My first taste of beer was of a lukewarm Coors Original... sigh. It's amazing, thinking back to that moment, that I ever sought out beer again. Boring, passion-less, dead, over carbonated and (eventually) vomit-enducing. I guess the only good thing I can say about it is, in the words of Dave Chappelle, "It'll get you drunk!"
( Mm-mmm, bitch!)
Thankfully I have moved beyond such things as staple pilsner lagers from the big 3 foreign-owned American breweries. (Slight digression.... of all of the things that could happen to the Jingoistic portion of America, could anything be more devastating than the big 3 being owned by foreigners? I imagine it would be a lot like finding out that Jimmy Johnson was actually a French foreign national. In the end, I guess its a good thing that the majority of America hasn't figured this out yet.)
Hey, if you like Bud or Miller, God bless you. It's your damn right to drink and pay for what you like. In my mind, I just view it as if one spent their entire life just eating red beans & rice. Delicious, sure, but after a while you would, invariably, start longing for something else. When I consider my beer choices I generally prefer to go for something I've never tried before. While I certainly have favorites, more often than not, I'll pass them up for the opportunity to try something new. I just love to experience new flavors, and new ideas.
Variety is, after all, the spice of life. I guess that's why there has been a massive proliferation of beer variety thrust upon the American market over the past 15 years. The free market being what it is (...is the liquor market really free? The 3-tier distribution system seems to hold back diversity in many states) once there proved to be a demand for beer diversity companies began to spring up that were more than willing to oblige. While the big 3 still dominate the national market, micro-brews are becoming much more common-place. I fully expect that every bar or other type of watering hole (watering hole makes me giggle) that I go into will have at the very least Sam Adams and/or Fat Tire, and possibly something more local, available. It's not just the variety, but the development of such wide-spread access to craft brewing that is so incredible.
In all actuality, I don't consider myself to be that much a beer snob, I just know what I don't like. I certainly don't spend that much time considering the intricacies of that which I am drinking. The primary question I ask myself when I try a beer is "Is this awesome?" Usually the answer is "Of course, keep drinking!"
I love beer for the exploratory nature of the craft. People are always trying new things, be it in their home kitchens or in the multi-million dollar set-ups that the big 3 have designed to get in on all of the craft beer fun. Just as long as no one takes it too seriously, no one will get hurt, and we can all keep drinking!