OOOOOOOOH, SHINY

First, let me point out that I’m all for innovation in the brewing industry.  I enjoyed the Newcastle Brown Ale DraughtKeg, I’ve enjoyed several mashups of styles that I never thought possible, and I always appreciate whatever crazy innovation Dogfish Head is doing to bring their beers to another level (Even if they miss on the actual taste department, it’s still cool).  When it’s the “Domestic” internationally owned brewing giants like AB and MillerCoors though, I’m simply dumbfounded by every innovation that they try to pass off as anything more than a marketing gimmick.  When MillerCoors puts their light beers in a draught box that keeps carbonation levels consistent for an extended period of time, that’s innovation.  When we’re talking about a couple of swirls around the neck of a bottle or a graphic that turns blue when it gets cold, that’s marketing.  Now, when we’re talking about an aluminum pint bottle, with the same “Cold Activation” label but now with a resealable cap, I think we’re just testing to see how dumb consumers actually are.

I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials for the Coors Light Aluminum Pint, the ones with Marv Levy and those crazy NFL spots that are all the rage these days (Yeah, lets use the Bills to promote our product, always a good choice).  I get the aluminum bottle – It allegedly stays cold longer than a glass bottle and more importantly you can take aluminum bottles into places that don’t allow glass.  Trust me, I’d much rather be hit in the back of the head with an empty lightweight alumium bottle than the butt-end of a glass one.  I also don’t like stepping on broken glass when I’m at the beach.  So, aluminum, you’re cool.  I also get the pint bottle.  16 is more than 12, more beer is better than less beer.  So, pint bottle, you’re cool too.  What I simply don’t get and will never understand is the resealable cap and even the wide-mouth opening.  You know what has a resealable cap and a wide-mouth opening?  A 40.  If you’re going to come up with a marketing ploy, you’d probably be better off disassociating yourself with a container that’s best served on the sidewalks and stoops of American inner cities.  The wide-mouth opening is there so you can chug your icy cold Coors Light as quickly as possible (You know, so you don’t have to taste it).  If that’s the case, then why would you have to put the cap back on?  I mean, if you put the cap back on and leave the beer sitting out isn’t that fun little cold-activated label going to turn bright red and start blinking (I assume that’s what happens)?

Nothing about this packaging makes any sense to me.  I thought maybe the Coos Light website would be able to shed some light on the Aluminum Pint, but the slogan “Open it. Close it.  Your beer’s ready to roll with you anywhere.” didn’t really help all that much.  Is that just promoting drunk driving?  The “Proof you can take good things with you” slogan doesn’t help either.  I can take a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with me, so I guess that’s proof that I can take good things with me too.  They might as well have used the slogan “Proof that beer exists”.  It makes about as much sense.  The more I write about the Coors Light Aluminum Pint the more I want to send my face through my computer monitor.  My brain hurts, rant over.

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4 comments

  1. Have you seen the documentary film “Beer Wars?” There’s an interesting point in it about how AB and MillerCoors dominate the shelves of alcohol stores by inventing different packaging gimmicks for the same product. Not only is this a marketing gimmick, it offers them the opportunity to push the smaller craft brewer to the sides and bottom of the display.

  2. Yup, just came across “Beer Wars” a couple months ago on Netflix (Available for instant streaming if anyone wants to check it out). That’s a great point about the push for shelf space from these marketing giants.

    I used to manage a beer store and always found it interesting when the Bud/Miller/Coors reps would come in with some new form of packaging and try to finagle placement on my shelves. I carried 6 and 12 packs of cans and bottles, always on display, and 30 packs in the back. There was no need for pony bottles, 18 packs, or cold-activated bottles (Although not invented back when I was working there). It’s one thing when your Bud rep comes in and says, “Hey, I’ve got this new Michelob Amber Bock that I’d like to sell you”. That I can sort of respect as product differentiation, even though the beer sucks. When they would come in and try to sell me on 10 different packages for the same product though it drove me crazy. When I look at craft brewers, all I want to see is 6 packs of varying styles, maybe a mixed 12, and definitely 22oz bombers. If they’re local, toss me some growlers and I’ll make room.

  3. Ahhh.. Gansett GIQ’s. 40 oz’s of High School bliss, back in the days of a young Mick Jagger and a scorching Eric Clapton.
    It’s only Gramps

  4. Wow, I had to look up that reference on the old internet. GIQ – Giant Imperial Quart. Hmmm, I want more than a quart, and more than an imperial quart, so let’s get this party started with a GIQ! They don’t make em’ like they used to, but I might have to pick up a 6 ring of Gansett pounders on the way home. Love the classics Gramps.

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