Search the internet and you can find endless articles about how to “convert your wife” or “make your girl friend a beer drinker”, and they are, nearly without exception, sexist trash that treats women like second-class drinkers who can’t take agency of their own palates. However, there is one sure-fire way to turn your significant other into a beer-lover just like you. It is so simple and so easy, and amazingly the same trick even works in reverse! Ladies, you can even turn your non-beer-drinking boyfriends or hubbies into craft lovers! Find out the secret after the jump.
Here’s the trick to turning your wife or girlfriend (or husband or boyfriend) into a beer lover:
You need to have a wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend WHO WANTS TO LIKE BEER.
Sorry if my sensationalist headline and Thrillist-worthy lede had you hoping for a silver bullet. I hate to break it to you (actually, that’s a lie. I’m relishing this.), but there is no secret way to trick someone into liking something they don’t want to like. And trying to do that is kinda gross and creepy. There’s no denying that beer is an acquired taste, and the thing about acquired tastes is you have to WANT to acquire them. If you’re feeding your significant other ANYTHING that they don’t want to like it is going to take a miracle to change their minds.
Coercion is never sexy. Everyone has the right to not like beer (however misguided that opinion is).
However, if your loved one is interested in beer, and would like to enjoy beer too but just hasn’t yet found a palatable brew, then you’re golden. Beer is diverse in styles and in flavors, and I firmly believe there’s a beer out there for everyone. It will take time, and it will take a lot of trial and a lot of error, but if you’re dedicated to shepherding your loved one to his/her beer epiphany you will eventually be rewarded.
In my personal experience, it took 4 or 5 years for my wife to have her beer epiphany. She wanted to like beer. She committed to try one sip of every beer that I drank. She hated hops (but I loved to feed her insanely hoppy IPAs just to see the face she’d make after the sip. Cruel? Perhaps. Hilarious and incredibly endearing? You bet!). She was a coffee drinker and chocolate lover, so one would think that the dark and roasty brews would be an easy in. They weren’t. You can’t reason with your palate. It likes what it likes. We moved on to Belgian styles (a wonderful suggestion for wine drinkers looking to pick up a taste for beer), and it was finally a saison that did the trick.
“I had no idea beer could taste like that,” she’d later tell me. Now she is nearly as passionate about craft beer as I am and is my constant companion at tastings and beer events. She even acquired the taste for hops and orders IPAs at bars more often than I do. But she never would have discovered all the flavors and possibilities in the beer world if she wasn’t stubbornly dedicated to trying every beer she was offered.
It’s wonderful to always have someone to split a bottle and chat about beer with, and I want you to have that same joy. So here are a few tips to help your partner find his/her “epiphany beer”:
- Talk to them about why beer is great and see if they want to commit to learning to love it.
- Talk about what flavors they like and start with beers that mirror those flavors.
- Get out of your own comfort zone and order beers that you may not like so they can try them.
- Accept that it might take a long time, and that even when they do develop the taste for beer they might not like the same styles as you do.
- For the love of god, quit it with the fruited beers and wits.
- Always be encouraging. Don’t get frustrated after the countless misses.
- Try tastings in different environments.
- Never underestimate the power of a good food + beer pairing. It’s like magic and can really open someone’s eyes.
- Be careful what you wish for – you might create a monster of a beer lover more ravenous in their appetite for sought after bottles and rare beers than you could have imagined. Bank accounts and closet space will suffer.
- Have fucking fun and don’t be a pushy asshole about it.