Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Are you guilty of being a beer snob? 5 Ways to tell.

Back in the nineties we as a country still had some sense of propriety; being called a snob was taken as a grievous insult akin to the “carpetbagger” and “scallywag” of the post civil war era. Today, it’s taken as a compliment in some circles (beer drinkers among them.) Snobbery is something to aspire to, rather than revile. It seems to occupy the niche that “aficionado” once did, which most people probably can’t spell anymore. I blame schools. Anyway, let’s see if you pass muster (in order from least snobbish to as snobbish as the Monopoly guy):

1. You can tell the flavor of hops apart from malt.

If you can tell the difference between varieties of hops you get bonus points here. Being able to identify a beer as predominantly hoppy or malty puts you slightly above the Neanderthals. A description of “it tastes like beer,” that many more evolved human beings still utilize today seems awfully redundant does it not?

2. You didn’t drink “Lite” beer at a Super Bowl Party.

Beer snobs of all types disdain mass market “lite” girly beers, but many break down and drink them at sporting events, Thanksgiving, or when they go into the garage to get away from their kids. There is usually a better option available like Heineken, Molson, or even Budweiser (all of which don’t carry the same stigma even if they carry the same distribution.) There’s some mass market beer I actually enjoy, especially with food. Newcastle Brown Ale, Guinness, and Becks are some of these.

3. You describe beer using terms like head retention, lacing, citrusy, woody, or smokey, rather than just sweet, bitter, or skunked.

Being able to separate tastes takes some practice. It’s not an exact science but often times you’ll find your assessment matches the description on the label. What truly separates a snob from the masses is using non-food terms to describe flavor positively. If I told you your cooking tasted like pine sap and millipedes you’d probably be insulted. If I said the same about beer you’d probably still be insulted, but it's fair game. C’mon, millipedes?

4. You can not only name several breweries, but you can also name the city where they are located.

Milwaukee doesn't count here; other than that it's self explanatory.

Just right.
5. You know how to properly pour Belgian ale to avoid a gigundo permanent foamy head that any barber would be proud of.

If the beer glugs out of the bottle, you’re doing it wrong. Let your friend pour first and get a face full of foam, then perfectly pour a pint for yourself. After all, being a snob is mainly about rubbing somebody’s face in their own shortcomings. Here’s an opportunity to literally do it.

Ur doin it wrong. (Forgive me, Gene)
If you have a kinder heart and decide to use your skills to help others, you encroach into beer guru territory; that’s another post entirely.

There you go! You don’t need to brew your own beer to be a jerk about it; it just comes naturally to some people.

Have any of your own ideas about what makes a beer snob?
Are you, or is somebody close to you a pretender?
Post them in the comments below!


  1. At last a blog about my favourite subject.
    5/5 for me. Definitely a beer snob.

  2. Nice to see somebody is proud to wear the label!

  3. I'm definitely not a certified beer snob..haha. Thanks for the info. Now I know...:)

  4. HAHAHAHA! Awesome. You should see how people's eyes glaze over or look at you like you have three heads when you start talking about Original and Final Gravities.

  5. Ok, this post has shed new light on what it is to be me, lol! Funny enough, when I have a Miller Lite in my hand (blasphemous, I know) it all goes out the window. Probably because then, it doesn't matter.