Ah, beer. The ultimate social lubricator. The obsession of hop-heads. The thing that gave you the courage to grind to Fat Joe feat. Ashanti in college. Which one you drink says everything about you. And since we fancy ourselves unqualified social anthropologists, here’s a list of traits we most commonly associate with different styles of drinks made from yeast-fermented malt flavored with hops:
You’re one of those people whose friends are like, “You’re 33 years old, how the hell have you never tried olives?!” You start to get into new bands right before the “they’re too popular now” backlash. You don’t understand why people are ALL about these pale ales from India when there are plenty of great domestic breweries deserving of support.
This was the first microbrew you drank in college, possibly in the parking lot outside of a Widespread show, and you've never turned back. You used to put the bottles you drank on display until your girlfriend put a stop to it. So you broke up with that girlfriend. You're kind of depressed now, but at least you've got all these sweet bottles, right?!? RIGHT?!??
The first thing you look at when purchasing a beer is its ABV. The second thing you look at is the price tag. You have at least once asked a befuddled bartender whether he can put a regular IPA through a hop transducer, and, when he asked what the hell you were talking about, you scoffed at the IPA you're forced to drink.
Back in the day, you’d camp out in line outside of Ticketmaster to get Phish tickets. You do the same thing at brewpubs when hop season hits, and you frantically try to get the freshest beer from each variety that you can. You use the word “heady” in your everyday vernacular and once traded a bud for a beer at a festival. You saw the second season of Weeds and were mildly impressed with its accuracy.
Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
You love that the ESB is your favorite style more than you love the beer itself. Everyone loves IPAs and stouts, sure, but who else is an unabashed ESB fanatic? You’re special. Your friends know you’re getting the ESB every time. You’re the ESB guy in the crew. It tastes great, and you’ve never had one you didn’t like. You keep meaning to Google what it stands for.
You like to keep things light. You enjoy crisp apples, eaten right off the tree. You have sharp creases in your pants. You took two years of tap, but then quit right as you were getting good. You have the tolerance of a small woman with a shockingly low tolerance.
As a child, you wanted to go to stuntman college. You once put 700 Warheads in your mouth, then had your little brother funnel in some Pop Rocks. Your tastebuds haven’t been able to detect peppers under 50,000 Scoville units anytime in the last seven years.