As craft beer drinkers, every day we are bombarded with terms others use to describe us. Hop head, beer nerd, whale chaser, beer snob, etc. Where do you fit?
I’ve written about my struggle with being called a beer snob, and how I feel about that term. In my mind, the ‘beer snob’ is kind of a jerk. Snob, by definition, is “someone who tends to criticize, reject, or ignore people who come from a lower social class, have less education, etc (source).” Yikes. Why would anyone want to be lumped in with that? Why would you want to be known as, using this definition but in terms of beer, someone who looks down on those who aren’t educated on beer and drink beer you have deemed to be lesser?
At the same time, you could be a beer geek/nerd. I always felt like this descriptor fit me a little better, since I do have a habit of geeking out over beers. Geek is defined as “a person who is socially awkward and unpopular, a usually intelligent person who does not fit in with other people (source).” That sounds so much better *insert eye rolling*. And nerd? Nerd is defined as “a person who behaves awkwardly around other people and usually has unstylish clothes, hair, etc (source).” Whoa whoa whoa. Now you’re insulting my closet as well? Have you even seen my dress game bruh?
Have you even stopped to think that maybe these terms that people are using to describe you/us are insulting? Whale chaser? Who are you Captain Ahab? Hop head? Is that like Daisy Head Maisy? What is happening here?
I don’t think that I like any of these so-called classifications of beer drinkers. I feel like every day my news feeds are filled with ‘How to tell if you’re a beer nerd or snob’ or ‘Top 10 signs you might be a beer snob’ posts from those trying to seem relevant. I may be guilty of using these terms myself, but lately I’m starting to wonder why this even matters. Can’t we just drink beer? Why do you have to label everyone?
There are people out there who are really into scotch, whiskey, vodka, and other spirits. I don’t think anyone has ever called them a whiskey nerd or a vodka snob. They just drink good booze and get on with it. If I’m at a bar and someone decides that want to order a glass of Blanton’s neat, I don’t ever question that. So why does someone question us getting a Deschutes Black Butte XIV? “Oohhhh you like those fancy beers?” Why why why why whyyyyy?
Maybe we perpetuating these ideas ourselves? We talk about our craft beer community and trying to be different. Maybe this is what we get? If you want to be called a beer snob, a beer nerd, or whatever go ahead and own it. I’m just a lady who loves really great beer, so don’t label me, bro.