Craft beer is the new wine, and the epic rise of the brewfan has accelerated. Which one are you?

LEVEL 1: THE ANGRY POPULIST

• Your only real beer-related quandary is “Bud … or Bud Light?”

• You get angry when people blow their money on that expensive Blue Moon crap.

• You take pride in your beer being three reliable things: yellow, fizzy, and inoffensive.

• You measure your beer intake not by the bottle, but by the case.

You drink beer … to forget.

LEVEL 2: THE GATEWAY DRINKER

• You’ve had your mind blown by Guinness and you’re wondering if other dark beers might also taste good.

• You’re beginning to think that the Miller Lite Vortex bottle might just be a gimmick.

• You now look at a row of taps and order the beer you DON’T know.

• It occurs to you that you could probably pair beer with food other than pizza.

You drink beer … because you’re beginning to think it may have flavor, and furthermore, that you might like that flavor.

LEVEL 3: THE BREWFAN

• You actively seek out opportunities to camp at breweries in order to buy cultish, limited-release, superintoxicating Russian imperials.

• You hear that a friend of a friend once tried Westvleteren 12 and you spend the better part of a cocktail party trying to trap them into giving you an exhaustive play-by-play.

• Your RateBeer app gets more play than your email app.

• The liquor store clerk has you pegged as a lush, but your fridge and cellar are filled with half-finished six-packs and unopened bombers.

You drink beer … to be part of a secret club.

LEVEL 4: THE DABBLER-CRITIC

• You spent four hours last week trying to convince someone that a wild yeast beer that tastes like hay caked with sun-dried manure is actually totally amazing.

• You’re over Westy 12, and are now searching Belgium for beers made by smaller, less accessible monasteries staffed by even grumpier monks.

• You spend hours online every night hunting down people who express incorrect opinions about beers that you care about.

• You get in heated arguments about whether the 2007 or 2009 Sam Adams Utopias had a more distinct note of burnt raisins.

You drink beer … to feel superior to other people.

LEVEL 5: THE MAD HOME-BREWER

• When you have guests over, it’s not a question of serving home-brew—it’s whether the brew-paired dinner is four courses or five.

• Your tolerance is such that you have to remind yourself that to normal people, drinking beer counts as “drinking.”

• You yell at neighborhood kids when they get too close to your hop bines.

• You’re just one small-business loan away from having a brewery and/or losing your life’s savings.

You drink beer … in order to make future beers taste even better.

Image sources: Flickr members Dottie Mae, Mr.Tea, Rionda, Pierre LaScott, gotsumbeers under Creative Commons

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