It’s all about the labels. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, yet breweries spend so much on design and branding. It’s often the label that makes the first sale, not the beer itself.
I first choose the style, which will likely be influenced by the weather. A brewery’s reputation guides me next. Finally, I need to decide if I want something new or if I’ll go with tried-and-true.
Mood and occasion. No one wants to drink a barrel-aged imperial stout on the beach, no matter how good it is. Sometimes your choice of cuisine also affects your choice of beer, and vice versa.
I tend to opt for beers I haven’t tried, but for a safe bet, I choose go-to classics or trusted brands with which I’ve had good experiences. And if a place isn’t cleaning their draught lines properly, I’ll order a can or bottle – and a clean glass.