Schoolhouse Rock once said “knowledge is power.” Uncle Ben once said “with great power comes great responsibility.” A blog writer from right now is combining both sentiments to say “Just because you may know more than the guy next to you at the bar (or even the guy behind it) doesn’t mean you have to be an ass.”
I know, without question, that I have failed to take my own advice on numerous occasions. This happens more often than not after I’ve had a few Heady Toppers or a 4 year vertical of Even More Jesus (see what I did there?). However, most of the time I begin slipping into the “beer snob spiral” I’m either pulled from it by my wife or the blank stares of my unintentional pupil. It’s not always easy to see yourself from the outside so let me give you a few examples of what a beer snob looks like.
“I see you’re drinking a (fill in the blank). Did you know…”
No. No they did not know. They didn’t know when they decided to go out for a random beer and they didn’t know when they ordered based on a suggestion from the bartender. “Oh! It’s pronounced ‘who-garden?’ How insightful! Now when I order this for the second time ever, I’ll either please or piss off whoever is within earshot!”
“You actually like that?”
We’re openly judging people’s personal preferences now? Okay then. If that’s the case, give me access to your browser history and we’ll start a dialogue. As famed neurologist Todd Bridges would say, “Different strokes for different folks.” The fact is, some people actually prefer Van Hagar. Some people say that cucumbers taste better pickled. There are literally over a hundred styles of beer and yet some people can’t understand that people have different palates and preferences.
The most recent attack on both a beer category and personal preference has been the backlash against pumpkin beers. They came out too early. They have too many spices. They don’t taste anything like pumpkin. They taste too much like pumpkin. Regardless, how does the beer that someone prefers impact your life? Let people like what they like. I’m drinking a PBR as I write this. In yo face.
P.S. I don’t have the time, effort or energy to write about Not Your Father’s Root Beer and the ungodly things people say to/about anyone that dares to say it tastes good.
“Yeah, but have you had…”
Odds are that no, they haven’t. If it’s only released every other year at the brewery in a state that they don’t live in, I can all but guarantee they have not had it. What they have had, however, is the beer in front of them that they said was delicious before you casually let them know it tastes like a carbonated turd compared to a beer that only 278 people have ever imbibed.
These are just a few of the things that turn people off to the craft beer scene. The trick is to know your audience so that you’re not giving the well-intentioned beer geeks out there a bad reputation. There’s nothing wrong with preferring proper glassware, brewing your own or having a well-stocked cellar. As a matter of fact, I’d like to wax intellectual with you about all three. But when you’re out at the bar and the guy next to you orders a Michelob Ultra, simply say “cheers” and talk about something we can all agree on. Like religion.