Brooklyn Bloggery is mostly a place for high fives and like-minded thinkers, but every now and then it’s good to stir the pot. And so we bring you the first installment of what’s certain to be a rarely recurring column: Tasteful Debate. Trailblazing NYC restaurateur David Chang and our own Garrett Oliver got us started in the public theater of GQ. To review, Chef Chang wrote an article simply entitled “My Name is David Chang, and I Hate Fancy Beer,” which started off strong and escalated quickly:
I have a tenuous relationship with the epicurean snob sets. Cheese snobs are okay, except for the delusional ones who proclaim America’s artisanal cheeses are as good as Europe’s. Wine snobs are pretty great, because they give me delicious wine. Sometimes they get worried when I want ice in my white wine, but what are you gonna do? I tell them I am a large man and I overheat. Coffee snobbery is just foreign to me; I don’t drink much coffee, because there is this great stuff called Diet Coke that has plenty of caffeine. It’s really refreshing, and I don’t need any tattoos to make it or fake Italian words to order it.
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. (Read more here.)
This came as a loud, clear shot against many of the people who enjoy good food and good beer, including dishes from Chef Chang’s restaurants. Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver was one of those within range and fired back with an open letter days later entitled “My Name is Garrett Oliver, and I Hate Crappy Beer”:
I’m a little worried about you. I mean, it was funny for a while. Like the time you told me in your restaurant how much you loved crappy beer. And then you told me in your other restaurant how you wanted the shittiest beer you could find. And the time one of your lieutenants asked me to make you a Momofuku beer, and that “Dave wants it to be ‘really bad, just like Tecate.’” And then you walked up to me at our mutual friend’s wedding a few months ago and said, “You’re really gonna hate to hear this, but…” I stopped you: “Let me guess…you wish that delicious cocktail was a terrible watery beer, right?” You looked a bit crestfallen. All this time I thought you were being, you know, spirited. As your column in this month’s GQ makes clear, you’re not joking at all.
C’mon man, give it a rest. You want us off your lawn? (Read more here.)
Garrett’s letter concluded with an invitation to Chef Chang to visit us at the Brewery. Hopefully we see him soon– we’ve got some exciting new projects on tap that we’d bet Chef Chang could find room in his heart for.
Have a topic you’d like to see argued about on a craft brewery blog? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Tasteful Debate”.