What exactly is a beer geek? We all know what "beer" primarily is: water, malt, hops and yeast. Merriam-Webster Online has two definitions for "geek" ... 1) a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake. 2) a person often of an intellectual bent who is disapproved of. Now the first, although very appealing, is not accurate. The second, as applied to the term in question, refers to one who might have a strong inclination, talent or capacity toward a specific interest. So with this, and pulling from our own experience, the true meaning of a beer geek is one who is absolutely infatuated with beer and the pursuit of knowledge pertaining to all things beer.

   So are you a beer geek? If at least three of the following statements describe you, chances are ... you're a beer geek. You spend up to 45 minutes in a beer store - a beer store you were in just last week, for 45 minutes. You've spent up to $200, or even more, on a single bottle of beer, so you can cellar it and drink it at some unknown but special occasion. Or, you've spent what most people spend on groceries for two weeks on a single purchase of vintage beers because your beer cellar was looking slim (aka - just for the bragging rights).

   You have a second fridge dedicated solely to beer. You plan your vacations around where you can find good beer, and attempt to hit every establishment and event. You're also close to being single again, or already are, because of it.

   People at work refer to you as "the beer guy." You like it and feel warm every time you hear the words. But you're still shy, socializing with other beer geeks, but only after you've gotten to know them. Everyone else seems like they're from a different world.

   You collect one or more of the following: beer cans, beer labels, beer trays, beer caps, beer T-shirts ... you get our point. Oh, and you know what "breweriana" means, and that it's not a small island off the coast of Maine inhabited by brewing hippies.

   When out to lunch with work colleagues, you order a beer and explain to the iced-tea and soda drinkers before you the relaxing, social and nutritional benefits of a beer at lunch. You are also known to walk out of restaurants that don't serve good beer, and refuse to dine at those that don't serve beer entirely.

   You own one or more books by Michael Jackson, or at least you know that we're not referring to that baby-dangling freak of nature. Also, you read publications dedicated to beer or go to sites like BeerAdvocate.com for hours on end.

   You've gotten into arguments over beer, because you knew that everyone else was wrong, and you were right. And you were. Of course you were.

   You're a mug club member at a local brewpub or beer bar, or you're striving to become one. In that establishment, everyone knows your name, but not in a gay Cheers way.

   You can drink more than all of your friends without making a complete ass of yourself.

   You send back an improperly served beer at the bar; i.e. served in a frosted mug, wrong glass, stale beer or get shorted. And you get annoyed if you have to wait too long for a beer, or if the staff attempt to pour your beer for you.

   You cry over spilt beer.

   You still get those annoying "365 Bottles of Beer for the Year Page-A-Day Calendars" ..You barely get through January and throw it in the trash.

   So how did you stack up? Is it "Welcome to beer geekdom" for you? If so, don't be ashamed. Embrace your inner beer geek and have fun with it.

   Respect beer.