Beer Never Really Belonged To Bros

Beer culture's association with bros and hipsters must end. This is nerd territory.

Take a moment to picture someone ripping a bitchin' kegstand. In your mind's eye, who's chugging the suds? Is it:

A. A muscled-out frat bro in short shorts;

B. A shaggy-haired bass player at a house show, or;

C. A gorgeous mathematician who's calculated the exact number of chugs per minute necessary to achieve a perfect buzz

If you answered "C," you're on the right side of history. If you answered "A" or "B," I can't blame you—if traditional media is to be believed, bros and hipsters dominate the beer scene. Well, folks, I think it's time we corrected the record: Beer is for nerds, and it's time they took it back.

Bros are not the original beer lovers

Some context: over the weekend, UVA mathematician Ken Ono starred in a Super Bowl beer commercial for Miller 64, a light beer with 64 calories. The ad campaign arrived as Budweiser was about to launch Bud Light Next, a beer with 80 calories. In the ad, Ono explains that 64 is a smaller number than 80—meaning Miller 64 is the lightest option on the market. Ah, the wonders of mathematics.

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Ono's campaign, while admittedly very silly, got me thinking. In my many years of beer drinking, I've seen far more sudsed-up nerds than, say, beer-loving bros or hipsters. That may be because I surround myself with nerds, but hear me out. I mean, have you ever witnessed a college LAN party? Ever seen how quickly a Ren Faire attendee can glug a pint of ale out of a sheep's horn? Ever lingered in an improv theater as the performers descend upon a case of High Life? Hell, ever attended GEEKS WHO DRINK?

Nobody loves beer like a nerd. This is historical fact. Take, for example, the original beer nerds—beer-brewing monks. What could be nerdier than a cloistered man manipulating yeast in a floor-length robe? Mage vibes, man. Mage vibes.

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I'd also like to hoist home brewers into Beer Nerd Canon. To successfully brew beer outside of a commercial facility, you need to have mad math and science skills. Unsurprisingly, homebrewing surged during the pandemic as nerds scrambled to channel their passion for ratios into a hobby to pass the time.

Finally, I want to point out that nerds rock, despite the pejorative connotation of the term "nerd." Nerds are smart, savvy, and passionate—all important qualities in a beer drinker.

Beer companies, take heed: Nerds are your target audience. Adjust your marketing with this in mind, or surrender your bottom line to the Demogorgon.  

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