Drinks with Tyler Sildve, Brewer at Oxbow

We talk hops and Hill Farmstead. READ NOW.

Despite what you may have read elsewhere on the internet, walking up and ordering “something light” for your date could be a fatal error. Here are some super simple tips from the owner of Manhattan’s Alphabet City Beer Company to make sure you at least look like you know what you’re doing in the pursuit of romance.

1. Don’t one up, either with your wallet or knowledge. Although ordering two cans of “your freshest Headless Toppy” as you slide your Discover card across the bar may make you feel like Beyoncé or James Bond, you’re always better off sticking to your comfort zone. Just like any other bar, you should order what you know or ask for a suggestion.

2. Use your bartender as your ally. Make your bartender the Goose to your Maverick, or the Monica to your Rachel. He or she can help you with everything from ordering the right beer to providing honest feedback on the situation when your date runs to the bathroom. Even though throwing a full pint glass in a server’s face as you scream “I ASKED FOR CHINOOK HOPS, YOU CRETIN” may seem like an effective way to assert yourself, it’ll only win you points with the most sadistic and awful of dates.

3. Pace yourself, slugger. One of the biggest mistakes people make on a date is assuming that those three (or four, or five…) drinks have no effect on their behavior. Not sure if you’re going at it too hard? Indicators of overindulgence may include: coyly asking the bartender to plug in your iPhone so you can sing along to Taylor Swift; talking about how your desk job is “fantastic, really great,” and/or stepping outside to take that phone call from your ex so you can let them know that you are “out with someone else” and this “really isn’t a good time to chat.”

4. For the love of all that is holy, do not lecture your date about beer. This rule shouldn’t only apply to dates, but to birthday parties, wedding receptions, Arbor Day barbecues, and your neighbor’s son’s bris. If you need something to talk about other than dry hopping sours and how spontaneous fermentation is the essence of lambic, consider asking if Drake should be considered a rapper or just an autotuned singer, whether or not we as a society should be concerned about Shia LaBeouf’s well-being, or if a hot dog is, in fact, a sandwich.