Monday, October 26, 2009
The Beer Snob: Missing the Point
In my job as "beer guy", "beer manager" or whatever you want to call it at Chans Wine World I get to deal with a lot of beer. And I mean A LOT. And I love it. I see so many different styles, brands and some items I can't even classify.
I also get to deal with many different people with many different palates. Sometimes I get to deal with people who are "newbies" to the "better beer" movement, sometimes I get to deal with people who are extremely knowledgable and sometimes I get to deal with people who just want their Bud, Miller or Coors. But with all that I also see the dreaded Beer Snob.
Now I'm sure many people think I probably fall into this beer snob category but I assure you it's not true. Beer Geek? Yes. Beer Snob? No. I may do my best to avoid BudMillerCoors but I have personal reasons for that. Those guys selling out to non-American companies is bull shit and my reason. It has nothing to do with taste or price. But if I go to a party and all they have is BMC you're damn right I'm drinking BMC. It's beer and that's what matters. Now I will always push a local craft beer over the larger breweries beers of course but does that make me a snob? No, it means I like to support local and keep my money(and your money) local.
Most of the beer people I know(and I know a lot)have no problem buying and drinking PBR, Schlitz or some other cheap, macro lager. I personally have no problem buying a $10 bottle of beer and a $8 12 pack of PBR. Makes sense right? Quality and quantity for $20. You'll never see a beer snob do this. They are always on the hunt for the most rare and most expensive beer they can find and they'll do whatever they have to in order to get it. Drinking cheap beer to them is frowned upon and they'll make sure you know it. I admit spending some serious cash on beer but there is a point where I'll draw the line.
The beer snob truly is the worst because they are missing out on the greatest part of drinking beer: the experience itself. Beer is the greatest social lubricant there is. Hence President Obama and his "beer summit" to calm the racial tensions of a cop and professor. Unfortunately people focused on what style beer they were drinking rather than the fact that they were just a couple of guys solving a dispute over some beer. I'm sure most of the world problems could be solved this way. Over a beer. Unfortunately there would be that someone that would say, "I don't drink that swill! Gimme my fancy schmancy beer now or else I'll launch my nukes". Drinking beer and hanging out with friends and family is such a great experience why ruin it with snobbery. If you want to promote better beer that's great but don't do it by telling someone their beer sucks or looking down at them because of their choice of brew. If anything that just makes it worse. Why would they want to try different beers if they view people that drink them as snobs? Beer is fun. Promote it that way!
The Beer Buddha