Saturday, March 31, 2007

Buyer Beware

Spring, and this young man's fancy turns to wheat beer. It being Friday last night, and yours truly having had a long week, I wandered around the corner to the local shop to pick up some ice cream (for Country Mouse) and beer (for myself). Being a gas station, their selection isn't the most wonderful (long on icehouse, short on good brew) but they usually have at least a few shelves dedicated to Maine breweries like Shipyard and other regional goodies like Sam Adams.

Sure enough, on the bottom shelf of the middle cooler were several sixes of Sam Adams' White Ale- not a world class wheat beer by any stretch of the imagination but good enough to be getting along with after a long week. But as I opened the case to grab the beer my gaze fell upon a spectacular feat of packaging.

The carboard carrier was a blaze of oranges, yellows, and reds. The font was inviting, and the beer description tantalizing. The whole thing looked like a product of Pete's Wicked Brewing- a fine brewery, and no mistake. I decided to go with the "Spring Wheat Spiced Heat" instead.

So imagine my disappointment when I got home and poured the first bottle. Upon taking a sip I tasted the unmistakable foul rice sump of BUDWEISER apparently used to marinate an Earl Grey teabag. I grabbed the bottle. Sure enough, in tiny, tiny print it read "made by Anheuser-Busch, St Louis, MO".

TRICKED! I had been tricked! Those AB arseholes- canny enough to know that no sane beer drinker would pick up their fermented rice pudding if their name appeared prominently on the label, had deceived me by making their noxious chemical stew look like the product of a half-decent brewery. If I were Pete's Wicked, I'd sue the bastards.

Still, I drank the beer (through gritted teeth). I'd paid for the bloody stuff and was out of mixers for my rum. Even so, that's a dirty rotten trick of Anheuser-Busch.


Mark said...

Heartbreaking mate....I picked up a couple of sam adams along with my usual Gales HSB as it happens. I was quite fan of petes wicked ales (our regular tipple for watching the ground-shagging on a saturday afternoon when I was in Aberdeen) but I don't see them over here so much now.

weasel said...

I am heartened however to see that I can get Spitfire- my favorite beer from your temporary place of exile- at the local specialty booze shop.

kristin said...

Brilliant packaging, I agree. I was fooled too. But I actually really liked the stuff. At least they don't try to charge you $9 for a six pack, like Coors' Blue Moon.

weasel said...

Well I have three bottles in the fridge I can bring over next time you and Canada Goose have a shindig, or if we do something around the arrival of the sprocket.

Clockwatcher said...

Apes and I have a friend who works for a distributor. He unloaded 2 cases of Coors Light on us in January. 2 cases. We are almost done with them. It's been a rather long slog though.

Rikki said...

Hey Mister! Long time, eh? I'm going to try to get back into this again between breaths. The juggling is going poorly

Or pourly

Which brings us to Wheat beers. Or at least Pheat Beers. Pete's Wicked sucks and always has. End of story.

If you like the hefe stuff ... the magic hat people have been too good to us, providing the local Hannaford with ample supplies of their sampler pack at a buck less per 12-er than competing brands. The Magic Hat sampler has the #9, two types of hoppier ale, and this hefeweizen offering. It's decent, and a nice price pick.

That all said, I'll stick with Allagash White if leaving among the wheats. Or, if you ain't drivin', the Allagash 4 -- which sadly only comes in the tall boys. See here. As Borat might say, "It's nice!"

Get your bloggin' in now, punky. If I didn't deem you so much more reliable than America rightfully deems me, I might suggest you're headed for the same haitus I cannot seem to eek out of. I fear some kind of post Franny & Zoey type Salinger darkness, bloggily speaking. Thank the spirits of the trees I have your comment reel to dump my mental garbage into.

weasel said...

I dislike Magic Hat, mostly because they are called "Magic Hat". Far too Phish/Jerry Garcia for me (and I am an intolerant old git).

Allagash is great, but is a bit of a boutique beer, especially in those special editions you reference. Generally I stay away from beers that need special glasses- I drink my wine from a tumbler like a Frenchman and I'll be damned if I'm going to ponce about with my brew.

When I was in the adult beverage biz I used to lament the lack of good mid-range beers that stood out from the usual ice-cold lagers. I should applaud AB I suppose for the effort. It's just too bad I disliked their product.

Mark said...

Rarely has a man claimed to do anything like a frenchman so boldly.

Arizona Vacation Rental said...

lol the wisdom weasel! what a name -_- i always joke about being a weasel myself