Forget the “craft” debate, let’s get rid of “snob”

Forget the word “craft”, it’s the word “snob” that really needs to be eliminated from the beer vocabulary.

Last week I posted about the word “craft” – Craft is the Word – and I know I was pretty late to the debate. It’s a topic that has been discussed at length by beer people far more experienced and opinionated than me. I wasn’t really compelled to write on the topic any earlier but since it seemed I was reading articles on the topic on a weekly basis so I found myself thinking about it more and more – hence the blog post.

Since writing the post, what has become far more apparent to me is that the word “craft” is not nearly as dangerous or threatening as the word “snob”. If there is one word that needs to be erased from the beer community, to me, it’s this one.

Beer snobbery is exactly what beer is not about. I could dribble on at length on the topic but another Australian beer writer, Glen Humphries of Beer is Your Friend, has already done it and, quite frankly, it’s spot on. Please read it here.

Seeing beer snobbery in action, like when someone tells someone else their beer choice is shit, and reading misleading mainstream articles that refer to ‘beer snobs’ like they are common place and representative of all craft beer drinking people is harmful.

Ok, so maybe it’s not harmful in the same way that smoking is harmful but the word ‘snob’ doesn’t encourage people to try craft beer, it reinforces a perception of exclusivity and elitism. None of these things are good.

The irrelevance and inaccuracy of the term ‘beer snob’ peaked for me on Sunday.

On Sunday it was International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day and all around the world women in the beer industry came together to brew beer. The style is pre-determined and I think there were hundreds of breweries around the world that participated. For the first time here in WA we did one too, I wrote an article on it for Crafty Pint which will be going up soon so I won’t be going into details of the brew here, but the happy feeling I still have from being part of such a day is wonderful.

IWCBD 2015
Ladies from the beer industry all around WA come together for International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day

It felt great to be a part of a genuine community and the way that Chloe, Charlotte and Leala of Young Henry’s Beer Farm, located in Metricup in our south west, threw open their doors and welcomed everyone in was generous and warm and, in my experience, completely indicative of the attitude of the beer community.

Beers flowed freely, no question was foolish and everyone was encouraged to get involved.

This is the beer world that I live in and its attributes of generosity, shared experience and support are echoed in the bartenders I know, the retailers I met and the people who drink craft beer. Sure, there are some moments when I shake my head, when I hear comments that are needlessly negative or mocking of others, but they are not the majority.

Move along beer snobs, we just want to drink good beer, share it with good people and that’s about it.



girl + beer snob

What can I say? I’m a bit of a beer geek, a beer nerd and certainly a beer enthusiast but I don’t consider myself a “beer snob”. I just don’t like the term “beer snob” but sadly this is what my beloved journal is called and it got me thinking.

For Christmas one of my very good friends gave me a fantastic beer related present – a journal for reviewing beers and pubs/bars. I use my phone for lots of note-taking but there is something far more romantic and genuine about hand written notes so often I push my phone to the side in favour of a new page in my journal. I sit with journal open, pen in one hand, beer in the other, scratching down words that pop into my head as I drink. I freakin’ love it.

Using The Beer Snob book
A keen eye will see there’s a spot to glue/stick the beer label – this has lead me to either a) getting joy from peeling a perfectly intact label from a beer bottle or b) frown at a ripped, mangled piece of ratty paper that’s half hanging from the bottle. It’s an interesting evolution in my beer drinking adventure!

I love it cause I can scribble down all the random thoughts I have about the beer I’m drinking, the taste, aroma and overall awesomeness all ends up here; that unexpected hint of pineapple – yup, that goes in there too.

My memory is bad and I drink lots of beer so I need to write stuff down so I don’t forget

I write it down so I remember to buy that beer again, maybe so I can try to match it with cheese and see if it works cause that’s what I do for kicks.

What can I say? I’m a bit of a beer geek, a beer nerd and certainly a beer enthusiast but I don’t consider myself a “beer snob”. I just don’t like the term “beer snob” but sadly this is what my beloved journal is called and it got me thinking.

The Beer Snob

For me the words “beer” and “snob” should act like the negative ends of two magnets furiously repelling each other because the laws of nature will not allow them to be pushed together. An extremely brief Google search of the word “snob” brings up words like “patronise”, “condescending” and “overbearing”, certainly not characteristics I associate with beer or beer people. From bottle shop managers to brewers to bartenders, the overwhelming majority of beer people I know are generous, welcoming, funny, passionate and all things non-snob.

The good beer people I know don’t push their opinions of beer, they share them, open them for discussion and ask others to do the same. They don’t judge others for the beer they drink, they are happy if you like the beer you’re drinking and will offer you a taste of theirs. They don’t tell you what you are going to taste, they just ask you if you like the beer. They won’t avoid talking to you because you drink wine, in fact those cheeky buggars will probably steal a taste of your wine!

I’ve said it many times but I’ll say it again …

Beer people are good people

Beer People

After writing this post I did a little Googling – here’s a few interesting reads …

The Difference Between Beer Lovers and Beer Snobs, which are you? – the article is a few years old, written by an American beer blogger, and whilst I don’t agree with every single point, I do very much like his “always” rules to follow as a beer lover.

The Most Mockable Things Beer Snobs Do – the article is on American site Esquire, a fun little read but I get the impression American beer geeks are far more prone to the “drain pour” than us Aussies. It takes A LOT to make me pour a beer down the drain.

I am a Beer Snob … Sorta – a blog post from one of my regular reading materials – Beer Bar Band. It’s James’s reaction to his photo being the subject of an internet meme called The Annoying Beer Snob. All three links here are worth checking out!