The Difference Between Beer Lovers and Beer Snobs: Which are You?

The Difference Between Beer Lovers and Beer Snobs: Which are You?

You love sipping on beers and sampling a broad variety of brewed beverages, but how do others see your obsession?  Make sure you're regarded as a beer loving expert and not an elitist douche.

By Xandy Bustamante

Don't be a Beer Snob!”

I hear this phrase every so often from my girlfriend (usually followed by a tiny fist of fury to my shoulder) as I am trying to explain to her the complexities of a Belgian Sour or when I cough ‘don't do it' as someone buys a 24 pack of the ‘silver bullet” at the corner store.

After her latest “don't be a Beer Snob” comment I have been thinking about what it actually means to be a ‘Beer Snob.' And more importantly why do I hate to be called one?

Being a Beer Snob is being the exact opposite of everything that is great about beer. Beer is enjoyed by everyone from CEO's to wine-makers to construction workers, it is cheap, it is refreshing, and best of all it is an equalizer. Everyone enjoys sitting down and talking over a beer while watching the game. Heck it's an American tradition.

With over 78 recognized styles of beer and over 1,400 hundred breweries operating in the United States there is a beer out there for everyone. While I may not like a certain beer, chances are that it is someone's number 1, all time favorite, mouthwatering, beer soul mate and that is pretty cool.

So after many days of contemplation and sucking down several Bud Lights (just to prove to my girlfriend that I am not the Beer Snob she claims me to be) I have finally decided what it means to be a Beer Snob, and what it means to simply be a Beer Lover.

A Beer Snob:

  • Only drinks Belgians, IPA's, Imperial Stouts, etc. and believes it is beneath them to drink anything else.
  • Laughs to himself when they see someone order anything but a micro.
  • Wears designer jeans, a cardigan, a sports-coat, and brand new loafers to enjoy their favorite brew.
  • Has never considered homebrewing.
  • Only orders from the beer book instead of what is on tap. Orders a round of their favorite Belgian Sour for their friends who don't know what a sour beer is.
  • Is an asshole.

A Beer Lover:

  • Drinks whatever their friends are drinking.
  • Picks the beer with the funniest tap handle.
  • Wonders why they picked the $10 imperial stout when their friend orders the delicious $2 PBR.
  • Wears their favorite brewery T-shirt, Costco jeans, and a sweet pair of tennies.
  • Can brew at home.
  • Asks the Bartender for a recommendation.
  • Buys their friends a round without them even knowing.
  • Is a good person.

So what does this all mean you ask? I don't want to be a Beer Snob you say. How do I avoid being a Beer Snob you ponder?

Well here are some simple rules to follow:

Never:

  • Say a beer tastes bad.
  • Complain if the service is slow.
  • Look down upon someone buying a beer that you don't like.
  • Sniff a beer in public.
  • Tell someone you have a great palate.
  • Wear a cardigan.

Always:

  • Offer a friend a taste.
  • Practice Beer Karma. (buy a round for your friend)
  • Learn something new about beer.
  • Ask people what their favorite beer is.
  • Finish your beer. (Mom says “it's just polite”)
  • Try something new.
  • Tip well. (Dollar a beer is good)
  • Say Cheers.

There you go, instead of being a Beer Snob now you are a Beer Lover, and trust me everyone loves to hang out with people who love beer. Being that guy that everyone wants to have a beer with is easy, just be a good person and try not to break the rules so often, trust me it is a lot better than getting physically abused by your girlfriend.

Seattle's Beer Blogger grew up in Santa Rosa, CA surrounded by such great breweries as Sierra Nevada and Russian River Brewing. Thanks to a father's love (of good beer that is) he realized at an early age that beer is too precious a thing to be pumped out of factories reminiscent of Upton Sinclair's ‘The Jungle.' Studying, working, and drinking in the Beer Mecca of Boulder, Colorado for 5 years affirmed his belief that craft beer is really the drink of the Gods. Xandy has now moved on to another famous beer region, the Pacific Northwest, and has started to explore what the regions festivals, micro-breweries, and brewpubs have to offer. Check out his blog at www.seattlebeer.blogspot.com.