Telling the bartender you like "all beer"... especially if you don't
"The number one for me is the person who comes in looking for a beer, and when I ask them the question, 'Which styles do you typically prefer? Or what brands of beer do you normally drink?' so I can guide them the right way, their answer is, 'I like all beers.' And it turns out they don't like all beers.
"If someone is coming in under the assumption that, 'Well, I like Coors Light, Bud Light, and Miller Lite, so I like all different beers.' But really, that's one specific style of beer, and trying to get them to that point sometimes is a struggle when they're not willing to give you more information about their tastes. I've had people come in saying they like IPAs, and then it turns out they hate beers that are bitter. Same thing with people who say they enjoy sweeter beers, but when I give them something with a malty backbone and a sweetness to it, they say, 'I don't know how people drink this!' Some people say they like all beers, but it turns out they only like stouts [as an example].
"If someone has a general taste in beer, that's okay, but when you're trying to find a beer for someone, it's helpful to find out what their preferred taste is. When you come into a bar, and you're looking for something good to try, let the bartender know what you like, and be very specific about it. The lack of specificity when it comes to people's personal taste is what drives me crazy."
-- Leah H., The J. Clyde (Birmingham, AL)
"A lot of times people will come into a beer bar not knowing anything about beer, and their one nugget of knowledge is that ales might be richer than lagers. This doesn't bother us at all! They have some conception about ale. They'll ask for our favorite ale, but 90% of our list is ales, which doesn't give us much to work with. Even if you don't know which beer you like, try to be more specific in what you're going for. If you know you like things citrusy, or you like things roasty, those are things that we can work with." -- Xian C., Monk's Kettle (San Francisco, CA)