Walk into any local brewery on a weekend and you will see a crowd of drinkers. But the crowd is made up of the same people, week after week. We are all beer nerds, but what does that mean? We are not all the same. Behold: the definitive list of beer nerds. Where do you sit on the list?
- The Homebrew-Nerd
So many beer geeks start out this way. We are not that far off from living in a world where good beer was hard, if not impossible, to find for most of the beer loving population. Being “crafty” people as we are, so many drinkers did what they had to do, turning to the kitchen, the garage or the basement and started making their own. More power to ’em! Most of our local breweries started from these very same people, doing the very same thing. So how do you spot the Homebrew-Nerd in the wild? He is there, sitting at the bar chatting up the brewer…trying to get a recipe to clone his favorite at home. You often won’t find these guys at the brewery on a nice warm Saturday afternoon, they are busy in a lawn chair in the driveway with the brew kettle bubbling along. If you look at a brewery as research for what you might be able to do at home, you might be a Homebrew-Nerd!
- The Macro-Nerd
You can spot them from a mile away…staring at the beer list like it’s written in a foreign language, completely out of their element. This is your Dad…Your Grandpa, maybe. It’s ok… if you’re the Macro-Nerd we understand, and we applaud you for being at a craft brewery, but no, they do not have “something like Bud-Light” on tap. If you were looking for Miller, or Coors, you should be at your local BW3’s, not at a brewery. Get a sampler…try something different, and become the next nerd on the list, the Newbie-Nerd.
- The Newbie-Nerd
Welcome, nerd. You are new to this, and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, some would say that the Newbie phase is the most exciting, when styles are new, breweries are fresh and unvisited. It’s fun, it’s like someone has finally turned on the lights in a room that you have been in your entire life. This is a phase that we are quick to leave…and one that we never appreciate until we look back on it later down the road. It’s a phase that enables the drinker to appreciate things about beer that will become mundane later. Bright-eyed and bushy tailed… the Newbie-Nerd is annoying to some drinkers, but envied by the wise.
- The WannaBeWine-Nerd
No… I can’t taste the snozberries in this beer. This is the drinker that will insist on discussing the fine nuances of their finely brewed beverage to anyone who will listen. This is ok in some cases…it makes you think about what you’re drinking. Other times…you just want to be drinking your beer, not analyzing the finer side of hop aromas, and their benefit to the nose of your IPA. These are the drinkers that in a different lifetime, would have been wine drinkers. Those who swirl their drink for 15 minutes before it even meets their lips. If you are at a beer event and you see someone spitting their beer into a bucket…they want to be, and probably should be a wine drinker.
You’ve seen them. If you are one, you might not realize it, or maybe you don’t want to admit it out loud. These nerds are here because it’s cool. It’s hip to be at the local brewery drinking. We all know that they would rather be at the dive bar down the street with a tall boy of PBR clutched in their left hand. It’s important, though to understand that the classification of these nerds is not by looks…it’s an attitude and their motivation for being there. These are fake drinkers… the fashionable drinkers.
- The Collector-Nerd
These guys are great. Nerds who drink to “tick” a beer…to try something that they haven’t tried before. They will drink beers that they know they aren’t going to like, just to say that they had them. You’ll find them with their samples lined up in front of them…week after week, never ordering a full pint. Come on, nerd! Get a full beer! If you go to your local bottle shop and buy a 12oz bottle of something that you can get year-round, then split it 14 ways with your collector friends…you’ve gone straight off the deep-end. Take a step back and have a pint.
Then…there’s the evolved. We are a mix and match of all the nerds. We are just Beer-Nerds. We have aspects of all the nerds, somewhat like Captain Planet…all powers combined to save the world. Embrace your nerdiness, use it to drink with pride…to be gnarly and be proud.