If you’re going to attend a beer dinner, you should expect to drink good beer.

18 Feb


Normally we’re homebodies during the week, reserving the weekends for going out and trying new things.    Jason and I both get up early for work, so most evenings are spent vegging out on the couch.  We’re pretty protective of our veg time, and there’s a little voice in my head that starts whining “I’m sooooo tired” if we’ve got stuff lined up after work.  That little bugger starts softly, but can escalate to a frantic, hyperventilating screech if we’ve got a busy week.

It just so happened that on this particular week, we had a lot of great things lined up, including a beer dinner with Latis Imports at the Dandelion Market on February 8.  So I told the voice to shut the hell up, or at the very least take a few deep breaths.  I reminded it that no one ever died from not sitting on the couch and mindlessly watching reruns of “How I Met Your Mother.”

Here’s a breakdown of the menu:

  • First course: Portobello Fries paired with Palm Amber.
  • Second course: Fresh greens, dried cranberries and pickled golden beets tossed with Boon Lambic Vinaigrette, paired with Boon Lambic.
  • Third course: Spicy Cuban-marinated calamari steak paired with Theakston XB.
  • Fourth course: Lamb shephard’s pie paired with Old Peculiar.
  • Fifth course: Artisanal cheeses paired with Rodenbach Classic.

You’re probably salivating now.  My apologies.  Everything about this dinner was GOOD, and my understanding is that the chef is going to be incorporating a few of the dishes into the spring menu.  Go to Dandelion Market.  Eat.  Enjoy.  I know we will.

But sadly, this post is not about how awesome this dinner and the beer selections were.  It’s not even about how we sucked it up and remembered that we’re only in our 30s and that our day doesn’t have to end at 5:00.  No.  It’s about the dude who attended the dinner thinking we’d be having the same type of food and drink he’s used to.  He’s a manager at a local sports bar, and was apparently the guest of one of the Latis reps. 

Flavor makes me sad...

He claimed to be a Yuengling guy.  Fine.  He whined about every beer we sampled.  EVERY beer.  Even the beer that we were told would be $94 a 12-pack wholesale.  And when I say “whine” what I really mean is he took sample after sample and shoved it away in the same way a kid might shove a plate of Brussels sprouts away.  Another couple actually took his sample of Boon Lambic and split it after he loudly declared that he didn’t like it and wouldn’t drink it. 

You don’t have to like it, but at least be quiet while the rest of us are enjoying it.

I don’t have a problem with him not liking the beer that was served.  It’s clearly not what he’s used to, and there’s no rule that you have to like a beer just because it’s highly rated or expensive.  I get that it’s frustrating (for some) to drink beer from a brewery with a name you can’t pronounce…and if there are no Clydesdales pulling a beer wagon or a gimmicky beercan that changes colors to make you feel more secure about your choice of beverage, it’s a hard leap to make.

But dude, you’re at a beer dinner.  At an import distributor-hosted beer dinner.  Surely you knew that they weren’t going to serve us beer in a vortex bottle?  We’re going to drink beer with character and we’re going to taste food that was prepared by a professional.  Mass-produced beverages are not an option, neither are chicken tenders.  Put on your big boy pants and deal with it.


3 Responses to “If you’re going to attend a beer dinner, you should expect to drink good beer.”

  1. Jennifer Kurka February 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    It’s unfortunate that someone like that has to ruin things for everyone else. There probably would have been many people who would have loved to have been in his place. Our favorite restaurant (in North Liberty, Iowa) often has beer dinners like the one you describe. My husband is a beer connoisseur and I am not. So when an opportunity came up to go to one of these, I opted out because I didn’t think it would be right to have someone who was not even going to enjoy the beer take a spot from someone who would. My husband had friends that he could enjoy the food and beer with and I was fine with that. And it is always good to have someone available as a designated driver in case you need one! LOL! Enjoyed your observations and you are right on!

    • Christy February 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      Jennifer, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this dinner myself only a few years ago, which is when I really started trying craft beers. At this particular dinner, the food was awesome, but the beers would have been a HUGE stretch for me not so long ago. The beer reps did an excellent job of explaining the beer and how it was made, and the chef did a really nice job of explaining how the beer was used in the recipes. I wouldn’t have minded this guy so much, but he just wouldn’t be quiet about what he didn’t like, and refused to acknowledge the care with which the dinner was presented to us. I prefer to talk about what I do like…unless of course what I’m talking about is the guy who made a complete ass of himself at a beer dinner 🙂


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