We’ve talked before about what kind of beers dads like to drink.
Specifically, they are beers we’ll generously call “domestic.” But as craft beers become more and more common, even the most hesitant dads will eventually give in to their college-aged son’s plea to at least try a good beer.
And when that happens, an avalanche of beer decisions follows. Eventually, your Bud-drinking dad will become a home brewing beer snob. Which is great news for your beer selection when you come home for the holidays. Here’s how that happens.
Step 1: The Blue Moon Phase
First, your dad is going to need a gateway beer, and it’s going to need to be something that grabs his attention. Blue Moon is almost guaranteed to be this beer, because it’s got a flavor profile that’s different than “Budweiser or Miller or what have you,” but it’s also a pretty inoffensive beer.
It’s not strong enough to scare off a dad who was raised on a lifetime of Milwaukee’s Best. Plus, it’s got an orange. “Oh, that’s neat!” your dad will say. “It’s like I’m getting a snack with my beer!”
Really, any cheap wheat beer will work here, but if you’re being honest with yourself, that beer will likely be Blue Moon, because who do you know who actually drinks Shocktop?
Step 2: The Belgian Wheat Beer
Note: when we say Belgian here, we mean Belgian-style. And when we say Belgian-style, we mean Belgian-style that’s more expensive than Blue Moon. This is where he sees an Allagash on the menu, and his kid points point out, “Hey, this beer’s like Blue Moon, though a bit better if you ask me,” and he says, “Oh what the hell, I’ll give it a shot.”
This is an important step, because he’s not yet at the point where he’s asking you what items on the beer list he would like. But it does lead directly to…
Step 3: Belgian Beers
Belgian beers tend to be malty and sweet with higher alcohol contents than other beers.
Once your dad has had a taste of the Belgium wheat beers, it’ll be a lot easier to push him to the harder stuff. He’ll probably get really into Delerium Tremens once he goes to a bar that has one of the Delerium posters claiming it was voted the best beer in the world.
First, ease him into Blonde Ales. Then, a Tripel. Then, Dobbel. Finally, Quadrupels. Once your dad realizes the range of flavors beer can have, and how it can actually go well with food as opposed to washing it down, he’s almost there.
Step 4: Stouts and Porters
This is where he’ll start getting into the American craft scene. Before step three, he would have assumed dark beers are “too intense,” but now that he’s a bit more open to try other beers, he’ll enjoy their dark chocolatey mellowness. Eventually, he’ll start drinking Russian Imperial Stouts, and will start complaining that Guinness is “too wimpy.”
Step 5: IPAs
The final frontier involves getting dad into IPAs. That is the toughest sell, because a hoppy beer is a lot like spicy food. At first, you don’t like it, but once you get a taste for it, you crave it. But once you break that seal with your dad, he’ll be all-in on the craft scene.
Step 6: Beer Obsession
Soon, your dad’s preferences will outpace yours. Complaining about the lack of selection in his liquor store, he’ll go to sites like The Beer Connect and spend hours ordering beers from breweries you’ve never heard of but now that apparently “make the best IPA East of the Mississippi, hands down.”
He’ll download Untappd on his phone. He’ll go on message boards. He’ll do that thing that craft beer dads do where he befriends random craft beer dads online and exchanges rare bottles with them. “My God,” you’ll think to yourself. “I’ve created a monster.”
Step 7: Swag
Next time you get dinner with your dad, he’ll have found ThreadBrew and purchased about a half-dozen craft beer pun shirts. He’ll be wearing one of them while he rips on your “uninspired” decision to get a Unibroue with your meal.
Step 8: Homebrewing
Finally, it will occur to your dad that if he wants the best beer, he better just make it himself.
He’ll start with a basic brew kit, like a Mr. Beer, but he’ll eventually move up to a Pico so he can brew craft beer quality beers with precision and make you try it when you come home for Thanksgiving.
In just a few short years, your dad has gone from a man who only drinks Bud Light to the guy who won’t let you leave the house until you try his hazel-caramel porter to see if the balance is right. Which isn’t really a bad thing, now is it?