GQ is attempting to curate a debate between David Chang (of Momufuku fame) and Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster and author of The Encyclopedia of Beer, which I own) over bad vs good beer. It’s pretty entertaining.
First up, my favorite selections from “My Name is David Change, and I Hate Fancy Beer” (spoiler alert: he actually says he likes good beer):
Beer snobs are the worst of the bunch. You know the old joke about cheap beer being like having sex in a canoe? I will take a beer that’s “fucking near water” every night of the week over combing out my neck beard while arguing about hop varieties.
Maybe it goes back to my childhood. I remember watching my grandfather mow the lawn on a ninety-degree day in Virginia, and as soon as he finished, he’d ask me to fetch him a can of ice-cold beer. He’d tell me, “One day, you’ll understand what it’s like to drink a really cold beer when you’ve earned it."
For all the debatability of my rant here, let me make one ironclad argument for shitty beer: It pairs really well with food. All food. Think about how well champagne pairs with almost anything. Champagne is not a flavor bomb! It’s bubbly and has a little hint of acid and tannin and is cool and crisp and refreshing. Cheap beer is, no joke, the champagne of beers.
I am actually on board with all of this. I brew super hoppy beers, I brew smooth deep ales, and I brew lawnmower beers that taste deliciously like almost nothing when it’s hot out. I love a Bud Light Lime when I’m floating on a river in a tube. I just then want a saison or a gose when I’m having a nice dinner that night.
Garrett Oliver, in his piece, just points out that David Chang is a crazy snob who makes millions off of fancifying the food equivalent of Miller High Life. In a good-natured way.
Basically I want to be friends with both of them.