I’m currently reading a cool, business-oriented book by Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione, called “Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.”
I plan to write up a review after I finish the book, but a passage that contains Calagione’s take on “beer geeks” versus “beer snobs” really caught my attention.
From the book:
“At Dogfish Head we are beer geeks, not beer snobs. This means we love and respect all good beer and realize that appreciating beer is subjective….Beer snobs are the people who want to prove how much they know about beer by bashing a brewery.”
There’s definitely a difference between beer geeks and beer snobs. Beer snobs are more concerned with convincing people that they’re knowledgeable about beer than they are with just enjoying drinking beer. And they’re often aggressive and condescending. Just visit any beer forum or website, and you’ll see just what I mean.
Beer geeks are passionate, and they like to talk beer with other passionate drinkers, but they’re less concerned with what those other folks think about them or their opinions on brewing.
I’m not a beer geek or a beer snob. I’m a “beer nerd.”
So where do beer nerds fit into the equation? I think we fall somewhere in the middle. I’m not aggressive when it comes to beer or beer knowledge, but I admit I kind of look down on the guy who walks into a beer bar that offers tons of great beers and orders a bottle of Bud Light. I also admit to harboring some degree of resentment for breweries like Anheuser Busch and MillerCoors, for the same reason that I resent companies such as Wal-Mart and Target—they purposefully try to eliminate competition, and they value quantity over quality.
That said, I honestly believe people should drink whatever they like. So if you like Bud Light, I say cheers—but I also say Bud Light sucks.
Image via BeerandWhiskeyBros.com