Have you ever noticed the way American beer commercials emphasize packaging gimmicks? The wide-mouth can. The label that turns blue when it’s cold. The easy-pour vent. The shelf pack that fits better in your fridge.
Are there people who peruse the beer aisle thinking, “hmm… you know I really enjoy [favorite microbrew/import], but it pours all splashy, and I can’t tell if it’s cold without picking it up. I guess I’ll take the Coors.”
In the same vein, I was listening to the radio the other day, and a commercial for Miller Lite came on. Apparently, they took the top award for “American Style Light Lager” at the World Beer Cup in 1996, ’98, ’02 and ’06. Well whoop-dee-doo. American Style Light Lager? Really? There’s an award for that? How many beers could possibly be competing in the American Style Light Lager category? “American Style” itself narrows the field quite a bit, since American microbreweries typically produce traditional European style beers. This leaves you with just the big brands. When you add “Light” to the mix, you’re down to what, three beers? And Miller Lite is bragging that they won the top award only four times in the last twelve years.
The thing is, I don’t actually have a problem with the taste of some of the big brand American beers. I’m more than happy to drink MGD at a ball game.
They way these guys mostly brag about the packaging though, you’d think they’re embarrassed about their own product.