This week, Momofuku impresario David Chang made a splash on the internet after penning a column about why he loathes craft beer and its devotees. The thrust of his argument is that beer should be easy to drink, devoid of passion and flavor, and generally remedial in every manner possible. Notably, he characterizes craft beer fans as opinionated, neck-bearded slobs with far too much time on their hands to overanalyze the heritage of hops. “Beer snobs,” he claims, absent of irony, “are the worst of the bunch.” Does that bunch, I am forced to wonder, include fried-chicken snobs?
For a paltry three-figure sum, a New York diner can be treated to what I’m told is a delectable feast of deep-fried poultry at Chang’s popular chain of eateries strewn about the city’s countless epicenters of hipness. I’ll have to continue to rely on the word of affluent friends, however, as I’m wholly unwilling to lay down the better part of a full day’s paycheck (I’m a writer, unfortunately) to taste food specifically engineered to be as economical as the palate would allow.
In all honesty, I’m sure his gourmet-ified soul food rendition is stupendous. I just find it infuriating beyond measure that a dude who made a career out of overcharging for and complicating what is supposed to be the most simple of comfort foods is now airing his grievance with a product that has become too highly elevated and pretentious for his own specific tastes. Give me a $10 pint filled with “highbrow” brew over a $100 battered bird any day. Because no matter how good that chicken might be, it ain’t gonna give you the same buzz as the IPA I’m sipping on right now. I promise you that.
So I dedicate our beer of the week to one befitting the palate and appropriate budget of Mr. Chang and his entirely egalitarian empire. With hockey season upon us and basketball rapidly approaching, the Man of Momofuku can find solace in the spritzy, lifeless suds on tap at Madison Square Garden. There you will find the single most overpriced small pour of Budweiser in all of professional sports. Earlier this year, it was priced at just over $.77 per ounce for that lovely, flavorless fluid (that’s a $9.25 bottle) — more than $.12 more than any other venue in our fine land. While that gouging is relatively insignificant relative to what you’ve managed to command for your feathered, floured fare, the point is still the same: Mr. Chang…this Bud’s for you.
Us, we’ll be sipping something better somewhere else.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 24, 2014