Tuesday, September 19, 2006

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

I am starting to love the beer podcast. Is it just me?

I saw an article yesterday, and it got me thinking about how Coors has a strange stable of beers. They produce all of the following:

Coors/Coors Light/Coors Extra Gold Lager
Molson Canadian
Keystone/Keystone Light/Keystone Ice
Killian's Irish Red
Zima (in 5 flavors)
Blue Moon (Belgian White & Pumpkin)
Winterfest (limited, seasonal)

So for the most part, they do cheap, light beer, targeted to the masses, who plan to drink a lot of beer, probably in a can, maybe while standing in a driveway. Right? Oh, and Zima for the girls who don't like beer. Because who drinks wine coolers these days, anyway?

The seasonal Winterfest is likely brewed to attempt to win awards and justify a handcrafted claim on anything they sell. And that's cool. But Killian's and Blue Moon are the odd balls, requiring completely flipped marketing and support. Coors Light or Keystone drinkers are not microbrew drinkers, but microbrew drinkers don't drink Blue Moon and Killian's. Which means they have to walk a fine line down the middle of the road. And the middle of the road is never a FUN! EXCITING! place to be.

Killian's has an identity crisis, being a dark beer brewed by a macro brewer domestically, but with a faux Irish heritage in the name. Coors will probably continue to postion it as a microbrew in order to justify higher price tags, but it could be a stand out at the lower end of the cooler.
BeerAdvocate reviewers were disappointed with it's super-filtered, clear appearance, quickly dissapating head and sweet aftertaste. Regardless of packaging or shelf positioning it may recieve, it is plain to the real beer snobs that this stuff is mass produced in the same way that Coors is done. My absolute favorite review comment was, “The 'exotic' beer you can find at your local dive bar when only other choices are Bud and Bud Light.” He followed this up with this, "Also, if being consumed at that same dive bar, be prepared to get crap from your macrobrew drinking pals or old college roommate about being a “Beer Yuppie”… (Don't feel bad for them, they have NO idea what real beer is.)"

You know I bounce back & forth from beer snob to crap-beer-lover, so some days this is fine for me, and others, not so much. It's kind of like everything else in life. Sometimes I like oatmeal, sometimes I don't. But fall is coming. The temperature is dropping, leaves are blowing, and I am remembering how much I love wearing hoodie sweatshirts. Thick dark beer happens to also represent my favorite season of all, so I suspect the reviews will get darker, as do the days.