Some beer insights with Josh Wisner, who sells Founders, Dark Horse, New Holland and more.

Ahead of the 6th annual Michigan Food, Beer & Wine Fest this weekend, I sat down with my friend Josh, who works for Rave Associates out of Ann Arbor. AKA, the beer guy. And I got some answers that may help you as you roam the aisles on Saturday.

Any advice for people who drink "normal" beer? 

Look to step up your game and refine your pallette. Acquire the thirst for something that tastes good. Take time to learn about the beer so you know what you're drinking, too. Expect more from your beer. 

For the non-beer drinkers, can you give us some quick terms that they should know? 

This could go on forever! IPA - India Pale Ale, was originally just a pale ale that they threw a bunch of hops in to preserve the beer on its boat ride over from India. People developed a taste for the beer with the hops. It's probably the most popular style of craft beer. They're coming up with new hops every day. 

Stout, which is my favorite, is a darker roasted malt. It's a characteristic of a stout and a porter, too. To not confuse people, I pretty much consider stouts and porters to be the same. 

A double IPA or Imperial IPA, refers to the alcohol content. A double will be over 7%, and an Imperial will be over 9%. 

Is it "that cool'' to be the beer guy? 

I love it! Some of the perks we get in the industry are traveling to introduce people to beer, meeting famous beer drinkers (yes, I've met Norm from Cheers), I even got a chance to bring Dave Mustaine (from Anthrax) to Flint to introduce folks to his new craft beer. So when you see me at Food, Beer & Wine Fest this weekend, I'll be on the clock. 

What should people do if they're confused? 

Please ask me questions, or anyone else at the booth. I can normally tell "the look" on peoples' faces when they're confused, so I'll walk up and help them, but we're here to answer your questions. 

Final advice to folks going to Food, Beer & Wine this weekend? 

Drink better beer! And that's not a slam to other beers, because I have some of the yellow, fizzy stuff too every now and then. But if you're going to drink a beer, make an event out of it. 

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