Are you somebody who takes beer seriously, or would you consider yourself a beer snob? There is a difference! Beer geeks and enthusiasts are eager to learn the ins and outs of craft beer - but if you find yourself looking down upon beer styles you deem beneath you, then you just might be a beer snob. It's time to learn what exactly qualifies as beer snobbery and make sure you're not being to pretentious when it comes to your beer.
Are you passionate about beer? Do you take great pride in always trying to find the best and most unique beer? Then you may be either a beer geek, enthusiast, or connoisseur – but not necessarily a beer snob. The differences between them are often confusing, but there is a clear distinction which can help in understanding how to define each type.
Beer geeks, enthusiasts, connoisseurs. They’re all the same, more or less, but unfortunately, far too many confuse these passionate types as being “beer snobs.” Even worse, some label themselves as beer snobs.
The truth is that “being a beer snob” is quite different than simply loving good beer and interesting different varieties. There is no harm in indulging in and enjoying the world's best beers and different styles. But there is a huge difference between those who are genuinely passionate about the craft, and those who use the love of beer to put down and insult other styles, tastes, and preferences.
The main point of differentiation between a “beer snob” and other beer enthusiasts lies in their attitude. Do you have an open mind when it comes to beer? Do you judge others based on their preferences? Are you looking for the rare and unique, or are you looking to explore the various options and styles?
Those who fall into the “snob” category tend to have a closed mind. They judge others based on their choice of beer, and have an elitist attitude. These can be the same people you’ll find criticizing an IPA or a pilsner while boasting of their latest discovery – a beer brewed with spices or aged in wood.
It’s certainly not wrong to have a particular preference, but the line of beer snobbery is crossed when that preference evolves into a condescending attitude.
A beer snob is someone who is so caught up in the pursuit of rare and unique beers that they fail to appreciate the full range of beer styles and don’t respect the preferences of others. Too often, you’ll find these same people claiming to have a comprehensive knowledge of beer, when in fact, their experience may just be limited to a few select styles.
Their attitude is also one of exclusivity; they focus on what they deem to be the rarest or most interesting styles, overlooking some of the more traditional options. Some may even going so far as to belittle those who enjoy mass-market beers. This of course is unacceptable, and is why it’s important to recognize the difference between a beer enthusiast and snob.
The key characteristics of a beer snob are:
If you can relate to some or all of these characteristics, then you could very well be a beer snob. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone who enjoys a good beer falls into this category. Somewhere between a snob and an enthusiast, there is passionate appreciation for beer and the craft it comes from.
When it comes to beer appreciation, there is a fine line between being passionate and being a snob. The key difference is attitude; if you have an open mind and respect the preferences of others, then you’re likely just a passionate enthusiast. On the other hand, if you’re quick to judge and disdain those who prefer something different, then you could very well be a snob.
The key takeaway here is that passion, enthusiasm, and conno