Monday, February 2, 2015

Superb Owl Re-cap

That was weak. The gratuitous display of mating plumage at the end didn't help. Whatever, maybe we'll get better owls next year.

So now, to review the commercials. They sucked. Except this one:

It's fucking brilliant!

"But... but OBS!" you ask, startled "Doesn't Budweiser embody everything you hate about American beer and its 'culture' forever and ever, nigh unto eternity?"

Of course it does! But that's what makes this great. This ad proves Budweiser is losing. Just to start with, douchebag mustachioed hipsters don't fuss over craft beer, they guzzle PBR!

But to delve deeper, let's analyze this just a bit. The beginning of the commercial is classic -- we have a small pile of malted barley and a handful of whole hop flowers. Good wholesome ingredients used by fine brewers everywhere. And "beechwood aging" -- so... fancy! But! There are problems with this vision:

  • First, Bud doesn't even use whole hop flowers. They use hop oil extracts. They buy giant batches of hops that have been crushed and had their oils extracted, shipped in huge drums. The only thing they care about is the bittering oils that come from hops -- you use whole hops if you want the complex flavors and aromas they contain.
  • B: They may use some malted barley, but only the cheapest, crappiest you can buy, bred and malted especially for them to produce the simplest, most flavorless malt you can imagine. And then they actually supplement the hell out of it with rice sugar. 'Cause they're cheap, and American Budweiser drinkers care only for marketing, not beer.
  • iii) Yes, Bud is the only beer "Beechwood aged" -- because why the fuck would you age beer in beechwood, you useless shits? So you can say that? Does it impart some sort of delightful woody characters, like a fine wine might show its oak? No! It's a pure gimmick, nothing more.

"OK, OBS, we get that you think that's stupid, but you said this commercial is great!?"

Yes, yes I did, and it is. Because it means we're winning. Beer drinkers of America finally have amazing choices, all over the country. Doesn't matter what you like (even pumpkin peach ale, whatever the fuck that is -- sounds disgusting), you can get it anywhere. Random Chinese restaurants have multiple craft taps. Convenience stores have stocked shelves of microbrews sitting next to their piles of cheap wine. It's a great time to be a beer drinker. And hell, if you actually like Bud, you could even get a proper American Light Lager, brewed at a locally-owned spot and keep the profits in your region instead of sending them back to Belgium to make more commercials.

Bud knows this. And they're scared.

What they don't tell you in this commercial, is that they're buying up craft breweries as fast as they can. Two unfortunate examples that hit close to home for some of us bloggers (hi Tengrain!) are Elysian brewing of Seattle, and 10 Barrel brewing from Bend, Oregon. Yet they just spent millions on a Superb Owl commercial making fun of the clientele of those breweries. Why? To work both sides, to try to keep the yokels swilling their cheaply-produced shit, while getting a foot in the door with the rapidly growing craft brewing world.

As the (slightly modified) saying goes:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win, then their children claim it was their idea all along.

That's why this commercial is so great.



  1. Replies
    1. That's my reaction to BUDWEISER.

      Great post though. That ad deserved skewering, as does A-B. Heads-on-pikes type of skewering.

      I am not so sure A-B is a-skeered. Their market is low-information beer drinkers, and like low information voters, this country has very little shortage of those.

      I think they are seeing an opportunity to break into a market that rounds out their product line. Miller is doing the same thing. It's the decision of an MBA, not a beer lover.

  2. Thought you might be interested to know that even though In-Bev bought Elysian (sob!), we have some new microbreweries opening up (literally less than 100 Sq feet) this year in the 'hood. Also, the convenience store nearby (Cone and Steiner) has 5 taps and you can sip and shop for your groceries. Seattle will survive.



    1. Yeah, it's amazing how many new breweries keep popping up around the NW -- some of them make amazing beer. Now, if Corvallis could just get its shit together and get rid of a couple of the mediocre brewers running some local spots, I'd be thrilled. We have some good choices, but a couple have no excuse for the bad-homebrew quality shit they produce.

    2. Actually Elysian (owned by In-Bev) make a pumpkin peach beer so Bud was dissing on their own product!

    3. Yeah, I heard that after I posted this. Makes it even more stupid. How's the brewing going?

    4. Great! I've been really into blonde ales lately. I've got 10 gal of Kolsch (ok not really Kolsch because it was brewed in IL not Koln) ready to bottle next weekend. I want to make a lager but am a bit intimidated by decoction mashing plus I don't want to wait that long to drink my beer! Hey you mentioned one time that you have a fermenter with jacketed/glycol cooling. Was that a home build or did you buy it set up like that? I'm using a chest freezer with a temperature contoller right now and that's working ok but those conical fermenters sure are cool...

    5. You should do a lager, but don't bother with a decoction mash. It's just tradition, and unless you're trying to be super authentic with a bock or something, it's just not worth it. The only reason they even exist is because way back when, temperature measurement wasn't easy or accurate, so boiling a set volume was an easy way to keep it simple. You could do a protein rest and then just a standard infusion and get 99% of the effect you want.

      The conical isn't jacketed, it uses a stainless coil inside the fermenter, an old AC unit and a pump to circulate the glycol through the coil. And a home built digital (arduino) temp controller.

    6. And yes, all home built. Based on somebody else's setup found somewhere online.

    7. Cool. Thanks for the advice. I'm making a pale ale in March but will definitely make a lager sometime this year. Hardest part is finding time. I'm doing about 7 batches per year and would love to double that.

  3. Doesn't matter what you like (even pumpkin peach ale, whatever the fuck that is -- sounds disgusting)

    Here ya go.

    1. So it is a thing? Huh. Still sounds disgusting, maybe even more so with the lactose added too. Ick.

      No Reviews Available.

      I'm so disappointed.


    Here's a PumpkinPeach Ale we whipped together in response to bud's slam on us REAL beer fans... ( full disclosure, I work for these folks)

  5. The beer kit listed above was meant to be a limited edition one-off kinda joke, as we had to obtain 5 gallons of a peach extract to bottle up for the kit packages. It lists as out-of-stock now, I don't know if it will be available anymore, or if it will just fade away...But it is/was real...

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by! You guys have some great stuff. Pumpkin Peach Ale is definitely not my thing (as you can tell), but it's nice to see you keep an occasional eye on little guys like me, even if that is what brought you here in the first place.


By commenting here you're legally bound to buy me lots of yummy beer.