You’re standing alone at the bar for a reason- what your drink says about you

by Julia Yugel and Lisa Bongiovanni

It’s a Friday night and if you’re out at a bar, chances are you’re there to meet some nice men to have a conversation with (or at least get them to buy you drinks for the evening). So how do pick the lucky fellow sucker who gets to spend his money and possibly the rest of his evening with you?

Fortunately, you can tell everything you need to know about a guy (or at least enough to know if you want to go home with him) by what he orders at the bar.

Here’s a rundown of some of the more common drinks that men order and what they say about him, whether he knows it or not.

(Well beers) Coors/Miller/Bud/PBR –

This is a guy who clearly doesn’t care what he’s drinking, which means he’s not going to care what you’re drinking. These beers are generally on some sort of special (regardless of the time of day) and if they aren’t, you shouldn’t be paying full price for what literally boils down to water. As a rule of thumb, if you can clearly see through a guy’s beer, you’re probably going to end up doing shots of Smirnoff.

Where You’ll Find Him: Baseball games, dive bars like Swanky’s

photo by Logan_X

Stella Artois-

This imported beer that tastes only slightly better than the shitty beer trifecta that is Coors/Bud/Miller. What’s the main differences? The fancy rimmed glass that it comes in, and the price. There are two types of guys that drink Stella– the ones that are trying to come off as something that they aren’t (For example, they’ll tell you they’re in the import/export business, which you later discover means they’re a milk delivery man) and the guys who want to appear worldly, but the farthest they’ve ever been is Paris, Arkansas. This is another guy to stay away from, unless your idea of a hot date is dinner at Chili’s and he pays.

Where You’ll Find Him: The Cherry Cricket

Colorado Native-

Colorado Native is kind of cool, because it’s just that- you can only find this beer here in Colorado. A guy drinking it probably knows something about beer, but isn’t from here because he’s been gypsy-tricked and thinks that this is an actual craft beer. He couldn’t be further from the truth as Colorado Native is brewed at AC Golden Brewing Company, which is “conveniently” located right in the center of Coors Brewery. This guy might be worth talking to, and you can take the time to educate him on real Colorado craft beers. Or, if you’re looking for a one-night stand.

Where You’ll Find Him: Yardhouse

Anything by New Belgium-

While we respect New Belgium for pioneering the Colorado Craft Beer industry and for making it well known, they’ve lost their edge. As the company gets larger, their beers get more generic. These days, you can find Sunshine and Fat Tire as standard draft options at any bar in Denver. The guy drinking this is a poser and probably thinks that the name of the brewery is Fat Tire. He wants to fit in with the cool kids, and is trying to by drinking “craft” beer, but like New Belgium, probably had game 10 years ago. If you’re into divorced thirtysomethings, go ask him to talk about the good old days in his fraternity.

Where You’ll Find Him: We weren’t kidding. Try any bar on Market or Blake.

Craft Beer-

While we could go into more detail and describe what each type of beer says about a guy, we won’t (because this article is going to be long enough). We’ll just say that a guy drinking a good craft beer probably knows his shit (including in bed) and has good taste. If you are also a craft beer aficionado, striking up a conversation about your favorite beers will really impress him and probably score you at least one free (good) beer yourself.

Where You’ll Find Him: Freshcraft

Wine-

This is one where context is needed. Are you at the Four Seasons or Brown Palace? Then it probably makes sense that he’s drinking a vintage Cabernet.  Are you at Swankys? Then it probably doesn’t make sense he’s drinking wine. A guy drinking wine a sports bar is just plain weird. But, if you’re into sweater vests, go for it!

Where You’ll Find Him: Cellar Wine Bar

Martinis-

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of martinis is James Bond. Classic good looks, probably has some money (or at least a job) and a little bit of class. Be prepared to wake up alone in the morning, or kidnapped/dead at the hands of a villain who is trying to take over the world using some sort of laser. Wait-this isn’t Hollywood! Let’s go with being prepared to wake up alone.

Where You’ll Find Him: Encore

Anything that’s not a classic martini in a martini glass-

With martini glass drinks, there are two simple questions to ask before approaching this guy.

1) Is the drink colored? If the answer is yes, he’s gay.

2) Is it garnished with fruit? If the answer is yes, he’s gay.

Talk to him if you want a new shopping buddy, or a sympathetic ear to talk to about how there’s no available men at this bar.

Where You’ll Find Him: Jax Fish House

Bourbon/Gin-

This guy is old. Which depending on where you are in your life, might be a good thing or a bad thing. Make sure to check for a wedding ring. Even if he doesn’t have one, after a couple drinks, casually ask how long he and his wife have been married, JUST to make sure.

Where You’ll Find Him: The Ginn Mill, HBurger

Margaritas-

Like wine, men drinking margaritas really depends on the context and setting. Cinco de Mayo and Mexican restaurants are acceptable places for a guy to be throwing back a margarita. At a regular bar? It’s a little iffy. Have you ever actually seen a guy drinking a margarita at a regular bar? Us either. He might be fun, because he’s drinking tequila, or he might be a serial killer. Good guy to chat up if you like taking risks.

Where You’ll Find Him: The Rio

Shots of Tequila-

This guy means business. He is at the bar to get drunk. It could be because he’s at some sort of celebration (think birthday or bachelor party) or because he’s drowning his sorrows with his good friend Jose. Observe how many shots he’s ordering and if he’s taking them all himself, or taking them to a group. Either your way, your chances are pretty good, but be prepared for tears and/or vomit (his, not yours).

Where You’ll Find Him: 9th Door

photo by Dan Barbus

Whiskey-

This is a guy who can hold his alcohol. A good pickup line probably isn’t “Hey! Who wants to have a drinking contest?”

This type of guy also falls into two camps. If he’s drinking it with 7-Up then he’s probably an average guy. He’ll be friendly, but he probably won’t get your panties wet. If he’s sipping high-end whiskey with ice, be prepared for long serious conversations where you’ll have to pretend to know the difference between Syria and Libya.

Where You’ll Find Him: Pint’s Pub

Rum and Coke-

Is his collar popped? How many Greek letters adorn his backwards baseball cap? This is a frat boy drink, and this guy will probably be willing to buy you one too (as long as you’re not fat). Don’t feel bad taking the drink, even if you plan on dicing because he’ll tell his brothers he slept with you anyway. Make sure you watch the bartender make it, and don’t leave it unattended.

Where You’ll Find Him: Sports Column, Lodo’s, The Tavern

Vodka tonic-

Gay. And not only gay, but also watching his weight. Steer clear of this guy as you not only won’t get a date for the night, but will probably have your appearance criticized as well. Other indicators to look for include skinny jeans and a low v-neck shirt.

Where You’ll Find Him: Tracks, JR’s

About Lisa Bongiovanni


A Colorado native with an obsession for everything Colorado, beer, booze, more beer, and of course, my dog who is obviously named after an alcoholic beverage.

  • Chris

    So what you are saying is that any guy who is drinking just about anything is a pretentious douche? What exactly am I supposed to drink? Hrmmm…

  • Chris

    oh, douche or gay. W/E

  • Derek

    Drink it because you like it not because of some marketing BS of what it says about you.

    Also, if you think Swanky’s is a dive bar, it is time to explore past LoDo.

    • Elliot

      Second! Could have at least mentioned Bar Bar if you’re unwilling to leave DT.

  • Derek

    Third, All bourbons are whiskey. Having one classification for bourbon drinkers and another whiskey drinkers is silly.

    • Bartender/Alcohol Enthusiast

      Hello Derek –

      I would like to say, yes, all bourbons are whiskey. However, not all whiskeys are boubons. This is why there is a difference. Check out this other artcle which will clearly articulate the difference. http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/29286

      You should also be aware that a blog is a blog and it is meant to be fun, not to offend those of you who drink the adult beverages that were named off above. One should take a step back and laugh instead of getting offended.

      Thank you,

      Bartender/Alcohol Enthusiast
      Denver Metro Area

  • Pag

    I think Derek and Chris need to go fuck the tension/bitchyness out of each other! I bet they drink vodka tonics. All I can say is I’m glad it’s not just me who judges people based on what they drink.

  • Linda

    I also judge men by what they drink and how they hold it:)

  • uh

    wow, this quite the article…

    What about including some racial stereotypes too, while you’re at it?

    • yeah…

      @uh – Gin n juice! Colt 45!

      What an ignorant article. I guess they’re letting anyone with a keyboard post on here now?

  • Mike

    I know that this article was a weak attempt at humor by perpetuating stereotypes – odd and unknown stereotypes but I suppose they make sense to the author in her head.

    I don’t want to get in to some name calling flame post but this list makes the author sounds like someone both men and women would like to push out into traffic – 20th and Market traffic makes sense because she seems to rim around Lodo.

    I would simply ask this to the author or editor – Would you create an article that does the same thing to women?

    She’s drinking a “XZY” so she’s a whore that could suck start a leaf blower. That girl drinks “ABC” so her vagina is dirtier than a Yellow Cab. Just plain dumb.

  • Eric

    I would be incredibly embarrassed if I wrote this – I hope it’s a fake picture and a pen name because you aren’t making any friends. Make a new persona and start fresh.

    You forgot a bio that tells us why you know so much about libations and why you are any sort of authority on the social behavior of men in Denver. What makes you qualified? Have you been to the bar scene for 2 or 3 years?

    I could have written a better article using my niece’s Mad Libs and an interview from the burrito vendor by El Chapultepec.

    The lead-off was great telling guys that they are suckers for buying women drinks. Let’s take into account that men, across all age groups, drink more beer than women. Way to know your audience.

    It looks like this is your first article- I hope by reading this comments you learned something and you aren’t relying on writing as a future.

  • http://cobeerandfood.com will

    As a blogger; a really, really lazy/busy blogger; I’d be incredibly pissed if someone posted such a flame-baiting article like this on my site. But hey, it would be content. :D (enough self-deriding humor)

    Seriously, I wonder if denveroffthewagon.com would be served better by having an editorial review process before things are published. I’ve seen a few posts that would be considered controversial or in poor taste and might not reflect the ethos and esprit de corps of the community from which the site was born. And as the readership grows, this type of post can have some seriously negative effects on the integrity of the overall product.

    Then again, just my opinion.

    • Eric

      Will, I wish I was that eloquent. I couldn’t agree more.

    • http://www.boobsandbreweries.com Lisa

      Hi Will – First off I have to say congrats on your own CO food and beer blog! I really do appreciate that you included Julia and my personal blog on your blog roll as well. Must be something about what we write that you enjoy.

      That aside, I appreciate the eloquence of your comment and really do say that in all honestly. Our intentions were not meant for this article to be “flame-baiting”, although we knew we would get some negative comments from people disagreeing with our “stereotyping” of men. It was meant to be a satirical, humorous piece and was fully reviewed by Denver off the Wagon before it was posted.

      Of course this is not a “Factual guide to Denver men at bars” and it’s sad it was taken in such a way. Good luck with your blog.

      • guest

        1I thought was funny! Nice job.

  • http://denveroffthewagon.com PJ (The Editor)

    Hello loyal readers!

    Thought I’d step in before this gets too out of hand.

    Hi, my name is PJ. I’m currently Denver off the Wagon’s entire editorial process. I read all the words, recruit all the writers, and do a few other things (pay the bills, write some stories, drink a lot, etc).

    I personally edited and approved this article. I read it and laughed my ass off. That alone was good enough to get it through the filters. I knew it would create some controversy, but I allowed it through not for that reason (not for comment bait) but in spite of it. I thought people would be more up in arms about the AC Golden comment (have you had their sours??) and the New Belgium comment (Lips of Faith is pretty forward thinking) than the rest of it. But I judged wrong, I suppose.

    I read this article as satire. A parody. Something that a local version of the Onion or Modern Drunkard might publish. Of course, this post puts me in the category of “someone who knows his shit (including in bed)”, so my delicate sensibilities remained intact.

    Responding to individual commenters, I’m going to ignore the first few. No feeding the trolls.

    @Mike, yes, this was an attempt at humor. And we’ve done something similar about women – http://www.denveroffthewagon.com/2011/03/14/women%E2%80%99s-code-of-drinking-ethics/ – and the internets exploded. Do we, as a whole, judge every person who crosses our path? Yes, absolutely. Do we abide by the rules stated in this article? Not really. But I will personally absolutely make a judgement call based off what someone is drinking. Especially appletinis. Those make my teeth hurt.

    @Eric – We’re always looking for more content. I invite you to submit a story of your own. We’ve got a link on every page asking for submissions: http://www.denveroffthewagon.com/submit-a-story/

    @Will – What other posts fall into this category? In all honesty, I thought a little humor would be good in the midst of press releases and event reviews.

    To everyone commenting and not commenting – we really do appreciate your input and the fact that you read our stuff. If articles like this truly offend our loyal readers and the readers we want to gain as we grow, we’ll obviously change our path and stay away from satire, parody, and some strong opinions. I just ask that you take a minute to think: “Does this really offend me, or should I be offended because it SEEMS offensive, but I’m actually laughing my ass off”

  • http://denveroffthewagon.com PJ (The Editor)

    Also, I think they meant scotch, not bourbon.

  • http://billybrew.com Billy

    I thought this was hilarious and am surprised people took it so seriously. Debating it is like debating the plausibility of an SNL skit. That said, if the readers don’t give the intended reaction to these types of article then it might be wise to take a different path in the future.

  • Chris (DHBC)

    I know it is iffy for me to mention this due to my closeness to to the members and writers of DOTW but mainly, the question of offense is best addressed by mentioning a Seinfeld quote: “Does this offend you as a Jewish person?” “No, it offends me as a comedian.”

    I may be taking it out of context but I think for the most part, people got up in arms because it came off as mean-spirited more than it came off as funny. While it was insulting to comedic sensibilities and possibly to “men” it was really insulting to, well, New Belgium. Seems an unfair shot and a bit hacky in regard to a tired old Colorado “beer drinkers” attitude. The AC Golden thing was just weird and again, an unnecessary shot at people who are doing good things.

    I guess I missed the punchline. I am in no position to qualify what is funny for everyone, of course, but I am able to identify exclusionary attitudes and a hacked approach. Satire should be a thing where a foible is propped up to illustrate how bad it can be. Is the article a satire on snobbery or is it just snobbery veiled with an attempt at humor?

    Meh, what do I know? Some people find me offensive as well. I guess I will go drink a La Folie somewhere other than Freshcraft.

    -Chris DHBC

  • http://tewsdaybrewsday.blogspot.com Jakemo

    I know/don’t care that this might make me a bad person, but I find stereotypes hilarious.

    Being a former frat boy and meat market fiend, I have witnessed and/or experienced every single one of these stereotypes. Are they location-dependent? Not really. Does that element help reinforce the comedy of the article? Absolutely.

    Stereotypes are a comedic gold mine. You should be able to laugh at yourself when you find yourself at the recieving end of these types of jokes. Besides, if you can’t laugh at yourself, aren’t you taking yourself a little too seriously?

    -sent from my fake iPhone running Android while drinking La Folie out of a martini glass on the rooftop patio of Lodo’s

  • John

    As a long time reader I thought that this was exactly what this blog needs. I thought it was funny, light hearted, and a breath of fresh air. I hope these two write more articles for this site and I hope that more of the readers of this site learn to have a sense of humor.

  • Out-of-stater

    Colorado is a weird place.

    As someone who doesn’t live there (gasp!), I find it annoying to visit. Yes, much of it is beautiful, but without fail, everyone you meet asks, “So, when are you moving out here?” If you say you’re not, they lose all interest and return to monologuing about their training regimen for this weekend’s barefoot 100-mile trail run from Crested Butte to Aspen.

    This article perpetuates that ridiculous attitude. New Belgium has lost its edge, huh? That attitude is what you get when hipsters and hippies collide. Get over yourselves.

    • Brandon

      Out-of-stater, do you have any interest in writing an article? You nailed the approach the authors of THIS article were going for. Most importantly, your observations/stereotyping of people here include things I hadn’t thought of, but I can certainly relate to.

  • Jim

    I drink all of these things, so I guess it depends what night you catch me on. Tonight: Sparkling Rosé at Bar Bar.

  • alex

    Well done on a hilarious article! I found myself laughing out loud more than once at some of the descriptions of the drinks and their drinkers.

    My issue, however, is that you relegate the gays to only cosmos and vodka. As a gay man who loves beer and whiskey, doesn’t talk with a lisp, and watches football religiously I abhor the “girly” stereotype that’s out there. No, we gays don’t wear frilly rainbow panties, want to be your “shopping buddy,’ carry our toy poodles in purses or look forward to “girls nights out” where we drink cosmos and talk about which sex and the city character we most identify with.

    I know you didn’t invent the stereotype and I fully acknowledge the other stereotypes I read about and laughed at and the absolute satire this was written with, along the lines of Jonathan Swift suggesting we eat babies. You are, however, very smart writers and I enjoyed this thoroughly.

  • Kyle

    This is an awesome post and I’m not sure what people find offensive about it. I drink almost all of these (Star Bar’s awesome spicy margarita, for example) and am aware of how each makes me look to others. Also, I don’t care how they make me look to others. As I see it, either one cares what others think and should choose a drink just as one chooses what they wear, or one doesn’t care what others think and shouldn’t be offended by the resulting judgments. What I don’t get are the people who want to be thought of as savvy drinkers but don’t choose savvy drinks.

  • Jeff P

    Wow, I think some people need to lighten up. Seems maybe this hit a little too close to home for some of the people commenting on here. Either they fall into one of the less flattering categories or judge people this way and have in a sense been called out.

    Relax people!

  • http://www.amberdegrace.com Amber DeGrace

    Absolutely loved this.

  • http://cobeerandfood.com will

    Just remember, satire online is hard.

    a great example:

    Onion article: http://www.theonion.com/articles/planned-parenthood-opens-8-billion-abortionplex,20476/

    Some Facebook reactions:

    http://www.bannedinhollywood.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Planned-Parenthood-Fail.png

    of course the reactions are hilarious, but those folks don’t understand they’re the butt of the joke.

    Since there are articles on this site that are being serious, make no changes, but for items of clear satire, add a satire tag to the post. Then if someone goes off the deep-end reacting to it, we can reference the tag for them.

  • http://www.BigBeerCrawl.com Lydia

    Would have to TOTALLY disagree with your assessment of New Belgium brewery ladies. While they have transitioned to providing some solid beers that are appreciated by that growing portion of beer drinkers that are transitioning into craft beer, they have in no way become generic.

    Ever had anything from the Lips of Faith series? Been to the brewery and tasted some of the innovative beers brewed by their staff? I know there’s a lot of Fat Tire haters out there, but look at it this way, at least that guy has a palate to start with…not really sure where all this craft beer pretension has come from. We all had to start somewhere! I wouldn’t have the taste and access to the awesome beers that I do without the exposure and education I get from my friends.

    • Tim

      Lydia is so correct. New Belgium Brewing company is anything but generic. They turn out some amazing & creative brews. Gotta say it.

  • Ryan

    What a great comment roll, it was almost as enjoyable a read as the original piece. I look forward to the next piece that ‘kicks a bee hive.’

    Chers

  • Sean

    Terrific article!

    Loved the satire and I think you guys/gals are doing a great job.

    The people freaking out about the article were as entertaining as the article!

  • llk

    My biggest issue with this article is that gay is clearly being used as a negative label. And perhaps some of you will think I’m lacking a sense of humor or being too serious, but I just can’t find humor in perpetuating negative stereotypes about a group of people who include children so devastated by being perceived in that light that they feel the need to commit suicide. I also cannot justify supporting a site that does.

    • Kendra

      @llk , while I appreciate your willingness to defend the dignities of GLBT persons, I think you are missing something as you rush to accuse the authors of contributing to suicide-inducing homophobic culture.

      The entire piece answers the question “what should a lady looking to hook up (sexually) with a dude infer from his beverage choice?”

      In that context, the “steer clear of the gay guy” remark isn’t about slamming gay people or suggesting that there’s something wrong with being gay, just that a lady looking to get some hot action won’t be getting very far barking up that particular tree.

  • Billy Jo Jim Bob

    Wow, what a pretentious **** you are.

  • crum

    Wow, you are the most self-absorbed, judgmental beer hipster I’ve ever met. How about people drink what they prefer and you keep your two cents in your head. This is the most juvenile and snarky bullshit I’ve ever read about beer and I lost count of how many times I rolled my eyes.

    Go get a craft beer enema and unplug your router indefinitely.

  • DG

    Haha, I just came across this. This is not satire. Any bartender knows that martinis are fine for guys to order but olives say one thing (classic man) and twists say another (gay). Obviously not all straight men know this rule, which is what makes it so fun. Straight men trying to look like classic, Bond-type men by ordering martinis fall flat on their faces and look like douchebags (not like gay guys) when they don’t know what garnish they want and order a twist (or when their martini is colorful). This is equivalent to classic style: classic guys know that a tie clip attaches between the 3rd and 4th buttons on a dress shirt, poser/douchebag guys may try to imitate this look but frequently fail and look like idiots/wannabes to the people who actually know and notice these things (gay guys). Honestly, I’m not trying to offend any gay (or straight) people and I’m obviously talking about the stereotype of the fashionable and socially savvy flamboyant gay guys. I’m also obviously not meaning to offend the confident, good-looking guys that tip more than 25c on a $2.75 beer. But if you find yourself offended, step back a sec and wonder: am I one of these poser douchebag wannabes that this article was meant to offend in the first place? If I had a quarter for every guy that came up to me and ordered a “Flat Tire”…. oh wait, I do. To me, DOTW celebrates people who care about that they drink, and people who care about how those drinks are crafted. If you just want to get bombed on flavored vodka and diet sprite, maybe you should find a different drinkin’ blog. If you see me at the bar, I’m happy to buy you a shot of well whiskey if you’ll leave me alone.

  • TZ

    Wow. “to have a conversation with (or at least get them to buy you drinks for the evening).” ” So how do pick the lucky fellow sucker who gets to spend his money and possibly the rest of his evening with you?”

    Please don’t mix your entitled slut kulture with all that is good about a proper pint of ale or a few fingers of whiskey. If you want to know why you are (still) hitting the bar to “get yours” and have not managed to wrangle of your rotating FWB/ONS sex-toys with a wallet to lock you down, you need only look in the mirror. Next it will be: “Where are all of the good men – who drink the RIGHT drinks?”. Tedious.

    This trite attempt at humor belongs on one of those many emotional masturbation sites that people frequent for “advice” to help them rationalize their horrible behavior and flawed outlook on life. I guess no site is safe from this invasive perspective that passes as entertainment.

    Ladies, drink up (for free) while you can. All those rides on the carousel will wear on you and all of that “experience” will make it increasingly difficult for you to cash in. That’s right around the time when your ovaries start screaming and you press some patsy into picking up the really big check. Best of luck with all that. Or is THAT story not so funny?

    To the Editor:

    I like the angle, but the tone is juvenile, tired, and unfunny. I’d rather see more advertising than this kind of smut. Just bad writing. It is possible to be funny and culturally relevant without the navel-gazing offered up by these “authors”.

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