Why PBR Is Cool
Researchers have figured out what makes a
not special beer like Pabst Blue Ribbon so
improbably cool. A new study says that
radiating a sense of autonomy is what really
counts. So to seem hip, brands should
deviate (but not too much) from social norms
considered unnecessary, repressive or
illegitimate. And PBR does just that.
PBR's strategy was to have beer drinkers
feel they were were choosing the beer without
the pressure of a major marketing campaign.
Then they actively promoted
the beer via decidedly anti-mainstream
marketing tactics. to a demographic that
was already attracted to the beer's blue-
collar feel and low price point.
PBR's new marketing campaign purposefully
avoided the mainstream, things like Super
Bowl TV ads in favor of sponsorship of "hip"
events like bike messenger rodeos (don't
ask) and anything that presented an
Japan Is In Virgina??
If you've been buying the Japanese "import" Kirin beer brand under the impression it's actually
made in Asia, you've been misled. And you've probably been paying too much for the beer.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, which owns Kirin alongside giant brands like Budweiser and Bud Light,
recently settled a class-action lawsuit filed in Miami that alleged “the packaging, marketing and
advertising of Kirin beer is designed to deceive consumers into believing they are purchasing a
product made in Japan.” In fact, Kirin—described as a “Japanese-style pilsner” on the
Anheuser-Busch website—is brewed in Virginia and southern California.
Here are four more beers brewed in places that might surprise you:
Beck’s. Like Kirin, this Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned brand is the subject of a class-action lawsuit
claiming deceptive marketing because the labels use phrases such as “Originated in Germany”
and “German Quality.” Beck’s is actually brewed in 15 different countries, including the U.S.,
so the Beck’s you buy in this country was most likely produced here.
Foster’s Lager. Billed as a “uniquely Australian beer” by corporate parent SABMiller, Foster’s
has been brewed in Texas for years. British pub patrons may also be surprised to know t
hat the Foster’s on tap there is made in Manchester, England, not Down Under.
Red Stripe. When sold in the U.S., the iconic grenade bottles of Red Stripe used to feature
the word “Imported” on its label. But starting in 2012, when production for the U.S. market
was switched from Jamaica to Wisconsin, the Diageo-Guinnness-owned beer dropped the “I”
word and tweaked the label to reflect its status as merely a “Jamaican Style Lager.”
Nonetheless, plenty of drinkers assume it’s still made and imported from the Caribbean.
Bass Ale, the “original English Pale Ale” that was actually served on the Titanic, is now
also brewed in the U.S. (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), and some drinkers sure aren’t happy about
how the American-produced version tastes
the crossroads of the beer world
An Icelandic micro-brewery has announced
its new beer will be flavoured with
smoked whales' testicles. And they weren't kidding.
The Stedji brewery's Hvalur 2 beer is being sold
for a limited period to mark the Icelandic midwinter
month of Thorri,. The testicles of fin whales -
which are an endangered species - are cured
"according to an old, Icelandic tradition" before
being salted and smoked, with one being used
per brewing. "We want to create a true Thorri
atmosphere," says Dagbjartur Ariliusson, a
co-owner of the brewery.
The Stedji brewery angered conservationists in
2014 by making a beer which contained other
whale parts, including bones and intestines. The
Whale and Dolphin Conservation group described
it as "immoral and outrageous" to use whale meat
to make beer. The product was temporarily
banned by public health authorities, but later
sold out in alcohol shops. The same officials are
currently considering another ban on this new
beer along with a substantial fine for ignoring
prior rulings and court decisions.