The Hop Take series is a place to discuss the week’s beer news. It’s a space where I get to talk about fake news, this post-craft beer world we live in, and why Beer Is Fun. But it’s also a place to opine about beer in general and shine a light on things I think deserve more attention. Like how breweries, not restaurants, need to become the go-to spot for first dates.
Think about it. There are more breweries and more taprooms to visit than ever before. There are also more online dating sites and dating apps than ever before. Naturally, it’s time for people to make breweries and taprooms the number one go-to spot for first dates.
If you swipe right enough times, you’ll eventually end up on an IRL date. That means you’ll need a place to go, and if you’re smart, you’ll decide where that date takes place. Ditch the dinner no one wants to sit through anyway and do something you actually enjoy. Go to a brewery.
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Full disclosure: I’ve been in a relationship for more than eight years and haven’t been on a first date since high school. Don’t write me off yet, though. Throughout that time, my girlfriend and I have been a sounding board for numerous relationships. We’ve helped friends on first dates, watched relationships grow, and then attended weddings. We’ve also seen people start a relationship, then watched that relationship crash and burn. I’m not necessarily saying a brewery would’ve been a better first date testing ground to keep the latter from happening, but I’m not not saying that, either.
Just to make sure I’m not mistaken, though, I polled the VinePair office and a few friends. I received a resounding yes: Breweries are less awkward, come with less pressure, and, as one friend put it, “it’s easier to escape quickly if things are awks.”
Even the people who don’t usually like beer said they’d prefer a brewery over the same old restaurant date they’ve been on time after time. It’s more exciting (and less expensive) than sitting at a table for two and trying to attractively balance eye contact and talking about your favorite movie, while also trying to hide how weird you look while eating.
Unless you’re one of those people who goes on dates for the free food. Then you should stick to restaurants.
In other beer news this week:
Tiger Beer is saving actual baby tigers (and adult tigers, too)
In the lineup of most adorable baby animals, baby tigers are in the top five, right next to baby hippos. But humans are working their hardest to make sure there are no more baby tigers in the wild; according to USA Today, there are fewer than 4,000 left.
So Tiger Beer, the Singapore-based brewery run by Heineken Asia Pacific, is taking steps to protect its namesake. Tiger Beer and the World Wildlife Fund are working together in a campaign called 3890Tigers. The project will run for six years to try to bring the tiger population up to 6,000 by 2022.
Tiger Beer donated $1 million, and it’s also making limited-edition cans. That may not sound like a big deal, but Tiger Beer hasn’t changed it’s design in 84 years. Pass me the Tiger, please.
Counterfeit Budweiser looks even more gross than I thought
On May 5, Chinese officials busted a counterfeit Budweiser operation that produced 600,000 cans of “Budweiser” a month. Now there’s video of the operation, and it’s concerning.
People toss cans into a see-through tub filled with dark foamy liquid. Then women dunk cans into the liquid with their bare hands and set them on a conveyor belt. This isn’t the high-tech, fancy operation wine forgers use. This is just gross and disturbing.
Still, I am a strong believer in don’t knock it till you try it. And I have not yet tried any counterfeit Budweiser (as far as I know). So maybe I should suspend my judgment for just a second. Who knows? Hands might add a certain je ne sais quoi to a beer that is famously flavorless.