There are two types of people at any Canada Day barbecue: the gracious guests who bring the finest beer or cider, and the boors that pawn off the cheap brews.
And yes, there's now evidence proving there are annoying guests who steal the premium stouts and IPAs, leaving nothing but cheap lager in their wake.
A poll released on Friday from Research Co. found that one in four Canadians would help themselves to someone else's beer in a cooler at a social gathering. Of those that have no qualms with taking another guest's drinks, 83 per cent said they'd be kind enough to limit it to six beers or less.
"If you bring a six-pack of Old Milwaukee and decide to drink a dozen of someone else's double IPAs, then you are a douchebag," Robert Mangelsdorf, editor of the B.C.-based craft beer publication, The Growler, said in an email. "And you probably have an alcohol problem."
This happens more than you'd think. One Ontario poll respondent revealed that he once brought an expensive raspberry-infused craft microbrew to a party and dropped it into a cooler. He returned only to find nothing but Pabst Blue Ribbon, an infamously inexpensive American lager.
Outside of trading in a PBR for a high-end craft beer or something rarer, Mangelsdorf says it's OK to grab something different out of the cooler.
"If you spot something else you'd rather try, then obviously ask first," he said. "After midnight, it's pretty much a free-for-all, though."
While 25 per cent of Canadians may want to pinch a drink from a party cooler, 62 per cent said they would only drink the beer they brought.
The poll also found that the younger generation is less likely to indulge in this systematic pilfering than older partiers. Only 16 per cent of people ages 18 to 34 would drink beer they didn't bring compared to 32 per cent of those 55 and older, who said they'd have no issues indulging on another's premium beer contribution.
Those aren't the results Research Co. president Mario Canseco was expecting considering a stereotype of millennials being "moochers." He pointed to two likely culprits for the discrepancy: either the pickier beer preferences of millennials or the more congenial nature of boomers. While differences in wealth and income appear to be reliable indicators, the poll showed that income had very little correlation with the likelihood of beer swiping.
Regionally, Quebecers had significantly fewer problems with taking beer that wasn't theirs. They were also more than twice as likely as the rest of the country to take more than six cans of beer that didn't belong to them.
Thirty-five per cent of Quebecers would help themselves to someone else's beer, which is 10 percentage points higher than the national average.
Canseco suggested that the discrepancy is likely the result of cultural differences.
The poll confirmed Canesco's expectations that women would be less likely to drink beer belonging to others than men. While 30 per cent of men help themselves to other people's beer, only 20 per cent of women do.
So this Canada Day, use proper beer cooler etiquette — ask before you take what you didn't bring, and if you're not going to drink the cheap stuff, leave it at home.
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