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The Unspoken Rules of the Bottle Share

You might think It's as simple as just bringing nice beer. You would be wrong.

1. Bring something good to share. This will not be something you bought at the grocery store on the way over. If you don't know what you should bring, don't embarrass yourself by trying. Bring cheese or something.

2. But don't bring anything if you were told not to bring anything. Maybe the host is trying to reduce their cellar inventory. Maybe the host knows you are a novice/idiot/cheapskate/person with bad taste. They invited you, but not your beer because they don't want it to be awkward. Bring salami or something.

3. Don't bring wine. It just makes it weird.

4. Don't bring more than three bottles unless you were asked to do so. No one likes a show-off. If you want to pop seven of your own bottles, host your own bottle share.

5. Don't invite random people to the bottle share unless you're the host.

6. Don't ask why people are at the bottle share, even if you're the host.

7. The host will determine the order of drinking, or deputize someone else to do so. Once deputized, the bottle popper will serve until they're incapacitated or they go home.

8. Don't crack anyone else's bottle without asking. You rude bastard.

9. Don't ask anyone if you can crack their bottle. You covetous pest.

10. If the soft-spoken man next to you brings a really rare bottle of beer, compliment him on the bottle. This is why he came.

11. Don't crack your own bottle unless given the nod by someone with authority. If you just wanted to drink your own beer, why'd you come?

12. Don't move aggressively toward the pourer while the beer is being poured. Be Zen, it will come to you. Unless it doesn't.

13. If a bottle has been poured for everyone except you, don't asK for the beer. Ask what the beer tastes like. If they want to pour it for you, they will.

14. Always serve beer at optimum temperature. You've been aging it for years, do this right.

15. You can't grumble about the serving temperature of the bottle unless you and the person who brought it are very good friends. Some idiots want to drink warm beer. Other idiots want to drink beer that's too cold to taste. No one will agree on this.

16. Remember that beer will get warmer in the glass, but it will not get colder. On the other hand, by the time we've all waited for it to warm up in our glass, half of it is gone because people are lazy and/or drunk. No one will agree on this.

17. Don't bring a beer that you really, really want to enjoy. There's a very high chance it will get too warm or too cold, or someone will pop it open and empty the bottle without you getting a drop.

18. The host should open the best bottles in the middle of the evening. By the end of the night, when everyone is drunk, opening that Cantillon in the basement is just a waste.

19. Shut the fuck up about diacetyl unless you're a brewer. Homebrewers don't count. Spare us the dissertation on why the thing we're drinking tastes the way it does. We're just trying to enjoy our beer here, guy.

20. That goes double for DMS.

21. Once you start pouring a bottle-conditioned beer, keep it tilted and pour through until it's gone, lest the yeast get swished around and the beer get muddy and gross.

22. If you missed out on the bottle, don't drink the yeast. It's pathetic.

23. If the night ends without your bottle being cracked, tough luck. You don't get to take your bottle home. You've donated it to the host. Don't ever mention the bottle again.

24. In the event that the deputized bottle popper leaves or is incapacitated and the host is also incapacitated, anyone may open any bottle at any time and in any order. But you still cannot take your bottles home.