You Don’t Drink The Can

When beer ads aren’t about beer, you should be a little skeptical.

I, like many other people, enjoy drinking beer. Some people drink it for refreshment, some people drink it for taste, and some people drink it for social lubrication.

In the last five years, Coors has attempted to re-brand itself as the top purveyor of cold beer. Temperature, not taste, is the focus of their advertisements. Their message is: “Our beer is COLD! So you should drink it. A lot. Because it’s cold. And you can drink it while watching football. Did we mention that it’s cold? Yeah, it is. And that’s why you should drink it. Beer. Cold. Got it?”

Any beer can be cold, and I don’t think we should rely on arctic explorers to provide us with chilled beverages (as in their commercials). If you really need cold beer–and beer is not supposed to be 40˚F– then put your bottle/can/mug/stein/keg in the freezer for a little while, and be sure to take it out before it explodes.

The great Milwaukee institution known as Miller has gone down a similar path. Their advertisements in recent years have emphasized the spectacular features of Miller cans. (Coors has done this too, with temperature-sensitive ink on its cans and bottles to ensure maximum coldness.)

As we all know, the most important feature of a beer can is its efficiency in allowing the consumer to imbibe beer at a rapid rate–hence Miller’s wide mouth cans and punch tops. Of course, one can punch a hole in the top of any beer can, which makes this supposedly revolutionary invention a gimmick. Miller would have been better off saying “You’re going to want to use that punch top so you can drink our beer much faster–then you won’t be able to taste it.” On the positive side, the punch top has given us this brilliant example of modern American journalism.

To put all this another way: if they aren’t advertising the beer, there is probably a reason for that.

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