Archive for the ‘Beer’ Category

Blame Spanx for the Drop in Light Beer Sales?

Friday, June 4th, 2010
downward trending light beer sales

The Top 3 Efficient Beers

Interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal. Eric Felten, who is a regular drink columnist, hypothesizes why Bud Light Sales are off 5.3% and Miller Lite off 7.5%. After establishing the beers are about equally crappy, he says maybe the drop in sales is due to:

  • The economy
  • Better public awareness of dull flavor
  • Bad Advertising
  • Spanx

The economy argument is tough to make without knowing sales of more discounted brands like Natty Light or Ice to see if consumers were substituting. Better awareness of flavor — maybe can explain a little bit of the change, but the slow shift to craft beer is not going to have this sort of impact so quickly.

The advertising argument is kind of interesting. I remember back when Bud Light had the “Wassup” commercials. Those were effective. I asked my friend’s 11 year old brother what those commercials were advertising and he immediately said Bud Light. As Felton points out, the Miller Lite ads where guy ignores his attractive girlfriend for his beer are idiotic. And the Coors Light selling point of the blue mountains for coldness is likewise idiotic. Treating your customers like idiots is a bad strategy.

Spanx before and after

Awesome Idea or Setting Yourself up for Rejection?

Lastly is the Spanx argument. I wasn’t familiar with Spanx until recently and I’m not really sure what to think except that I can’t see it becoming mainstream. I just don’t see the point of taking a stance of “F it” — I’m going to be a slob and try to cover it up when clothed. For the ladies out there — if you were undressing a guy for the first time and learned he was wearing this, would that be a mood killer?

There are ways to minimize drinking’s effect on the body. Don’t drink too many inefficient beers — you can always switch over after a few tasty inefficient ones and are less discerning and opt for dry wines and mixed drinks with low calorie mixers.

Session Beers vs. Microbrews

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

I had an interesting conversation with a beer distributor while at happy hour yesterday. He was advising me to try one of the two new beers he had just installed on tap at the bar. One was Pale Moon, from the Blue Moon line and the other Audacious from Pyramid Brewing Company out of Seattle. Naturally, I tried both.

We talked a bit and I asked him how one would go about getting calorie information from somewhere like Pyramid Brewing Company. He said that microbreweries didn’t like to divulge calorie information, because it makes them less competitive with Anheuser and MillerCoors. He went on to say that drinkers of microbrews didn’t care about calories because they aren’t drinking that many and are more concerned with taste. Meanwhile, drinkers of session beers, are having “you know 10 to 12 and the calories can really add up.” My thoughts:

  • Session beer is a fantastic term that will be incorporated into this site and my vocabulary
  • I agree that drinkers of microbrews are less concerned with calories, but it still matters. Personally, I like having the information and it can serve as a tiebreaker at the very least. I also don’t think that drinkers of session beers and microbrews are mutually exclusive. If I’m having a beer at happy hour, it’ll probably be a microbrew, but if tailgaiting, probably a session beer.
  • I think his casual market segmentation is relevant to the site. Beer efficiency definitely matters more for session beers because you’re having more of them, but the tool is really meant as a relative comparison, rather than an absolute one. It’s to say Miller Light > Coors Light > Bud Light. And that Flying Dog appears to be the best of the microbrews for whatever reason.

Enjoy your sessions this weekend!

A History of Alcohol – An Evolutionary Advantage?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Wine Mixing Bowl (1500 B.C.) Found in present-day Jordan

For some sleep-inducing airplane reading, I settled for my alumni magazine. Surprisingly, I stumbled on this gem, about Penn Museum archaeologist, Patrick McGovern and his study of alcohol’s role in ancient cultures. While I knew that King Midas liked the sauce, I didn’t know that people were drinking 9,000 years ago in what is now rural China and that Incas had their own special brew. And I had no idea that grains were pre-digested by spitting partially chewed food into a cauldron. Or better yet, that a bunch of academics and brew-geeks from Dogfish Head recently re-enacted the ritual:

It was a South American-style beer called chicha… …To transform its base of purple Peruvian corn into a mash amenable to yeast fermentation, the men had chewed every last kernal and spit the cuds into the brewing kettle.

Of course McGovern notes that alcohol kills off any harmful bacteria, but regardless, drinking that concoction is not the most enticing proposition. McGovern seems to believe that booze could pushed us toward agrarian society, with our distant ancestors pursuing cereal grains for beer rather than food, because the nutritional value of fermented grain was superior to that of unprocessed grain. Penn anthropology Professor Solomon Katz:

In biological terms, beer drinkers would have had a ’selective advantage’ in the form of improved health for themselves and ultimately for their offspring.

We’ve evolved to drink beer and it’s healthy. So drink up!

Calories in Corona and Corona Light

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

corona extra bottle caloriesAs we head into warm weather season, we certainly have an eye on our waistlines, so it’s important to think about what we’re going to drink. After all, Corona and its light counterpart are definitely among the top beers drank in the summertime. Actually, Corona is the #6 selling beer in the country and one would imagine that the bulk of its sales are in the Memorial Day to Labor Day. Corona is sold by the pail in many parts of the United States, not to mention Mexico. Onto the calorie analysis:

  • Corona Extra: 148 calories, 4.6% ABV, 60.3% efficiency
  • Corona Light: 99 calories, 4.1% ABV, 80.4% efficiency
  • Coronita aka. Corona Pony: 86 calories, 4.6% ABV, 60.3% efficiency

If you’re wondering what the heck efficiency is, check out the main beer page. The conclusion is that if you’re trying to look good and stay lean, go with Corona Light. Even though it has a bit less alcohol, it’s got way less calories..

This can be most easily seen using the beer calculator. when equating the alcohol content of the two. To get the same amount of alcohol as 8 Coronas, you’d have to drink 9 Lights. Here’s the catch, 9 Lights have 295 less calories than 8 Extras, which is a pretty significant calorie savings. Obviously, the math doesn’t change much for the ponies: it’s the same brew as Corona Extra, just smaller quantity.

Enjoy your Corona Lights on the beach this summer!