Bar Tending & Beerspectives
by Matt Martinkovic
Brewsearch & Development - Northside Lounge, Manville NJ
Benjamin Franklin said it best when he allegedly exclaimed, "Beer is proof that god
loves us and wants us to be happy". Now, I'm an atheist but I do agree with big Ben on
the fact that beer does make me happy and I'm not talking about binge drinking and
drunken debauchery.  With the amount of breweries around the world and the number of
them that keep popping up I can only think that there is so much beer and so little time.
However, with that comes a certain breed of beer drinkers that annoys me: BEER
SNOBS.

It is amazing to see a growing diversity of breweries, beer styles (or at least variations
on styles), beer bars, and most importantly the growing number of beer drinkers drifting
away from the G.W. Bush breweries. By that I mean mediocre crap that is somehow at
the top of the world. Being that I work in a craft beer bar and have documented the
brilliant changes in our customer base I have one final complaint. I have already told the
tales of customer/staff changes in previous articles. Now, I have to let beer readers know
of the dangers of arrogant, idiotic, and snobbish beer drinkers and if I had it my way I
would buy and break a bottle of their favourite beer over their heads.

I have participated as a judge in home brewing competitions and have had to deal with
people who are so pretentious about beer that the happy part of big Ben's quote flies out
the window. It has been said that art of any kind is in the eye of the beholder and that
does hold true for beer as well. As it is a science, it is artistry that makes beer what it is
and why more and more people are drifting towards the "craft beer" trend. The worst
thing that could happen in this business/hobby/just sheer love is for people to come
along and act as if they are on a higher plane than other beer drinkers or people who are
trying to expand their horizons.

Beer snobs are entirely unwarranted and are disastrous for such a beautiful craft. The
worst beer drinker is the obnoxious self-righteous slug who treats other beer drinkers as
if they are not worthy to be in the same sandbox as them. And to be quite honest, that is
just sad. Beer is beer, no matter the style or variation within. Palate's are palate's and
they're all little individual snow flakes (haha). Every beer has a quality and characteristic
that is representative of the style, but there is no need to over examine every little detail
of the beer and take the fun out of the beverage you are consuming. Just as there is no
need to treat other people that way you have just treated your beer.

Beer is simple: I like what I like and you like what you like and if you continue to be an
asshole towards beer and people interested in drinking new and different beers than it
is safe to say I don't like you and you should, as Kurt Vonnegut so graciously put it, "take
a flying #uck over a rolling donut."  

So stop letting your arrogance precede you and let the rest of us enjoy beer and the
camaraderie that beer enables us to have.


                                                                 Cheers,
                             Matt
Northside Lounge, 100 Brooks Boulevard, Manville, NJ 08835     908-722-7712
Matt Martinkovic is not only a recognized beer authority but a well known ecological writer whose
work has appeared in the The American Midland Naturalist (University of Notre Dame) among other
industry publications.  He also has been an agricultural consultant on, of course, the growing of hops.
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Beerspectives
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When Arrogance Precedes You