Saturday, December 11, 2010

oh no you didn't!

story in the toronto star today about the decline of iconic canadian beer brands, molson canadian and labatt blue. lack of advertising, price slashing, and the delisting of the beers at restaurants and stadiums have all indicated that these "super brands" are not what they once were.

well, of course they aren't.

one of the dudes quoted in the story, beer author stephen beaumont, notes that while once upon a time this "slide in canada's beer megabrands might have wounded a patriotic drinker's pride a genderation ago, that's ... not the case now."

he goes on to say that the "idea of canadian beer patriotism is pretty much dead, if it weren't they wouldn't be having so much success with budweiser and coors light" and that "people who want to drink a canadian beer are more likely to be drinking a craft beer" these days.

errr... isn't that kind of like, the epitome of canadian beer patriotism? to drink the smaller, more local craft beers and support an actual quality canadian product?

and also, once a product is no longer canadian then why should we buy it? both molson and labatt were sold off to larger international corporations and are no longer considered to be canadian--so doesn't it make sense that people who are interested in supporting canadian business ventures would choose something they know is made in canada?

not only do i think most canadian beer drinkers would take offense to be accused of not supporting canadian beer, but we also have eyes and tastebuds and appreciate that being taken into consideration. actual canadian breweries taste better and have way better packing and bottle design. we shop with our eyes and seeing packaging that is visually pleasing obviously contributes to our purchases.

take one of my personal favorites, the great lakes golden horsehoe lager. not only is it an award winning lager, but the bottle label LOOKS nice-- so does the packaging(unlike molson canadian and labatt blue).

there's also kind of a culture associated with canadian and blue that i think a lot of people aren't into anymore. for example, when i google image the phrase "molson canadian" one of the first images i get is of a girl in a molson canadian red shirt grabbing her boob.

for both "labatt blue" and "molson canadian" google suggests that i complete the phrase with "girls". if i take the suggestion i get lots of photos of scantily clad WOMEN--clad in the colours of the beer, obviously.

if i google any of the following breweries NONE have a google suggestion to add "girls" :

big rock , steamwhistle, mill street brewery, great lakes, stratford brewing, nickelbrook, f&m brewery.

and even if i do type in "steamwhistle girls", nothing comes up.

molson canadian and labatt blue both came of age in an era when objectifying women's bodies was the way you sold beer--to men. all of the major brands do it, and that's fine because that's just advertising--we objectify women's bodies to sell everything. but for a lot of people, that kind of booby beer is over. seeing a beer ad that is obviously aimed at selling to men who want to get the ladies drunk doesn't make me want to buy the beer, it just annoys me.

instead of mourning the decline of two beers that aren't even that great, that aren't keeping up with the rest of the market, and are mass produced shouldn't it be considered a positive signal for canadian beer that molson canadian and labatt blue are being pushed out of the market?

and why the blame on "canadian beer patriotism"?? clearly canadians love beer, and they love canadian beer most of all. if anything, we deserve a pat on the back for choosing better canadian products.

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