If I’m honest, I have to say there would never be good time for this bit of idiocy. But let’s establish the background here.
The UK and much of the rest of Europe is in the grip of a carbon dioxide shortage. This is adversely affecting, among other things, beer supplies*. This a bit odd, because brewing produces a lot of CO2 so why the designers of brewing equipment don’t go for capture is anybody’s guess. Anyway, the real reason is that ammonia manufacturers and bioethanol producers, the main sources of the gas, use the summer for plant maintenance, hence the dearth.
Things have come to such a pass that a major wholesaler to independent pubs, bars, and restaurants is limiting supplies of beers and cider to its customers**. Here we are, in the middle of summer, the middle of the hottest weather this year, the World Cup is on, and the taps are being shut, or at least supplies of cans are being cut back.
This then would be an inauspicious time to launch a new canned lager wouldn’t it? I’d have thought so. This however has not stopped the brewer Beck’s from launching a new packaging of such ridiculous stupidity it beggars belief. Check this out.
The German owners of the brand are attempting to ‘revolutionise the image of beer drinking.’ I doubt that’s going to happen. And calling it ‘Le Beck’s’ is not going to help much. The name is supposed to highlight ‘the superior quality’ of the ingredients, and help create a ‘premium perception’ of it.
There’s a lot of PR drivel about how this is designed to ‘take canned beer to places it has never been before.’ Really? Classical concerts, art galleries are your target audiences? Good luck with that, because it’s not going to appeal to the general public, I can tell you that.
Firstly, the general perception will be that it’s just poncey. The brewer claims there has been an ‘overwhelming response’ to trials. It’s very unspecific as to what that response has been. ‘Our consumers love it, we love it, and it perfectly fits our premium image.’ That might appeal to posh toffs (though I remain unconvinced), but the average prole won’t touch this with a bargepole.
One reason being that no real drinker will endure being ripped off when the ‘premium ingredients’ in normally packaged Beck’s give rise the phenomenon know as a ‘Becksfart.’ This smells strongly of egg mayonnaise, and is unpleasant for both the dealer and the other players.
There’s another reason too. Beer drinkers are a pretty conservative lot, not really open to change. I seem to recollect that Japanese Sapporo beer once introduced a can where, instead of having a simple tab opening, the entire top of the can ripped off. That tanked.
*It’s also affecting the frozen food industry, and the pork and poultry trade, but that’s not germane to the issue.
**Watch this space for price hikes. You want it, you’re going to have to pay for it.