THE ALEHEADS CODE

Being an Alehead is about more than just vociferously explaining to everyone within earshot how impressive the lacing on your Imperial IPA is. It’s about embodying a certain spirit and lifestyle. It’s about representing the craft beer industry as boldly and obnoxiously as possible. It’s about making people say, “If I hear you utter the word ‘phenolic’ one more time, I swear to God I’m going to smash this bottle over your head.” In short, it’s about living by the Code.

Until now, the Aleheads Code has always been an amorphous collection of guidelines and slogans. While all Aleheads attempt to live by these rules, it can be challenging to determine what is considered “acceptable” behavior without a truly codified manifesto. Slouch Sixpack and I decided to resolve this monumental problem by finally putting quill to parchment and recording the 100 Articles that make up the Aleheads Code. We encourage our readers to continue adding amendments to this document in our Comments section. The Code, like yeast,  is a living organism, and it must be refreshed from time to time with the beer of patriots and tyrants.

With that pre-amble out of the way, Slouch Sixpack and Brother Barley bring you:

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THE ALEHEADS CODE

  1. If a beer doesn’t taste like you’re sucking directly on a hop-bine, it’s pointless
  2. Never drink the same beer twice, otherwise you’ll never get through them all
  3. More alcohol = more better
  4. Imperialize Everything
  5. Google’s targeted text ads should only be trying to sell you beer-related items
  6. It’s OK to throw around the term “horse blanket” even though you have no idea what the fuck that means
  7. You believe your palate is peerless, but you read every other tasting note about a beer before you review and write yours…you know, just in case you miss something
  8. British beers are weak and boring, except for Sam Smith’s
  9. Never forget that you’re fascinating and people want, nay, need to know how you feel about that beer
  10. Everything is a session beer
  11. No beers under 100 IBUs
  12. If the name of the beer explains what kind of beer it is, you can’t drink it
  13. If beer newbies know about the brewery (Rogue, Dogfish Head, Stone), you should avoid their offerings
  14. You magnanimously admit that there are “some great lagers out there”, but you wouldn’t drink one if there was a 100-dollar bill at the bottom of the glass
  15. Cask > Tap > Large-Format Bottle > Canned Craft Beer > 12-ounce bottle
  16. You are extremely wary of any brewery that spends money on marketing or PR
  17. You may only drink beer made by brewmasters with beards
  18. You MUST drink out of the appropriate glassware for each style of beer…yes, even Kölsch
  19. You must always endeavor to explain to people what is wrong with the beer they are drinking
  20. Name-drop brewers constantly, preferably by first name…even if you’ve never met them
  21. If someone mentions an obscure brew you’ve never heard of, immediately claim that you have tried it
  22. Laugh heartily when people say that Delirum Tremens, Rogue Dead Guy, or Blue Moon are great beers
  23. Drinking out of a bottle should be a capital crime. Drinking out of a can is acceptable in some instances.
  24. Say it with me… “Stone Fruits”
  25. feloniousmonk, northyorksammy, BuckeyeNation, and NeroFiddled make some excellent points
  26. It is permissible to interrupt a tasting with a quick visit to an adult entertainment website…as long as you ALWAYS keep one hand on your beer
  27. NO FRUIT FLOATING IN YOUR BEER
  28. You have been to Belgium
  29. You get dressed up for Dark Lord Day
  30. Girls that seem disinterested in your conversation about Centennial v. Cascade hops and the appropriate amount of grapefruit pith in an IPA are playing hard to get
  31. Light beer causes drinking problems
  32. Beer blogging will most likely cause you to become well-known and liked
  33. Sam Calagione is a dick
  34. You appreciate the craft and quality of German beer, but the styles aren’t your favorite
  35. You will always refer to “G’Knight” as “Gordon”
  36. You are talented at discerning whether a liquid is well-balanced
  37. Drinking a beer you’ve never had before is work-related and requires concentration and silence
  38. Fat Tire was one of your favorites when you were first getting into it
  39. Magic Hat isn’t as good as it used to be
  40. Always Craft, never Micro
  41. A freak lab accident left you with the olfactory abilities of a Bluetick Coonhound
  42. Your tongue is the most sensitive organ in your body
  43. There are actually people in this world that don’t know the difference between Guinness Draught and Foreign Extra Stout. I know, right?!?!?
  44. ABV and Gravity aren’t exactly the same thing. Or are they?
  45. You’re honestly concerned that we might be running out of new beer names
  46. Brewers who use clear bottles should have their heads examined
  47. There’s a time and place for drinking beers quickly and in succession
  48. There is no correlation between your obsession with beer and your obsessions with MMORPGs, Bill Murray, and Japanese body pillows
  49. Prolonged exposure to beer cellars and dingy, windowless taphouses have given your skin a healthy, Gollum-like hue
  50. You are perfectly comfortable using the “-bomb” suffix unironically to describe a beverage
  51. The only things that have backbones are vertebrates and malt
  52. The only things that have profiles are faces, criminals, and hops
  53. You enjoy subjecting your taste buds to mindless violence on occasion
  54. Wine enthusaists are creepy, obsessive weirdos
  55. You pushed to name your son “Brett”
  56. Funky doesn’t mean what you think it means
  57. Mouthfeel is easy to determine and convey to others
  58. The sovereignty of the American-style Black Ale is open for debate
  59. Typing and drinking is multi-tasking
  60. Sampling every beer in the world is a reasonable, attainable, and worthwhile goal
  61. There should be a MINIMUM of 1,000 beer styles
  62. There is no occasion at which a Russian Imperial Stout is inappropriate
  63. There is only one Michael Jackson…and he was a bespectacled, bearded Englishman
  64. The only three things you are allowed to become emotional about are beer, sports, and your dog
  65. The only organizations worse than Bud, Miller, and Coors are the Nazis, the KKK, and FoxNews
  66. Brewdog and Schorschbrau haven’t pushed this whole thing far enough
  67. The proper name for the Grouch is “Oskar”
  68. Sam Adams Triple Bock is a condiment
  69. Your character in World of Warcraft is a Drow wielding a Hopsickle
  70. It’s not drinking alone if you’re Skyping
  71. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is classified as a “Chaser”
  72. Re: The Middle East. No craft beer, an endless cycle of violence. Coincidence?
  73. A Beer Judge should also be jury and executioner
  74. If a farmhouse ale or lambic isn’t brewed with spider eggs and bird droppings, it’s just gross
  75. You’re an atheist, but your dream job is “Trappist Monk”
  76. You can’t understand why they haven’t invented a “Quint” yet
  77. And while we’re at it how about a Quadruple IPA? Double Russian Imperial? Bueller?
  78. You totally loved Founders before anyone else had heard of them
  79. Instead of a white noise machine, you fall asleep to the gentle sound of your carboy “burping”
  80. The phrases “Triple Hops Brewed” and “Cold as the Rockies” make you viscerally angry
  81. You think Jim Koch, Fritz Maytag, and Pete Slosberg are “Founding Fathers”
  82. Enough with the Hefeweizens, already!
  83. When the RateBeer results were released you priced out flights to Orebro, Sweden
  84. There is a way to apply sabermetrics to tasting beer
  85. You know all three Floyds
  86. There is no ale that can’t be improved by aging in some sort of barrel
  87. The solution for an overly-hopped beer is for your palate to quit being such a fucking pussy
  88. Hey, did you know some brewpubs also serve food?
  89. The Imperial pint is the standard unit of measure
  90. Puritans and prohibitionists were total assholes
  91. You were diagnosed with zythophilia by a board-certified physician
  92. You describe taking a dump as “brewing a collaboration”
  93. If you’re not drinking a beer at cellar temp, you might as well be drinking liquid nitrogen
  94. You can pick out the flavor of band-aids in beer
  95. When you say you support the Red, White, and Blue you’re talking about Chimay
  96. You love Pumpkin Ales…but you only drink them in your closet with the lights off so no one else will see you
  97. You wonder what’s keeping the 180 Minute IPA off the market
  98. You somehow simultaneously complain that there isn’t enough of a draught selection at your local alehouse AND that there are too many taps and they can’t possibly all be fresh
  99. You begin planning your next beer order before your last beer is even set down in front of you
  100. You plan on having your remains cremated and your ashes stirred into the fermenters at the abbey of St. Sixtus

Thus spake the Aleheads. Long live the Code!

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20 comments

  1. 101. You know every medicinal use, apocryphal and modern, for brewer’s yeast.

  2. Mr. Draught · ·

    I would like to point out for the record that while the Puritans were assholes, they drank lots of beer. In fact, they generally refused to drink water in the new world because they thought it was poisoned. When they build Harvard, they immediately built a brewery on-site to provide students a steady supply of beer.

    On that note:

    102. Never let the facts get in the way of a good Alehead proclamation in an article of the Code.

  3. 102. Wherever you live, the breweries are under-rated.

  4. Whoever produced this list is deeply disturbed.

  5. I disagree with #11. This is obvious, but almost all the beers that Aleheads abiding by the above manifesto actually enjoy are under 100 IBUs. Even Dale’s Pale Ale clocks in under 80.

  6. The Commander’s sense of irony seems to be broken. The only cure for that is to drink even hoppier beer…

  7. Dale’s Pale Ale contains “Dark IBU’s” which can’t be measured in the conventional way that put it over the 100 mark.

  8. Schrodinger’s IBUs, if you will.

  9. The Code is more like guidelines than rules anyway, right? Shit…no that’s Pirates.

  10. Oh, well if you were including dark IBUs, you’ve addressed my concerns.

    If I lost my sense of irony by #11, I’d really have been confused by the rest of the list. After all, I don’t have a character in World of Warcraft.

  11. To clarify John E’s point, the “Code” is meant to interpreted as a Code, not guidelines. It should be observed literally and to the letter, assuming those are different things.

    CDR- I just made you a WoW character. You’re going to love her.

  12. 103..ish (there were 2 l02s). Sam Calagione is a dick.

  13. 104ish. emerson quotes on your brewery’s walls are a must…if you’re a dick.

  14. 105ish. Your beer should be like a good woman…wild and leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

  15. 105ish(a) and directly or indirectly results in a restraining order.

  16. 106ish. beer porn is a misnomer, or at least that’s what you have led the i.t. guy at work to believe.

  17. These are strictly for the beer bloggers amongst us:

    107: Never use 10 words when 100 will do.

    108: Superlatives are ALWAYS welcome…particularly “phenomenal”, “transcendent”, “spectacular”, and “amazing”. If you don’t sound like a carnival barker, you’re not doing your job.

    109: If you don’t like a beer, it’s either “watery garbage”, “horsepiss”, or “dehydrated hobo urine.” Don’t just say it was “poorly balanced” or “not my favorite”.

    110: Everything must be rated. Beers. Breweries. Bottlecaps. Glassware. Cities. The more simplistic and uninformative the rating system, the better.

  18. My assessment of rule 110

    5 out of a possible 13 beer points.

  19. [...] so frequently on these pages that you’d think we spend all of our time writing manifestos and predicting the demise of the [...]

  20. [...] published our Code.  May I offer an [...]

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