Beer Drinkers Code Of Conduct

Here’s my Beer Code of Conduct Rules for enjoyers, drinkers and buyers of beer.

  1.  Drink what you like, always following your own taste buds, brain and ideas of what beer can be.
  2. Accept whatever type and flavor of beer someone wants to drink. Always support them in their own beer pursuits.
  3. Welcome all comers to beer, whether they drink beer or not, whether they drink beer or prefer another beverage. The more we all gather, talk, and discuss over a beverage of any sort, the more progress humankind can make.
  4. Buy someone a beer the next opportunity you have. Pay it forward, balance out their tab and talk to your servers and beertenders about how you can surprise someone with the gift of a bought beer. It feels great and builds community.
  5. What path do you follow to promote beer?

    What path do you follow to promote beer?

    Support whatever breweries you wish, with total happy abandon. Listen only to your guiding lights and braincells, dismissing naysayers who aren’t you. You know what you like – support that.

  6. Advocate & practice Beer Diplomacy always and in all ways. The whole rising tide saying needs all boats; the tide is egalitarian and blind to what kind of boats and what kind of occupants. Diplomacy makes real things happen in our world.
  7. Share your beer. If you’ve got two people and one beer, split it. Give others a taste, a try, a sample, a bottle, a can, whatever container you are getting in beer – share it. Beer is always better shared.
  8. Give the gift of beer. Stock up on a few beers you love to share and give them as host gifts the next times you’re invited to a party, gathering, dinner, brunch, birthday. What. Ever. Beer is a celebration of flavor and camaraderie.

Any you’d add?

Cheers & keep enjoying.


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Who Said There Has To Be Lines In The Sand?

Who said there has to be a line? In the sand, or concrete, or any where? What does a line signify and what does crossing it or not crossing it have to do with anything in real life?

The line to me is a metaphor – something meant to signify or mean something else. The line here is a boundary, as it may be in many cases. Nonetheless a line in the sand can stand for (no pun intended) two different and disparate parties on either side.

Like in Beer. In the beer community there seems to be many lines, criss crossing, and marking territory. “I’m a craft beer drinker.” “I’m a beer drinker.” “I only drink local.” “I like any beer.” To all of that I say, who cares, really.

Where's the line? Don't see any? Good...

Where’s the line? Don’t see any? Good…

I’d like to stall that conversation and thinking permanently. There’s no need nor purpose for any lines when it comes to beer. Everyone can smear out the lines and enjoy what they wish, as they wish, when they wish.

Creating segments and categories that delineate on “someone’s” judgement is dangerous at worst and unhelpful at best.

Beer is a universal beverage that’s been around as long as people have, darn near. Let’s simply keep it a people’s drink and enjoy it as we want and not judge, draw a line or alienate.

Beer is supposed to bring us together, not drive us apart. Cheers to togetherness with whatever beer we want to enjoy – drinking or not.

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Beer Delcaration

What’s your beer Declaration?

What do you want to preach from the rooftops about how you feel about beer? About the flavors and people? About how those who invest in the beer business by and large are great contributors to our communities the globe over?



Me? I want to – and will continue to – talk about Beer Diplomacy. How important it is to be an open-minded person when it comes to beer, among other things. That being open-minded instead of a self-professed “snob” will make the progress of women, beer and flavor all the smoother and better for all.

I want to remind those who know and teach those who don’t that the work Feminism means equality for all. Beer is not a gender issue. Nor is WEB truly about gender. It’s about opportunity and talking and inviting a population (women) who’ve not been traditionally included in the beer conversation.

I want to share ideas, thoughts, suggestions and recipe notes. I want to pour and sip and nosh and taste with friends I already know and with people I haven’t yet met. I want to give beer to those who will embrace the experience and be another helpful diplomat with more and more people.

Pushing forward diplomacy with beer is as critical to me as is beer education taught by a well-rounded and enthusiastic person who sees beer for what it is. Gorgeous, flavorful, fun, meaningful, and simple beer.

Culture shift for the better, which is a big part of the goal for WEB, will only happen with open-minded people, being diplomats, sharing information in an approachable way for the greater good.

This I do declare.

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Beer Travel Insights

Beer Diplomacy = Good

Beer Diplomacy = Good

A few thoughts as I have just landed, yet again, from another trip centered on my profession: beer.

1. Like what you like and accept what others like to drink as well, graciously.

2. Every city is BeerCityUSA. No one ‘owns’ this title as every town has enthusiasts and they’re all valid and valued.

3. Diplomacy will always further a cause more than snobbery or prejudice ever will. Keep your mind, ears, eyes, and arms open.

4. Try what’s local or at least what’s locally on tap.

5. Local is relative, as is regional.

6. You can’t judge anything unless you try it first. Period.

7. Have fun, be safe, laugh a lot and loudly.

See you on the road…

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Challenging Your Own Prejudice

“I don’t like dark beers, but…”

“I’ll try anything – except…”

“Of course I’m open-minded. I simply won’t try…”

Challenging and eliminating prejudices means recognizing them first. It’s an acknowledgement that something is indeed being judged and this something is either elevated or degraded when compared to something else.

Diplomacy will make a huge difference in accepting and opening the mind.

P1100710For some, exercising a shift in prejudice is uncomfortable. Perhaps because when we change our beliefs, it ties into everything else for us: how we view the world, how we conduct ourselves, what we choose to do and not do. Granted these can be big shifts all the way to seemingly small alterations.

And I’m a believer that “small” isn’t small at all. It’s everything.

With a rise in beer snobbery in recent years, WEB recognizes that we need to maintain diligence in being diplomatic. It’s always distressing to hear a person tear down a beer because of what they think. As educators and researchers, we generally address this as an opportunity to talk about why a person feels the way they do. We also try to offer up more factual information (ala quality, not preference) and ask questions to get the person to rethink how they might look at something.

We’re not trying to change their minds. We are out to shift culture by helping open minds. I say this since it’s a journey I will be on my entire life as well: reviewing what my own prejudices are. We’re human, we all have them. What we choose to do, act and say per those beliefs is how we’ll be perceived and either welcomed or deflected.

It gets more comfortable the more you do it. Give it a try.

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Being a Diplomat Beats Being a Snob Everyday

“No yellow beer.”

“Tell them to carry beer with flavor.”

These are two comments we received at the recent Mt. Angel Oktoberfest. It was by far one of the best organized festivals we’ve had the pleasure of participating in.

Organization notwithstanding, it’s a shame that there’s so much beer racism and snobbery in our country. Here we are, at a multi generational, multi century event and people are being prejudice. Not a good example nor something to be proud of. Some may say “it’s people being people.” To that I say BALONEY!!!

Mt. Angel, OR, Oktoberfest 2012

The only way we all make progress is to be diplomatic and open-minded. We’re not talking about what you choose to believe based on intelligent thinking and personal preferences. That’s up to you AFTER you’ve enjoyed trying different beers with an open mind. And you should still be diplomatic about some things, like opinions on beer. Chances are good lots of people have contributed to the work that’s now in the glass. Do you want someone commenting negatively on the work you do?

We’re talking about being open-minded, open to suggestion, and not being prejudice of what someone chooses to serve or drink. It’s all beer to start with. And if you can’t be open to what others may like and want to drink, shame on you.

To me being part of the greater beer community is being part of a bigger think. It’s talking, laughing, trying, discussing, and furthering the intelligence of the entire society, not denigrating or tearing something down because you simply don’t want to drink it. And no, calling yourself a ‘snob’ shouldn’t be a badge of pride; it should be a scarlet letter. Who wants to hang with a snob?! Not I….

Next time you either think it or hear yourself says something like the above, rethink it first. Liking what you like is part of what makes beer so engaging: it’s all different, there’s a beer for everybody, and if we all sip together no matter what’s in our glass, we all come out ahead.

Cheers to Beer Diplomacy, not Snobbery.

p.s. The German’s and their ‘yellow’ beer should be lauded for high quality, not pulled down for color. Who the hell cares what color it is….color is not a flavor.

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What Do Beer Flavors Tell You About A Person?

Flavors, flavors everywhere, and lots of beer to drink!

With a nod to the Ancient Mariner, I’d ask today: What does the flavor of a beer tell you about the person enjoying it? Or perhaps more aptly put, what can it tell us?

Consider these factors:

1. Is the person a newcomer to beer flavors and therefore in exploration mode?

2. Is the person a seasoned beer consumer and therefore in an explorative mood?

3. If a newcomer, do they know where color in beer comes from?

4. If a veteran, do they wisely not judge a beer by its color knowing where it comes from?

5. If a newcomer, do they know how to fully enjoy the aromas and smells of the beers available?

6. If a veteran, do they embrace the smells and aromas of the beers they partake of?

7. If a newcomer, are they asking questions about beer?

8. If a veteran, are they asking questions about the beers?

9. What level of education does the staff have to properly and respectfully impart to a newcomer?

10. What level of education does the staff have to properly and respectfully impart to a veteran?

flavor, flavor everywhere....

I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, beer is about perpetual learning, experimentation and being open-minded with your thinking and palate. Being non-judgemental and open to possibilities will serve the consumer, drinker, professional, and the beer the best.

So what does the flavor of a beer in front of someone tell you? Nothing other that they’re enjoying beer. The viewer needs to exercise diplomacy as well. No matter who you are, there are those who know more than you and there are those who know less.

Bust the myth that any kind of beer flavor or style is indicative of anything other than what’s in the glass. Be kind, unwind, and repeat.

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