Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Snobbery, beer, beer geekery, and you

Beer is not a weapon to hold over someone's head or with which to judge them. It is a beautiful social lubricant that ties people together, even if they like beers "inferior" to yours.

And don't you forget it.

Like any niche community seeing increased mainstream attention, the craft beer community is populated by a small but loud segment of people who more than anything else are disgusted that Their Thing is reaching a wider audience. It's no longer their cherished secret, you see, and that kind of stings. Suddenly you're surrounded by strangers who are way into this thing you've been into for years and years. I've seen it in many other communities, music being the one that hits closest to home for me. It's unavoidable.

More than that, though, is that for many -- mostly the folks only a few years into their new interest -- it's easier to express disdain and negativity than it is to express positivity. It doesn't take much thought or energy to say, "Yuengling sucks." It's a little more difficult to bring your enthusiasm for something you love to other people and infect them with that same enthusiasm.

That's one of the reason why I think "ha ha ha coors light tastes like piss" jokes are tired and lame, even if I agree with them that Coors Light is tasteless. Because those jokes are mindless and easy. It's also one of the reasons why I'll always encourage celebrating the beers you love over slamming the beers you don't. Because getting other people excited about stuff you like is fun and enjoyable and rewarding, while running down beers you hate is nonsense better left to kids only just starting their beer journey.

Beer is awesome. Beer is social. You can become fast friends with someone over a beer. I've done it many times. Why would I or anyone else want to dwell on what sucks when there is so much that is AWESOME in the world of beer?

You don't like Dogfish Head or think The Bruery is highly overrated? That's cool. Then pour me one of the beers you like and we'll drink that instead. You don't really like beer and only buy Corona? Fine, stick in a lime and give me one. I'll deal. We'll talk badly about our jobs and boast about the size of our manhood and dream up an awesome business plan we'll forget by the morning.

Because I love beer, and I seriously don't give a damn about what beer you hate. I want to know about the beer you love.

And I want you to pour me some.


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