August 20, 2009

Am I a beer snob?

I know the answer to this question and it's an emphatic YES. This was proven to me (again) last night. I went to Rembrandt's and ordered Great Lakes Brewing Company's Commodore Perry IPA. I loved it and am only not reviewing it because I didn't really drink it in a way where I'm ready to review it (meaning really paying attention to all that I would write about in a review. I just knew it was gooood!). Look for that in the future.

However, let me get back to the issue of my snobbery. A guy friend met me and ordered .... a Bud Light Lime. I started laughing and said that when I came in the first thing I did was look for the hoppiest beer the bar offered, which was in stark contrast to his ordering the shittiest beer they had (sorry Anheuser-Busch). I meant it as a joke (although I'm not going to lie about cringing when he ordered it) but it sparked an intense conversation between me and him and the helpful gentleman sitting on my other side who insisted that Miller Lite is the best beer around.

Now, I agree that there is room for everyone's taste. (Okay, I don't really agree with that but for the sake of trying to sound open-minded I'll at least write it. I'm talking flavor. Where is the flavor in a BLL or ML?) For instance, I'm not a huge fan of certain types of beers - sour beers, German style beers. But I feel that the ones that I've tried are at least craft beers. They're not just mass-produced mass-marketed drones of the beer world.

As I'm writing this, I think I'm gaining clarity on what I'm snobbish about. It's the "mass" part of this process. The genericism (is that a word?) of the big beers out there. There's something about a microbrew that to me speaks of someone who isn't content just to say "yes, a beer is made up water and malts and hops and yeast". No, they want to see what they can do with those ingredients to bring us a new taste, a new flavor.

The guy who waxed philosophically on his love of Miller Lite insisted that microbrews are just a phase. I tried explaining that when you had as many people making a living as are from microbrews, it was likely to be around for a while. He said that people don't like going to bars and trying something they know nothing about.

Which is a good point. Let's face it, as much as we'd like to believe we're all independent thinkers and in control of our every action, we are creatures of habit and suspect to outside influences. So let's think about this - who does the advertising? Whose billboards are plastered everywhere you look? It's not the microbrews of the world. And I agree that people are scared of trying new things (that whole "creature of habit" thing again). It makes sense that people believe they really like Miller Lite or Bud, because it's what they've been drinking and what they know and what they're told is going to make them sexy to the opposite sex.

So let's try to help me out, people. Help me avoid debates with friends and strangers alike, and maybe even get rid of the label "snob". Just try a new beer. Tell the bartender what kind of beer you typically drink and ask for a recommendation. As I'm fond of saying, you just may surprise yourself.


  1. I definitely think I'm a beer snob and I'm okay with it, no matter what your other post says! Why bother to drink beer if you're going to drink Miller Lite or Coors Light? It tastes like crap. I'd rather drink water because at least that's refreshing and tastes good. I think about the beers I drank in college and thank god I didn't know about all the amazing beers that are out there because I would have been in a ton of trouble at the frats! I'm a beer snob and proud of it. :)

  2. Well said! I once brought Sierra Nevada to a beer pong game.

  3. I've said this before, but never have I heard a word so utterly falsely bastardized and perverted as "Taste". "Great Taste, Less Filling". The term has been rendered meaningless due to a few Miller Lite ads.

    As far as BLL, you're not a beer snob for mocking it - it's not beer as far as I'm concerned.

    If we could all just convince one person to put down their Coors and try a beer instead, think of the change it would make. Viva la revolution!

    However, you would then see Billboards for micro brews all over the highway and we'd all be writing glowing posts in our blogs about Bud Light and calling the masses "uneducated". Nah.

  4. I agree with you completely, Bard. Viva la revolution indeed! It's funny, I was going to go to a Beer Advocate event at a beer distributor here in Philly. When I asked what I could bring, the guy told me "a rare beer. The rarer the better" I thought about bringing a BLL, because imagine how rare it would be at that kind of gathering. :) I wound up not being able to go, though. Maybe next time.