06 Sep 2018

Beer Snob

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John Ellis does not approve of drinking IPAs, Heineken, Yuengling, Blue Moon, or Guiness. Not one of these widely popular choices rises to his standard.

His analysis goes:

1) IPAs don’t taste like beer.

Well, they are all ales, not beers, and representatives of a distinctly different genre, liking which does represent a specific, idiosyncratic taste. It is, I think, possible to feel that there are too many IPAs these days and one IPA is pretty much like an other, except some are even bitter-er and hopp-ier than others.

2 Heineken is bland and is not really a superior beer.

Screw Heineken. They support Gun Control. I’ll never buy or drink another Heineken. But I will note in passing that what he really means by “bland” is that Heineken is a Pilsener-style pale lager, a type of beer that is not dark, heavy, full of floating debris, and loaded with complicated earthy tastes. in other words, not the style of beer beer snobs dote upon.

3. He doesn’t like Yuengling either because Yuengling is a reasonably priced lager.

He is just prejudiced against all lager beers and all mass marketed beers. Yuengling is really pretty neat and almost everyone likes it. Yuengling is the oldest brewery in America, dating back to 1829, and is still owned by the original family. It comes from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, the county seat of Schuylkill County, in the very heart of the Anthracite Coal Region, and today’s Yuengling, honest to God! tastes kind of like, only definitely better than, the Yuengling I used to find on tap for fifteen cents a glass in local bars when I started drinking as a teenager. It has a distinctive character and authenticity and it isn’t premium priced. Yuengling is a better beer than Bud or Michelob and it’s just as cheap. What does this guy want? An egg in his beer? as they’d say back in the Coal Region.

4. He’s down on Blue Moon because he allegedly knows of some superior Belgian-style wheat beers and you ought to be drinking those.

Jesus, this guy is a snob. Well, outside the Metropolis, we are lucky if we can find Blue Moon. Raised-Pinkie-Finger Craftbier witbier made in Florida, Maine, or Washington State is not likely to be found in your supermarket in rural Virginia or at the local beer distributor in Central PA. Besides, Blue Moon (though pricey) is actually pretty good.

5. Guinness is not stout-y enough.

Americans customarily drink light lager beers. Guinness is dark, heavy, and bitter and is an acquired taste for Americans. And, according to Ellis here, getting used to Guinness is simply not enough. You have to get used to drinking the kind of stout that you could grow plants in.

Frankly, all this pretension and display of connoisseurship is beside the point. It’s only beer. It’s not Premier Cru Bordeaux or Napoleon cognac. You drink a beer after mowing your lawn or while watching idiots run into each other in the Superbowl. Beer is never haute cuisine. Beer really belongs in the unpretentious, mass-marketed workingman’s realm.

This John Ellis guy ought to leave Brooklyn and walk into a bar in Minersville or Hazleton, order a beer, and then turn up his nose and start telling everyone how this stuff is swill and they ought to be drinking $25-a-bottle craft beers with stuff swimming in them made by monks in Belgium from a medieval recipe.

HT: Bird Dog.

8 Feedbacks on "Beer Snob"


I’ll have whatever he is putting on his tab. My tab, I’ll have cognac.


BTW, I left Brooklyn, Bay Ridge, in 1975. I do love a good cognac, beer & gin make me ill, a result of overindulgence in my youth.

steve walsh

Dilly, dilly, and all that.

Ah, a subjective topic. I love IPAs, all of them. Never been a big Heineken fan. Pretty sure I’ve never had a Yuengling. Blue Moon is fine, not exactly inspiring, of praise nor criticism. LOVE Guinness especially as poured in a pub, in Ireland, with a whole bunch of people about. Likewise Murphy’s (in Cork) and Beamish (also in Cork).

I have an idea, how about we drink what we like and enjoy?

Brother John

Of course, if a foppish dandy like this shows up in Hazleton today, he won’t understand a word; and if he heads for Pottstown or Berwick or the other places that drink Yuengling (that aren’t pretentious shitholes, like WB), he’ll be talking out of his ass in short order.


I drank beer when I was young but never liked it. I used to say if I could get three cans down after that I could finish a six pack. To this day I have no clue why anyone would drink that foul tasting stuff.

Stephen Lawrence

Minersville? Hazleton? My stomping grounds….reminds me of a funny story, 2012, long distance bike ride through Rickett’s Glen state park on way to 106 miles, car with New Jersey plates in parking lot of sandwich shop, had Obama stickers, guy next to me says “you are in the wrong county”

bob sykes

He must really hate Sam Adams’ ’76.


I grew up in Shenandoah. I’ve hunted bear and fished for brookies in Rickett’s Glen.


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