It’s 11:32pm and I’ve had more than I can handle…

… of studying that is =] While some may be out this Thursday night drinking alcohol, I’m cuddled up in bed with my laptop studying it – it’s tonight’s homework for my new job at a fancy restaurant/pub. Not only am I required to memorize the names and characteristics of 8 draft beers, but I must also familiarize myself with at least 55 others. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue if they were all domestics or even Wisconsin craft beers; after all, I’ve grown up around the Millers and Buds. No, these are English, Scottish, Irish, German, and Belgian beers, the likes of which I have never seen. Wytchwood Hobgoblin or William’s Sir Perry Cider anyone? Or would you prefer a Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA or Bavik Wittekerke?

My coworkers find it ironic that I know so much about beer and liquor though I don’t drink. For my job at UW-Madison’s new Union South, I was encouraged to learn a little bit about the 22 beers on tap and 40+ bottles. I can tell you why a red ale is red, why some beers have a more robust flavor than others, and the difference between those fermented warm and cold. Though customer service is my top priority, I never sacrifice honesty. If asked how a specific beer tastes, I jokingly reply something like, “I’ll let you know when I’m old enough,” followed by the most detailed description of the beer I can give. With a smile, the customer will place their order and when they’ve finished their drink of choice, I ask them for feedback. I’ve gotten everything from, “eh, a little fruity for my taste, but thank you,” to “I have a new favorite beer!!” I experience through them and they make me a better, more knowledgable waitress.

Speaking of knowledge, I learned something today! There is such a thing as non-alcoholic beer. Mind = blown. The ones I have to memorize for work are O’Doul’s, O’Doul’s Amber, and Kaliber (made by Guinness). Non-alcoholic beers are less than .5% alcohol and may, in some cases, be sold to minors. I have a feeling my friends and I would still prefer Taco Bell’s new taco 12 pack to a pack of O’Doul’s, but an interesting tidbit of information nonetheless!

Well I’m about ready to pass out (pun intended). One more lookski through the draft beers and it’s bedtime. Tomorrow is my final exam, which covers appetizers, sides, salads, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, steaks, seafood, specials, and booze. Wish me luck and have a great Friday!