New recipes

The Beginner’s Guide to Ordering Beer

The Beginner’s Guide to Ordering Beer

A guide to imbibing without embarrassment

There’s no reason why wine lists should take all the heat for being super intimidating and exclusionary.

Indeed, for those still operating on a learning curve when it comes to beer, many of the great lists at today’s geekiest spots read like a textbook for an AP class you weren’t prepared to take.

It’s no secret that the country’s craft beer revolution has been growing with fervor over the last decade — filling taps, bottles, and cans with a richly diverse array of inspired and boundary-pushing creations dreamed up by breweries both large and small. There are intensely hopped and aggressively aromatic IPAs, low-alcohol yet highly flavorful session beers, and boundary-pushing porters.

It’s a lot to keep track of — and an overwhelming amount of information for beginners to take on. Even beyond the ever-expanding selection of brews to choose from, there are things like learning how to taste a beer and food pairing basics to master.

To that end, we’ve put together this basic guide to help you become a more informed imbiber.


Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

As a cook, you can't do much with poor quality fish or seafood, so knowing how to choose the best is vital to your success.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that buying fresh fish better than frozen. This is not necessarily true. Why? Quite often, your 'fresh fish' was previously frozen because most fish are frozen right on the boat.

Also, some seafood, such as lobster, do not travel well, so you're actually getting higher-quality food if it's been frozen. This is particularly true if you do not live near the seafood's origin.

Fish intended for sushi should also be carefully selected and not every type is suitable.


Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

As a cook, you can't do much with poor quality fish or seafood, so knowing how to choose the best is vital to your success.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that buying fresh fish better than frozen. This is not necessarily true. Why? Quite often, your 'fresh fish' was previously frozen because most fish are frozen right on the boat.

Also, some seafood, such as lobster, do not travel well, so you're actually getting higher-quality food if it's been frozen. This is particularly true if you do not live near the seafood's origin.

Fish intended for sushi should also be carefully selected and not every type is suitable.


Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

As a cook, you can't do much with poor quality fish or seafood, so knowing how to choose the best is vital to your success.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that buying fresh fish better than frozen. This is not necessarily true. Why? Quite often, your 'fresh fish' was previously frozen because most fish are frozen right on the boat.

Also, some seafood, such as lobster, do not travel well, so you're actually getting higher-quality food if it's been frozen. This is particularly true if you do not live near the seafood's origin.

Fish intended for sushi should also be carefully selected and not every type is suitable.


Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

As a cook, you can't do much with poor quality fish or seafood, so knowing how to choose the best is vital to your success.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that buying fresh fish better than frozen. This is not necessarily true. Why? Quite often, your 'fresh fish' was previously frozen because most fish are frozen right on the boat.

Also, some seafood, such as lobster, do not travel well, so you're actually getting higher-quality food if it's been frozen. This is particularly true if you do not live near the seafood's origin.

Fish intended for sushi should also be carefully selected and not every type is suitable.


Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

As a cook, you can't do much with poor quality fish or seafood, so knowing how to choose the best is vital to your success.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that buying fresh fish better than frozen. This is not necessarily true. Why? Quite often, your 'fresh fish' was previously frozen because most fish are frozen right on the boat.

Also, some seafood, such as lobster, do not travel well, so you're actually getting higher-quality food if it's been frozen. This is particularly true if you do not live near the seafood's origin.

Fish intended for sushi should also be carefully selected and not every type is suitable.


Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

As a cook, you can't do much with poor quality fish or seafood, so knowing how to choose the best is vital to your success.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that buying fresh fish better than frozen. This is not necessarily true. Why? Quite often, your 'fresh fish' was previously frozen because most fish are frozen right on the boat.

Also, some seafood, such as lobster, do not travel well, so you're actually getting higher-quality food if it's been frozen. This is particularly true if you do not live near the seafood's origin.

Fish intended for sushi should also be carefully selected and not every type is suitable.


Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

As a cook, you can't do much with poor quality fish or seafood, so knowing how to choose the best is vital to your success.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that buying fresh fish better than frozen. This is not necessarily true. Why? Quite often, your 'fresh fish' was previously frozen because most fish are frozen right on the boat.

Also, some seafood, such as lobster, do not travel well, so you're actually getting higher-quality food if it's been frozen. This is particularly true if you do not live near the seafood's origin.

Fish intended for sushi should also be carefully selected and not every type is suitable.


Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

As a cook, you can't do much with poor quality fish or seafood, so knowing how to choose the best is vital to your success.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that buying fresh fish better than frozen. This is not necessarily true. Why? Quite often, your 'fresh fish' was previously frozen because most fish are frozen right on the boat.

Also, some seafood, such as lobster, do not travel well, so you're actually getting higher-quality food if it's been frozen. This is particularly true if you do not live near the seafood's origin.

Fish intended for sushi should also be carefully selected and not every type is suitable.


Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

As a cook, you can't do much with poor quality fish or seafood, so knowing how to choose the best is vital to your success.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that buying fresh fish better than frozen. This is not necessarily true. Why? Quite often, your 'fresh fish' was previously frozen because most fish are frozen right on the boat.

Also, some seafood, such as lobster, do not travel well, so you're actually getting higher-quality food if it's been frozen. This is particularly true if you do not live near the seafood's origin.

Fish intended for sushi should also be carefully selected and not every type is suitable.


Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

As a cook, you can't do much with poor quality fish or seafood, so knowing how to choose the best is vital to your success.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that buying fresh fish better than frozen. This is not necessarily true. Why? Quite often, your 'fresh fish' was previously frozen because most fish are frozen right on the boat.

Also, some seafood, such as lobster, do not travel well, so you're actually getting higher-quality food if it's been frozen. This is particularly true if you do not live near the seafood's origin.

Fish intended for sushi should also be carefully selected and not every type is suitable.