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Full disclosure: I’m a 25-year-old guy that’s brutally single. As such, I’ve been on a lot of first dates in a lot of different venues – some good, some bad, some meh. First impressions, not made on Hinge, still mean a lot, and the location for making them has become equally important. While places like bars and coffee shops are still good options for an initial meeting point, there’s growing evidence that your neighborhood taproom might be the ideal spot for a first date as it balances the right mixture of “scene” and entertainment. Plus you get to drink (presumably) great beer.
I’m not here to make the decision for you, but I did want to offer a breakdown of the pros and cons.
Finding a TV in the taproom can be dicey, but the people watching is always top notch. Craft beer attracts eclectic personalities from various life experiences, which means that the couple arguing at the bar top about the merits of the free-range chicken on the menu and the beer snob interrogating your nearby waitress on what really goes into the Triple IPA present you with their own unique entertainment value and conversation fodder. But it’s not just the people. A lot of these places now are dog-friendly too, which means that you can mutually ogle over the beagle/corgi mix (has science gone too far?) in the corner furiously searching for burger scraps. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, some breweries even offer beer yoga. Yes, really. Trying to fight down a burp whilst holding the downward dog position for the fifth time might not sound appealing at first, but the idea grows on you after housing your third round of barrel-aged stouts.
The Beer Flight
The perfect serving format for our generation. Having the opportunity to try five beers instead of being wedded to one is always the right choice. It’s a great conversation starter and a perfect opportunity to share with your date and break the first-date jitters that afflict many people. Don’t like one? Toss it to the side. Find an IPA that tastes like God poured it himself? You already have your beer order prepped for round two. Beer flights are the best and I won’t hear otherwise.
You’re going to a place that specializes in alcohol which means that trying just one beer isn’t going to cut it on most dates. You’re here for at least two drinks, maybe a flight (do it), and maybe food if they’re serving their homemade mac and cheese on special. Especially if it comes in that super hip cast-iron pan that looks great on Instagram. All in all, it’s going to add up. And while your local brewery isn’t Girl and the Goat, it probably makes its food with some flare and locally-sourced ingredients to please the craft beer fanatics, so it’s going to run you north of $70 with a healthy tip assuming you’re paying for your date as well. Come prepared.
You Might Get Pressed on your Beer Knowledge
Face it: Approximately 1% of beer drinkers can accurately describe the difference between a Gose and a Saison. One has French origins I believe? But if both beer varieties appear on the tap list, your date might ask you for your opinion on which one to get. This presents two options: either you lie, which could lead to bigger consequences down the road when you say it’ll be sweet but it turns out to be sour, or you fess up and ask the waiter. I’d opt for the latter as I’ve endured the former and I don’t recommend it. It’s always better to laugh at yourself then go down with a sinking ship of mislabeled beer. Plus, it’ll provide a good jumping back point for future conversations.
So, those are my thoughts on the taproom experience. The dating world is wild and vastly unpredictable, but having your first date at a taproom instead of the coffee shop near your office or the neighborhood bar two steps from your 1 bedroom shows that you at least put some thought into it, which seems to be half the battle these days. Disagree or maybe you just hate saisons? I understand it’s not for everyone. Let me know in the comments. Cheers!.