Anthony Bourdain, a fan of San Francisco's "two-fisted" drinking culture — "Anyone who doesn't have a great time in San Francisco is pretty much dead to me" as he once said — has found one objectionable aspect of our current scene: The craft beer-swilling, brew flight-ordering crowd.
In a lengthy interview with Thrillist that could be described generously as "free wheeling," one in a series of tangents pertains to an unnamed beer bar in San Francisco. Bourdain has taken heat in the past from beer snobs who can't handle the fact that their foodie bro icon doesn't care for the recent beer boom — he's said as much, and does here again — and now he compares some SF beer drinkers to automatons.
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 fucking Mumford and Sons IPA. People get all bent about it. But look, I like cold beer. And I like to have a good time. I don't like to talk about beer, honestly. I don't like to talk about wine. I like to drink beer. If you bring me a really good one, a good craft beer, I will enjoy it, and say so. But I'm not gonna analyze it.
I was in San Francisco, and I was desperate for beer, and I walked into this place. I thought it was an old bar. And I sat down, and I looked up, and I noticed there was a wide selection of beers I'd never heard of. Which is fine. OK, I'm in some sort of brew pub. What's good? 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 fucking Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This is wrong. This is not what a bar is about. A bar is to go to get a little bit buzzed, and pleasantly derange the senses, and have a good time, and interact with other people, or make bad decisions, or feel bad about your life. It's not to sit there fucking analyzing beer. It's antithetical.
If your dream is still to get a drink with Anthony Bourdain, better stick to Mr. Bing's, a bar he's celebrated before and whose reprieve from a possible closure/remodel he reportedly applauded. At least his Invasion of the Body Snatchers metaphor is San Francisco-related — it's among our film critic/SF Native columnist Rain Jokinen's favorite filmic depictions of the city. Related: How soon do you think a local brewery will be brewing an "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers Triple IPA,' we wonder? And what bar is he talking about? Dying to find out and go there with notepad in hand.