f this much care goes into the chalice, imagine what goes into the beer." This is one of the latest slogans in one of the latest ad campaigns for Stella Artois, which is almost undoubtedly the best marketed beer in the entire universe. Why, you may ask? Because everything that you've known about Stella Artois, from it's ornate glassware and 47-step pouring process to the beer itself, has been completely fabricated by the huge-brained beer selling geniuses at Interbrew in an attempt to dominate the boring but astoundingly popular "international pilsner" market. And it has worked like a charm. In 1999, Stella Artois was re-branded and launched in North America, and since nobody here had ever heard of it, Interbrew (it had yet to merge with AmBev, and later Anheisur-Busch) was able to create Stella's history from scratch and market it as whatever the hell tickled their fancy. What they chose was to present Stella Artois as a high-end European super-beer steeped in rich, Belgian brewing tradition.
In reality, Stella Artois at the time was an already successful but faltering macro-produced international pilsner that was hand-selected by the Interbrew head-honchos to be their new global brand that would compete with the world's other awful but incredibly popular global brands such as Heineken, Foster's, Carlsberg and Budweiser. Believe it or not, the other beer from Interbrew's portfolio that was considered for this illustrious new position was Labatt Blue, a Canadian beer icon that most real Canadian beer drinkers are embarrassed of. In the end, Stella was chosen over Blue because of its superior "brand-ability," the fact that it had already experienced success in other European markets besides Belgium, and that it met the important criteria needed for global popularity:
1. It's the colour of apple juice.
2. It has the aroma of a skunk's dried up asshole.
3. It tastes like wet cardboard, creamed corn, and a skunk's dried up asshole.
4. It costs nothing to produce in mass quantities, but could be sold at premium prices.
Stella Artois fit the bill perfectly, and the next step in the process was for Interbrew to come up with a marketing strategy. As it turns out, they came up with one of the best campaigns ever.
by Dave Segaert
elcome to Ontario, a land with such a cumbersome and confusing array of laws and bylaws that it would take Google and all of their fancy computers over 400 years to sort through them all. Some of these laws were hatched in a time when you had to venture into your backyard with a goddamn lantern just to take a shit, some are there to ensure that some rich fat guys get richer and fatter, and some are there so the government can squeeze a few extra dollars out of its beloved citizens because income tax, property tax, sales tax and licenses don't cripple us enough already. Yes, we live in a land of such freedom and democracy that you must pay the government for the privilege of performing such bold acts as: catching a fish, putting a sticker on a license plate, owning an animal, driving a boat, or building something on a property that you already purchased fair and square. Here in the nation's capital, you can't sell a hot-dog without jerking off twenty people and securing enough licenses to choke a camel in the prime of its life. Let's not delve too deep into this overly complicated and ridiculously expensive bureaucracy though, because a) it would take all fucking week, and b) it makes me angry. The thrust of this article is to be a critical analysis of this province's utterly non-sensical and stone-aged methods of delivering alcohol to its eagerly awaiting inhabitants, with a focus on the burgeoning craft beer industry.
Before we progress any further, let us all keep in mind that the provincial government and all of its dynamic and progressive politicians think that we are complete morons. This doesn't need to be foot-noted. This is a fact. If you require some proof, let's harken back to 2008 when the province mandated an increase in the minimum price of beer. The official reason given was that the government has a "social responsibility" mandate that surmised that if beer is too cheap, you may abuse it. First of all, if you were drinking the value beers affected by this ruling, you were probably already abusing it. And secondly, is there anyone with a properly functioning brain who actually believes that raising the price of 24 beers from $24.00 to $26.50 would magically prohibit and/or cure alcoholism? Well, the provincial government needed an excuse to pilfer a few extra tax dollars and stick their nose deeper into the beer industry's shit, so they went with that reasoning, even though you'd need to be mostly stupid to believe something so fantastical and utterly base-less. The only thing this ruling accomplished in terms of reducing alcoholism was that it increased the amount of time that our poor homeless souls would have to spend panhandling in order to afford a quick king-can. Don't forget that people living on the subsistence level who enjoy beer are now short $2.60 worth of laundry money. News-flash: raising the price of beer didn't stop one single person from getting drunk, it just cost them more money.
I write this editorial at great risk of sounding like that old man who sits on his porch and complains about things like the weather, the clothes that kids are wearing, dogs that aren't on leashes, and cars with hydraulics. I don't give a shit though, because when I witness events like the Super Bowl halftime show and the Grammy awards, I am reminded of pretty much everything that's fucked up about western civilization.
Is it any wonder that 90% of this planet has a simmering hatred of the United States of America, when you consider that the amount of money spent on the super bowl half-time show could probably pull any number of shit-hole countries out of their crippling national debt? It's all worth it though right, so the NFL could lure in a huge demographic of non-football lovers to witness 20 minutes of pomp and pageantry that included plush sharks and palm trees dancing with Katy Perry as she lip-synched a bunch of pre-packaged top-40 bullshit songs. This increased viewership makes it lucrative for Budweiser to run 1 minute advertisements that try to shame people for thinking outside the box. As I watched that outrageous spectacle of consumer driven, uber-commercialized marketing, I couldn't help but picture some poor fat guy sitting on his dirty couch in some Russian satellite state, wondering what in the sweet fuck he was looking at. Then that same dude thinking to himself, "what a bunch of absolute retards." Boy oh boy was it ever cool though when she rode in on that giant mechanical tiger! Worth every penny. Listen, I get it. It's all a bit of fun, and the kids love it. But what does this say about the tastes of modern North American society when this superficial garbage passes for culture. I may be old fashioned but I just don't consider a glorified Barbie doll lip-synching with a stuffed shark to be the pinnacle of modern music. Sadly though, this is what passes for entertainment these days.