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.