I was sitting at my desk the other day, combing through some of my favorite beer blogs and websites, when I came across another elitist comment about craft beer. It’s a common phenomenon these days, and I’m not going to tell you what it said or where I found it. Chances are, many of you saw the same comment.
It read something like this: “I’m a giant douche and I use my knowledge of craft beer to boost my abnormally low self-esteem and make everyone else feel like an idiot.”
This person, ladies and gentleman, is a beer snob. Not to be confused with a beer geek, a beer snob is someone who, like the gentleman (and I use the term loosely) referenced above, uses their knowledge of craft beer as a social weapon.
A beer geek, on the other hand, is someone who loves and appreciates beer. The geek shares their knowledge of beer with a welcoming spirit, while the snob views all other enthusiasts as competition.
What the snob hates most is the geek, because the geek gives information away, thus diminishing the snob’s clout. And what the geek hates most is being confused with the snob, as the terms are often used interchangeably (and erroneously, you now see).
I am neither geek nor snob. I enjoy beer, and since my start here at KegWorks, I have definitely expanded my tastes with the help of some of my geeky coworkers. If it weren’t for them, I might have been intimidated by the snobs and unable to open the doors to this never-ending, ever-fulfilling hobby that is beer drinking.
So, aside from simply ranting, I’m writing this today to draw the line; to distinguish the geek from the snob, and to clear any confusion regarding the two terms. Drink beer, love beer, and share your knowledge of it. Geek out my friends, and stray far from snobbery.
*** If you’re still having trouble making this distinction, or God forbid, fear that you might be a snob yourself, please refer to this list, created by my coworker and one of the coolest beer geeks I know.