Man behind the Today’s Beer Geek video series speaks


More than 16,000 people watched the videos lampooning the modern day beer geek. With yesterday’s epic post from someone that might fit the description of the videomaker’s target, John Smith, the man behind the videos, finally speaks.

What follows doesn’t represent the views of BeerPulse. It is just being copy-pasted from a comment left here on the posting of the original video.

With that said, do you agree or disagree with “John Smith?”

So this is where I come in and tell you exactly why I made these “Today’s Beer Geek” videos. For one, because it’s funny. And two, to really give these “internet beer geek” types a reality check.

Do you remember the days before BeerAdvocate and RateBeer? Remember going beer shopping? You would buy something because it looked and/or sounded good. You explored. You had mostly no clue what was in the bottle until you tried it. You purchased everything your local bottleshop(s) had to offer because there were no biased beer-consumer rating websites and smartphones to access those websites at retail to influence your purchasing decisions (which, these ratings progressively become more biased due to the fact that newer ratings are influenced by previous high ratings, and these guys consume these beers under the pre-conceived notion that it MUST be good and that they should give it a good rating).

What ever happened to purchasing a beer SOLELY for enjoyment? These “beer geeks” can’t enjoy a single beer without a.) posting a picture of it to Facebook, b.) logging that beer in on Untappd, c.) rating that beer on BeerAdvocate, and d.) copying and pasting their BeerAdvocate rating onto Ratebeer. I’ll tell you what, nothing beats leisurely enjoying a good beer in your backyard on a beautiful day. What happened to that? I wouldn’t doubt if most of their beer drinking takes place at their desk all alone in front of their computer or something. I feel these “beer geek” types have completely lost themselves and have strayed too far from what enjoying a beer is all about. Who cares how many IBU it is, who cares how high the ABV is. How does it taste? Like it?

I am going to vaguely break down for you each video I made and why I made them:

This is just a general outline of the process this “new wave of beer geek” takes to get into craft beer. He is on a lazy quest to become a beer expert; he has no intention of learning how to brew at home, and he has no intention of genuinely educating himself on what beer actually is and/or what certain brewing practices and techniques contribute to beer. I like to equate it to following major league baseball, but without actually ever playing catch or even having the intent to throw a ball around. My advice to consumers looking to dive in to craft beer … “stay off the internet.” Taste is completely subjective and you will find, on your own, what you like, and also what you don’t like. I feel that the process taken to “get into beer” in this video can be damaging to an enthusiastic craft consumer the perception of the beer industry/community. Also, the Cicerone exam is stupid, pointless, a false accreditation, and nothing but a GENIUS business venture. If the Cicerone program was created solely to promote and grow beer education, it would be an NPO, and fees would be limited to only covering administrative costs. However, I am all about capitalism, and so I commend Ray Daniels.

Self-explanatory. We’ve all seen this happen at retail one too many times. It cracks us up, but at the same time I think I can safely say “that guy” irritates the hell out of us. Why discriminate and disregard all of the other fantastic liquids other brewers produce just because it’s not Pliny? Try something new instead if no Pliny is available.

If it’s not hoppy and boasting a high ABV, “beer geeks” don’t want it. Often times at these festivals, these guys will immediately dive into consuming IPAs. And here’s something that shows just how uneducated these guys are … they do not realize just how much of a palate killer IPAs really are, and that’s basic knowledge. After one or two, everything tastes the same (which is another reason why “IPA fests” can be pretty pointless to attend). I was at a brewfest recently in which Russian River was attending (it was actually a distributor pouring that day), and the first five guys in line to get in kept talking about “Pliny Pliny Pliny …”; and immediately when they opened the gates to the festival, they bolted, at full speed, to the Russian River booth to get a taste of Pliny. If there were any other beers there that could have potentially struck a chord with each of them individually, they would have missed out because they had began their day consuming palate-killing imperial IPA.

He actually doesn’t learn how to homebrew because he spends all of his money (which could go toward brewing equipment and ingredients) buying expensive “top list” beers and spends all of his time (which could be spent on a good ol’ fashioned brew day and BBQ with friends) blogging and rating them online. A high count of beer ratings on your BeerAdvocate and RateBeer profiles does not make you cool, it is meaningless. Sunglasses, however, make you cool.

Self-explanatory; it’s just beer.

The videos I made were created with no intention of malice or hate. They were simply created to poke fun and, to an extent, deliver a bit of a reality check to these guys straying from what beer is intended for. It is merely a consumer product intended to promote social activity, fun, and flat-out enjoyment. It is never to be taken too seriously. I became a little curious recently and ended up doing a little digging to find some consumer feedback on these videos in some favorite consumer beer-centric sites, and WOW … these people really dissected these videos and some even took great offense. Often times I wanted to chime in and say “alright guys come on now, they were just created for fun. Simple as that. If you can’t laugh at yourself, then you should probably try and lighten up a bit. It’s only beer.”

Each video I made took weeks of producing written scripts, storyboards, editing, etc. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into those videos, and I hope you enjoyed them. I use the name “John Smith” because knowledge of who created these videos could be damaging to my professional career.

Cheers, guys.

todays beer geek guy


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22 thoughts on “Man behind the Today’s Beer Geek video series speaks

  1. I find it hilarious and I agree with most parts, but he needs to lay off Pliny because Pliny is awesome. Between this guy getting pissed off, Sam Calagione lashing out at beer geeks, Alan Newman calling beer geeks ‘one of the industry problems,’ and others speaking out, maybe they are on to something?

  2. Stopped reading when he took a dump on the cicerone program. It’s not built for beer geeks but rather for industry professionals. Funny videos but poor industry knowledge. Who is this guy anyways?

  3. Amazing. I kinda disagree with the Cicerone comments…to an extent. Other than that, “John Smith” is my hero.

  4. these videos entertain me to no end. nail on the head (repeatedly) and the beer geeks are so far gone they cannot find any of the humor.

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with the Cicerone comments. I know plenty of industry people who think the program is an absolute joke. And the guys who take the tests, they’re all hipster douches.

  6. I prefer “Beer Snob” thank you very much. And yes, I’m a home brewer so according to John Smith I’ve earned the right to the title. (FYI: sarcasm)

  7. Do you realize how small the ‘net’ beer community is? I don’t know whether I’ve received 16,000 hits on a single post yet this year. I realize it’s nothing when you consider the millions of views that Justin Bieber’s music videos get but you can’t compare apples to oranges.

  8. Certainly apt with the recent adam jackson thing and he hits the beer geek stereotypes on the head. Then again its not like he has to pay attention to the BA/RB crowd. He seems rather consumed by them actually. Agree with his thoughts on the Cicerone program though… just a way to make beer more expensive.

  9. I, personally, think this guy is hilarious…. and I have my own blog for beer reviews!!!! I think we all need to laugh at ourselves regardless of what are chosen hobby might be. The only thing that I may disagree with him on is the fact that he thinks just because one doesn’t homebrew or get into the brewing process that they can’t learn or experience the greatness of beer just by drinking it. That’s like being criticized for listening or liking a particular music style without being able to play an instrument. I don’t know. It’s just my opinion, but like I said, I have no problem with the guy making the videos. I crack up everytime I watch them and I know it’s “me” he’s referring too.

  10. It’s not just beer, it’s the entire culture of America. Nothing is nothing anymore. Everything, must be “a thing.” You have to tell everyone you know, influence, post to social media, etc. Nothing “is.”

    Be a part of the solution and not the problem. Delete Facebook, get a dumb phone and get back to real life. Go to the beach with a few people and enjoy it then and there. Then the next day go do something else and enjoy that, then and there.

  11. “It’s just beer”.


    Unfortunately all beer geek bashing articles, rants, and videos boils down to that statement. Group A Cares less so and in a different way than Group B, and needs to talk about it.

    It’s so yawn worthy at this point

  12. Anyone else think the voice of the videos sounds like Michael Dawson from Northern Brewer/Brewing TV?…

  13. Sounds like he needs to have a beer and relax. This is far from being something worth getting *that* worked up about.

  14. As a beer geek, homebrewer and Untappd addict…I agree with much of what this guy is saying.
    My friends used to call me a beer snob. That was simply because I eschewed BMC for craft beer. That was nearly 15 years ago. The beer snob of today looks down on pale ale because it’s not an IIPA.. I guess I’m not a beer snob anymore.

  15. I love these videos. My beer loving friends and wife quote them constantly and I never get tired of them.
    I really don’t understand why so many people are so offended by what others do with their beer?? Who cares!! That guy that sold beer on ebay is probably really fucked up over his recent publicity. Why does everyone take it so personally? I have friends that think I’m really stupid to NOT sell rare beer on ebay. Who cares? Everyone has their own set of morals. Hey, if someone wants to post what he thinks about a beer on the internet, maybe post a picture of it, why would that bother you?? You traded beers with a guy and he sold it, now your pissed?? Why? You got what you wanted, who cares!!!

    I also don’t care if you knew that band first, it doesn’t mean you have some kind of entitlement or more weighted opinion. All of the self-richeous people in the craft beer scene are what really turn me off. Enjoy beer in whichever way makes you happy! The more people that do, the more craft beer will be available. That’s how business works.

    And stop telling people how to enjoy beer! Worry about yourself, especially if you spend much time getting mad about what others do in this world. What a waste of your time.

  16. Guy Fieri has ruined my favourite restaurants in Vancouver and it sounds like John Smith is also upset that beeradvocate and ratebeer have ruined craft beer for him by making craft beer less accessible as it once was.

    Home brewing isn’t the be-all-end-all though. Plus, how can an individual know what to he would like to homebrew until he has tried some of the top beers and experienced beer?

    I am also bitter about the new wave of “beer snobs” coming on the scene with minimal knowledge acting elitist and talking about taking a course from the Cicerone program. Just this weekend I ran into a guy like this, and told him that I thought it was more rational to use my money to trade for and enjoy top rated beers instead of talk about them.

    But I guess that comes with being ahead of the curve. Eventually the masses latch on to something and kill it for those who were passionate about it in the first place. My favourite gastropubs are now jam packed most nights. But, it just means that due to demand new ones will open up in the future. Supply hasn’t caught up with the demand yet, but it will.

  17. It just seems to me like John Smith works in the industry, as a brewer, and he liked the days before Beer Advocate. The days when people would mistakenly stumble upon mediocre to crappy beers often when people “would buy something because it looked and/or sounded good”. I tried that approach 15 years ago, and it got expensive and the amount of bombs I tried wasn’t worth it. But, I bet John Smith had that market cornered. The beers that “look good and/or sound good but don’t necessarily taste good” market.

    Now that beer advocate exists, I bet John Smith the brewer is feeling the heat because his product isn’t as good as he thought it once was. No wonder he has such a hate on for people enjoying the top beers. Brewers envy.

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