Dr. Gonzalo Quintero Ed.D. is a smart guy. He is a three time graduate of San Diego State University and anyone who wants to be in school for that long is either really smart or clinically insane. Luckily for us he’s not insane. Dr. Q, as he is popularly known in the Craft Beer community, is also the owner and co-founder of Craft Beer Tasters, LLC. He is not a James Bond villain, don’t get confused. He is one of the good guys, a true ambassador for the world of Craft Beer. As a Doctor of Education he is making it easier for people new to the craft beer scene to become informed consumers and his passion and enthusiasm for Craft Beer is evident when you meet him. Being an ambassador, it should come as no surprise that he is an incredibly friendly and engaging person to have a conversation with, not just about beer, he’s really good with 80’s pop culture too.
Since I had the chance to get to know a little about the man while he was my instructor at SDSU’s Business of Craft Beer Marketing class, I would have been foolish not to ask for his opinion on the topic at hand. Plus he’s smarter than me. He has three degrees to prove it. Here is what Dr. Q had to say on the topic:
“There’s room for everyone in the craft beer scene. Whether you were ‘here from the beginning’ or brand new on the scene I guarantee you the beer doesn’t care, it just wants to be respected.
That sentiment, in actuality, is a personal assertion. If I had to choose a camp, I’d join the ranks of the geeks. I’m a champion of the craft beer community, to be certain, but I would never turn down a beer offered to me, even the macroiest of the macros. I wouldn’t turn my nose up to it, I would never talk down to someone for their preferences for macros, and I would never educate someone who didn’t literally ask for it.
The snob likes to exude an air of authority, but you don’t win friends with salad, and nobody likes a know it all. Why? Because rational people knows there’s no such thing. Oh you met Karl Strauss. That’s great, but that doesn’t make you better. It may make your breadth of knowledge wider, but it doesn’t make you better.
A person geeks out for personal reasons. I imagine the craft beer geek is somewhat like a golfer, only challenging themselves with their knowledge and skill. Whereas the snob is like an overzealous prize fighter trying to talk their way into greatness.
It takes all kind, and there’s room for all, but geek out more than you snob, it’s more fun that way.”
I love what Dr. Q says about being a ‘champion of the craft beer community’ and what follows is something really important, you don’t want to be ‘that guy’. You know the guy I’m talking about. I’m talking about the guy who gets invited to a barbecue and then sneers in disgust when the host offers him an ice cold Bud Lite. Don’t be that guy. Remember, you may have made the choice to only support craft beers, but you show that support with your wallet. Your friend hosting the barbecue didn’t make that choice, he just wants people to hang out and have fun. Be gracious, say thanks and drink the beer that your buddy paid for. This is the thin line between Geek and Snob.
Special thanks to Dr. Q for taking the time to share his thoughts on the topic. If for some silly reason you have never been, go take a look Craft Beer Tasters LLC, Dr. Q is great with daily postings. Right now you can join him for an amazing trip to Tijuana to check out the rapidly growing craft beer scene in Mexico. Click here for more details so you can get in on the fun. You can also find him in the usual places, @craftbeertasters on Twitter and Instagram. Seriously, you should go on the trip to Tijuana, it sounds fantastic!
Next we’ll hear from my good friend Brian from Sore Eye Sports!