Sunday, October 29, 2006

Moths gravitate to the Lite ... beer aficionados prefer the beer in the glass.

Several of you brought this to my attention.

Beer tap handles go artsy for marketing , by Rick Armon, Associated Press Writer.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - When Roy Wadding sits down at a bar, he makes sure to scan the draft selection before ordering a beer.

His eyes zip from one tap handle to the next, searching for something different, something he has never tried before.

"I see something new and I gravitate to it," the 51-year-old Tampa., Fla., man said recently at a Winking Lizard Tavern in Columbus.

Such is the power of an eye-catching tap handle.

At my business, there are 34 beer taps and 34 tap handles divided among five different cooling units. It is impossible to look at any one and see all the draft choices.

Knowing this led us to install two big blackboards, one in the pizzeria and one in the pub, upon which are written all of the draft choices.

Newcomers typically stroll past the blackboard, park in front of the four-seat bar, study the seven visible tap handles, and ask whether these are the beers on tap.


I appreciate the points made in this article, and I understand that in the wider world of dog-eat-dog marketing, any edge is a useful one.

However, to me it’s just another example of emphasis placed on form over substance, and I’m opposed to that. It’s important for NABC to have clever artwork and graphics, and we do since Tony came to work for us, but it’s far more important for the consumer to learn about the beer inside his or her glass, and being swept away by a tap handle does not further the cause of education.

Need more proof?

… even Anheuser-Busch, the maker of the country's best-selling brand, Bud Light, has created quirky handles for its line of seasonal craft beers that include Beach Bum Blonde Ale and Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale. Jack's features a large scarecrow with a pumpkin for a head.

A bloated megabrewery like Anheuser-Busch can no more produce a “craft” beer than an elephant can sire a mouse, and yet the writer, bedazzled by the micro-exterior, is unable to distinguish it from the mockro-liquid in the glass. A-B sincerely hopes that every beer drinker makes the same mistake, but merely mimicking the outward trappings and spending millions of dollars in Goebbelsian advertising does not make it so.

You can’t read a book without cracking the cover. Admire the tap handle from afar, but delve into the true significance of what it represents, and become knowledgeable.

1 comment:

smoosh said...

A-B sucks.