07 August 2012

City Paper covers National Premium

Wednesday's edition of the City Paper has a fascinating cover story (well, kind of--the cover photo is a "cheesecake-y" vintage poster from the company) on the revival of the National Premium beer brand and recipe by Easton realtor Tim Miller, titled "Lager of Love."

For those who enjoy the history of beer, beer marketing, and advertising and branding, the story will be a fascinating read.  Indeed, the question actually arose as to whether or not the old National premium recipe could be accurately reproduced in 2012, even if one had the original brewery and recipe at hand.  Even the die-hard "extreme beer" fan who wouldn't use National Bohemian to rinse out his beer glasses will find some worthwhile reading in this piece, if only to possibly reinforce a few negative assumptions about beer branding and marketing in the modern "beer renaissance" era.

Go grab the (free) paper out of its yellow box, or read the article here.


JohnM. said...

"For those who enjoy the history of beer, beer marketing, and advertising and branding, the story will be a fascinating read."

"Fascinating" is probably a bit strong, but the story is interesting. However, there's nothing about the story that would make me want to run right out and buy a 6 pack. For that matter, at $8 a 6 pack, isn't that right in line with what Sierra Nevada Pale Ale costs in this market? I realize it's a completely different beer, but assuming money is an issue when purchasing beer, it would probably be a cold day in hell before I'd grab a sixer of National Premium over a sixer of SNPA.

And for the record Alex, I think National Premium would make a fine rinsing agent after I've downed a couple of pints of Loose Cannon or BA resurrection ale. Cheers!

Jason Bberg said...

I saw and purchased National Premium for $7.49 a six at Total Wine in Laurel. The beer was not bad at all and quite good...but at that price it will not be a consistent "buy". I agree with the prior post that there are many better beers at this price point. A shame and hopefully the price comes down a bit so more people will enjoy.

JohnM. said...

Agreed Jason. I don't think the new owner has really thought through the price point angle on this beer.

At $8 a sixer, who does he think is going to be buying this beer? A craft beer drinker like myself might buy a bottle, simply out of curiosity, but I'm fairly confident my first bottle will be my last bottle. BMC drinkers might find the beer interesting, especially those living in the Baltimore area, but this beer is priced several dollars over what a sixer costs of bud, the high life and curs. Trying to convince BMC drinkers that National premium is a super, high end version of what they currrently drink, and so merits a couple of buck upcharge... I that's going to be a pretty tough sales job. Pretty hard for me to see a lot repeat customer busines for National Premium.

Back in the 60's American beer consumers didn't have a whole lot of options, so I suspect it was a lot easier to feed consumers a line of bull, that they were getting something special when they bought National Premium. I guess it hasn't really dawned on Mr. Miller that the beer consuming landscape has changed just a bit since the days when Natty Premie was considered a high end, "premium" light lager.