Friday, July 1, 2011

The Session 53: 12-Steps to Beer Snob Redemption

Redemption, eh? Well, I have a secret I'd like to come clean about.

My name is Craig and I'm a beer snob.

It's a constant struggle—a one-day-at-a-time effort, but thankfully, I been snob-free for 12 years now.

I do have to clarify my stance, there is a difference between beer nerdiness and beer snobbery. If beer was a sporting event, beer nerds paint their whole body to look like their favorite beer label and wave giant foam bottle openers. Beer nerds are the true believers in al things beery—but harmless otherwise.

Beer snobs are a whole other breed. They are right and you are wrong. End of story, good night Irene. You're beer, recipe, brewery or opinion can never compare to theirs; they are far more educated in the ways of beer, and their palate has been painted gold by Zeus himself—and they'll let you know that. You might know the beer snob by a few other names, like "The-asshole-at the-end-of-the-bar" or "That-guy's-a-dick."

Sound familiar? Yeah, it does. Don't worry, I've been there too, but it doesn't have to happen again. I can help—just follow these 12 easy, steps to beer snob redemption:

1. Admit that your home brew might not always be better than brewery made beer.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you've made some great beer. But when I say, "Hey! This bock is good," and you say, "yeah, but mine is better." Think about the position you've put me in. Now, I have to fake smile and nod uncomfortably. I've never had your bock, it might taste like the inside of an artifical leg. I'll stick with the one I'm drinking.

2. Come to grips that some people do not like Belgian beers.

Yes, it's true. Funky, yeasty, spicy beer might not be everybody's cup of tea. They are not less of a human being because of this. 

3. Understand that your opinion is not, necessarily the only opinion.

Unless you say Nazis are bad or I'm the most charming man in the room, I might not always agree with you. You may enjoy pig anus flavored beer—more power to you—I'll pass. 

4. Remember that arguing with another beer snob is a pointless, waste of time.

That dude loves Dogfish Head, you love Rogue, you'll never convince each other, otherwise. Talk about religion or politics, the conversation will go smoother.

5. Realize that just because it's a craft brew, does not mean that it is good. 

Momentum, energy and angular momentum cannot be created or destroyed. That's a generally excepted statement of a universal constant. It's funny how there is no mention of all craft beer being awesome. I wonder why that's missing?

6. Don't believe everything you read about beer.

"I just read on, that triple IPA could be the next double IPA." 

Yeah, don't say that in public, you'll sound like an ass.

7. Believe that, "This beer is good" is an acceptable way of describing it. 

What you say: "Oh my! Do you get notes of charred baobab and beaver musk?"

What they think: "This guy is a dick."

8. Know that drinking from the bottle will not kill you.

If you're at a cook-out, and the host doesn't have proper glassware, don't worry, It'll be okay. Look at your plate—you're about to eat a burnt hot dog and warm macaroni salad—having a tulip glass doesn't really matter, does it?

9. Accept that all beer does not have to taste like Pine-Sol or be able to remove furniture varnish.

Not all beer has to burn, when you drink it. This isn't the old west, and you're not ordering rotgut whiskey in the Oriental Saloon in Tombstone. I like spicy food, but I'm not going to put Tabasco on ice cream. Big, hoppy beers are great, but who wants to pass out at the bar with chemical burns around their mouth? Relax, and order a mild.

10. Understand that it is not the waitresses fault, that the restaurant does not serve La Chouffe.

If you don't like the beer that a restaurant offers, order water and shut-up. The server doesn't want to hear you thoughts on the state of craft beer in dining establishments—she just want to be done with her shift, so she can count her tips from the rest of the douchebags she waited on. Don't bother asking for a chalice, either. 

11. Always assume water chemistry, bottle conditioning and IBUs are boring party conversations.

That hot chick in the corner wants you to talk about her, not beer.

12. Admit, to yourself that it's okay to like what you like.

Drinking keg beer, macro lager, stuff not made in Flanders, IPAs with 60 IBUs or Michelada, will not make you less attractive to women or breakout in weeping scabs—and I promise, the kids at school will not make fun of you for it.

There are plenty of others reasons to make fun of you.

This post isn't really about beer at all—it's about behavior; and there's been some pretty bad behavior on-line recently. Beer is supposed to be fun. You drink some great beer, you get a little buzz, you have fun. How is one person more qualified than another to do that? Or for that matter how does the process by which that beer is served, even fit into that equation? I'm not sure why this elitism is rearing it's head, but if there's two things I hope you get from this article—drink what you like and don't be a dick about it.

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