Tuesday, February 4, 2014

American Beer Hates Chuck Todd

Yesterday morning, in response to Bob Dylan's Chrysler commercial which ran during Sunday night's Superbowl broadcast, Chuck Todd—NBC News' Chief White House correspondent and and host of the network's long running Meet the Press—took to the Twitterverse to say to American beer sucks.

And, oh how the butts were hurt. Mobs may have formed, and torches lit. There may have been a plan hatched to waterboard him with Sixpoint Resin, and a bar towel. That last bit may have been a rumor though.

The only problem is, Todd wasn't actually indicting the American beer scene. If fact quite the opposite. What he was getting at was—it's Chrysler who seems to think brewing should be left to the Germans, rather than to the Americans.

Heading back into the Twittery fray, two hours after his original post, Todd tweeted, first:
Folks didn't quite get my Dylan tweet; Didn't say I THOUGHT American beer sucks... was noting the ad implies Chrysler/Dylan think that
Then added a few minutes later:
Again, folks, was not criticizing American beers...was noting that Chrysler Dylan ad was implying it. Calm Down. Am a HUGE craft brew fan
Whew! The guillotine can be placed back into the closet. I guess Chuck Todd is not an asshole after all.

Seriously though, who cares?

Every time—and I mean literally, every time—someone says something misinformed, misleading, or in this case misinterpreted about craft beer, they get jumped on like the last bit of flesh on a dead animal surrounded by hyenas. What difference does it make if Chuck Todd did intend to say American beer sucks? Did Bells, or Hill Farmstead loose any market share? No. Did Jim Koch's plane fall out of the sky. No. Were babies poked with sticks. No. And yet the beer nerds everywhere felt the need to swoop in, like Errol Flynn, on a rope of snarky tweets—a thunderous calvary upon high horses, riding in to save beer's beseeched character.

I don't understand the need to defend beer—especially craft beer. The craft beer industry isn't fragile. It's not going to collapse at any moment. It doesn't need to be coddled and protected like some endangered species. It's okay to criticize craft beer. Just because you're an American craft-brewer, or local, or small, or only use free-range chickens and fair-trade snozzberries in your beer, doesn't make you better anyone else out there. It's your beer that makes you better.

Not always agreeing with "craft" doesn't make you less of a fan of beer, it just makes you less if a lemming.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that any reaction should be measured but on the other hand, it isn't (to me) water off a duck's back. The ad's suggestion that Germany is a great brewing nation and America isn't is so ... 1980. It ignores decades of beer history, in which phenomenal strides have been made in the quality and variety of beer made in the U.S. even as Germany and some other reputed brewing nations retained a conservative approach.

    Marketing and advertising is one of those areas where the ear is to the ground and this ad surprised me. I get it that national stereotypes can live on for a long time after inception - Canadians know all aboot this, unfortunately - but this is a little silly, IMO.