It’s the last Saturday in May, and the event all of us have been waiting for is here. I’ve been hoarding all year for this, waiting in anticipation.
The bottles are already selected. A super rare, uber sour from that new experimental brewery out West. A triple bourbon aged high gravity bomb. A growler of a quadrupel imperial IPA with IBUs off the scale. Plus a couple of selections from that brewery out East who only releases beers in small batches out of their garage.
Hotel room booked. Wallet full for the cash-only purchases. Small glass tulip cleaned and ready to hang around my neck.
But what should I wear?
I could wear a shirt from the brewery hosting the beer event to show them my support. After all, that is why we are here, right? To support the brewery. Not to get super rare, hyped-up beers to trade away to people we have never met. Right?
Too cliche. I know, I’ll wear a button down work shirt from that brewery out West. People will think that I work for them - it will be awesome. No, better not. That brewery has gone a little mainstream and isn’t “craft” enough. I’m not sure I want to be associated with that.
What about a T-shirt from the greatest lambic brewery in the world?
“Yea, I’ve been there. No big deal. Drank a gueuze with the owner and purchased some rare, impossible-to-get beers. I don’t have any with me but I’m currently aging some in my cellar (*cough* closet).”
A bunch of people are probably going to be wearing shirts from there. I won’t stand out enough if I wear that.
Last summer I went on a road trip around the east coast. Along the way I stopped at a couple of brewpubs that don’t distribute their beer. I could wear a shirt from one of those breweries. No one will even know what I’m wearing, it’ll be like wearing an unknown indie band’s shirt. People will come up to me and ask about the shirt. I could then tell them about my trip there and about how I travel for my beer instead of trade.
I’ll probably come off as a tool if I do that...
I could go the “other” way. Wear an ironic shirt from a mainstream lager producer. Instead of going the way that everyone else is and trying to impress, I’ll go for a laugh. “Lite Lager? My dad drinks that. Good one, dude.”
I’m sure someone else will already be doing that. We all know that there is always THAT guy at a beer festival.
Why is this so hard?! It’s just a shirt. I wear those every single day. Why do I even care about what these people think of me?! Shouldn’t I be caring more about the beer and not about what people think of me?
You know what? People probably won’t even care about what I’m wearing. Just as long as I share some extreme, uncommon beers and talk about all of the awesome “whales” I’ve scored.
As long as I do that, people will like me.