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The Senior's Guide to Pretending to Like IPA


Photo by Athlex / CC BY-SA 2.0

Welcome to your senior year. 

It's a time to reflect on your years at Penn, look to the future, and begin the wonder of adult life. Most importantly, it's time to grow up and start liking good beer. It's time to start enjoying the bitter wonder of the India Pale Ale.

Do you honestly think that you can saddle up to a swanky Uptown bar with your Goldman buds and order a Miller Lite? Do you honestly think that you're gonna impress that cute girl/guy at your flatmate's Christmas party by downing a few Milwaukee's Best? Of course not. If you do, you'll literally never have a job and be single for the rest of your life and no one will ever respect you. You've got to find a better way.

Liking IPA is hard to do. You order one because it makes you feel cool but you end up wincing after each swig, nursing the beer until it's turned into a warm, malty mess that's just even more undrinkable. But you've got to at least pretend to like the damn thing. That's where UTB comes in.

We're happy to provide you with a foolproof guide to deceiving everyone around you that you just love IPA. It's like Memento or The Velvet Underground, at least pretending to understand and enjoy it will make you instantly cooler/more interesting/hotter. 

Take these five tips and be on your way to glory.

1) Talk the Talk

Just throw out all kinds of bullshit about how much you love IPA. Yammer on and on about hops. Take a thoughtful sip and very loudly identify the citrus notes with maybe just a twinge of some toasty caramel flavor, a nice hoppy bite and a smooth malty finish. As loudly as possible, mention the following beers and how much you love them: Heady Topper, Lagunitas Maximus, and Founders All Day IPA. If you just speak loudly and confidently enough about IPA and the hops, you'll fool even the most seasoned of your company

Example: "Wow, this IPA is so good. It's gotta a nice bitterness to it, but it's not overwhelming. It's got a great selection of both citrusy and nutty hops and it really reminds me of this great local beer I had in Vermont. You probably wouldn't know it."

2) Dress the Part

You've got to look like someone who would just love the hell out of a nice, cold IPA. Dress like someone who just came off the train from Willamsburg, wearing only the most expensive second-hand flannel jacket paired with a pair of silm jeans, converse, and maybe a band t-shirt (make sure it's some pretentious band that no one will actually ask you about. Maybe brush up on your Sonic Youth?). If you use method (1) and pair it with a nice IPA costume, you just might pull this thing off.

3) Double or Nothing

Insist on only drinking double IPAs. These beers usually use 2-3 times the amount of hops and have a higher ABV, making you look like you want some hardcore shit to drink and are therefore more valuable as a human being. The best part is, a lot of bars don't carry double IPA. You'll look tough as hell and not actually have to drink it. You can fall back on a drink you actually want to drink. While this method seems foolproof, the only real risk is the bar actually having a double IPA on tap. Then, you're stuck with twice the madness and twice the sadness. Use at your own risk.

4) Distract People by Having Mad Hops

If you've got more hops than the beer, you're in the clear. Work up some serious jumping skills and just dunk over everyone's heads 24/7. If you've got such game, no one can say a word about your shitty choice of beer. It's a bit of a work around but if you've got the skills, use 'em.

5) The Fake Out

Go to the bathroom with your IPA and pour it down the sink. Fill the now empty bottle with the pocket Yuengling you've been saving for the Uber ride home. Go back out and just crush that beer, smiling at its deliciousness and fooling everyone around you into thinking you're a complete badass. Success!

Senior year can be scary. Hopefully now you're just a smidge more prepared for the real world. Cheers!