Beer nerdery - have we gone too far? I suspect some of you will find the above video hilarious and others will find it a little too close to reality for comfort. I stumbled across it on the interwebs earlier today and I admit, I was laughing.
Of course, everyone gets annoyed by a know-it-all, and craft beer culture, with its vast depository of esoteric knowledge, is admittedly ripe with know-it-alls. The slant of the video isn't just against know-it-alls, though, its actually against the newcomer - the guy who is doing it because beer is suddenly hip and trendy. Is that really the problem, though? I'm going to put my own opinion out there: 1. Homebrewers are cooler than beer lovers who don't homebrew. 2. Homebrewing needs its tubby know-it-alls. They are an essential part of our heritage and culture. On the first point - how can you even argue? In homebrewing you aren't just a passive consumer. You can't just buy something and feel important or special as a result. You have to make something, produce a work of art, and then be judged on it. It doesn't matter what crazy rare beers you've tried, if you brew beer that you and other people enjoy, that is seriously cool. You don't just make opinions, you make beer! Now, I think homebrewers are more down-to-earth than the average person, but there are a lot of homebrewing know-it-alls. I myself am grateful for these people. These are the folks that get the rest of us thinking about how to make our beer better. That get us trying first wort hopping, when we don't really want to read the academic articles on how it works. Some of these know-it-alls write books - really good books! If every hobby has its know-it-alls, then the ones that homebrewing has are the most sincerely generous with their knowledge. Think about the people on homebrew forums that answer the questions of newbies day after day after day. These guys care about homebrew culture, the quality of beer that folks are making, and they've been a big part of the growth of homebrewing. Sometimes folks can get a bit snotty about it, its true. It's probably inevitable to have a bit of elitism now and then, but heck, some of these guys deserve it. So that's my challenge to beer lovers - if you want to act like a know-it-all, you'd better put up some good homebrew first. And for the record - I have confirmed that the voice in this video is not Dawson from Brewing TV. It just sounds like him :) Update: There are now two more Today's Beer Geek videos over here. My hat is off to whoever is making these hilarious vids.