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Upping the Ante on David Chang’s Douchiness – by a Grand Master BJCP Judge

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HI!

This post is by a friend of Beer Loves Company. We appreciate the sentiment, passion, wit and Big Trouble in Little China reference contained herein. So read on for some jabs at a celebrity chef from a craft beer heavy weight. Enjoy! <3 A+K

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I don’t typically take part in public commentary on the internet, simply because it’s too much of a messy process in a Wild West Royal Rumble sort of way. Posts stack on top of posts in an unending stream, most of the time barely literate, and rehashing the same worn out sentiments again and again leading to some sort of playground confrontation over the latest cat video on YouTube. However, when I came across this blog post by a GQ editor it was so outrageously absurd I felt that I had to either respond or burst like some David Lo Pan henchman (for all you Kurt Russell fans out there).

As most people craft beer oriented are aware, Celebrity Chef David Chang wrote a column in GQ last year basically taking craft beer lovers to task as being pretentious snobs. In response to this, Garrett Oliver wrote his now famous fairly scathing reply. This, I know, is old news. However, when I happened to come across Oliver’s reply again the other day I saw the headline “David Chang’s GQ Column in Praise of Macrobrews Led to a Kickass Invitation from the Biggest Macrobrew of All” at the bottom under the section “You Might Also Like”. Since I hadn’t heard anything more about the Chang/Oliver throw down since last year I was intrigued enough to check it out.

After clicking the link and reading over the article my initial reaction was simply incredulousness. I couldn’t believe an editor of a major corporate magazine wrote what was quite possibly one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. The author put a spin on the Chang/Oliver duel which amounted to little more than a love sonnet for Chang. Needless to say, the post irritated me but I didn’t feel like wasting my time and energy crafting a reply that no one would probably ever see. However, I found myself the next day thinking about the piece again and again, repeating on me like a White Castle Crave Case. After whirling around my brain for an entire day I felt I needed to write a response, if for nothing more than to help clarify my thoughts as to why it annoyed me so much. Unfortunately, the good folks at GQ wouldn’t post my response. Fortunately, I have friends who also have a blog (score) so I thought I’d share it anyway!

 

Here’s my response

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“I had to read through this article a few times because I kept searching for some sign of what I felt had to be sarcasm. There wasn’t any. Making this one of the most ridiculous piles of spin I’ve ever read. So much so, I felt compelled to write a comment. This is simply to satisfy myself because, in all likelihood, nobody will ever see my response since no one gives a crap about Brendan Vaughan and his literary ball massage of David Chang.

First, David Chang did NOT write about his love for “crisp, smooth, lagers”. He wrote that he hates craft beer. There’s a difference. For one, there is a multitude of crisp, smooth, lagers produced by a wide array of craft breweries (Brooklyn Brewery for example). In fact, those macro-brews he writes about originated as cheap take offs of European crisp, smooth, lagers, you can still purchase today. The column was obviously a thinly veiled indictment of people who enjoy and appreciate craft beer. Garret rightly called him out for being a hypocrite douche, since this is the same market he sells his overpriced gourmet food too.

Second, why would a celebrity getting endorsed by a multi-national giant corporation warm ANYONE’S heart? Chang likes Bud Light, so AB Bev throws money and perks at him. This warms my heart about as much as I tear up during a Mathew McConaughey Lincoln car commercial. 

I feel embarrassed for you and your absurd weepy Beatlemania fandom spin you put on this, although I applaud your restraint of using the word “braugh” as many times as you probably wanted to.”

Yours Truly,

Andrew Luberto

Now I admit that was pretty harsh but I think what ultimately irritated me the most about this piece was how smug it was, like the Bud endorsement was the final winning word to Oliver’s reply. While really this was just another missed opportunity to simply say we should all respect each other’s choices.

Regardless of whatever endorsement it earned him, all Chang’s column did was feed into the either or fallacy of craft beer vs. macro beer, when in reality this is just a self imposed choice and in the words of Obi Wan Kenobi, “only a Sith speaks in absolutes”. In the end I think someone should note that life is complicated enough without imaginary boundaries to form allegiances around. And for the record I am glad to live in a country where I have choices.   For example, I am choosing never to patronize a David Chang restaurant ever again. That’s what’s great about American capitalism, and it shouldn’t be any other way.

Written by A+K

July 1st, 2015 at 10:14 am

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