Step 4 — Recognize 15 Craft Beers by Label

Identifying Beer Types

Becoming an expert is simple. All you have to do is memorize the labels of 15 craft beers and occasionally mumble "That's a great IPA."

Who are we kidding? There's no fast way to become a beer expert. Tossing around terms like "IPA" or "pilsner" may impress a college freshman, but there isn't a bush league of craft beer drinkers minor enough for this vocabulary to make you appear to be an expert. Even if you knew everything there was to know about those 15 craft beers; you would not be able to call yourself an expert. Just to put things in perspective, the Beer Expert app on Google Play has a database of 300,000 craft beers. So let's drop "beer expert" in favor of "beer enthusiast."

Enjoy the Journey

Learning to recognize craft beers by label will give you some familiarity with the styles, brewers, and beers out there, but this information is worthless unless you have at least sampled those beers. And, to justify our existence to real beer experts let's roll out a tired cliché: "Success is found in the journey, not the destination." So, you fulfill this step with a change in mindset. It's not about becoming a beer expert; it's about learning about great-tasting beer and enjoying the process of discovery. Now, go forth and engage Steps 5, 6, 7, and 8. Whether or not you become an expert, you will be a successful "enthusiast."

The Beer Expert Journey

Change of Mindset