Being a beer critic is a low-risk low-reward paradigm. You take the vibrant product that someone else created, distill it into actual piss, and then point out faults. It is inherently DEconstructive and never appears productive. You co-opt someone else’s work and your entire art is based upon deriding the vulnerability of their efforts. Industry niceties even effectively bind them with a gag order from responding. I am all too aware of the scope of my “art.” if all else fails, you can envelop yourself in a shroud of intersubjectivity and negate all in criticism. Brewers do not have this luxury. Brewing beer is an inherently productive act, in the Platonic “pursuit of the good” sort of manner. You are coordinating billions cells to create culture, to influence culture, and thereby modify Culture. With the highest risk of creation comes the vulnerability of presentation, injecting sticky life liquid into a crowd of petulant hateful consumers whose own confirmation of self-worth is the metabolization of everything a someone else has made. The consumer chews through and emits toxicity not unlike the propagated cultures themselves. There is a solipsistic balance to the process. It’s a fantastic dance. Today I grip the mash paddle and the Moleskin as a pulpit of ultimate self-indulgence, the cringe of deconstructing something that I helped create: Highland Park Brewing’s Taking Donations.