Thursday, June 9, 2011

Your Thoughts on Sharing Tastes

Here, try this.
I'll probably never live this post down, but here goes.

With the beer festival season about to get into full swing -- don't forget to go to the first-ever Portland Fruit Beer Festival this weekend -- it seems like a good time to ask a question that I've been mulling over for a while.  How do you feel about passing the glass around a group of friends, to let everyone have a taste of this really good OR really bad OR really rare beer?  I don't mean splitting a bottle or a pitcher, I mean actually handing over your glass and saying "Try this".
  • Are you worried about passing germs around?
  • How well do you have to know someone before you'll share?
  • Suppose you're just recovering from a cold or flu yourself:  how long do you quarantine yourself? 
Personally, I'm a libertine about sharing and accepting tastes, and of course alcohol doesn't just disinfect, it dis-inhibits.  But sometimes in the despair of a wintertime fever, my paranoid side wonders if I would still be on my feet if I hadn't taken so many sips from other peoples' glasses.

Any thoughts?


  1. Ok, Bill, I'll quit "dribbling" on Twitter and recap here, just because you asked so nicely.
    Yes, I share. I share with complete strangers. And in return I will drink from the glass of a complete stranger. I do not fear others' cooties.
    But before anyone reading this gets completely grossed out I wouldn't drink from a stranger's glass if they were obviously sick, nor would I offer to strangers (or friends for that matter) if I was sick. But I'm not the sickly type so I've yet to encounter this issue.

  2. I agree with Kris -- I always share, except in the cases of sickness or obvious open mouth sores.

  3. I share tastes with friends all the time at fests. I don't do it with strangers. Not a whole lot of logic to that, but it's what works for me, so I'll go with it. There are normally way too many beers at a fest to actually sample them all, so sharing tastes is the only way to go.

  4. Good question!
    I share and share alike. The on-the-mental-books plan is that it's with "friends", but that friend circle grows as the night goes on. But even late, it's clear when it's a bad idea to take and/or share a taste. Bottom line, trust the gut.

  5. Thanks everyone. Looks like a lot of us share it around without a care. I'm just glad no one made fun of me for even asking the question.

  6. Everyone shares. That's how we roll in Beervana.

  7. Last night, I shared 3 oz with 7 people, out of the same 4oz taster glass. All I could think about was this post and comments and it made me feel warm and fuzzy and happy that I am not the only person living on the edge.

  8. I share liberally, but whenever I do offer a sip to someone I do worry that they will be put off by unsanitary nature of the offer.