With Portland On Tap fast approaching, I can't help but feel severely unprepared for Maine's largest craft beer festival. I'm typically a wine drinker and I don't know the first thing about craft-brewed beers. A number of my pals are deep into the craft beer culture and I've found myself embarrassed in a conversation with them or when ordering a drink at dinner because I don't know the difference between ales and porters, bottles versus cans, hops and barley, or if I'm supposed to swirl it around my mug before sipping.

These are some of the common myths and misconceptions that non-craft beers aficionados often believe.

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  • 1

    MYTH: Frosted Mugs Make Craft Beer Taste Better

    What's cooler than being cool? Ice cold! Except don't drink your craft beer that way. A frosted beer mug is not recommended for the best tasting craft-brewed beer. According to craftbeer.com, "Frozen glasses result in ice crystals that cause foaming problems during filling. If you chill your beer glasses, be sure to avoid frosting." So what about the taste? "Beer served at near-frozen temperatures blinds the taste experience."

    Carlos Andre Santos
  • 2

    MYTH: Drinking Beer Will Give Me a 'Beer Belly'

    Sure, any alcoholic beverage in excess will contribute to some weight gain, but beer doesn't pack the biggest caloric punch at the bar. That tequila-rich margarita or the sugar-filled mixie you just sucked down? Yeah, that's gonna be worse for your waistline than a cold craft brew.

    Karan Daev
  • 3

    MYTH: Canned Beer is Cheap & It Tastes Tinny

    "Most of the cans the craft breweries are using nowadays have a water-based liner so the beer isn’t actually touching the aluminum," says Hallie Beaune, a rep for Allagash Brewing Company and author of The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer. Don't judge a beer by it's can. Aluminum cans don't necessarily indicate the quality.

  • 4

    MYTH: All Dark Beers are Super Heavy

    I've tried Guinness and I know it's not something I could drive on the regular. It's like a meal in a bottle! I naturally assumed that all dark beers are just as heavy as the Irish staple, but that's not true. Michael Moser at Food & Wine says, "There are plenty of dark beers that are refreshing and flavorful without being overbearing."

  • 5

    MYTH: You Can Store Beer Anywhere, Even on the Porch

    Unless your back porch is dark and maintains a constant temperature, it's not the best spot for your beer. Although it is a classic Maine move to stick your 6-pack in the snow that's built up from a winter full of storms, you could be sacrificing the taste and quality of your beer.