© Chronicle / Alamy
Chris Mah
June 22, 2017

So you’ve tried every beer on Beer Advocate’s Top 250 list, own 147 beer festival T-shirts and have a framed picture of your boil kettle on your desk at work. But does this make you a beer geek or a beer snob? No, these are not the same thing. They are as different as ales and lagers, bottles and cans, Stone and Keystone. What exactly are the differences? Read on to find out.

1. A beer geek is picky about what he drinks. A beer snob is picky about what others drink. Geeks might not love light lagers, but he won’t judge you if you order one at the bar. A snob, on the other hand, will launch into a diatribe about the evils of corporate, multinational breweries before you can say “PBR, please.”

2. A beer geek doesn’t collect trophy beers. A beer snob paid $300 for a bronze decanter of Sam Adams Utopias, flew to Belgium just for some Westy 12 and has a bottle of The End of History on display in his $3,000 beer cellar.

3. A beer snob is constantly ranking her favorite beers. A beer geek’s favorite beer is the one in front of her.

4. A beer geek believes there’s a beer for every occasion. He’s not above drinking a Heineken at the baseball game. A beer snob would rather be caught dead than drink anything besides Mountain Dew from a green bottle.

5. A beer snob is set in her ways and will only drink beers from approved styles or breweries. A beer geek is open-minded. She’ll try any beer at least once, even that weird peanut butter porter your little brother Todd brewed in his bathtub.

6. A beer geek started drinking craft beer from cans before it was cool. A beer snob doesn’t buy six-packs anymore, let alone cans—only corked, wax-topped old ales aged in Lagavulin barrels.

7. A beer geek usually doesn’t make a big deal out of glassware. Drinking IPAs from red plastic cups at a barbecue doesn’t faze her. A beer snob will throw an absolute tantrum if she is ever served beer from a mason jar.

8. A beer snob drinks to critique. Every beer must be evaluated and scored on color, clarity, mouthfeel and taste, then immediately shared on RateBeer.com. A beer geek sometimes forgets the name of that amazing barleywine she just drank but will totally drink it again.

9. A beer snob only drinks at beer bars and won’t order until someone brings him a vintage bottle list. A beer geek will have a beer anywhere, as long as he’s among friends. 

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Meet the Man Running One of the Best Little Breweries You've Never Heard of 

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