Fortunately, differences of opinion in the wider world of beer seldom escalate to thermonuclear modes of response, although to be sure, it has happened before. It is in the realm of local affairs – politics, neighborhoods, law enforcement and the like – that the contestants can get testy, and do.
Of course, Internet discourse (is it really?) has a habit of elevating otherwise innocuous levels of human dysfunction to those on a par with Pol Pot and Joe Stalin. That’s because anonymity is the greatest single enabler of cowardice yet to be devised by the mind of man, and the Internet is the ideal way of distributing the contagion.
For every courageous pamphleteer or whistle-blower, there are 1,000 craven character assassins waging bilious Jihad against whomever and whatever annoys them.
You can easily imagine how much of this dullness is directed toward threatening figures like me in a place like New Albany. After all, I'm an atheist who has traveled some, and even read a book once. Here in Nawbany, I’m variously accused of imposing progress on poor little God-fearing white folks, and simultaneously standing in its way.
I’m not sure how that's possible, and yet I'm regularly reminded by people wearing hoods that no one really wants NABC's beer, and the business is bankrupt (when not funneling money from corrupt politicians to pay the electrical bills), and I'm a "drunkist" who fleeces little old ladies to keep a sinking ship afloat. These people know more about my company than I do. It's stunning,
My recent favorite is when an anonymous Internet commentator was driving past Bank Street Brewhouse and saw only two people seated at the bar, leading to the conclusion that NABC must be failing. Of course, the troglodyte in question drove past the bar after closing time, and the previous night did the best business of the year to date; no matter, he or she saw it, and context makes no difference when spiteful agitprop is the goal.
Such an individual wouldn’t want lies told about him or her, but attacking someone else somehow makes it right, especially when you can hide while tossing brickbats.
My biggest regret when it comes to anonymity is that I'm forever denied the pleasure of telling them to %$#@ off to their faces. Here’s another recent exchange, troglodyte in italics, my response following.
Have you seen the old nasty looking bread truck that advertises piss brew that is parked for weeks at the corner of bank and spring?
"You have a few correct words, but they're placed in the wrong order.
"Nasty is the nickname of a bartender I know.
"The truck in question was never used for bread.
"However, once upon a time it was indeed used for piss brew, i.e., Miller Lite. It was owned by a Miller distributorship. We cured it of piss brew by adaptively reusing it for craft beer, and the rest of it is history -- and a dullard's anonymity."