How to Introduce Yourself to Craft Beer

Lets start at the beginning…
I get it. You’re scared.

Looking at the list of beers on your menu or up on the wall and you have no idea where to start.
The waiter impatiently stares at you to make your decision and in a rush you just order the usual.

You tell yourself, “it’s ok” but deep down you wanted to try something different.
The beer scene in Dallas has grown so drastically in the past 2 years that it can be hard for it’s residents to try all the brews and know which one suits them the best, especially for inexperienced craft beer drinkers.
That’s ok.
The beertenders from Cold Beer Co., Braindead Brewing, and LUCK  have several tips and suggestions for the daring craft-beer newcomers.

“The first thing I ask a person who doesn’t drink craft beer is ‘what do you like’,” said Lauren Edwards, a bartender at Cold Beer Co. in Deep Ellum.

Edwards says that knowing what you like now will often give you a good idea of what different beers you might like in the future.

People who typically like Blue Moon or Shock Top like sweeter beers with citrus notes, such as Four Corners Brewing Co.’s, El Superbee versus people who like Shiner or Ziegnebock might be more open to Grapevine Craft Brewery’s, Sir William’s English Brown Ale.

But what if someone doesn’t drink beer at all?


Lauren Edwards, Travis Davis, and Carmina Garcia work at the Cold Beer Co. (Trina-Jo Pardo/SMU)

Carmina Garcia, a CBC waitress, says that she receives this question almost every time she works.

“There are people that bring their friends who don’t drink beer, and that’s fine. I’ll usually suggest the Golden Opportunity from Peticolas Brewing Co. It’s a good introductory beer,” said Garcia.

Mollie Reyes, beertender at Braindead Brewing, started her beertending career at Hailey’s Club in Denton, TX. Reyes has been around the Dallas craft beer scene for almost four years.

Her love of beer is the perfect motivation to go to work at Braindead, obviously.
Reyes says that they typically rotate their selection often, so the suggestions change, but the “go to” beer she offers to non-beer drinkers is Braindead’s own, Gritz Cream Ale

Braindead Brewey's Mollie Reyes will point all you new-comers in the right direction.

Braindead Brewey’s Mollie Reyes will point all you new-comers in the right direction. (Trina-Jo Pardo/SMU)

“It’s our bread and butter beer. Everyone who has tasted it has liked it and if they don’t, it’s smooth enough to where they can finish it,” said Reyes.

Blood and Honey, hands down the most recommended beer here for newcomers,” said Jordan Burke, beertender at LUCK in Trinity Groves. “It’s better than BlueMoon and if they usually drink wine, I’ll offer the ciders we have,” said Burke.


Jordan Burke holds his tip jar at LUCK in Trinity Grove, in Dallas. (Trina-Jo Pardo/SMU)

LUCK has over 50 locally brewed beers on its menu, which means that there are a lot of options and intimidation to newbies. LUCKily (pun intended), Burke has been in the business for some time to know who
would like what. He often suggests ordering a flight to get a better feel of the different types of beers. He does warn though, to not order a flight during the rush of the evening.

“When it’s busy, flights are the worst. Not only are bartenders rushing to serve everybody, but also I don’t have time to figure out what you should have based on your preference,” said Burke.

So the next time you go out to a brewery or a craft beer bar here are some guidelines:

  1. Ask for a pilsner, golden ale, or lager if you always order a Budweiser, Coors, or Miller beer.
  2. Ask for a brown ale or a porter if you like Shiner, Ziegenbock, or Sam Adams Lager.
  3. If you like wine, ciders might be up your alley. Bishop Cider Co. has a great selection.
  4. Ask for a saison, Belgian or other interesting beers that have citrus notes if you like Shock Top and Blue Moon.

Also remember, if you don’t like one beer, move on to the next. Dallas has one for you!





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