What used to be the average man’s drink of choice after clocking out on a hard day’s work is now a beverage enjoyed, paired with, analyzed and brewed by many. The number of craft breweries in America is exponentially growing and Big Beer is scrambling to attract attention. Beer has reached the point to what one writer fears is “wine-ification,” which makes us wonder if we’ve reached peak beer snobbery.
Washington Post reporter Jason Wilson recounts a weekend beer tour through Vermont with his beer-enthused brother, Tyler. Much of the article is made up with pointing out the over-the-top musings of bearded beer nerds waiting in long lines for rare and exclusive brews. Caricatures chuckle at notions of barley wine and Yuengling, while others happily recite limited purchasing rules in cold November weather. I get it. I once witnessed a man carrying a bunch of kale in his tote bag while trudging through a snow storm in Williamsburg. No snowpocalypse was going to get between this dude and his kale. My fingers itched to tweet about him but too much snow piled up on my screen to do so.
Wilson muses that beer snobs are reaching the eye-rolling territory of wine snobs, peacocking trivia facts about Guinness’ true color and experimenting with zucchinis in brews. Or worse, that Vermont’s brewery scene may turn the state into “some kind of touristy, theme-park ‘Napa Valley of beer.'” Wilson has a point to bite his nails the over the tourism factor, but studies show that craft breweries have revitalized neighborhoods thanks to thirsty travelers.
With anything worth geeking out over, quality beer brewed with quality ingredients is just the latest topic of fascination sweeping the nation. Is exaggerated fandom anything more than pure celebration? Whether your style of appreciation consists of loudly flaunting your extensive knowledge of the entire backlog of Marvel comics at Comic Con or simply attending the pop culture fest, everyone in the room can agree that they in some way, shape or form like comics. Just as we should celebrate beer in whatever fashion we choose. If what’s next for craft beer culture is a beer train, then we’ll happily hop on with wishes of interesting pints brewed with sorachi ace.