I got married two weeks ago. Hold your applause. Yes, I know it’s a remarkable achievement for a beer geek—who would want to marry one of us? We’re despicable. In fact, any time one of my single beer-geek friends starts dating an unsuspecting new woman, all my wife can do is shake her head: “Poor girl. She doesn’t even know what she’s in for.”
What exactly is she (or, ahem, he) in for? What is really so bad about dating a beer nerd? I decided to ask my wife and let her air out her grievances—over a few beers at a craft beer bar I obviously made us go to instead of doing something more culturally enlightening. Here are her unfiltered thoughts on the 10 worst parts of dating a beer obsessive.
1) “You’ll be forced to sit in dark bar—like this one—on bright and sunny days.”
But why would we want to stroll through a hot and sticky Central Park when there’s great beer to be drunk at The Jeffrey? Why deal with the window-shopping mobs in Soho or Tribeca when we could relax with some local IPAs at Proletariat? Why risk getting a sunburn when visiting San Diego or Miami or even Paris when we could spend all afternoon balanced on a couple of barstools next to some bearded, pasty men fetishizing the hottest sour of the moment?
2) “Whenever you travel, you’ll always have to go way off-route to find some obscure store or bar or brewery.”
Are you still mad about that time I made you late to a wedding because I wanted to check out Half Time Beverage in Poughkeepsie? (And then didn’t find anything I wanted.) Or maybe you’re remembering when I got us lost in Framingham, MA on a rainy Sunday trying to locate Jack’s Abby’s tasting room before it closed. Of course, there was also that blistery winter day in Brussels when I made us leave our hotel at 11am sharp, then walk some 40 minutes to the “other side of town”…only to land at Cantillon right as the doors opened for the day. And because of that, you discovered your favorite brewery, right?
The author and his wife find common ground at Brasserie Cantillon.
3) “Yes, but it was still a cold and dusty warehouse. You’ll spend countless hours of your life in warehouses and industrial parks if you date a beer geek because those are the only places breweries are located.”
Now that’s not true. I’ve taken you on terrific trips to wonderful breweries located under highways (Other Half Brewing Co.) and way off in the mountains (Alpine) and in New Jersey (Carton)…and even ones in bucolic places so far out in the middle of nowhere your iPhone quit getting any service (Hill Farmstead). At that one, they didn’t even have a women’s bathroom and you had to pee behind a barn. Wasn’t that a romantic experience for us both? I even got a t-shirt to commemorate it.
4) “He’ll think brewery t-shirts are always appropriate attire no matter the occasion.”
Well, they usually are. They’re hip and one-of-a-kind and they come in many different colors and they fit me well and they’re good conversation starters.
“…and most of them have lame skulls or dragons on them.”
Those are gargoyles, actually.
5) “He’ll think other geeks are impressed by his obscure beer shirts.”
They are! Bartenders are always quick to serve us when I have on my Surly or Allagash t-shirt. Because they know I know what I’m talking about. And remember that amazing treatment we just got at Charleston Beer Exchange because I was wearing my Local Option t-shirt?
“Oh yes, another beer t-shirt with a skull on it.”
The owner ignored all the other clueless customers and brought me some limited-release beers from the back!
“Ooooh, ‘the back.’ It still took you over an hour in the store to find all the beers you wanted.”
Well, they do have one of the best selections in America.
“Yes, but at every beer store you scan the same shelves over and over and over again. Anytime I go in a beer store with you I know I’m going to be there for an hour at least.”
Because what if I missed something? I couldn’t live with myself!
6) “You’ll find yourself with nothing to do for the first ten minutes you sit down at a bar as he meticulously studies the beer menu.”
That’s not true! (Well, no completely.) I always make sure to go online to study a bar’s beer menu before we go. But things change—quickly!—and how was I to know that saison I wanted to try would have just tapped out and a new Berliner weisse I hadn’t yet researched would be added? And I didn’t even realize this bar had a reserve bottle menu. It wasn’t listed online. Speaking of, do you think we’ll be here long enough for me to order that special 750 mL bottle on the menu? It’s only $55.
7) “He’ll never want to take photos of you—only of his beers.”
I wouldn’t want to forget that great beer I just drank. What if I never get to have it again? I know what you look like. And you know what I look like. So why do we need more pictures of us?
“Then why do you always make me take pictures of you (alone) in front of famous beer places?”
8) “You’ll have to find ways to occupy your time while he ‘checks-in’ his beers.”
You know I use Untappd just so I can remember all the great beers I’ve had. If you’re so bored, maybe you should get an account, too…
“…or while he texts other beer geeks to brag about what he’s currently drinking.”
It’s not bragging. They really do want to know that I’m drinking something much better than what they are currently drinking!
9) “He’ll never let anyone else pick bars or restaurants.”
They don’t know the good spots! If I let your friends pick bars they would surely pick bars with shitty tap lists. I like your friends, but I’m certainly not drinking Stella while hanging out with them.
“But you even do that when we’re visiting people out of town, in cities you’ve never been before!”
Because most people usually don’t even know the best spots in their own towns!
“You could at least spend your time at these beer bars talking to me. Or our friends. Instead of geeking out with the weirdo bartenders about some stupid new release.”
Now you’re not being fair. You love great craft beer, too!
“I love to drink it. Not spend every waking hour talking about it.”
Still, there must be some positives about being married to a beer geek?
“Yes…when you go out drinking without me I know you’ll never flirt with girls.”
That’s nice to hear.
“Because you’re too busy talking to other beer geeks and exchanging contact info so you can set up stupid beer trades.”
And that’s why our fridge and closet are always packed full of obscure delights you can drink whenever you want—so long as I say you can drink them whenever you want.
10) “That’s not a positive. We have no room to store any other food in our apartment because there are bottles and cans and growlers in every last corner of space!”
So you really don’t have anything positive to say about being married to a beer geek?
“Well…it is a fun way to see the world with the man I love.”
“Even if what I mainly see of the world are its many different warehouses and industrial parks.”
Aaron Goldfarb (@aarongoldfarb) is the author of How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide and Drunk Drinking.
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