Beer Snobbery Be Gone

Beer Snob

By Kim Schimke

The term “beer snob” is an oxymoron to me. It doesn’t seem like those two words and concepts go together. The beauty of beer is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. You can formalize it by always using the “proper” glassware, become a Cicerone®, do a sensory assessment, etc. All of these activities I wholeheartedly respect. I also enjoy not making it too serious, formal, or structured. There are so many things in life where we have to strictly adhere to the rules, and my beer doesn’t have to be one of them. If I like the taste of citrus in my Hefeweizen, then dammit a slice of lemon is going in my glass. If on the off occasion I crave a Blue Moon, then dammit I’m going to buy and consume a Blue Moon.

If life throws you lemons...
I love beer for many reasons. The taste is amazing, the events/festivals are fun, the adventure in trying new brews and traveling to different brewpubs is thrilling, and most of all, the time I take to drink a quality brew is when I get to momentarily relax and check-out from the world. Beer is an escape. Two of my life mantras are “to each is own” and “whatever makes you happy.” Since beer is a large part of my life, the application of these mantras parallels my drinking values.

Flower PowerOne cannot effectively promote or introduce something new to another person by putting down their current habits and preferences. Same thing goes for beer. If a friend is a Coors drinker, it’s not advisable that you introduce them into the world of craft by telling them what they are drinking is crap. If anything, this would illicit defense and hostility. I’m not a spiteful person, but as soon as someone starts throwing that “should” word around at me, my first instinct is to rebel or question them.

Craft beer is a beverage, a fantastic beverage. But, it is not the liquid that makes the industry; it is the people that make the industry. Let’s reserve the judgment for other things like the jerks that double-park or the people who wear sunglasses indoors. Beer is not politics so let’s not turn it into that. I admire those that educate themselves on beer and respect those who do take a formal approach, but I don’t want to see folks who would rather not travel that avenue being put down. Being a beer snob is sort of like owning a Hummer; it seems like it’ll make you look important, but at the end of the day, it’s inefficient and nobody likes you. Remember, beer is fun.

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Posted under beer humor, beer me, Beer personalities

This post was written by Kim S. on April 2, 2013

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30 Comments so far

  1. Alex April 2, 2013 11:00 am

    thank you. well said and someone needed to say this

  2. Jeremy April 2, 2013 12:11 pm

    Wonderfully put!!! [claps] The Hummer reference is hilarious.

  3. Alex April 2, 2013 12:40 pm

    nice article! how people wear their sunglasses indoors and outdoors has always been my point of contention as well, portraying themselves a certain way.

  4. Kim Schimke April 2, 2013 12:47 pm

    Thanks for reading and the support, it’s much appreciated. Cheers, folks!

  5. JEvidence April 2, 2013 12:48 pm

    Well said Kim, I always enjoy reading your insights. Sunglasses indoors now that’s funny.

  6. Drew April 2, 2013 1:31 pm

    I try to be more of a beer ‘evangelist’; I’ve turned many a friend on to craftbeer just by letting them try various bottles from my fridge, never judging them for drinking the cheap stuff.

  7. Sean Constantine April 2, 2013 1:53 pm

    To know Beer is to Love Beer.

    *drives off in Hummer drinking Bud Light*

  8. Scott Paterson April 2, 2013 1:57 pm

    Beer is definitely an adventure for me. Well said, and awesome.

  9. Craftbeersweden April 2, 2013 2:53 pm

    Kim – THANKS!

  10. Beerploration April 2, 2013 4:55 pm

    Well said. My friends tend to make fun of me for trying every beer I get my hands on. I don’t knock their bud light but I urge them to try something new whenever possible. Become a beerplorer.

  11. Kim Schimke April 2, 2013 5:27 pm

    Thanks to everyone who read and commented. I always embrace feedback. Thanks and cheers!

  12. shotbysalt April 3, 2013 1:32 am

    Great read. Well said.

  13. Summer Brew Review April 3, 2013 9:52 am

    Great point of view. I love great beer, but don’t want to be a snob about it.

  14. Robert April 3, 2013 4:49 pm

    I sometimes get wrongfully accused of being a snob. Once people find out I’m a brewer by trade, they apologize for liking Coors. I don’t care drink what feels good!

  15. Dan April 5, 2013 2:54 pm

    I knew you were a closet Blue Moon drinker!

  16. Tim Sweeney April 9, 2013 6:34 am

    Well said, I always say you must remember that the least-vocal beer consumer is the 92% who is happy with selection, beer laws, red solo cups and doesn’t blog about every beer… they’re too busy being normal.

  17. Rob April 9, 2013 8:19 am

    You pulled off that Hippie Ithaca Chick look to perfection, assuming of course you haven’t shaved for a while. Nice article.

  18. David April 9, 2013 8:37 am

    Absolutely bang on with this article Kim. It is the people that make the industry. Also, nice headband.

  19. Dude April 9, 2013 1:33 pm

    When the ancient Assyrians discovered beer, I can’t imagine them turning their nose up when presented with a container full of what they considered to be a gift from the gods. I raise my glass to you for reminding us of the awesomness of our ability to transmogrify grain into bubbly, delicious, quaffable beer!

  20. Greg Koch April 9, 2013 4:00 pm

    Sometimes when I’m at a bar doing a promo event (or even when I’m not doing one), I’ll hand an Arrogant Bastard Ale “Fizzy Yellow Beer Is For Wussies” sticker to someone drinking a fizzy yellow beer.

    The most typical reaction? Do they ask me to step outside? Do the summarily deck me?

    Nope. They’ll look at the sticker, look up at me, look back at the sticker, then look back at me and say “Got any more of these?”

    They KNOW where their beer ranks and will often follow up with a comment such as “Yeah, I know. It’s shit beer.”

    Consider the word Dude. Or hell, the word Fuck. You can say each one of those words with different inflection to mean “What the hell?” or anger, or admiration, or a great number of other things.

    I don’t worry about what I say nearly as much as HOW I say it. 98% of the time, I’m not misunderstood. In writing, that goes down quite a bit admittedly where misinterpretation is much higher due to the challenge of delivering inflection.

    I judge, sure. We ALL judge. We judge the way other people drive, the clothes they wear, their politics and the beers they drink. My judging doesn’t make me a snob, but the WAY I judge certainly could be. And people judge me all the time (you’re doing it right now aren’t you!). It’s human nature. I don’t feel the need to try and quell it. How about we celebrate our humanness! We judge. We’re flawed. We’re generally fun to drink beer with.

    Cheers!

    Greg

  21. C. Starke April 9, 2013 5:34 pm

    Points well-made, Kim. And then, of course, a maybe-not-so-surprising, and no less valid, counterpoint from the ever-eloquent (and seemingly omnipresent) Mr. Koch. Advocacy good, douchebaggery bad.

    Kim, now that I know you engage in beer bloggery, I’ll be sure to bookmark this site for future reference. Thanks for the various likes you’ve thrown my way on instagram!

  22. Lisa H. April 10, 2013 3:04 am

    It appears to be the same snobbery that exists around any other topic out there: religion, politics, team sports….everyone has their own opinions. Some people take the “to each his own” approach to dissenting opinions (or tastes), and other’s feel the need to either “save you from yourself” or flat out berate you. From my experience, most people fall into the “to each his own” category. It’s a good thing too…it’s hard to draw new people into the craft=beer-drinking circle, if you are trying to lure them in with insults. I hope beer snobbery doesn’t end up like wine snobbery, where curious people are too intimidated to try something new. Nice Post…

  23. Susan P. April 10, 2013 9:09 am

    Re-read Greg Koch’s comment – and perhaps read it again.
    His comments and observations are spot on.
    It is the people in the Craft Beer industry and it is the delicious, different, daring, distinctive, and innovativeness they bring to beer.

    We are not worthy of sitting in judgement – as stated, we all come broken to the bar.

  24. Tricia G. April 11, 2013 8:18 am

    I’m always brought back to Sam Caglione’s comment to some overly negative beer geeks….erm…beer snobs on Beer Advocate a few years ago. I think that’s why I really really like him (Original no longer accessible on BeerAdvocate, so linking to an article which references that post).

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/thepourfool/2012/01/26/sam-calagione-vs-the-beer-geeks-dogfish-top-dog-speaks-my-mind/

  25. Tricia G. April 11, 2013 8:23 am
  26. Rob April 12, 2013 7:13 pm

    Greg.

    I constantly judge you b/c of that beard. I mean, WTF? But please forgive me because I love your beer.

  27. Bryan Brantley April 29, 2013 1:24 pm

    Kim awesome piece. Definitely have to say it is the people of the industry. A true passion for some of the best beverages in the world. Thanks for sharing!

  28. John June 18, 2013 7:43 pm

    Nice article hey if you want to drink Coors light that’s fine by me but you will need to bring it lol cause I won’t have it in my fridge but I get your point

  29. Kyle June 19, 2013 1:42 pm

    Well put Kim! Your mantra’s are familiar to me and many I’m sure. And Greg’s comments follow them to a tee. Everyone judges, some thrive off of it (just a guess, wink wink) it’s in our nature it’s what makes humans humans… We all have opinions! But one can be tactful in their presentation of their opinions (well stated Greg)! “Fizzy yellow beers is for wussies”, is one way to get your opinion across (also very good marketing), and you know what i say to that… to each their own!

    The other night I had a Sol, Hopworks single hop IPA, and a glass of wine! All were enjoyed for a number of reasons at the particular time I was consuming them. Right now I’m burning up in the brewhouse and you know what I want… A Haams!!!!!

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