Being a beer snob is kind of like being a serial killer (stay with us...) in that people rarely just come right out and say "Hello, I am a beer snob." It's all about the ACTIONS, whether they be stockpiling a bunch of bodies in the basement, or stockpiling a bunch of rare beers in the one corner of the basement not occupied by all those bulky bodies. With that said, here are the different types of beer snobs you might encounter, which, just to be clear, does not in any way make them more likely to be a serial killer. Probably.
The Self-Important Homebrewer
Will second-guess the beer he’s consuming with talk of hop varieties and bottle conditioning. Has made one decidedly mediocre pale ale from a kit he received for Christmas.
Incapable of telling you what he thinks of a beer until he’s scanned a representative sampling of BeerAdvocate reviews.
Just an Asshole
Was already an insufferable snob about his car, wardrobe, and frequent trips to Europe. Beer was just the next logical step in the progression. Why yes, he did just correct your pronunciation of “Cantillon.”
Treats anyone drinking a light beer like a toddler who just pooped himself, audible groans of disapproval included. Also the kind of person who intentionally provokes political arguments at family gatherings.
The Master Debater
You: “I tried this beer, it was pretty good.” Him: “Get ready to spend the next five minutes finding a polite exit while I harangue you about your beer preferences, even though, in reality, I think that beer is good, too.”
Brings a few choice selections and a hefty supply of tasting glasses to any social gathering, just hoping to win a couple of converts. What, you weren’t planning on drinking a 15% ABV Russian imperial stout at your nephew’s Christening?
Almost got his hands on a Pappy Van Winkle 23 Dark Lord back in 2011, and has been hunting that white whale ever since. Probably doesn't have a peg leg, but might!
Won’t even listen to you unless you’re AT LEAST taking Cicerone classes. But she will talk. OH, will she talk.
Parlayed a Surly Darkness and an Abyss into a Chocolate Rain, which he combined with a CBS to land a barrel-aged Hunahphu’s that’s almost impossible to find. Has yet to try any of these beers. Ask him if he’s gonna open that Hunah and he will look at you like you’re crazy. Will entertain trade offers, though.
Always asks for a sample at the bar, you know, so he can make an informed decision -- aka find some minute defect with it and then ask for something he already knows he likes.
Ummmm... DID YOU JUST DRINK THAT IPA?? IT’S NINE DAYS OLD AND WAS SHIPPED ACROSS SEVEN STATES!!!! HAVE SOME GODDAMN RESPECT FOR YOURSELF!!!
The Sour Prince
Beers that cost less than $17.99 retail scare him deeply. He once put 35 Warheads in his mouth at once, and finished them all without so much as a sip of water. People unfamiliar with yeast strains universally assume his best friend is named "Brett."
The IBU Freak
He once drank an entire bottle of bitters thinking it was a small flavored soda because he had his glasses off, and didn’t notice. Tim Allen is not-so-secretly his favorite television personality.
Release Party Guy
He’s got his tickets, he’s got a sleeping bag, and he’s got the respect of three people, who are the three people directly behind him in line. Couldn’t tell you what any of the beers he’s tried in the last year taste like, because he only had one of each, because you gotta do the rounds, man. Nobody is certain how he gets home.
The Barrel-Aged Devotee
In honor of the woodworking craftsmen, she named her child Cooper, even though that’s the name of the silly Manning brother nobody likes. Also she’s pretty broke.
The Glassware Obsessive
Wait, did you seriously just pour a Vienna-style lager into a domestic barrel-aged breakfast stout glass? YOU KNOW HE CAN SEE YOU!!!!
The Complete 180
Three months ago, she exclusively drank 16oz cans of domestic light beer, shotgunning two-thirds of them. Last week, she booked a two-week trip to Vermont, by herself.
The Brewery Fanboy
He wears a Three Floyds hoodie when he buys his Heady Topper, wears a Heady Topper ballcap when he drinks his Pliny, and wears a Pliny T-shirt when he goes to Dark Lord Day. He owns a matching Arrogant Bastard biking jersey and socks, but not a bike.
Oh, you’ve got a good beer? That’s great, his is better. God, it’s so much better. The nice part though? He will refuse to drink yours because it’s not good enough, and will give you half of his just to prove that he’s just the best at beer. So basically, keep this guy around.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Matt Lynch is a senior editor at Thrillist who makes sure to throw back an ice-cold domestic every now and again just to maintain his street cred. Disparage said cred: @MLynchChi.
Ben Robinson is Thrillist's editorial director, would NEVER want you to one-up him, and loves employing reverse psychology. Ask him where the bodies are: @BenjoRobinson.