Beer Snob vs. Beer Fan
Posted on 8/15/2012 by Chops
Perhaps the greatest misconception of better beer is that craft beer fans are all a bunch of beer snobs. Elitist pricks certainly walk among us, but they are actually few and far between. It is an annoyingly persistent stereotype that really needs to be put to bed. There is a big difference between a snob and an enthusiast, and that goes for all products and interests. Beer snobs are an unfortunate nuisance in the world of craft beer and enthusiasts despise them just as much as novices do. With that in mind, let's take some time to note the differences.

A snob is someone who harps on a perceived level of the highest quality. In other words, they only regard the best of the best as worthy of attention. They view everything else as garbage and demand it be ridiculed. Status trumps passion as their primary focus. Beer snobs are extremely counterproductive to the craft beer movement because they go out of their way to discredit the very brews that built their ivory towers.

On the flip side, beer enthusiasts enjoy all craft brews at face value. They see the merits of each beer and appreciate it accordingly. They will happily drink a good baseline lager and appreciate it as a good baseline lager. They will also happily drink a world class Belgian Quad and appreciate it as such. They see both experiences as unique and equally worthy of attention. They understand the subjectivity of their own opinions and refrain from pushing them on others.

However, there is one topic that both beer snobs and beer fans agree on: Big Beer. Unfortunately, they just have wildly different approaches in addressing it. Beer snobs will go out of their way to ridicule crap beer drinkers, which of course does nothing but showcase craft beer drinkers as elitist douchebags. On the flip side, beer enthusiasts will only attack the Big Beer companies themselves and strive to educate consumers. They show disdain for manipulative advertising campaigns, shady business practices, and substandard products.

That being said, I have devised a simple visual to help illustrate the concept of beer snobs vs. beer fans:

Let's say that a group of friends is sitting around drinking sodas. One person has a Pepsi, another has a Coke, others have Sprite, Mountain Dew, RC Cola, Dr. Pepper, Sam's Choice Cola, etc. Everyone is having a good time discussing the merits of their favorite sodas. In walks a soda snob who is drinking a rare Peruvian mango soda crafted by scantily clad virgins. He proceeds to put down everyone else's soda as inferior to his and is met with impatient sighs and eye rolls. In walks another person who is drinking dirty dish water out of a colorful gimmick laden soda can. The soda snob proceeds to mock him mercilessly for being so gullible and stupid. The other soda fans simply feel compelled to educate their new friend by offering tastes of genuine soda.

That's the best way I can think of to illustrate the difference between beer snobs and beer fans. You can think of it as the difference between exclusive and inclusive. Beer fans are your friends! They only want what's best for your taste buds.

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