On Friday May 18th I wrote a pretty aggressive and negative post about what I deemed “gimmick beers”. This was largely driven by the recent launches of Coors Light Iced Tea and Bud Light Lime Mojito. Of course the gimmick beer list does not stop there, but they received the bulk of my wrath on that particular day. You can read the entire post here if you want to refresh your memory.
This post was met with a lot of commentary on here, on Twitter, and elsewhere. I appreciate all the feedback and I’m certainly happy the post did exactly what it was intended to do which is generate some discussion. For the most part I found that people agreed with me and I appreciate that. However I also appreciate that some people disagreed with the post and are in favour of these types of beers. Of course I knew there would be those in favour, that doesn’t surprise me in the least, otherwise these products wouldn’t be created and wouldn’t sell.
The commentary which struck me most was from @jps_82 who argued this type of innovation is not new to the industry. True. He also pointed out that people all around the world, for centuries, have mixed beer with a variety of other drinks. Beer margaritas in Mexico, beer in lemonade Germany. True. Heck I’ll even add one to the list as beer and tomato juice is hugely popular right here in Ontario. But it’s not peoples desire to mix beer with other things that rattles me. Go ahead. I’ll admit these are not ideal for me, but the concept of mixing a regular beer with something else doesn’t get me as fired up as the aforementioned “gimmick beers”.
Here’s my issue with them – using Coors Light Iced Tea as an example. It’s that I enjoy the production of beer using the 4 basic ingredients and appreciate the brewmasters work within this basic framework.
Coors Light Iced Tea: Beer:
- Barley – A starch (Barley)
- Hops – Hops
- Yeast - Yeast
- Water – Water
- Blend of Tea Botanicals
The point of this blog is to educate my readers and to pass along my thoughts and recommendations on how you can better enjoy your experiences with beverage alcohol. The point of “somewhere the beer gods are cringing” was not just to slam these beers but to continue to encourage the consumption of the wonderful craft beers this country has to offer. To me that is where the beer experience is truly enjoyed and enhanced. But here is where I went wrong… I gave zero credit to those out there who may enjoy these products and to whom these products will actually enhance their experience. Or to those who may not like beer but these “gimmick beers” get them as close as they’re going to get. So I stand by the notion that these beers are a marketing ploy designed to increase consumption and to steal market share from the growing spirit segment. I also stand by the fact that to me they are not going to be on my list for enjoyment. But at the end of the day there is one thing I know and appreciate more than anything else and that is that alcohol is a very subjective subject. One’s favourite drinks can elicit strong support as well strong emotions and a sense of loyalty. If Coors Light Iced Tea (or other) does that for you than I say enjoy. It simply doesn’t for me.
Follow me on Twitter: @towineman