For better or worse, a couple of people have asked about Anthony Bourdain and “beer zombies.” First as a writer, I wanna remind everyone about context and sourcing. If an article headline interests you, go to the article, click on the link to the story to which the writer refers. Reblogging can cloud context.

The shortest way I can put it is that I nearly agree with the people who are upset, but maybe for different reasons.  Bourdain seemed to be irked over the flights of tasters, which is something I kind of get. There are good reasons for breweries to have tasters and OK reasons to order them. But if you’re laying claim to being a beer person, choose a pint and try it. Flights are for people who still are finding their way. But that’s me, and as you know I’m from the “Drink what you like and be happy” school.

Where Bourdain went wrong was when he stopped beating up on precious hipsters (which I encourage) and revealed his real disdain for flavor in his Thrillist interview:

“Well, beer — visually speaking, it’s why we generally don’t do winery scenes or brewery scenes. Because no matter how good it is — this might be one of only five remaining bottles left on Earth, Napoleon may have put it in the bottle — but visually, it’s red stuff going into a glass. There’s nothing to differentiate it from a big box of Gallo Burgundy.”

He’s a reality T.V. star, which nowadays is easily confused with someone who has something important to say. He isn’t interested in compelling tastes, he’s interested in compelling visuals. He is an entertainer interested in narrative. If he was still a working guy, he would never attempt to serve, say, a Bud Lite cheese sauce. And, as you may have noticed, he’s still talking about wine rather than admit that he’s more acquainted with squid guts (or whatever) then he is with beer. It’s really just a repackaged anti-wine snob rant.

The really telling part, and what’s fun and interesting for craft beer, is that the interviewer asked the question. It’s something serious foodies are expected to take seriously. Bourdain is less a serious foodie than a TV star. Simon Cowell is less a record producer than a TV star. People who are on TV are good at being on TV. I’m more of a Podcast guy

Drink what you like and be happy!

Tony Russo
Author: Tony Russo

Tony Russo has worked as a print and digital journalist for the better part of the 21st century, writing for and editing regional weeklies and dailies before joining the team that produces OceanCity.com and ShoreCraftBeer.com among other destination websites. In addition to having documented everything from zoning changes to art movements on the Delmarva Peninsula, Tony has written two books on beer for the History Press. Eastern Shore Beer was published in 2014 and Delaware Beer in 2016. He lives in Delmar, Md. with his wife Kelly and the only of his four daughters who hasn't moved out. Together they keep their two dogs comfortable.

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