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Monday, January 04, 2016

The Argument Against (Henry's Hard Soda)

There is a lot to be said about the wave of consolidation among the larger American craft breweries right now (and I will say some of it later this week). In the meantime, I offer you a case-in-point for one of the reasons that argues against selling your brand, and particularly your name, to another company. Once it leaves your possession to become a brand in someone else's portfolio, terrible violence may be done to it. I forthwith offer you Henry's Hard Orange Soda (in a classic corporate move, where marketing precedes everything else, the website is not yet live). The bold is mine.
Today, MillerCoors proudly unveils Henry’s Hard Soda, a new line of deliciously refreshing hard sodas made with real cane sugar. Crafted for beer and non-beer drinkers alike with 4.2 percent alcohol by volume, Henry’s puts a playful spin on familiar flavors with Henry’s Hard Ginger Ale and Henry’s Hard Orange Soda.

“One of the main reasons why I love this product is because life is busy with work, kids and bills, but there’s always time to sneak in a little fun with friends,” said Bryan Ferschinger, MillerCoors senior director of innovations. “Beer is great, but now we also have Henry’s Hard Soda – an option that gives a little more flavor and excitement.” 

The new hard sodas are inspired by the spirit of Henry Weinhard, a brewer known in the Pacific Northwest for making flavorful beers and great soda for over a century. When Portland unveiled a new public fountain in 1887, Henry offered to pump beer through the fountain for everyone to enjoy. Today, Henry’s fun-loving personality lives on in this refreshing hard soda. 

MillerCoors will support Henry’s Hard Soda with a national marketing campaign, kicking off at the end of the month with advertising on primetime networks and high-profile cable partners such as ABC, FOX, TBS, Food Network, and Bravo. A custom digital presence in top pop culture sites, traditional print media support, dual-language public relations programming and influencer initiatives complement the rollout.
Henry is now a playful cartoon figure, like the Hamburgler or Twinkie the Kid. All he needs now is a catchphrase. Sad face on behalf of all the good citizens of Portland.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe they could make Henry a flannel-shirted lumberjack with an axe and a pet bear, and he could say, "Drink Henry's or else." That should kill it quickly.

Pete Dunlop said...

Henry Weinhard is rolling around in his grave.

Anonymous said...

FTL

Mattress said...

In 100 years AB-InBev will be selling Dick Cantwell's Caffeinated IPA Hard Cola

what we’re drinking said...

Oh man. That hurts. Badly.

Jeff Alworth said...

I envision a little bearded German character in flannel and lederhosen. His name is Funry Laughhard and he chuckles like a leprechaun as he dispenses alco-pops to the kids.

what we’re drinking said...

Oh man. That hurts. Badly.

Frankie Baldwin said...

If it offends you then don't drink it....I don't recall MillerCoors asking for comments from the peanut gallery...

Jeff Alworth said...

MillerCoors wouldn't have sent me the egregious press release if they didn't want comments. And they got 'em!

Anonymous said...

Please, for the love of all the gods of the world, pull your head out of your ass. It tastes good and it's got alcohol, what more do you want?

Jeff Alworth said...

Thanks, Anon, for your bravery. It must have taken some real courage to post that.

Anonymous said...

If he (henry) didn't want to be a goofy character maybe he should have told his family "hey don't put stupid bottle caps on my gravestone." He is dead, I am positive he does not care what is named after him. Get over yourself.

Jeff Alworth said...

This post continues to get a lot of trolling. Which, for the sake of my amusement, I'll keep allowing. Come trolls, vent your spleen in defense of this surely extraordinary product!

Stanley Wood said...

Why not? One, you have to keep up with the competition. Two, look at all the flavored of beer Henry's did before the sellout. And I like a nice desert beer. It's like when you want desert and another beer. All in one!

Unknown said...

It's meh.

jordan powers said...

It's meh.

Anonymous said...

If not for Orange Soda "beer" what would the 15 year Olds drink!? Crappola Wouldn't it be easier and better tasting to just put a shot of Vodka in an Orange Crush?

Anonymous said...

I just finished my second Orange tonight(they are BOGO at the local store @$9.99/6pk) I'd say not quite hard enough, the taste is nice, kinda like A-treat Orange soda(regional NE PA brand.)

Yes it's marketing, yes it's hard to explain to a 4yr old who loves all things orange, why he can't try this "mysterious" orange elixir. Will it last, probably not long, it's not good enough to warrant the high price tag. It's competing with higher end beers at nearly $10, and it's not high end, it's a novelty.

Unknown said...

"If it's offensive, don't drink it": yet another version of "Don't express your negative opinion of this thing even though it hurts no one, just pretend it doesn't exist! We don't like opinions!" Oh, please.

I'm drinking one of the ginger ales at the moment and for something made with cane sugar it tastes like it was pumped full of artificial sweetener. We produce cane sugar in my state, and it's never tasted like artificial sweetener before I drank this...hm.
I wouldn't buy it again.

Unknown said...

Its pretty bad that it is called soda!! What the hell is wrong with these people?? And actually at HEB in corpus Christi Texas had it on an end cap of the soda aisle I HOPE YOU ALL GET SUED

celiac sufferer said...

Is it gluten free? No one will answerthis question.

Anonymous said...

According to this site, it is gluten free:

https://www.beermenus.com/beers/117491-henry-s-hard-soda-ginger-ale

Anonymous said...

Not sure if it is gluten free - I just tried an orange one and it had a malt liquor smell to it, like Mikes Lemonade.
I also can't google if it is GF or not.

Pam S said...

I called Miller-coors and it is NOT gluten free. I wish I knew how to get it changed at beer menu. I also think it is unfortunate that they are not required to disclose that it is a 'malt beverage'.

Unknown said...

It does say in tiny print (sideways) on the top label that it's a malt beverage.

Aileen said...

I'm enjoying the Ginger Ale, although I bought it thinking it was gluten free, so I won't be buying it again soon. I appreciate wanting to keep true to the roots of one's area, but coming from someone who doesn't live in Portland, I appreciate the fun flair.

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