Hope everyone had a great Canada Day Long Weekend, despite the weather…
I was lucky enough to meet up with an old roommate that I had in Ireland and we spent the weekend sea kayaking in Parksville, whale watching in Victoria and checking out the Grizzly bears on Grouse Mountain. It was action packed, but we still managed to fit in a few social beverages.
On the ferry ride back to the Mainland I came across an article that I could really relate to. I talk to all sorts of people about beer and wine; some take the subject more serious than others, but most have an authentic passion for what they like and dislike.
Have a read through the categories set out in the article below and see where you fit!
A few years ago, I wrote about the difference between beer geeks and beer snobs. This was a fairly popular column and I got quite a few e-mails concerning it. Most of them agreed with me that being a beer geek is a wonderful and positive thing for the beer world. And most also agreed that beer snobs don’t do anything but ruin the party for everyone.
More recently however, I have been thinking that there are a lot more categories in the craft beer world than just those two. So today I decided to delineate the personality types even further. It might be fun for you to decide which category or categories you fall into. Not everyone will fall strictly into one or another. So without further ado I’d like to expand and expose you to what I think are the five different types of people in the craft beer world. I’m listing them from the most positive to the most annoying.
The Beer Geek: Beer geeks are quirky and funny and wonderful people. I do not consider myself one of this breed as I am not as fanatical or as obsessive as true geeks are. Beer geeks are completists and cannot stand not to try everything that’s out there. They also are very fun to talk to and dispense both knowledge and good will to everyone around them. They often are homebrewers. They delight in talking about their favorite beers and rarely feel they need to come off the smartest monkey in the brew zoo (even though they often are). They attend numerous festivals and take copious notes. More than a few times, my beer geek pals have provided me great insights that I otherwise would not have. In short, the craft beer world wouldn’t be anywhere near as good without these odd, but stalwart creatures.
Beer Populists: This is the category I put myself in. While we are not obsessive, we really enjoy all types and styles of beer. Like beer geeks, we like to share our passion, but we do so by making craft beer seem accessible, which it is. We are less concerned with the technical side of beer and more concerned with people finding what they like and developing their individual palates. We also probably like to listen to people talk about beer than talk about it ourselves.
Beer Gourmands: These folks are casual craft beer drinkers might even be seen enjoying a Michelob or a Budweiser once a while. That doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy craft beers, it means they don’t care about what beer snobs say or worry about being politically correct in the overall craft beer culture. They enjoy what they enjoy, but they have been adventurous enough to step outside the major industrial breweries corral. They probably aren’t going to be drinking Belgian Sours or double IPAs very often. But they have developed their palates to know a great beer when they drink one.
The Know-It-All: These types are beer geeks with a flaw: They share their knowledge, but with an attitude that doesn’t encourage discussion. They aren’t necessarily snobs, but they try to hold sway over every conversation about beer and inject arcane bits of knowledge they’ve gleaned over the years into them. This would all be fine if you didn’t get the sense that they were trying to one-up you. Some of these folks also feel the need to find flaws in every brew no matter how much they like it. Sometimes you should just relax and enjoy a beer, but I get the feeling these people never do. They aren’t quite as bad as beer snobs, because they don’t tell you what to drink. But they aren’t good for beer culture overall.
Beer Snobs: As regular readers know, I can’t say enough bad things about these types. Not only do they make beer aficionados like myself roll our eyes, they also turn off potential new craft beer lovers by their incessant need to dominate conversations, tell you why you’re wrong to drink certain beers, and generally act like their subjective opinions are objective knowledge. Ayn Rand would be proud.
Which type, or types, are you?
Contributed by Beer Nut columnist George Lenker