Craft Beer Phobias
I’m watching a medical phobia issue alert on the news and as I pick up my glass of
beer I begin wondering what phobias may be associated with craft beer. I could have
multiple issues and not even know I have them! Wanting to be a well-informed craft
beer drinker I need to do some research to understand what I may be confronting;
hell I don’t want to wait until they’re doing a news alert on the TV and maybe I’m so
shocked I wind up spilling my liquid gold or something terrible like that.
First I find the dreaded Zythophobia, the fear of beer. Seriously, there are people
who are afraid of beer?!?!?! Wow I feel really sorry for those folks! I think I’ll setup a
support group at my local pub for them to commiserate and discuss this issue; maybe
I’ll give that a little more thought first. As I read further, their fear is more of the
alcohol (which technically is methyphobia) as there can be multiple issues; short term
effects such as memory loss (where did I park my car) or fainting/passing out or loss
of balance or consuming live yeasts or long term effects such as kidney or liver
disease, heart disease or the dreaded beer belly. Whoa, that’s a lot of possibilities,
some of which I’ve already experienced, but I don’t fear them. Hey you can get run
over by a bus crossing the street so having a few beers doesn’t appear to be
anything to fear and I certainly don’t, so can cross that off the list of suspect phobias.
Zythophobes probably also have Tavernaphobia, the fear of going to a bar. Hey that’
s a good thing for them to have; if you don’t want to drink beer then stay out of the
bar because I want a stool to sit on when I go to the bar! I’m feeling better already;
that’s another phobia I don’t have.
So far this is going pretty well; so let’s see what others there may be…
Methophobia aka Potophobia or the loss of control when drinking alcohol. Now there’
s something I’m sure I experienced in the good ole days of going out and us buying
pitchers of the lagers of those days. And when you’re younger you do have a
tendency not to know exactly when to slow down or stop. But actually now with craft
beer I’m drinking to taste and enjoy, something you really didn’t focus on years ago.
Cross this off.
Acerophobia, the fear of sourness. Oh baby, this comes close. I’m not a sour fan. I’
ve tasted a bunch and those that make me pucker are not my style. But I’ve also
tasted some really good ones so I’m always willing to try another one, but there is
always that “fear” of the super sour. Ok so I’ve found my first possible phobia! If
that’s the only one then I’m in good shape but I have a lot more to investigate.
Decidophobia, the fear of making a decision. I think this is a bartenders’ worst fear;
standing there with a customer who has no clue which of the 30 craft beers they
should get and asking them, “which one do you like?” I may take my time perusing
the beer list and deciding which of them and in what order I want, but I never have
trouble making a decision!
Geumaphobia or Geumophobia, the fear of taste; not a problem whatsoever! In fact it’
s the exact opposite I want to taste the nuances of each of my craft brews and to be
honest I wish my taste buds were more refined.
Cainophobia/Kainolophobia or cainotophobia/Kainophobia, the fear of newness,
novelty. This is the antithesis of a craft beer drinker. Most of us search out the
newest beer available. So if you’re afraid of trying a new beer, then stick to your
megabrew, there are still a bunch of them on tap and I won’t compete with you for
any of them.
Atelophobia, the fear of imperfection; well if you have this you don’t drink craft beer.
Every beer is different, very few are perfect and if they were all the same then you
wouldn’t be a craft beer drinker, you’d stick to your megabeer. Another one that’s the
antithesis of a craft beer drinker.
This is going pretty well. I keep humming Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust“ as I
check off all these phobias I don’t have! I’m also beginning to think that you have less
phobias if you’re a craft beer drinker…this could be a new medical breakthrough! But
it will probably have to go through years of FDA study, so I’ll apply for that study
Little did I realize there are a whole bunch of phobias associated with beer festivals:
Hodophobia, the fear of road travel. Well yea I guess if you’re afraid to travel you’re
not going to make it to many festivals as they’re usually in larger spaces that you
must travel to. Hopefully this one doesn’t stop you from walking around the corner to
your local pub so you can at least enjoy quaffing a few w/o traveling.
Demophobia or Enochlophobia, the fear of crowds. Absolutely; do not go to a festival
if you’re afraid of crowds because you are more than likely in the middle of one.
Macrophobia, the fear of long waits. I’m sorry we all suffer from this. Give me the
name of one person who’s really happy to get on a long line and wait; especially for a
small pour of beer. And we don’t like a long wait anywhere: supermarkets,
restaurants, concerts, traffic…I could go on but I think this is so widespread its
Diplophobia, the fear of double vision, which usually tends to happen at the end of
the festival. I really don’t mind having double vision when I’m looking at my Double
India Pale Ale.
And then if it’s an outdoor festival, which many are, there are many other phobias to
consider. Dendrophobia, the fear of trees. Entomophobia, the fear of insects,
Ombrophobia or Pluviiophobia, the fear of rain or being rained on, Phengophobia,
the fear of daylight or sunshine and Molysmophobia or Molysomophobia, the fear of
dirt or contamination.
There’s also the combination of Ombrophobia and Molysmophobia; its call
MudInTheFaceophobia. It can happen when you’ve had more than your share and
you inadvertently leave the vertical position for a horizontal one. It’s usually pretty
messy and may require help from friends. It may also lead to Catagelophobia, the
fear of being ridiculed.
Okay enough with the festival phobias, let’s get back to basic beer drinker phobias.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia or Sesquipedalophobia, the fear of long
words. Not that I even have a chance of pronouncing the first one, although I bet a
six year old will spell it next year at the National Spelling Bee, but look at it this way,
there is only so much room on the label, can and tap handle so really
looooooooooooooong beer names are not a good idea to begin with, so I think we’re
good on this one.
Nomatophobia, the fear of names, could be related to the last one. But I could see
this being a possible issue as brewers make more different beers and try to come up
with more wacky, catchy names some of them do get a little over the top
Apiphobia, the fear of bees, well nobody wants to be stung by a bee, but probably a
bigger concern for a mead than craft beer lover.
Socialphobia, the fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations. Yes it is true
there are those who will be happy to ridicule you for something silly, like saying you
like a certain beer and you don’t know about wort or the chemistry of brewing, etc.
etc. But this is not confined to the pub. These know it alls will do that in any social
setting, and that’s probably why you try not to hang out with any of them in the first
place. Now if you’re loud and obnoxious and basically making a fool of yourself, then
you get what you deserve and being called out is certainly in order.
Albuminurophobia the fear of kidney disease. Not really thinking craft beer is going to
be the primary cause issue you wind up with kidney disease.
Frigophobia, the fear of cold cold things; absolutely I got this one when talking about
craft beer! Usually the keg cooler is set to keep everything too cold so many of the
beers coming out of the taps are very cold. I definitely like to let them warm up so I
can get more of the taste the brewer wanted me to get.
Hyelophobia or Hyalophobia or Nelophobia, the fear of glass. No Way! I prefer my
beer in a glass, but will suffer w/o it when outside. And if you open the kitchen cabinet
and see the stack of beer glasses I’ve brought home from tap takeovers you’ll think I
might have the opposite one, loverofdifferentbeerglassesophobia.
Anthrophobia or anthophobia, the fear of flowers and yes I’m usually not overly
thrilled when they put flowers in the brew process. Let’s stick to hops and grains!
Hygrophobia, the fear of liquids, dampness or moisture. Dampness I get, but hey
water is a liquid and you can’t live w/o it, so this is a certainly a different one.
Neophobia, the fear of anything new. Well with the speed with which new craft beers
are coming out, having this you would be deathly afraid of the craft beer movement
and again should stick to your ordinary, everyday megabrew.
Olfactophobia, the fear of smells. Again, the exact opposite I wish I had a better
olfactory sense and could better enjoy some of the aromas craft brews have. That
doesn’t mean I like nasty smells, but not adverse to the nuances of smell.
Tropophobia, the fear of moving or making changes. Not an issue when there are
different brews on tap every other day. If that bothers you, stick to unchanging
Bathmophobia or the fear of stairs or steep slopes. I would say this is much more
likely at the end of a long night of imbibing.
Well there are a lot of potential phobias that could affect us craft beer drinkers, but I’
m thinking most really don’t apply. Again I’m going down the path that craft beer
lovers have less phobias than the “average” person. I think I’ve probably exhausted
the list and then I found it; the worst possible phobia a craft beer drinker can have:
CENOSILLICAPHOBIA -THE FEAR OF AN EMPTY GLASS or to be more precise
ZYMOCENOSILICAPHOBIA-THE FEAR OF AN EMPTY BEER GLASS! When I found
this one I felt fear; my heart began to race, the hairs on the back of my neck stood
straight up and my spine tingled!
But fear can also be a double edged sword along with joy. Because an empty glass
means you may have just finished a great beer and now get to refill it with a whole
beer and it could be a different beer you want to try or it could mean you’re going to
move on to the next beer in your flight, so why would I possibly fear an empty beer
This investigation has been instructive and tiring; I think I need a beer. But I have
learned a good thing, I do NOT have Phobophobia, the fear of phobias…
Glenn DeLuca writes about beer and culture of drinking. He may
be reached by writing thebigG@beernexus.com.
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