Even if you don’t know them by name, you’re likely familiar with the excellent work Chad and JT—the duo of legendary bros best known as “Chad Goes Deep”—have done to promote the virtues of partying, raising the stoke, and being chill to one another over the years.
In 2017, Chad burst onto the scene when he spoke at a San Clemente City Council meeting to passionately lobby for the erection of a 12-foot Paul Walker statue on the city’s pier. Later that year, he was joined by JT at another hearing on behalf of everyone who would be impacted by a proposed ban on house parties in the Hollywood Hills.
Over the past year, the Chad Goes Deep guys have turned their attention to a new worthy cause: traveling around the United States as New Belgium’s official “Chief Seltzer Officers” to spread the good word of Fruit Smash Hard Seltzer while pushing back against the many misconceptions a lot of drinkers have about the adult beverage that became all the rage a few years ago.
Their journey has brought them around the country, where they attempted to convince locals in towns including Ding Dong, Texas, and Intercourse, Pennsylvania to raise the stoke by embracing the Fruit Smash life.
I was recently blessed with the chance to chat with Chad and JT for a conversation where the Chief Seltzer Officers reflected on their quest and shared some of the lessons they’ve learned along the way.
That included a discussion about the far too pervasive acts of “seltzer shaming” they’ve both witnessed and been personally subjected to on a number of occasions, and I’m honored to be able to relay the knowledge they shared about the strides they’ve made and strategies they’ve harnessed to fight back against that particular form of discrimination.
Chad And JT On Their Mission To Change How People Look At Hard Seltzer
Chad: “One thing we try to do is tear away these preconceptions about things that people might have shame over. We just figured that a lot of people— like hardcore beer drinkers—see hard seltzer at the bar or see dudes or ladies ordering it at a wedding, and they’ll sort of be like, ‘Dude, that’s cool for you, but I’m old-fashioned.’
We came to these towns to say, ‘What up? This is Fruit Smash. This is a new hard seltzer, and it’s dank.’
I think to have two cool dudes just say to you straight up, ‘It’s dank’ sort of just smashes any shame you might have. Then they drink it and they’re obviously 100% on board.”
JT: “We love everybody. We want to be close to everyone and meet everyone. I had never met a Mennonite from Pennsylvania, I had never met a deer hunter from Climax, Georgia, and I had never met a TSA agent in a deep way. Fruit Smash served as a kind of a fast track to get to know those people.
A lot of people use the phrase, ‘breaking bread,’ but I’d prefer to say ‘pop a can.’ That’s what we did with a lot of different people, and now I just feel more connected to my brethren of this nation.”
Chad And JT Define What It’s Like To Be “Seltzer Shamed”
JT: “Seltzer shaming can come in a ton of shapes and forms. Sometimes it can be verbal, sometimes it’s just a sideways glance, and sometimes it’s like getting jumped by ten guys who work for beer distributors.”
Chad: “Sometimes some dudes will call you names like ‘Seltzy.’ They’ll be like, ‘Oh, there’s Seltzy coming in trying to play beer pong.” Then you just have to come in hot and be like, ‘It’s seltzer pong now, chief.’ I think that’s true growth.
I actually got shamed before I became a Chief Seltzer Officer. When I went to my buddy Peter’s wedding in Chicago, I ordered a hard seltzer. and he was like, “Dude, hard seltzer?’ I didn’t wanna be aggro, but he’s my buddy, so I sorta just grabbed him, held him close, chugged it in his face, and then smashed the can.
Recently, I told him I was a CSO and he was like, ‘Dude, I remember that chug, and honestly, I’m jealous of your new career.'”
JT: “It’s funny, because when Fruit Smash told us we were going to be CSOs, that’s also Denzel Washington’s job title in Crimson Tide: Chief Submarine Officer. I thought we were gonna be giving people Fruit Smash on nuclear subs.”
Chad: “Actually, there are a lot of times when seltzer haters will come at us like Gene Hackman in Crimson Tide. They’ll try to play chicken with us. They’ll be like, ‘You’re not gonna chug that seltzer, are you? You’re not gonna chug it.’ I’m like, ‘I am gonna chug it’ and they say, ‘Well, you can’t beat me at chugging my beer.’
Then you beat them at chugging their beer and then they truly respect you, sort of like the way Gene Hackman respects Denzel Washington at the end of that movie. Except they have nukes and we have seltzers.”
JT: “Their cordiality while debating the merits of firing off preemptive nukes was not dissimilar to me and Chad’s respect for those who felt seltzer shame or were trying to impose seltzer shame. We were always trying to connect and convince, but never to the point of insubordination.”
On The Best Way To Combat Seltzer Shaming
Chad: I would say the best way to deal with seltzer shaming is usually a flash dance that ends in the smashing of a can. I think it’s been proven that group dances can make a real impact in the world.
JT and I have a choreographed group dance that we’ll do. If we see some conflict coming up, he and I will just dance and then present the can. They’re so thrown off by it, and a lot of the time, they’ll just want to drink a Fruit Smash with us instead of fighting us.”
If you want to join the movement, here’s where you can track down some Fruit Smash for yourself.
WHERE TO BUY FRUIT SMASH HARD SELTZER?
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