Anthony Bourdain: craft beer is turning people into zombies

TV chef and author Anthony Bourdain has blasted craft beer, likening the burgeoning scene to the sci-fi movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

This is not a bar. This is f—ing Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This is wrong. This is not what a bar is aboutAnthony Bourdain

In a recent interview with Thrillist, Bourdain revealed he often receives criticism from viewers about his choice in beer: “I would say that the angriest critiques I get from people about shows are when I’m drinking whatever convenient cold beer is available in a particular place, and not drinking the best beer out there.

“You know, I haven’t made the effort to walk down the street 10 blocks to the microbrewery where they’re making some f—ing Mumford and Sons IPA. People get all bent about it.”

The craft beer industry has seen a boom in recent years, particularly in Britain and America, spurred on by a fondness among hipsters for boutique beers, but Bourdain takes issue with the way certain craft beer pubs are run.

Woman holding a glass of beer
The craft beer industry is booming CREDIT: SIMON DAWSON/BLOOMBERG

“I was in San Francisco, and I was desperate for beer, and I walked into this place…and I noticed there was a wide selection of beers I’d never heard of,” said Bourdain, while publicising his new book, Appetites: A Cookbook.

I don’t need to know what’s out of the f—ing hill, or who put the grapevines in, or that they were transplanted. I don’t need this. I drank it already, dudeAnthony Bourdain

“Which is fine…But I looked around: the entire place was filled with people sitting there with five small glasses in front of them, filled with different beers, taking notes.

“This is not a bar. This is f—ing Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This is wrong. This is not what a bar is about.”

He added that the entire point of a bar is to “get a little bit buzzed” and not “sit there f—ing analyzing beer.”

The chef, who first shot to prominence in 2000 with the publication of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, said he doesn’t care about featuring good wine or beer in his shows because they all look the same when on camera: “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.

When it comes to navigating the wine list at restaurants, Bourdain says he prefers to drink burgundy: “I’d rather order a burgundy, not knowing what I’m doing. They’re so unpredictable. I know nothing about them. It’s always a surprise.”

The typically rambunctious comments come just a few days after Bourdain told The Telegraph that he won’t be toning down his attitude any time soon. “My language is hyperbolic; I like expressing myself that way. But I’m happy. I get to go where I want in the world, I make the TV programmes I want to make, and I’m surrounded by people I want to work with. Life is pretty damned good to me.”

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