Snob vs Geek

I had a great chat with my friend Dallas the other day. Out of everyone I know, he probably loves beer more than anyone. He loves beer so much that you see excitement on his face talking about the flavours in the beer, history of the brewery and any tidbits on the beer itself, like if there's a story on why the beer was brewed in the first place.

I said to him "wow, you're the biggest beer snob I know!" He was slightly offended by it. He rebutted back with "I don't think of myself as a beer snob, but a beer geek!" Well, because it was true.

I find there's one big difference between snob and geek.

Snob: Incredibly big fan of beer. May or may not brew their own beer, pair beer with foods, cook beer in foods. Refuses to "lower standards", and will make fun of others publicly for drinking bad beer.

Geek: Like a snob, for the most part. However, a beer geek is the kind of person who wants to educate others on other beers. You don't know what kind of beer you want to try? A beer geek will help guide a person who wants to experiment with beer into trying beers that they know would be accepted by the person's palate. Beer Geeks prefer good beer, but they won't turn down a free Molson Dry (or Brewhouse Pilsner) nor make fun of a person's tastes for having Molson Dry in first place.

Dallas is the perfect example of a beer geek. When I met him back in November, he had likely hundreds of dollars of beer with him to share with others, all kinds of beer that's simply not available in Manitoba. He loves to discuss the flavour in said beers, talks about the brewery itself and makes sure people get to try new stuff.

Thanks to people like Dallas, I've started trying to be more of a geek myself, instead of a snob. Being a snob is fine and dandy, but there's a fine line between being a fan of beer and being a jerk about it. Here in Brandon, MB, I have a few friends who really want to try new beer. So what do I do? First off, I ask them what sort of beer they already like. Second, ask them if they tried certain brands before and if they liked it. Thirdly, ask them what sort of flavours they like (and what sort of food they prefer to eat). So finally, I help suggest beers they would like. In the end, quite often people end up liking the beer I suggested to them. One example was a friend from Winnipeg, she's a big wine connoisseur, so I asked her what she liked for beer. She doesn't like any beer. However, I brought a bottle of Unibroue's Éphémère Cassis (Blackcurrent) to a shindig. She tried the Cassis and loved it! So, there's a beer for just about anyone's tastes.

Instead of being a dick about your interest in beer, spread your love and knowledge. Invite a friend over to a pub that has flights of beers, so they can sample several varieties of beer that the pub has on tap. Get to know their likes/dislikes and tweak the suggestions accordingly. By the time you get to know what would be a great brew for them to try, they'll be grateful and likely end up drinking good beer instead of Coors Light Iced T (CLIT). Remember, most people don't ever get to try good beer because they don't know what is good beer, because they know what Coors Light is because of mass advertisements, while x microbrew may be something they've never heard of.

Cheers & Santé!


Jason Koebel said...

Good article. I think I'm a little of both.

Cody Lobreau said...

I think all of us are a bit of snob. If we weren't snobs, we would drink and purchase all beer, including the lime piss.

Anonymous said...

You'll love this Geek to Snob comparison if you haven't already seen it ...

Anonymous said...

By the way, the link is not spam or anything.

Kinthelt said...

Very good posting. I like to think of myself as a beer geek, but realize that I'm probably more of a snob. I need to reform my ways!

Cody Lobreau said...

@Anonymous: The pic was well appreciated!

@Dale: I didn't really turn from a snob to a geek until one of my great beer buddies said smugly "I love beer, I love sharing beer with all my friends. Why be a jerk about it instead of actually giving positive advice about beer?"

I am willing to try just about anything now, Hell.. I tried Minhas' "Imperial IPA", that was a huge mistake