I’m catching up on the multitude of things that were let slide during Good Beer Week, including my mail.
There are so many beer releases, launches and events these days that Brews News makes no pretense of trying to keep up with them all – why duplicate what The Crafty Pint does so brilliantly. Instead, we try to focus on things that stand out, or give context to bigger issues, or just things that we just find interesting. Consequently the Brews News waste bin is often filled with press releases that add nothing to the conversation about beer, such as that for products such as Duff Beer.
However, every now and then a media release lands that is so egregiously bad that, even if the product a product is inherently forgettable, it is worthy of the time it takes to excoriate it. Duff Beer is one such release.
While a beer that is worthy of being reviewed is always worthy of the dollars it costs, Duff was one that would never have ended up in my fridge but for a PR provided sample. Given the free beer sample, the media release would have been skimmed as a courtesy to the PR person who took the time out of their busy schedule to arrange for an unpaid intern to post it to me and then – usually – binned. But in this case, it was the little note that came with the media release that caught my attention and raised my ire.
As promised I’ve enclosed a couple of cans of DUFF BEER for you.
Just a note with regards to Duff, whilst the connection is apparent, we would request that you to take caution when referencing Duff Beer back to The Simpsons. We want ensure we are not promoting the brand to a younger audience. But feel free to post anything about the beer on social media pages. (emphasis in original)
The note came complete with a handy hashtag and social media list.
So, I can write about the beer, but I have to be careful about mentioning the Simpsons. That’s kinda like being given a bad porno to review and being asked not to mention the sex.
Is there a single other reason to buy this beer other than it is known solely through The Simpsons.
Yet, while those writing about the beer are warned to be careful referencing it back to the Simpsons, the trademark owners don’t feel the same need for caution. In order to protect their intellectual property rights “The Simpsons (TM)” is inscribed on the side of the each and every can.
It is obvious that they need need to assert their IP rights as the media release proclaims that:
In the past Duff has only been available through counterfeit and imitations. This is the ﬁrst official Duff Beer from the people who created the Duff brand.
(Purely as an aside, it’s amazing that a beer that has never really existed, except as a frame of celluloid and an item of intellectual property, can be said to have been ‘counterfeited’. Isn’t a counterfeit a fake replica of a real product.)
But anyway, whatever we do, we must not be accused of promoting it to a ‘younger audience’. I mean if we were accused of doing that, the ensuing media storm might prevent them from promoting Duff to their intended audience: mindless muppets who don’t actually get the biting irony intended in the creation of the cartoon brand but just want to get shitfaced swilling the same beer as the fat, fictional satire of themselves.
As for the taste, I’m not sure whether its the pointlessness of the product or the the astringent lingering bitterness and chemical aftertaste that leaving the bad taste in my mouth. At $45 a carton, it may well finally prove conclusively the maxim that a fool and his money are soon parted.