Lew has raised an issue at his Seen Though a Glass blog, which has been followed up by Alan, who in turn has challenged me to come up with my thoughts. The issue at hand is how we should label ourselves. Lew feels it is time to retire the term beer geek – but what should we replace it with?
Lew throws in some suggestions which he dismisses right away:
beer snob, beer aficionado, beer connoisseur, beer enthusiast, ale conner, beer lover, beer guy. All of them fail on various points: snob is no better than geek, connoisseur and aficionado are considered “hoity-toity” by many (and can be a bitch to spell for some), enthusiast is too dry, ale conner is too arcane, beer lover is too stupid, and beer guy, well, it doesn’t do much for the women who like beer, does it?
Alan is quite content to call himself a Beer Nerd, and asks me for my opinion.
So, what about me?
First of all, my grasp of some of the finer nuances of English is not all that good, which makes it more tricky to give full approval or dismissal. Geek does not have that much of a meaning outside North America.
On the other hand, I certainly follow both their lines of reasoning. I have been a collector, too – Beatles records, concert tapes, books, stamps, comics…
And I’ve been a science fiction fan, though my present involvement is very modest.
I don’t care much what I’m called. When I talk to my wife, I refer to (in Norwegian) my beer friends or beer mates. I would not use the words connoisseur or aficionado, either, but it is probably the most spot on description.
There is a Norwegian term that is slightly old fashioned – beer dog. I kinda like that.