I follow craft beer news, so when I see something make headlines in non-beer-geek news outlets, it’s always surprising to me. I’ve been surprised quite a bit lately. As with any industry, there’s the major, and usually inaccurate news that the average person will hear about, and then there’s the day-to-day stuff that’s in the weeds. It’s the news that no one cares about except for people who are in the industry, or fans of it.
This may come as a shock to many of you, but I am a fan of craft beer. My fandom grew from just imbibing new and exciting brews, to making beer myself, to reading up on what the pros are doing to get excited about their new stuff, and get inspiration for my own attempts.
In trying to honor Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in the most noble way possible — with beer — The New England Brewery Company pissed off his family. Gandhi’s great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi, has threatened to sue the brewery for putting his image on their cans of “Gandhi-Bot,” an India pale ale.
According to Tushar Gandhi, his great-grandfather “abhorred alcohol drinking and spoke against it.” Granted, Gandhi didn’t eat food, either, so using his image for any consumables is — at the very least — self-defeating.
Perhaps what makes the brewery’s use of Gandhi to sell beer is that they used him to sell IPA. No, not because it’s kind of racist; because IPAs suck.
America is the eating champion of the world, and we have been for 72-years straight. No one can eat like us. They don’t even come close. We compete against each other to eat the most hot dogs, pies and other healthy snacks. We have entire TV network dedicated to the cooking and enjoying of food.
We’re also adventurous eaters. As a country, we enjoy more variety of food than any generation before us. No one thinks twice if you say you’re having Vietnamese-Cuban infusion for lunch, and mouths water at “innovations” like waffle tacos or pizza with a Doritos crust. But with all this looking forward in food, we seem to find ourselves looking wistfully at the past.