Choosing the Perfect Beer

valar morgulis

A friend of mine was clearing out her house a while ago. She had a lot of things in storage, a lot of stuff to sort through, and decisions to make. We came to the conclusion that she needed a drink in order to complete this task. Specifically, she needed a fine dark Irish stout. Because that’s a beer that gets shit done.

Our conversation got me thinking; how do you pick the right beer for the occasion/mood? It’s sort of like how people pair wines with different foods, except better because it’s beer. Mind you, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but here’s what I came up with:

Irish Stout: Like I said, this is the beer for getting shit done. When you drink this beer, you become more powerful and decisive. No one’s going to try to argue with you when you’re drinking it, because your confidence is just really going to skyrocket and people will definitely pick up on that.

Oatmeal Stout: Breakfast.

Coffee Stout: Breakfast.

Chocolate Stout: Breakfast. And dessert. And all the time whenever.

Red: This is a good beer to reach for when you really can’t make up your mind or you’re at a pub with a limited selection. It’s kind of just a good standby; not super exciting, but not your standard domestic either. It’s a great choice if you’re shooting pool with people you don’t know very well.

IPA: I have no idea about these, because GET THEM AWAY FROM ME. I realize many would crucify me for these words, but there it is. People who like IPAs are living such a different life from me that I can’t even pretend to give advice on this.

Porter: This is perfect if you’re in the mood to feel like you live in a rustic-chic barn and are enjoying a meal of bread and cheese after a long day of collecting your bountiful harvest. This beer will make you put your boots up on the table and think about what it means to be an American. If you have a leather vest, put it on before pouring yourself a glass.

Lager: See above, except now you also feel like you just totally ratted out a bunch of Redcoat spies. Good for unwinding and congratulating yourself.

Ale: When do you choose an ale? When you’re feeling successful and surrounded by friends. It’s going to make your eyes more shiny and sparkly, and you’ll laugh louder. If you’re a man, your beard will get thicker and glossier. Drinking this beer will confirm that you’re a boss.

Heather: If you’re lucky enough to find this, congratulate yourself on being totally classy. This beer is for victories and celebrations.

White Hag's heather is the way to go for classy times.
White Hag’s heather is the way to go for classy times.

Citrus: Any day in summer is vastly improved by the presence of this beer. It doesn’t even matter what else is going on; when you open one of these, your life is better than it was two seconds ago.

Berry: I’m sure a lot of people think these are great for summer, and I won’t argue with that. But for me, these are for getting through the darkest days of winter and the holiday season. A decent beer brewed with raspberries will help you forget that it’s January What the Fuck Ever and that this beer itself is the only thing you have to live for.

Pumpkin and Spiced Seasonals: These are for when you need to lie to yourself about the fact that a long, dark winter is rapidly approaching. Instead of accepting reality, stuff your face with butternut squash and drink one of these.

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin. Perfect for pretending the quickly approaching winter isn't going to suck.
Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin. Perfect for pretending the rapidly approaching winter isn’t going to suck.
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