Are you an open-minded beer thinker? Do you truly not adopt the snob stance and embrace equanimity and diplomacy?
Ginger & Kelle of Doll Distributing at the Show
I’ve found that while many people truly think and extol that they are indeed open-minded yet they are beer racists or snobs or simply closed-minded to trying beers they’ve not sampled before.
Beer should be an easy sell. It’s chock full of flavor and many people like to try new flavors. If you talk about beer as a flavorful experience you can get farther.
So what do you do with those who say “I’m not really a beer drinker” or “I don’t like dark/light/whatever beers”?
Having just been at the Iowa’s Premier Beer, Wine & Food show in Des Moines Iowa I was reminded of how important it is to be diplomatic and offer a new perspective to those reticent on what beer can give them. Here are a few tips:
1. Ask people what kinds of overall flavors they like – ask about flavors such as coffee, chocolate, banana, grapefruit, bread. Commonly identifiable ideas will help open the mind.
2. Remind them that “dark” and “light” aren’t flavors – they’re colors. And colors can tell you some things about your beer yet there is no universal anything for what a beer will really taste like until you give it to your taste buds.
3. If they say they’re a wine drinker – great! Ask what kind of wine – if they like deep robust reds, suggest a porter or other similar beer that can have cross flavors and characteristics. If they say white wine, find out what they like in white wine and see what you can do to match a similar flavor profile of a beer.
4. I ask a lot of people to humor me and let me pour them one finger’s worth of beer. If they don’t like it I’ll pour it out, rinse their glass and give them something else. A small amount of “don’t be a snob” pressure when done right can be very effective for all concerned.
Help communicate that beer tasting is low commitment, high reward
It’s a tasting, for goodness sake. Big deal. If they don’t like it keep helping them discover and sample other beers. If they shut you off, then let them go. If people want to selectively miss out on the wonderful world of beer, it’s ultimately their choice.
You simply have to be sure that you truly tried to engage them. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve convinced to simply try it with the above suggestions and tips (plus lots more in my arsenal).
Don’t take no for the first 3 answers. People are only open-minded if they are willing to listen and try.