20. Women drink beer. And brew beer, write about it, judge it. They have their own beer clubs. The stereotypical beer drinker is still male, but it is time to change our outdated preconceptions that only men drink beer. And most women that say they don’t drink beer are usually referring to crappy macro-produced lagers, which really goes to show how advanced the female palette is.
19. Fruit beers are not just for women. They may be marketed as such by breweries, which is just another example at how old-fashioned gender rules are still at play in large sections of the beer world. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a nice fruit beer regardless of gender. It is just another style in the broad spectrum.
18. Tradition is cool. So is innovation. Germany, Belgium and England. Those are the three classic beer producing countries that have been at it for centuries, often making beer in the same styles with the same flavours. Then American craft brewers came along and changed the rules – big flavours, new or reinterpreted styles – and the rest of the world (Canada, Italy, Scandanavia) is following their playbook. Is one ethos, tradition or innovation, better? No. There is a reason that Belgian, German and British styles have existed for what feels like eons. Their styles are timeless. American craft brewers brought along change, but there is nothing inherently better about their beers. They are just different. Love all beer styles, no matter where they were created or when.
17. Ratebeer and Beer Advocate are not Bibles. Use them as a guide, but do not treat them with reverence. Certain styles (imperial stouts, IPAs) or anything in vogue (beers that are barrel aged or from a trendy brewery) tend to get rated higher than perfect examples of a German weissebier or British mild. There is a mob mentality to both sites, which makes it important not to completely rely on them for beer information. Have your own opinion, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the general population.
16. Lager is not a dirty word. It is often treated as such by beer geeks, even towards well made lagers from craft breweries. The basic elements of a lager (colder, longer fermentation) create a cleaner, crisper beer that are often less complex than an ale. The end result is a beer that tends to be shunned by people who populate sites like Ratebeer and Beer Advocate. But to generalize lagers as inferior is a gross mistake. A pilsner or helles is perfect for the hot, sunny days of summer when your body craves a refreshing beer. Add some caramel malts for the märzens that will carry you through fall or spring. Go really dark with a bock or Baltic porter for the winter. Don’t put lagers in the gutter.