22 July 2010

Are they brewers or just publicity-crazy nut-jobs?

You know, if you read this blog, the odds are it's likely that you have already heard by now about the latest bit of wretched excess from the folks that brought you 32% "beer" and then 41% "beer."

I'm not going to play along this time. There's no chance you're going to see it or get the opportunity to taste it. This is just a publicity gimmick for publicity's and gimmickry's sake. I was offended enough by the idiocy of Sam Adams putting probably $40 worth of beer in a ceramic bottle costing probably as much, and selling the results for $125 or so (or up). And I'm not the only one to comment that this latest stunt may well be their "jump the shark" moment.

James and Martin: Knock it off and brew up BEERS. Beers that I actually want to drink.

Casey, I'll take a Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted again, please.......

(Okay, for the few of you that need to figure out just what I'm talking about: here.)


david.m. said...

Fads come, fads go. And this is most certainly a non-sustainable fad. In 5 years you wont hear about any of this.
I will point out, I bought a bottle of DuClaw's Colossus pretty much on your recommendation (have not drunk it yet, however). Where do you draw the line? (not a challenge, by the way, just an honest question.)

The Oriole Way said...

Of course its a publicity stunt, and frankly, a damn good one at that. I would never have heard of Brew Dog if it wasn't for their crazy antics and extreme beers. Now I have and always keep an eye out for their "normal" releases at the liquor store. Those beers can be quite good, especially the Paradox series. To each his own, but I think these guys are excellent ambassadors for the craft beer industry.

As for the cost complaints, it's like this with any fine product. It doesn't costs hundreds of dollars a bottle to produce some of the world's finest wines, yet that's the price they command. Sure, I'll never get to try some damn good beers because they are waaaay out of my price range, but if a few high margin products can help sustain the industry, more power to the brewers.

Brandon Miller - Milhouse44 said...

A beer served from road kill dressed up in outfits? HILARIOUS! There is a fine line between the over used ‘Jumping the Shark’ (Sit on it, Potsie!) and setting the bar. They are pushing the marketing envelope in different directions and having fun (and making money, hopefully). Fad or not you have strike while the iron is hot. I’ll have my beer poured from a dead stoat in a tuxedo any day.

Jay Zeis said...

They can brew whatever they want, as long as they keep making awesome beers like 5 A.M. Saint. (and I know you love Tokyo*)

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Jay, just for argument's sake, IS there a "beer" where you would draw the line? Octopus-tentacle beer? Pornographic-molestation beer? Jihad-against-jihadists beer?

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

David: To me, it's all about the beer. It's easy to pick out the beers that are all marketing gimmick and no beer substance: Wanker, Bad Frog, Romulan Ale, Corona, and (arguable) Frederick's Hempen Ale. Some folks would add Bud, Miller, Heineken, etc. to that list

But there are, and will be, other beers out there that are up for great debate. Flying Dog and Dogfish Head, for example, are about 50% great beers and 50% marketing hype and "attitude." And the sad reality is that without this marketing hype, Dogfish wouldn't be expanding (again) and Wild Goose would have been long dead (heard anything out of Fordham lately?).

Beer geeks/snobs wince visibly at some of the marketing excesses being employed by some of the brewers, just as I do every time someone orders a Miller Lite at Max's Taphouse or a Bud Light at Pratt Street Ale House. But the realists among us know the fine art of compromise, that those bottles of "dreck' pay the mortgage or substantial tax bills and make possible our lovely havens. It takes more bal--er, nerves and a better situation than most beer brewing players have to stay true to a shrine of only your own stuff or the exclusive and upscale, like Brewer's Art does (more or less).