Jan 4, 2013

Are you a beer snob, beer geek, or just a fan?

I have been reading a lot lately about what is craft beer, what makes a beer a "craft" beer, thanks in large part to a letter penned by the Brewers Association, defining, or redefining what makes a beer a "craft" beer. I am not here to argue or defend the merits of this letter. (I will say, I don't agree with them adjusting the number of barrels from 2 million, to 6, in order to let Sam Adams still be considered craft....if you have to redefine your definition in order to fit whomever you want, then your definition is meaningless, in my opinion). I am hear to talk about another aspect of this debate that has popped up as a result of this letter, I sort of side bar conversation. Beer Snob, vs Beer Geek, or just beer fan? Which one are you? What makes one a snob, one a geek, and one "just" a fan? Lets take a look at all three....

The Beer Snob -according to urban dictionary (my bible!) a beer snob is defined as "Those individuals who regard any beer that they do not drink as piss. Completely ignorant of climate, context, and social class, beer snobs are contemptuously dismissive of any beer that a mortal cannot walk across like Jesus Christ did across the water." Pretty good definition if you ask me, but lets go further.

The Beer Snob Chick (not an actual beer snob!)
I heard it put very well, that, a beer snob, is someone that uses their knowledge of craft beer as a social weapon. (thanks Kegworks!). I mentioned, off hand in a previous post that the one thing a beer snob hates more then anything, is someone that knows more about beer then they do, they want to be, and often feel they are, the most knowledgeable person in the room concerning beer. Beer snobs don't "share" their knowledge of beer, if they did, then they wouldn't know more then you, instead, they use their knowledge to belittle, or cut down others for drinking what they perceive as inferior beer. If you ask a snob "what makes your beer so good compared to this (point to the beer you are drinking)? What you will get, is first an eye roll, then a long, self indulging boring diatribe about grain bills, Plato, original gravity, boiling time, relative humidity, on base percentage, Libor rating and great number of other mind numbing set of metrics's used to confuse, and intimidate you, but do nothing to actually answer the question you asked. If you want to know if the person you are talking to is a snob, tell them that you love Guinness, and watch their face. If they look like they are smelling feet when they hear you say it, they are a snob.

Couldn't agree more....
The Beer Geek - Again, Urban Dictionary defines a beer geek as "A person who truly enjoys a variety of beer. Whether the beer comes from an enormous company or the tiniest brew pub. A beer geek often enjoys multiple styles of beer. A beer geek can be distinguished from a beer snob because a beer geek will not look down on people for their choice of beer even if it comes from Bud, Miller, Coors, Milwaukee's Best or Pabst." Again, pretty much hit the nail on the head.

The main difference between a geek, and a snob is in how they react to questions. Again, let a snob you like Guinness, they will immediately think you inferior, and look for someone more interesting to talk to. Tell a Geek you like Guinness, and they will get excited, and start asking if you have tried this beer, or that beer, in an effort to inform you that, if you like Guinness, you may just like a lot. They will never force a beer on you, or try and talk you out of one either. They truly love beer, and want everyone to get as much as they do out of. The one fault I find with some geeks, they seem to have lost sight of reason we all started drinking beer in the first place, its just fun. Its not all about styles, country's, brewers or distribution levels. Its about hanging out with good friends, have good beer, and having a great time. Ask a beer geek what makes their beer so good, and you may likely get a short history lesson on the style, and maybe even the brewery!

Beer games can be fun!
A beer fan, well, that's easy. Someone that drinks beer, because its good, and they like it. They don't care where, or by whom it was brewed, how it was made, or what the label looks like, or the bottom line of the company that made it. Simply put, if they like it, they will drink it. and how they decide if they like it or not, is weather it tastes good or not, period, end of report. They aren't opposed to beer games either.

Which one are you? All I ask, don't be a snob. I can't stand snob, nor can I stand being called one. To me, its an insult.I like to consider myself a good mix of a Geek, and a Fan. I enjoy the history, and variety that beer has to offer. I am not above however, drinking something that was, gasp, god forbid, brewed by a "mega brewer" I will say, I don't normally seek out those beers, but honestly, if given a Blue Moon, or something, a lot of that stuff I don't mind at all, and in some cases, even enjoy. Again, don't forget why it is we love beer (or at least should love beer), beer is good, and its fun. Its a social lubricant. If you take it too series, then you start to loose that, and once that happens, whats the point? Beer pairing dinners, beer tastings, beer reviews, these are all meant to be fun, and enjoyed. Its not a test, its not a means of impressing people. Its a means of educating people as to how much fun beer has to offer. Lets all keep that in mind, and have fun with it, that's why we do it, right?

Be a Dork, not a Douche...(thanks again to Kegworks!)

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends
The Beer Czar


  1. I would definitely consider myself a beer geek. I am no encyclopedia when it comes to beer, but I do enjoy a variety of different beers.

  2. Exactly the type of people I would not want living next door to me.

    Talk about self opinionated pack of @resholes.