5 Ways Not To Order a Beer by LA Experts

Ordering a beer at Father's Office Los Angeles by Caroline on Crack

Ordering a beer at Father's Office Los Angeles

You ever walk into one of those fancy beer bars and hope you don’t say the wrong thing when ordering a beer? Well, thanks to three L.A. beer experts — Larry Caldwell of Father’s Office Santa Monica; Christina Perozzi, author of The Naked Pint and former beer sommelier of Rustic Canyon; and Ryan Sweeney of Verdugo Bar and The Surly GoatI got five things not to say and why.

  1. There’s too much head on the beer.
  2. This glass isn’t frosted.
  3. Why such a small pour for higher alcohol content beer?
  4. What’s up with this girly tulip glass?
  5. This beer isn’t cold enough.

These guys gave me the lowdown for my LA Weekly Squid Ink post “L.A. Beer Experts Mythbust 5 Complaints of Amateur Beer Drinkers.” And surprise, that whole Budweiser technology where the mountains on the can turn blue to let you know the beer is cold enough to drink is just a gimmick. Beer, at least good beer, should not be imbibed ice cold.

Anyway, I got the idea for this post when, at the Bruery’s 2nd anniversary party, I heard Natalie, Larry’s wife and the manager of FO Los Angeles, and Ryan complain about how certain customers give them grief for these very things. So I figure it would be good to share this knowledge with everyone because, like the average beer drinker, I don’t know half this stuff. Enjoy!

11 Responses to 5 Ways Not To Order a Beer by LA Experts
  1. mattatouille
    June 12, 2010 | 3:53 pm

    I heard recently that perhaps LA doesn’t have a great beer scene. I strongly disagreed, saying that LA’s beer scene is vibrant and strong, getting very close to equaling great beer cities like Portland and San Diego. I think people in this city are generally more attuned to good beer, which is a very encouraging.

  2. Caroline on Crack
    June 13, 2010 | 5:54 am

    Agreed. And having all these great beer bars and even events is a sign of the direction we’re going in terms of our beer scene. Who said we don’t have a great beer scene? I’m gonna go beat ’em up. 😉

  3. atomi
    June 13, 2010 | 8:00 am

    I agree as well.
    Except with numbers 3 and 4.

    Beer should be served in a stein or pint glass.

    I refuse to go back to any place that serves beer in a tulip glass. *cough* yard house *cough*

    Id rather head to Naja’s Place or Heroes in Fullerton. Where they serve real beer the way it should be served.

    Also, I’m a man. And I’ll order my beer how I like it.

    Tradition alone is no reason to do anything.

  4. Randy
    June 14, 2010 | 1:18 pm

    The way to order a beer is to order it the way you like it and will enjoy it. Period. The day I order one in a manner to please anyone else…

  5. Noelle
    June 14, 2010 | 4:16 pm

    If I drank beer, maybe I’d do some of those things.
    Since I don’t… 😀

  6. LA MapNerd
    June 14, 2010 | 9:29 pm

    I’m really glad that it’s gotten so much easier to find high-quality beer in recent years, but the last thing I need is some sniffy aesthete telling me how I should drink it.

    The whole “cold temperatures are for crappy beer” thing is way off base. 55 degrees is way too warm for most of the beers I drink – but then, I tend tend to pick IPAs and big, hoppy high-ABV brown ales that have enough flavor to stand up to being served cold.

    Because I like my beer cold. And I don’t guzzle a beer in two minutes, so I want it to start out cold enough that it doesn’t get lukewarm before I’m done.

    I don’t need to maximize the flavor, because there’s plenty of flavor to spare in the beers I prefer.

    I’ve been drinking really good beer for longer than some of these so-called ‘experts’ have been alive, and I’ve tried all sorts of different temperatures and glassware and pouring techniques, and I know what I like.

    The idea that there’s one proper way to do things is nonsense. Tastes vary. Experiment, find out what you like, and then ask for that.

    And then if anyone tells you you’re doing it wrong, find a more enlightened establishment to spend your money in.

  7. FactChecker
    June 15, 2010 | 10:12 am

    It is actually Coors Light that has the color changing mountains (Rocky Mountains) and now the window in the 12 packs to view the magic of color changing cans.

  8. Druu
    June 15, 2010 | 4:21 pm

    I’ll have to admit that I’m torn between two opinions on this subject. On the one hand, there are traditions regarding the types of glasses beers are served in. Many Belgian brews are traditionally served in tulip glasses, for instance. I figure if Trappist monks have been serving their beer in tulip glasses for centuries, then I’m good with that.

    On the other hand, I feel like beer should be straightforward. No pretenses. We should be able to drink it how we like it without getting any flak. Hmmmm, I’d better think about this issue some more over a beer… 🙂

    • Caroline on Crack
      June 15, 2010 | 4:22 pm

      Well naturally anyone can drink beer any way they’d like but I think the point here is that if you want to get the best flavor out of your beer, these are the factors to consider. 🙂

  9. Jennifer
    June 15, 2010 | 8:16 pm

    I thought the point of the article was for these beer experts to speak up about things that customers usually give them flack for, explaining why they do things a certain way. But for some reason, some people are taking it the wrong way and feeling like the experts are forcing their opinions on everyone. Really, though, it’s the other way around.

  10. Caroline on Crack
    June 17, 2010 | 12:25 am

    Yes, it’s to educate the masses who want to really enjoy their beer. But if people want to insist on drinking the way they want to drink then whatevs. At least they now have the information.

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