Explain the differences between a wheat beer, a pale ale and an IPA?
Answer examples and advice for how to answer this interview question for a Bartending interview
Customers will ask for recommendations based on their beer preferences. Often they'll say things like, "Give me something light," which usually means they want something like an American Lager. Do you know the spectrum of flavors and styles of beer? If not, do a little research.
You'll need to know the words to describe the types of beers as well. Wheat beers tend to have more of a citrus flavor, and IPA's are characterized as "hoppy," with a piney flavor. If you want to know your beers, you'll need to be able to talk about aroma, body and finish too! Beer is just as complicated as wine. Study the different types, and you'll be amazed at the complexity of beer.
Basic answer example
"Give me something light,"
Entry Level answer example
"Currently, I am working on a fuller knowledge of beers. They are very complex, and the variety is vast. From my understanding, an IPA is a more bitter taste, quite hoppy and sometimes cloudy. A pale ale is usually a light gold color and tends to taste more woody. Then, a wheat ale is a bit hazy due to the protein in the wheat. These tend to be lighter. I love wheat beers in the summer."
Experienced answer example
"If I had to explain these three beer types to a customer, I would say that wheat beer is a great summer drink. It's more citrusy and light. A pale ale is more on the amber color side, and it's quite hoppy. However, hoppiest of all is an IPA. Depending on the brewer, and IPA can be quite bitter in the finish."