How To Order Craft Beer Like A Taproom Pro

A Pint Or A Flight? How To Order Craft Beer Like A Taproom Pro

MadTree Taproom

Whether you have been visiting taprooms for years or have just recently discovered the craft beer world, there is no denying that every taproom is unique. Luckily most offer similar types of options when it comes to ordering craft beer. You would think that knowing how to order craft beer would be easy but it can also be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect.

When visiting with people that are new to craft beer, I often find that they aren’t familiar with all of the different ordering options.

Unlike a traditional bar, there is more than just one option and not everyone knows this.

So here’s a few tips on how to order craft beer when you are at a brewery’s taproom.

Types Of Pours

Ordering liquor or a cocktail at a bar can be intimidating. Straight, on the rocks, up, shaken, with a twist. There’s an entire language you have to learn to get a drink.

Luckily, craft beer isn’t that difficult but there are still some things to know before you order.

For example, the types of pours will vary from taproom to taproom. So be prepared that not all of these will be offered. You must ask to verify.

Here’s a breakdown of the typical serving sizes:

Urban Artifact

Full Pour

This is typically 16oz but could be as small as 8oz.

Anything from IPAs to Lagers and Kettle Sours to Porters can be found served 16oz at a time.

If it is served in a smaller portion, it is because of one of these factors:

  • Cost
  • ABV
  • Availability
  • Style

A smaller portion could be 8oz, 10oz, or 12oz. Their menu will often let you know this prior to ordering.

The point is, don’t be surprised if the 12% barrel-aged stout is served in a 8oz glass and the IPA is in 16oz.

Half Pour

As you might guess, a half pour is half of the full pour, or 8oz.

In my experience, it is not that common to find a taproom that serves half pours. If they do, it is often because they do not serve flights Рmore on that below.

These are typically half the price and a great way to try a few different beers or have just a little bit more before leaving.


Sometimes you just want to sample a beer before committing to a full glass.

For that reason, many taprooms will offer a taster size pour. These are typically 4oz or so and are just enough to see if you like it.

I have found that almost every taproom will allow a free sample of a beer as well. These are only 1-2oz but are enough to make a decision without opening your wallet.

Tip: Unless they offer, do not ask for a free sample of more than a few. One or two free samples should be enough to make a decision on what beer you want to order.

Narrow PathFlight

Probably my favorite thing to do is order a flight.

These are 4 to 5 of the taster pours served together in some kind of holder. This gives you a chance to try a handful of their beers before committing to an entire glass.

At most taprooms, the flight is a set price and you pick which beers to include. Occasionally, they may restrict a few due to cost or limited availability.

In other cases, they may charge extra for high ABV or high cost beers.

This is also a great way to try new styles and types of beer. Don’t be afraid to try something you’ve never had as you’ll only have a few ounces to drink if you don’t like it.

Buy A Flight Board And Glasses To Use At Home

By The Bottle

This is quite rare but occasionally a brewery will offer select beers in bottle or cans.

This typically happens with a special release beer. Since this doesn’t happen often, I would not look for them but when it does, they will typically have special signage up to let you know about this option.

Since it was most likely a special release, you are in for a treat and should really considering ordering it as it won’t last long.

Now You Know How To Order Craft Beer

Spending time in a taproom can be a lot of fun. There is typically a great sense of community along with great beer. But for those that are new to craft beer, it would be easy to assume your only option is a full pint of a beer. But that’s rarely the case when it comes to a taproom.

I recommend ordering a flight every chance you get. You get to try a wide variety of beers without committing. I know I can be more adventurous with a flight and try new styles. Then you can choose one of the beers from the flight that you enjoyed the most and order a pint of it.

Hopefully you are now better equipped and know how to order craft beer.

When Was The Last Time You Enjoyed Craft Beer In A Taproom?


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