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Derek Peplau
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And by the by, if anyone's interested in joining the welcoming ranks of the friendly beer geeks (who don't get overly technical about the subject), I invite them to join us over at our blog, http://craftbeersocial.com (or @craftbeersocial on Twitter). Come on in, the water's fine!
I appreciate taking this instance as an opportunity to write a blog post, but I really think the attitude your friend experienced is aberrant behavior on the part of one person who might have been having a bad day. If that's how that brewery conducts itself on a regular basis they won't be around for long. I hardly think the concern can be that there are 'too many people' in the craft beer fold. In order to sustain the wonderful number and diversity of craft breweries we currently enjoy in the United States, we need to keep growing the number of people who enjoy and appreciate craft beer (and that enjoyment and appreciation comes in many forms and levels of intensity from the person who branches out beyond the macros to enjoy the likes of the occasional Sierra Nevada or Sam Adams all the way to the hardcore craft beer junky who has opinions about IBU and glassware.) Making this a rarified hobby is just stupid. These breweries are in business to make money after all (and yes to create finely crafted products as well, but they need to keep the lights on too). The micro-breweries I've dealt with (including several in New York state) generally are very welcoming, friendly, and happy to introduce newbies to their world. It's good for business, and since most of them do little advertising, word of mouth is their most powerful marketing tool. You don't get positive recommendations if you're a d!ck about it. Where you DO see prejudice towards newbies is among some of the real hard-core craft beer geeks who turn their nose up at anyone who knows less than they do about craft beer (which is just about everyone). They're an off-shoot of the same family tree which includes the music snob who does the same thing with music. The best definition I've seen of beer snobs comes from Dogfish's Sam Calagione: "Beer snobs try to know as much as they can about beer as a power point and to lord it over people, or to stick out as an expert in a field of neophytes." These are the people to watch out for generally, not the brewers themselves.
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Apr 5, 2011