Celebuchef David Chang of Momofuku fame kicked off a shitstorm last week when he professed his love of Bud Light and his utter contempt for beer geeks. While I certainly agree with Chang’s sentiment that there is some joy to be found in an icy cold can of mainstream swill — and I have to admit a certain journalistic kinship to any writer willing to assert that beers snobs are the worst of the food snobs — the biggest problem with his post was that it was far too brief, and honestly, an unworthy addition to the annals of cheap beer apologia.
That’s not to say that I prefer mass-market swill over craft beer. I don’t. There’s a time and a place for both. And like Chang mentions, an ice cold can of light beer sure does taste swell after cutting grass in the hot sun. In that case, a full-bodied beer just doesn’t cut it. In fact, it’s kind of vile. It’s like eating the James Gandolfini special after running a 10K. Who wants to chew a beer when the sweat is pouring off your brow and your body just wants to cool down? Not me.
Although I’ve largely moved on to world of spirits, there was a time when I was a craft beer fiend. Each week I’d swing by the Charleston Beer Exchange or Whole Foods or the craft beer section at HT or perhaps end up at all four. Whenever I was at the CBX, I always made sure to talk to their resident beer prophet Brandon Plyler and let him guide me toward whatever was new and exciting that week. Plyler has exceptional taste and he speaks with a gentle yet enthusiastic wisdom that makes the craft beer newbie feel at ease. He’s the very opposite of a beer snob, and thanks to him, I’ve been introduced to countless beers, each one at least temporarily convincing that drinking this beer is the greatest moment of my life. Those days are gone.
Shortly after the birth of my first child, I quit going the Beer Exchange with much regularity. In part, it was because I didn’t have time, and in part it was because, I simply didn’t have the money to drop $50-$60 a week on beer. And it’s this point that I think is b