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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Craft Brewery Goes Paleolithic

I had promised to myself that I'd quit stealing content from Jay Brooks, but I can't let this one go. He posted a video today of two commercials from Atlanta-based Red Brick Brewing. In terms of tastelessness, tawdriness, and flat-out misogyny, they rival anything Coors or A-B ever aired. Behold:

"Blondes go down easy, real easy." This tagline, which is enormously offensive on its own, is all the worse with the degrading images and lecherous voice-over (double entendre very much intended).

Not only is it offensive, it's stupid. Craft brewing has been fantastic at shedding beer's sexist image--and as a consequence watched their sales grow. Retrograde "girls are for laughing at and screwing" beer ads are a sure way to turn them (and me) off.

Atlanta, world-headquarters of Hooters restaurants, is probably not the most enlightened city in the world. And certainly not the beeriest. (Web copy for the Blonde ale they're advertising here: "Good attack, fresh not too aggressive, the acidity though is quite present. There is a smooth texture, caressing of fresh barley and lemony flavors towards the end. Short finish with characters of slight bitterness, fresh coffee beans and blond chocolate." Please, quit torturing those innocent sentences! It's more egregious than even Bill's mocking beer-description generator.) So probably this is a reflection of nothing more than one boneheaded brewery owner who should probably be in a different business. Still, it's worth a chorus of boos, and will most assuredly be in my mind in 11 months when I assemble the next DMS Awards.


  1. Reminds me of Emerald City Brewing's Dottie. Craft beer doesn't need to stoop to BMC's level using pinups to sell beer IMO. Brew awesome beer, be an awesome company & I'll drink it and support you and your dream. Pretty simple recipe for success!

  2. At least two craft breweries produce 'Double D Blonde Ale'.

    Additionally, there are beers called 'Panty Dropper Ale' and 'Panty Peeler Tripel'.

    I am more profane than most people; but, I find these mildly offense in the public space. Sexual double entendre do not communicate the merit of craft beer to me.

  3. Somewhat on the topic, WTF is up with the Burnside Brewing logo? Who decided that was a good idea? Seriously, no one I've showed it to has had a positive reaction. Responses range from silent bewilderment to "that's just not okay!" and "that's just wrong". I've really tried to find some charitable interpretation of the thing, but it eludes me. I wish they'd marked tested it a little before committing to it. I assume that now that it's etched on all their glasses, it's probably too late to change.

  4. I think it's funny as hell. Of course, if they used a blond headed guy... the joke won't work.

  5. "Short finish with characters of slight bitterness, fresh coffee beans and blond chocolate"

    A blond with coffee and chocolate character? Um, alright.

    Kevin, I'm with you on the Burnside logo. How all the partners could have looked at that and not seen anything wrong is beyond me. Especially since they're supposedly trying to go a bit upscale.

  6. "Atlanta, world-headquarters of Hooters restaurants, is probably not the most enlightened city in the world."

    I often wonder whether people who criticize the south have ever actually been there? While some of the stereotypes might still hold in small rural areas, many of the major metropolitan areas have grown into very pleasant, diverse areas.

    Atlanta in particular is the cultural icon of the south. With a strong, and growing, progressive young adult culture, the city has something to offer for everyone.

    As for their presence in the beer world, I think Atlanta gets overlooked. With one of the best craft beer bars east of the Mississippi, a handful of brew-pubs (5 Seasons dominates the Atlanta market in this area, and I highly recommend their Sandy Springs location), and two spectacular local breweries, there is truly some fantastic beer in the area. The two major craft brews are Sweetwater and Terrapin (located about 45 minutes east of ATL). Both of these breweries produce respected year round line ups, some delicious seasonals, and some truly creative and well made specialty brews. I would, however, agree that Red Brick leaves much to be desired. Clearly, they don't get it when it comes to marketing, and haven't tried a handful of their beers, they don't really get that either.

    All in all, I would put Atlanta's food and drink culture up against almost anyone save for the obvious behemoths like NYC or LA. I'm sure the beer culture doesn't hold a candle to that of Portland, but really not many cities do and that doesn't mean there's not good suds to be found.