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Beer Geek or Beer Snob?

I think it's well established that I love just about everything about beer.  I love drinking it, I love trying new varieties, I love breweriana, I love reading about the history and I even love talking about it (preferably while drinking some!).  What I don't like are people who are self-appointed "experts" who pretty much think they know everything there is to know about beer and that if you don't agree with their tastes you are some kind of idiot.  Bottom line - I can't stand "beer snobs" and have no use for them or anything they have to say.  I consider myself a beer geek.  I love to learn as much as I can about as much as I can and I am always willing to share any knowledge quite freely (probably too freely at times). 

I think it's safe to say that many of these "experts" are in fact quite clueless as to why people consume various malt beverages.  I have friends who will drink nothing but inexpensive American Adjunct Lagers.  You know, Budweiser, Coors Light, Bud Light and that type of beer.  I do not consider them to be less of a person because they don't like all the same beers l like just like I don't consider someone who drives a different car than me to be less of a person.  One thing I do get a little irritated at is people who only drink American Adjunct Lagers and look down on or mock people who drink different styles.  I consider those people just as bad as those who drink high dollar craft beer and look down on them.  Snobs come in all styles.

What I see happening among beer snobs is a herd mentality.  If a couple "alpha" snob say something is good, their followers are afraid to say anything to the contrary since they are afraid they will be shunned.  I've always thought that if you wanted honest opinions on beer, the person giving the opinion shouldn't be allow to know what the other people feel.  I try to avoid falling into that group.  I have rated so-called "World Class" beers as average and I have rated despised beers as ok.  I've always considered that there are two parts to any beer rating - style and conformity.  If you don't like a style, you won't like the best in class so why bother.  For instance, I do not like the flavor profile of most wheat beers.  I have friends who are gaga over them.  I completely respect that.  Considering that I don't like them, I won't review them either since no matter how well they are done I won't like them. On the other hand, I love IPAs and as such I feel very good about my reviews and opinions.  The same goes with other styles I enjoy.

A beer snob is the guy (or gal) that everyone thinks is a jerk because they look down on people; a beer geek is the guy (or gal) that people come to for advice.  I want to be the later!

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