There are a lot of beer lovers out there. Luckily, not all the home-brewers out there are beer snobs. These are the worst types of beer lovers and should be avoided at all costs. Here’s a quick rundown of some typical beer enthusiasts I’ve met…
Casual Beer Guy: This guy likes to drink beers. He’s fun. His favorites are “Plentiful” and “Free”. When placed in a beer store, he’ll purchase a case of Bud Light, Miller Light or another “staple beer”. When he’s feeling adventurous, he may grab a six-pack of Budweiser or Michelob Ultra. This guy avoids anything with “ale” in it and sticks mostly to pilsner-style lagers. Casual Guy WILL mix beer and liquor: Due to this, never go beer-for-beer with a Casual. An American Amber, he considers “too dark”. He’ll try a homebrew, but will usually sip it over a period of time, leave the last third of the glass untouched and go back to Michelob. Casual Beer Guy likes to drink beers with his buddies and have a good time. There’s only about a 25% chance he will move into another category of beer lover. Don’t try to talk to him about advanced brewing techniques. If he asks how you make beer, give him the basics. Anything more will lose him. Keep it simple and tell him how much fun it is. He may make a lateral move to the “Moderate Enthusiast” class by being introduced to “Gateway Beers” such as Sam Adams Boston Lager, Oktoberfest and New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale.
Moderate Enthusiast: The Moderate Enthusiast or “MOD-E” will branch out to new beers, homebrews and microbrews easily. He’s still a fun guy. He probably won’t drink beer until he pukes like many casuals will, but he’s not below getting pass-out drunk. He regularly drinks hoppier, darker or cloudier beers and will try beers he’s never heard of. The MOD-E may be a beginning home-brewer and has a few extract batches under his belt. It’s likely he will move laterally to Hardcore lover. However, some MOD-E’s will quit home-brewing and stay in this class, forever enjoying a myriad of beer types. If he wants to talk brewing, you can describe the process in more detail and explain all-grain brewing and basic beer terms. In a pinch, MOD-E will drink Bud Light willingly from a plastic cup, but will choose a microbrew if given the choice.
Hipster Drinker: Hipsters only drink tall cans of declining macro-brews such as Milwaukee’s Best, Pabst Blue-Ribbon and Hamm’s. You know these guys: scarves, beards, waxed moustaches, skinny-jeans and outdated-technology like Walkman Cassette players. A hipster may move immediately into the Beer Snob category as soon as they’ve read a book or two about brewing. These are the types that will brew 1-2 gallon batches of beer with shit like pomegranate and bacon in their beer. They’ll attempt at least one batch of wild-yeast beer and claim it to be far superior. Just laugh and point when you meet one of these guys. Take a picture and share it because they are becoming more rare.
Hardcore Lover: Hardcore Lover, or B33R1337 is usually a home-brewer. He will try any beer and usually likes it no matter where it came from. B33R1337 prefers to drink from a beer glass, but is not about to pass up a can, bottle or dixie cup of free beer. He will still drink Budweiser and other macro-brews from time to time because he has a respect for the science behind their process, stability and consistency. Hardcore Lover knows the terminology of brewing and can usually tell you about the different processes and ingredients in different type of brews. It’s possible B33R1337 will degrade to become a snob. However, many identify their place in life and have taken steps to NOT to become a snob. Hard-cores will get good and drunk, but rarely drink too much as it might dull their senses and they’ll miss out on all the tasty beers. Many professional brewers will stay in this category. They realize that it would be easy to move into the snob category (some do) but most pro’s know they need to sell beer to make a living and are very welcoming and accommodating to Casuals and MOD-E’s. You’ll find advanced home-brewers, homebrew club officers and BJCP-certified judges in this category. Many hard-cores can exhibit a snobby behavior from time to time without becoming full-time beer snobs. When this happens, one of two things can happen: They either enjoy the reaction they get and move into the Beer Snob class, or they realize the error of their way and apologize immediately.
Beer Snob: Assholes. These pricks turn their noses up at any form of macro-brew. (Seriously, who turns down beer?) They arrive at parties with a growler of warm oatmeal stout and refuse to put their lips on any cup other than their own custom-shaped glass. Beer snobs favor high IBU beers such as IPA’s and Imperial Stouts. They take joy in watching Casuals squirm when they try hoppy or sour beers. They claim to have a refined palate and refuse to explain beer jargon during conversations. They use complex nomenclature in conversations knowing full well that most people don’t understand it and they pretend to give the impression of shock that anyone wouldn’t know what they are talking about. Many have beards. Many work in homebrew supply stores. They may be expert brewers and may be BJCP judges or Cicerones (An advanced beer-serving certification). However; no one likes their strange brews except other snobs. They look down on casuals and new home-brewers. Just avoid these guys. Scratch that… if you meet one, punch him in the nuts.