I want to preface this post by saying that I am a normal, rational human being and don’t buy into any conspiracy theories/cryptozoological phenomenon except: Sasquatch, chemtrails, Area 51, Elvis still being alive, the British Royal family being lizard people from space, aliens building the pyramids, the lost city of Atlantis, HAARP, and New Coke.
I definitely didn’t consider the X-Files a very well done, long-running documentary series, so don’t ask (because they’re listening).
::repositions tinfoil hat::
Like any good conspiracy theorist, I’m not going to let finicky facts or dubious data get in the way of what I believe. I’m just gonna go with what my gut (and the chip implanted in my skull) is telling me on this one:
Big Beer (read MillerCoors and ABInBev) is intentionally brewing bad beer to trick macro drinkers into staying loyal to their mainstay beers.
Not following? The proof is right in front of us, we just have to open our eyes to the truth.
Take the new Miller Fortune, for example. The Miller marketing masterminds are throwing every craft-like thing they can at this beer, from its description including “hints of bourbon” (which may or may not be trying to reference the run of bourbon aged craft beers we’ve seen of late), trying to serve it in special glassware, and this direct quote from the press release that suggests this beer will transcend normal drinking somehow:
“With that in mind, we developed Miller Fortune to provide consumers with a unique and deliciously balanced option to elevate their drinking experience.”
They want Joe-Adjunct-Lager to think this is a craft beer. Or at the very least, representative of craft beer. They want every average Miller Lite jockey to pick this up and assume they’re in on the “craft beer scene” by drinking this beer. That’s a key step to this whole, sneaky process.
There’s one fatal flaw that contradicts all of the sleek promotional gimmicks: it tastes like Jersey Devil urine. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration. It tastes more like hummus that rolled out of a grocery bag in the trunk of someone’s Toyota Prius only to be discovered, fuzzing with green life, some indeterminable amount of time later. No, no, too extreme. But it does have a certain, familiar, wretch-inducing aroma. A taste like a wisp of memory on my tongue, of a time spent blurred, on a college campus but not part of this reality, with large glass bottles taped to my hands.
Ah, yes. Malt liquor. That’s the taste I was looking for.
You could do a blind taste test, and I’d put $1000 dollars on no one, not even the most refined Colt 45 connoisseur, being able to pick out Miller Fortune in a line up with Olde English 800, Hurricane High Gravity, and (my personal favorite) King Cobra. I should also note that MillerCoors owns the Olde English 800 brand, and it may have crossed my mind that all they did was pour some of that into different bottles, garnish it with a fancy ad campaign, and hope no one noticed. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
Even if it is just re-branded 40oz gold, it still doesn’t taste good. I guess the 6.9% ABV is supposed to offset this by sheer factors of drunkification, but if this is supposed to be some new flavor territory just waiting to be charted by adventurous, treasure seeking, beer archaeologists, it fails. This is like Indiana Jones and the Walmart Crusade. A bad idea that should have never left the brainstorming session, horribly executed to the tune of several million dollars.
It’s a bad beer. I think it was brewed that way deliberately. But why? Because craft (or whatever we want to call “good” beer these days) is winning. Slowly chipping away at the market share, slowly stealing Friday-night happy hours and paychecks from the maws of the adjuncted overlords.
And I think they are panicking. Their stranglehold is weakening; the more they tighten their beery grip, the more drinkers slip through their fingers. So they get desperate, and do stuff like this. They get a non-craft drinker to try something new – hey, it’s from their good old friend Miller, after all – with the (secret?) hopes that they’ll hate it.
And when they hate it, what does the drinker do? They form opinions about all craft beer. They tried the “craft beer thing” having downed a few bottles of Miller Fortune. All that “complex flavor” and “bourbon aging” isn’t for them. They don’t need a fancy glass; they still prefer to drink straight from the can or bottle.
Then they go out, buy another 30-rack of Miller Lite, and Miller wins.
Or so Miller hopes.
::puts on anti-radiation suit::
I have to go get the mail.