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Wonderfully Awful: Beer O’ Clock


a blogumn by Robin Rosenzweig

I like beer. But more often than not, I’m too cheap to spring for expensive import or craft beers. Quite frankly, on a hot summer day, sometimes there’s nothing better than a cool and refreshing domestic light beer. But which one should I choose? Unfortunately, as of late, advertising for some of the big names in beer don’t do anything to help me understand how good they taste. In fact, they do everything they can to dance around the flavor issue – and sometimes to a comical degree.

Photo Credit: edwin.bautista -- click on the pic to get his Miller Lite review!

I’ll start with Coors and Coors Light, whose recent ad campaign focuses not on the fresh flavor coming direct from the Rockies. Instead, it’s about the Cold Activation Window, which is in essence just a hole in the cardboard case so you can touch the can and know whether or not it’s cold. Ooh! Ahh! Uhh…really? So let me get this right – we, as humans, are incapable of figuring out the difference between a warm and cold can and need special technology (aka a hole in the box) to let us know that our beers are chilled. Sure, it’s convenient to be able to reach through the case to touch a can to know if it’s cold, but that said, I’ve never had problems with knowing when my beer is or is not cold. Maybe I’m just too old school for this futuristic Coors Cold Activation Window technology. And while you’re at it, get the hell off of my lawn!

Let’s move on to the Miller Brewing Company, who recently introduced the Miller Lite Vortex Bottle. The folks behind the epic 80’s “great taste – less filling” campaign are now trying to sell us on a special bottle with twisty grooves on the inside that allow the beer to pour out easily (ooh, mother effin’ aww!…?). Now, as someone who is really good at spilling my beer everywhere, I will admit there is a certain appeal to what is essentially a dummy-proof bottle. But not everyone is as clumsy as I am. And I’m having a hard time believing that people are actually drawn to Miller Lite over other domestic light beers simply because of a bottle with grooves in the neck. Light beer can be in any kind of bottle it wants to be in so long as it has two qualities – really good taste and a propensity toward not making me feel full. So how about getting back to what’s important, eh, Miller Lite?

Finally, time to talk about the little brother to the King of Beers – Bud Light – and their “the difference is drinkability” campaign. This would be the first of the big three American brewers to mention actual flavor in their recent advertising. But what does it mean to say your beer is more drinkable than other beers? Are they saying that Miller Lite and Coors Light are not, in fact, liquids that are able to be swallowed? Maybe they are trying to say that their competitors will induce vomiting upon ingestion. Well, I suppose when it comes to large amounts, they are not entirely incorrect.

Now, let’s be real for a second here. I’m not drawn toward domestic light beers because they are the best tasting beers on the market. But that being said, it’s time that American beer commercials get back to what’s really important: that beer will magically turn your boring party into a rockin’ oasis of beautiful women (and one super cool dog) all clamoring to spend some quality time with whatever schlubby guys are hosting. Oh yeah, and the flavor.