Top Menu

What beer would you lick off a table?

I’ve already figured out I’m going to be behind what almost everybody else in the beer world is reading for all 2011, accepting that learning a hell of a lot about hops is a fair trade. Thus this three-week-old entry from Miss Manner just hit my radar.

Dear Miss Manners:

My boyfriend and I were sitting at our kitchen table having a beer the other night. He accidentally knocked his beer over, spilling some out onto the table before it could be turned upright.

I was absolutely shocked when he proceeded to loudly suck up the spilled beer from the table.

My face apparently showed my shock. A long argument then ensued over the questionable appropriateness of his action and my reaction.

Can you please help me to better articulate why sucking up a spilled drink from a table is just flat wrong?

Try explaining that any behavior that would be considered offensive in a dog is also offensive in a human being (although you needn’t alarm your pet because the reverse is not necessarily true).

Miss Manners suggests that you head off further trouble by informing your beau that just as he is barred from licking the table when he is thirsty, he is also barred from chewing your slippers when he is hungry.

A great answer. But I’m betting Miss Manners has never spent a dollar an ounce (or more, particularly on premise) for beer. Not good for your image to be spotted licking a table, I agree, but — be honest — could you see yourself doing that? I’m guessing if so your decision would follow a quick calculation about how much the bottle cost, how hard it would be to replace, how clean the table was, and what you had to gain by such a display.

After all, you might have an image to uphold.

20 Responses to What beer would you lick off a table?

  1. Alan February 9, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    Wouldn’t it be better manners to get a clean linen napkin, soak it up, squeeze it into a glass and sip it silently? I’d do that for gueuze.

  2. builderofcoalitions February 9, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    If beer was meant to be slurped off a table, the good Lord wouldn’t have invented the beer glass. I spend a lot of money on my beer, but I want it to taste good. “Tabled” beer can’t possibly taste good. Wipe it up and pour another.

  3. Jeff Alworth February 9, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    You’re asking the wrong crowd. Of course I’d lap beer off a table! But I do a lot of things for beer that Miss Manners might regard as dodgy.

  4. David Phillips February 9, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    I once let a bottle of SN Celebration slip through my fingers and fall directly onto a concrete basement floor (pop!). As the scent of hops and malt wafted back up, my eyes darted around the basement for a straw.

  5. Bill February 9, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I wouldn’t. Leaving aside the gross hygiene issues and lack of etiquette, at best, tasting spilled beer or wine or whisky would just remind you of what you’re missing. At worst, it would be nasty.

  6. Steve February 9, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    I’d curse and growl, yell “AAAUUGH” like Lucy VanPelt being kissed by Snoopy, but I wouldn’t slurp the spilled beer off the table.

  7. Swordboarder February 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Really does depend on cleanliness of the table. Flavor could be compromised if the table wasn’t clean. Oddly enough, not as concerned about the sanitary factor.

  8. Stephen Beaumont February 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Oh, Stan…

  9. Kristen England February 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    I’m not sure there is a single beer I’d suck up. That being said, my buddy spilled his dram of a vintage 1962 Macallan when we were in Scotland. Every drop of that was supped up!

  10. Matt, The Palate Jack February 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    Why was England in Scotland? But that’s an age-old question. Couldn’t resist…

    Back to your question, Stan. The answer is, it’s not *what* beer but *where* beer. In the sanctity of my home, much stranger things have happened.

  11. Tom February 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    Interesting question. And my answer may be even odder. If it is spilled, I’ll tend to let it go. I am certain that there are cases where I might reconsider, but generally not so much. It’s not even the hygiene, it’s just that the situation is already screwed, so I don’t generally feel the need to try and save something already ass over tea-kettle. After all, it still sucks. Having said that, however, I have used my mouth as a hoover numerous in the past to prevent spilled beer getting onto valuable things that were on table when there wasn’t time to grab a washcloth or a towel–books or papers or whatever that I didn’t want stained with beer. One of those moments where you know that saving that something matters so so much more than worrying about sucking up some beer off a table. And I’m certain that ther are a fair share of people out there who know exactly what I’m talking about.

  12. Darren February 10, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    Ha, good question, have seen that done with a very bad beer many years ago at uni. Not sure I’d to it myself but its all a matter of how many beers had proceeded it.

  13. Steve February 10, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    “Oh, Stan…”


  14. Craig February 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Admit it y’all: it depends whether you were alone, or whether there was anybody else there to witness the slurping.

  15. Greg February 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I think Craig nailed it. If my wife is home, no way. Home alone, well…

  16. olllllo February 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Begin Operation Barrel Stave Table Resurfacing.

  17. Beerreviewsandy February 11, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    I once saw a brewer drop a bottle of chilli IPA i’d brought im from the other end of the country onto the floor of a busy pub, it smashed all over, covering him in beer, he then proceeded to suck the beer from his shoe….

  18. tiffanya February 11, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    I would totally lick NC Old Stock 2009 Cellar Reserve. Just spill some on a clean table and watch.

  19. kbw February 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    dont date girls that send letters to newspaper people asking about you

  20. Matt, The Palate Jack February 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm #


    Bam! You got it. End of thread!

Powered by WordPress