (they do work for tips, after all).