Food by VICE

It's Tuesday, January 29, and There's an International Craft Beer Grifter Afoot

Plus: shockingly, "Build that Wall" Valentine's cookies didn't go over super well.

by Hannah Keyser
Jan 29 2019, 4:33pm

Getty Images/inhauscreative

Welcome to Off-Menu, where we'll be rounding up all the food news and food-adjacent internet ephemera that delighted, fascinated, or infuriated us this morning.


  • Kentucky Sports Radio has the story of a "craft beer con man" named Steven Foster who has spent the past decade-plus talking his way into a job as brewmaster for at least ten different budding breweries all over the world only to disappear and leave his business partners in a lurch when people realize...his beer is bad. Foster has given different backstories (and sometimes even different names) at different points in his grifting career, but KSR has sketched out a rough timeline based on various reports of farms and breweries that had to shutter suddenly after working with him. Far be it from me to tell a scam artist how to do his job, but after you've dedicated something like a dozen years to lying about being able to make beer, you'd think he could just...learn to make better beer? At this point, Foster has to be trying to not get better, right?
  • Amy Schumer's baby shower cake has pubes and a butthole and should be served to sex-ed classes.
  • A lot of outlets are saying that the Washington D.C. baker who wrote "Build that Wall" on a Valentine's Day cookie apologized after the obvious backlash. But, uh, did he? Edmonds Bakery owner Ken Bellingham told NBC affiliate King 5 News that the cookie was intended to be "a joke," that he "[doesn't] think building a wall will solve our problems," and that the response has been "more hateful" than the cookie itself. None of which is an apology. "I try to be funny," he said by way of explanation, after apparently failing to comprehend that treating hateful, racist rallying cries as a punchline is, in fact, precisely the thing people took issue with.
  • Russian post offices are now selling beer as a way of "increasing the viability of post offices and attracting additional money," which is sort of funny and cute; and also as part of an effort to "give the public access to high-quality, legal alcoholic beverages...because over 1,200 people are poisoned by low-quality alcohol every year," which is...less so.

Not News

Unless you are scooping it out of the jar with your hands and smearing it around the inside of your cabinet, you have not been "storing peanut butter wrong all along." Please stop hacking my home and writing headlines that make it sound like you've been peering through my windows to assess my food storage habits.

Something Nice

Vice has a new meme game show and it has nothing to do with food, but it is very funny and will make your day better.

Buy This Bucket

banana Laffy Taffy

One thousand and ninety people have reviewed this bucket of banana-flavored Laffy Taffy—and 22 people answered such questions as "description states it contains grape, but package shown does not include grape. Is grape included in the container?" (Answer: No.)—which says something beautiful about how there is no fandom too niche that you cannot find an equally-impassioned community.

build the wall