This display of beef on the second floor of the Atwater Market illustrates a concept about beer that I have had in my brain for years. To me with my limited understanding of cattle dissection, these are a number of joints of beef of various states of aging that - when sliced with a band saw by a skilled butcher - become a stack of T-bone steaks. T-bone is such a poor name for the cut. Are these also bits of Porterhouses and Delmonicos? People better versed in the cultures of beef could tell me.
Anyway, the point is what does the display tell us? Click in the image for a bigger view. It screams at you that this beef is splendid at the same time as being a bit grotesque. Life and death are both there before us. Yet this is a merchant's display, the height of a special skill asking for lots of your money. No stupid branding. No box that you have to buy that pumps up the price. Not even an overlay of a contrived narrative that explains why the beef is the best because it is remotely related to the Aztecs or Dickens. It is just bare faced - even bald - beef telling you it is worth it.
Is it? Is it worth it? I only bought a venison roast and a slew of species formed into sausage and pate so I can't tell you. The only analogy I can think of is the brewery that lays it all before you, shows you the grain sacks and metal machines which made the beer that you are filling that growler with. No recourse to excuses built on vague passions. No rock stars. No artists. Just that skill and a confidence in that skill. Take this beef and make something of it - if you dare. The best sort of breweries do this, too, in their way. They take you and what they do seriously.