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"Your beer is like swill to us."

Bars, wine, beer, cocktails, drunken escapades

Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby gargantua » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:12 pm

I'll happily self-identify as a beer snob. I just happen to like beer that I can [i]taste[i]. I understand that lots of people like cheap, mass-produced things like PBR and Miller and they have a right to.

Some people are particular about their wine, others favor different types of whiskey, or scotch, and they're proud of their knowledge and refined tastes. Same with microbrews. So what? We drinkers are fortunate to live in these times, with so many great choices available.
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby Walter » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:17 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:
ilikebeans wrote:
Walter wrote:When I can't have Special Export, I'll settle for Heineken.

I see you prefer an entire dead squirrel.

Image
Had to be done.


The next time you see a guy at Mickey's with a squirrel in his hand, that'll be me.
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby Petro » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:21 pm

ilikebeans wrote:Can someone please explain to me how PBR came to be the hipster/indie rock beer of choice? I mean, it's not bad, but there are plenty of others that would also fit the bill.

Was there some marketing campaign I missed?


Everything that I've heard and read on the topic would point to the fact that you didn't miss any sort of marketing campaign; and that's (allegedly) precisely why the hipsters love it: the utter lack of marketing.

At least that's probably what might have started the trend. The ability to get PBR tallboys for less than the cost of a decent haul of change out of the depths of the sofa is probably a decent reinforcement, too. Once you've got a trend started, it just fuels itself.

I knew things were out of hand when I paid over $20 for a 30-pack at D&D one night.
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Hell, they probably LIKE squirrel fucking

Postby Marvell » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:38 pm

Your beer is like swill to me. Sorry.

The last time I drank PBR was at the Harmony softball tournament. It was free, and I'd just played a ten-inning game in the August sun.

It was foul, gruelish swill, and when someone handed me a can of Capital US Ale I blessed them - not because I particularly care for US Ale, but it was not PBR.

Reverse beer snobs - squirrel fucking's too good for them.
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby Walter » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 am

Marvell wrote:Reverse beer snobs - squirrel fucking's too good for them.


Once you go tree rat, you know where it's at.
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby scratch » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:42 am

ilikebeans wrote:Can someone please explain to me how PBR came to be the hipster/indie rock beer of choice? I mean, it's not bad, but there are plenty of others that would also fit the bill.
Was there some marketing campaign I missed?


Oddly enough something very similar occurred in the 1970s when PBR (and Jack Daniels) became identified with country rock. I don't recall a media marketing campaign, but it was a pervasive trend for a few years. Lots of space cowboyish bands had the PBR or JD logo on their drum kits. I worked at a self-service gas station back then where the proprietor made no profit on the gasoline, and in fact Conoco made us close early if we sold more than our allotment of gas (it was during the oil embargo). But the boss did pocket the mark-up on beer and PBR 12-packs were 25 or 50 cents less than Bud, Schlitz, and Miller. We sold a ton of PBR. Around the same time Falstaff came out with a series of TV ads that featured two cowboys named Gabe & Walker, clearly patterned on Newman and Redford in Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. But Falstaff never really took off, even with a rebus on the inside of the bottle caps.

Hipster/indy cred was and is tough to plan for.
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby jjoyce » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:12 am

The revival of Pabst Blue Ribbon should be (maybe is) taught in marketing classes. It's brilliant. The guys who took over the marketing essentially asked for and got carte blanch from the higher ups at Miller to do what they wanted with what was considered a dying brand.

http://www.fastcompany.com/fast50_04/wi ... ewart.html

http://sixmile.clemson.edu/pbr.htm

http://www.icmrindia.org/casestudies/ca ... KTG189.htm
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby wallrock » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:07 am

The Pabst revival got rolling around the same time I was in college, and I too recall when the Vintage started serving it on tap. I used to ride my bike back from Regent Liquor with an 18-pack on each handle on Friday afternoons after classes finished. While some of my roommates preferred FAC at Madhatters, a couple of my friends and I always did an afternoon porch party - PBR and a grill, even when the weather wasn't great. At the time it my cheap beer of choice - I certainly preferred the wide range of micros available at the time but funds were not always available for the higher end. I'd always had bad reactions to light beer so I almost never purchased Miller Lite or Bud Light. Instead it was Huber Hi-Brau and Old Milwaukee, both in returnable cases, so at the time PBR was kind of an upgrade. These days I don't like the taste of it, but back in 2003 I thought it was pretty damn good.

The "cheap" beers that I prefer now are Schlitz Gusto and Esser's Best. Last night I had a Pearl Street Dankenstein before dinner and it was quite delicious, but the Esser's went with my leftover pizza better than anything. My brother-in-law is from Stevens Point so I've been recently reintroduced to Point Special. It's not that bad either.

One of my friends from Milwaukee absolutely loves PBR. He stayed over at my place this past spring and complained that I didn't have anything decent to drink in the fridge. He finally settled for drinking the NG Bohemian Lager I was saving but he thought it was a poor substitute for the Blue Ribbon.
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby Walter » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:08 am

Just to set the record straight, real old-school hipsters were drinking PBR in a bottle while hammering down Juicy Lucys at Matt's back in the mid-80s without irony. We also played Tainted Love by Soft Cell and Barracuda (live) by Heart on the jukebox because we liked it and weren't afraid to let everyone know, bitches.

http://www.mattsbar.com/

You fancy label microbrew poseurs can all go pet my squirrel.
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby buckyor » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:16 am

When I came of drinking age, we drank Pabst not because it was cheap or trendy, but because it was available pretty much everywhere, and it was better than Miller High Life and the Schlitz of that era, and much better than the bottom shelf of Old Milwaukee/Red White & Blue. We liked Blatz better, but you couldn't always find it. Old Style was ok as a change of pace. No one drank Bud; it was from that other place, and quite a few places didn't carry it. And, quite frankly, it sucked. You could get a Special Ex, a Michelob or an Andeker if you wanted to go high-end, or really splurge and get a Heinie or a Beck's. And that was pretty much it.

Now that I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford something better, I don't buy it often, but I will occasionally pick up a twelve of the current version of Schlitz, which is pretty good- better than PBR, in my opinion.

As for Supper Club- I guess I understand going after that portion of the market, although I'm not sure why someone wants to pay more than Pabst to get something that's not as good. But Capital already had an excellent American pilsner in 1900; I don't see the logic in retiring that brew to make way for something not nearly as good.

Had quite a few Fests when we were in town a few weeks ago, though, and that beer is as good as ever.
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby ilikebeans » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:11 pm


Awesome dive site for a dive bar.

Also, thanks for the links, Jason. I should have known there would be case studies on marketing to an audience that's suspicious of marketing.

It's also interesting to try to trace how many owners they've had, and their other brand holdings. In one of your articles, they're mentioned as being produced under contract by Miller and headquartered in San Antonio. Now they're in Illinois.

However, what really gives me pause is picture of the former brewery in Milwaukee (from their Wikipedia article).
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby BrianV66 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:21 pm

Where are you buying Supper Club? It's $9.99 for 12 cans at Woodman's, and once earlier in the Summer it was $9.47 for 12 cans at Jenny Street (whose prices don't ever beat anyone's).

It's definitely not the high quality beer snobs look for, but it gets the job done, and in the same price neighborhood of the Miller/Bud products...
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby gargantua » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:59 pm

BrianV66 wrote:It's definitely not the high quality beer snobs look for, but it gets the job done, and in the same price neighborhood of the Miller/Bud products...


Given that Capital thinks of itself as a craft brewery, it would be kind of funny to see their reaction to this kind of praise.....
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby Bad Gradger » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:23 pm

jjoyce wrote:Funny: after a week in the Pacific Northwest a few years ago, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a Miller Lite after drinking nothing but hoppy hippie brew out there. My taste buds were inflamed from all the stuff going on in those beers.

It makes me sad that American craft brewing is devolving into the same sort of extreme flavor wankery as hot sauce. IBUs have replaced Scoville units among that certain group of men who get off on seeing just how unpalatable a flavor they can stomach. The last beer tasting event I went to, fully 2/3 of the brews were hoppy pale ales desperately trying to out-bitter each other.

Give me a new old Schlitz or a High Life on a hot summer day. Better yet, give me a Grain Belt.
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Re: "Your beer is like swill to us."

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:33 pm

minicat wrote: All I know is I woulda walked a mile for a Schlitz yesterday at Orton Park....... tapping all craft brews is the same problem in the other direction.


My thoughts exactly. Craft brews are fine and all, but an outdoor summer festival needs a transparent ice cold lightly flavored beer. I don't care if it's High Life, low life, or Keystone Light, when it's hot and sunny I'd sooner drink my own urine than a fucking plastic cup of lukewarm liquid bread.

The champagne of beers is my default choice also. I cannot stomach PBR, Old Style, or Hamms. In the colder weather or an air conditioned tavern I'll drink porters and stouts all night and when at Mickey's I usually look for the Huber Bock.

And the Errol Morris High Life commercials are without equal.

http://www.errolmorris.com/commercials/miller.html
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