Thursday, January 29, 2009

"The difference between Beer Lovers and Beer Snobs" on Primer Magazine

"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' under my breath 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?

After all 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 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 one, 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 when enjoying 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 have no idea what a Belgian Sour 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 what they recommend.
  • Buys everyone a round of their favorite Beer.
  • Is generally 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:

  • Say a Beer tastes bad.
  • Complain if the service is slow, they are simply taking time to age your beer after-all.
  • look down upon someone buying a Beer you don't like.
  • Sniff a Beer in Public. (just make sure no one is looking)
  • Tell someone you have a great palette.
  • Wear a Cardigan.

  • 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 is just polite)
  • Try something new.
  • Tip well. (a dollar a Beer is good)
  • Say Cheers!
There you go. Now instead of a Beer Snob you are a Beer Lover, and trust me everyone loves to hang out with a person who loves 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 to often.  Trust me, it is a lot better than getting physically abused by your girlfriend.

If you are wondering why I capitalize Beer then check out my first article under beer musings.


  1. great post, xandy :) i agree with your beer snob vs. beer lover and your never/always lists except for one thing...the sniffing beer in public thing! i totally do that and i wouldn't care if people saw me for sure. i love a great beer and i buy "nice beer" a lot more than most of my college friends do, but my room mate and i are loving the $1.29 miller highlife tall boys (we bought liquormart out of them last night)'s great because it's cheap, but i love the taste. and it brings back great memories from the past, good times in athens among others...

  2. is it snobbish to only order beers who have foreign sounding names (e.g. heffenweisen)?

  3. No, not at all, I would say it is only snobby to order ONLY Heffs, Belgians, or even only domestics, your being a snob if you limit yourself to one verity because you claim it is the best. Half the fun of Beer is trying new kinds and exploring what is out there!

  4. You're really going to need to update your blog more often if you want to be a part of the Seattle beer blog biz...