People I Hate: Snobby Hipster Bartenders

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I stopped by a new bar Saturday night and had an unbelievably awful experience, even though the place was actually pretty sweet. It’s a brand new, upscale bar that specializes in craft beers and whiskeys that are old enough to vote. It’s in a cool neighborhood, it stays open late, and it has an awesome rooftop–but I would rather rim Charlie Weis’s sweaty gape than ever go back there again.

The problem with this place is that the bartender has the charisma of a bleeding hemorrhoid. He’s what you would call a beer snob, and, wouldn’t you know it, he also has all the hipster requisites to boot: eccentric facial hair, thick-framed, retro glasses, an obscure band T-shirt, and jeans that would be too tight on a prepubescent cheerleader with an eating disorder. They’re slightly baggy on him because he weighs no more than 100 pounds, soaking wet, with a pounding erection.

I pretty much hated this walking cliché upon sight, but I didn’t want to visit grievous bodily harm upon his person until he opened his mouth. I was sitting at the bar, just opening the beer list–which was about as thick as a biology textbook–when he asked me what I wanted to drink. Since I hadn’t had a chance to look through the menu and wanted to place a drink order before he made his way back to the other side of the bar, I quickly rattled off that I would take a Stella. He looked at me like I had just asked for a pint of Pamela Anderson’s menstruation.

“Stella? How do you drink that stuff? That shit is just as bad as all of the mass-marketed, non-descript, watered-down American beers that frat guys drink. If you’re drinking Belgians, you’ll wanna go with Orval Trappist Ale. It’s brewed by Brasserie d’Orval out of Villers-devant-Orval, which is a small village in western Belgium. It’s medium-bodied and well carbonated. Delivers rich, two-finger, never-ending heads. Big nose of Belgian yeast funk. Has strong notes of nutmeg and wet Earth, pleasant mouthfeel, and finishes dry, almost metallic. It’s a good one to start with if you want to get a better understanding of Belgian beers.”

Listen buddy–I can memorize passages from beeradvocate.com and pawn them off as my own, too, but I actually have a life, and I prefer to spend my time online doing something productive, like watching Brazilian snot fetish videos.

For the uninitiated, his advice to me was not a friendly suggestion of a new beer to try. Nope. It was a not so subtle way of letting me–and everyone else within earshot–know that he knows a hell of a lot more about beer than I do. It was purely an exercise in self-importance.

Throughout the night, he kept pulling this shit whenever I placed a drink order. I would order a drink and he would counter with unsolicited advice as to what I should have ordered. In his mind, he was a world class sommelier and I was a chubby high school chick drinking boxed wine.

It went beyond just the beer, too. Whenever I ordered a beer, he gave me a dissertation on the proper glassware that should be used for that particular style of beer. “A lot of people don’t realize how important the glassware is to the beer. It affects the beer’s color, aroma, and taste. Depending on the type of beer you’re drinking, you’re going to want different levels of head retention and presentation. The right piece of glassware will allow you to notice more nuanced yeast stains, final gravities, and fermentation byproducts. For Belgians, I always prefer a tulip because it supports large, foamy heads. For American ales, I like a German Seidel–and if you’re drinking an ale from anywhere in the British Isles, you’ll want to go with a sturdy nonic.”

Thanks, dickbag, but I didn’t ask. I asked for a beer, not an exhortation on European drinking vessels. I don’t give a fuck what you use to serve me the beer, just as long as what’s inside the glass ensures that I will not be able to operate heavy machinery for the rest of the evening. For all I care, pour it into a soiled colostomy bag. Just give me my drink and shut the fuck up, you pontificating windbag.

Another thing he did that made me want to collapse his trachea was when he dropped off my beer he said, “Prost!” Whoa, look at the world traveler. This pretentious bullshit was so transparent and hack. It’s like the dude who studies abroad in Europe for a semester and then comes back and signs all his emails with “Cheers.” Fuck you. We get it. You’ve been outside the continental 48 and are much more well-traveled and cultured than the rest of us knuckle-dragging rubes. Now please do us all a favor and go wrap your esophagus around an exhaust pipe.

And speaking of Europe, of course this predictable ass-wipe would have all six televisions in the bar showing nothing but European soccer games. Keep in mind there was a rather important baseball game on at the same time, featuring the hometown team and a division rival. I asked him to change the channel on just one television, but he wouldn’t do it. Listen, I like the World Cup and MLS, and I’ll occasionally check in to see what’s going on in the European leagues, but this is America. There should only be three types of sporting events playing on televisions in bars throughout this country: football, baseball, and dog fighting.

In the end, we only stayed for about an hour because I couldn’t handle anymore of this smug, self-satisfied jizzbag’s antics. Luckily, the bar we went to next had friendly bartenders and plenty of Schedule 3 narcotics, so the night turned out great, but the first place left a dogshit taste in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, I like craft beers and places that serve them, but I need a snarky bartender like I need an infected lesion on my unit. Hipster beer snobs are the worst thing to happen to drinking culture since the Christian Women’s Temperance Movement. A pompous bartender with something to prove is just as bad as a dentist with Tourette Syndrome or a daycare provider who’s on Megan’s list.

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