We live in a competitive society. Whether you’re rooting for the Knicks to vanquish their NBA rivals,* or hoping your brainy daughter will be the only member of her graduating class to get into Harvard,^ American life is all about “beating the other guy.” What’s the satisfaction of doing something well if you’re kicking somebody else’s ass?
A recent manifestation of this national trait has been the growing popularity of the “cook-off.” Whether we’re talking chowder or chili, the competitive spirit has entered the culinary realm in a major way. Next up on the NYC circuit is the First Annual Brooklyn Beer Experiment. On June 7th, the Bell House music club in Gowanus will be hosting two simultaneous competitions: one for the best food dish where beer is part of the recipe, and one for the best homemade brew.
On the one hand, being a judge of the latter competition seems like a dream come true: who wouldn’t want to spend a warm Sunday in June swigging endless different beers. Then again, these are novice brewmasters, many of whom are probably not up to the task. Being assigned to evaluate their respective “performances,” I’d feel obligated to berate the less talented with clever, ever-changing put-downs à la Simon Cowell. This can be quite stressful. How many ways of saying “this tastes like piss,” are there in the end?
*In which case, God help you.