Saw this piece in Slate's The Big Money (thanks to a tweet-link from Beer Business Daily's Harry Schumacher (who just started following me on Twitter, so I returned the favor...and immediately reaped more benefit than I suspect he ever will)) about Bud Light Golden Wheat buying up all the ad time on an SNL episode back on October.
Old news, right? Wrong. Here's the little bit of relevance that makes this a year-story rather than a week-story. Blogger Dan Mitchell says this about the description of BLGW:
The campaign, like so many campaigns aimed at drinkers of mass-produced American beer, emphasizes the brew's "drinkability," which can be translated as "wateriness."Now...can you imagine seeing that kind of flippancy in the news ten years ago? I couldn't, so I checked (thanks, Google): Bud Light and watery. The only hits I got were three: a taste test of Bud vs. Budvar in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a piece by my good buddy and fellow beer writer Ron "The King" Givens in the Daily News where he says old-time ballpark suds were "the cheapest, most watery stuff that could be poured into a cup" but doesn't actually tag Bud Light as that, and, well, a piece by St. Michael Jackson about how not all American beers are watery.
Sea change time. The whole paradigm has shifted. Smart, bright journalists now say mainstream beer is "watery." Do we call this the "Arrogant Bastard Effect," or the "Sam Adams Shuffle"? How about The Great Awakening? How about Truth Setting You Free?
American mainstream beer. I still do drink it, if only from regional brewers: I'll definitely still drink a Lager or a Straub, and I've said here I enjoyed slamming a 16 oz. Narragansett. But...is it flavorful? No. Is it something I drink regularly? No. Is it refreshing? Yeah, for the most part, it is. And is it sweet to hear a mainstream journalist casually refer to it in terms of 'wateriness?' Yeah. Definitely. One more indication that we've hit that tipping point.