It’s funny when arseholes tell you that you are only treated as a fool because you don’t understand things as profoundly as they do. In web design the arsehole’s joke went like this: “Funny? If you understood that joke on as many levels as I do, you’d really know what funny meant.” This article on the Shelton Brothers empire-ette has that particular funk:
“I hate beer writers,” he said. “You can ask them; they hate me, too. They call me arrogant and opinionated. They think I’m a real asshole. But, hey, what can you expect? I was trained as a lawyer.” By doing little more than parroting the marketing-speak of advertising companies, Dan believes American beer writers are largely to blame for an industry and drinking public that’s more taken with gimmickry than artistry. “The attitude seems to be, ‘It’s all good.’ No one’s willing to criticize a beer they don’t like, and when I do, I’m told I’m just trying to sell the beers I import. I’ve had fights with beer reviewers who want to believe that you can’t be objective about beer. It’s all subjective, they say. You like what you like.”
Oh dear. As a lawyer, I can see it. Can you? Anyone who actually says “I was trained as a lawyer” has moved well into the arsehole-esque zone. Reminds me of another joke: “What do you call a doctor who got “D” in anatomy? Doctor.” You get why the verb “to shelt” was invented, right? Don’t get me wrong. I have liked many of the High and Mighty beers of Will Shelton discussed in the article and also plenty of the beers that the brotherhood has imported. I have liked some a lot. But not all of them. Their business may be successful and have taken a lot of hard work but one can still ask valid questions about value and selection. In that they are like most other brewers and importers. Actually, in every way they are like that. Because that is what they are.
It’s an interesting counterpoint, when you think of it, to the emotional tug of that really swell guy who is the face of the new and time shifting TV show Brew Masters. Read the tweets. Giggly people want to know Sam. He’s so great. Who wouldn’t want a fawning relationship? Sheltons? Arseholes – but they’re so deep. Those in the know want an abusive dependent relationship. Why does anyone care? We shouldn’t. If you care about the personality of those who who make and provide your beer, well, you should ask if you have the same concern for those who make your cheese, your car’s tires or your socks. You don’t, do you. Make the beer prove itself each time.