Lord, “Beer” Me Strength [To Finish This Brew]
What follows is a review of MADD Virgin Craft Brewed Alcohol Free Lager, a sobering journey into the mind of Roscoe in the vein of The Free Wine Blog. Although every piece by him is special, this one marks the first time a BfD writer contributed while sober. Wait, is that true? I’m not sure. Just read it, dingus.
Here at BfD, we pride ourselves on enjoying the often overlooked finer things. Cozo and Zook have a pretty good handle on wine and their ugly cousin, so I figured that ol’ Roscoe would be your tour guide into something a little less upperclass and more everyman. Of course, in the beverage world, beer reigns supreme as the drink drank by the 99%. To make this more accessible to minors and alcoholics, not to mention alcoholic minors who turn to the booze to deal with their long hours in the coal mines, I decided to sample a non-alcoholic ‘beer.’ All the enjoyment of a brew, without the hassle of that pesky inebriation. So let’s get right into it.
I poured the “beer” into the commemorative boot shaped pint glass provided by a J. Zook with the traditional amount of non-beer drinking foam. To really bring the out the notes, you want the foam to fill the majority of the boot, with the liquid pooling up in the toe. The initial aroma was that of rancid soy sauce that had been left out in the sun for several hours to marinade in the bottom of a cardboard take out box. After about thirty seconds the foam dissipated, and I took my first tentative sip. Ah, flavor country; with the flavor in question being contact solution mixed with soggy corn husks. It was slightly reminiscent of a pint glass of Miller High Life emptied and then filled up with dirty dishwater, so it has a slight beer flavor, but also kind of a chemical nastiness. As the “beer” session progressed, it evened out into a mossy tapioca blend, then finished with a hint of used motor oil from a 1979 Honda CX500B motorcycle.
If ever there was a beverage that made you feel like sitting in a handmade cabin in the woods looking out at a lone loon on a lake, it would be a nice lager. Luckily, with the consumption of the MADD “Craft Brewed” “Lager”, you get nothing of the sort. This is the type of beverage you serve at the intervention for a 17 year old who thinks The Champagne of Beer is the best beer. This “beer” is meant to be consumed in a wet basement in a dry county. Looking at the brewery info gives some insight into why it tastes like it’s made by people who haven’t drank a beer, for people who never want to have the urge to drink beer. Because it is. The fine students at Niagara College’s Teaching Brewery clearly are all upstanding underage alchemists, who know that beer is to be only enjoyed by legal adults, thus they’ve perfectly crafted a “beer” to not be enjoyed by not legal adults.
Somehow, Cozo managed to play it really sly-like with this review. I’m not sure how he managed to get me to agree to this. He was extra slick, he made it seem like I chose the beverage myself and valiantly offered to taste these non-alcoholic wares for the amusement of the BfD fan club. I wish Zook the best of luck in poisoning Cozo. After the initial swill being choked down, I kept thinking “at least you’ll get drunk”, which devolved into a cycle of despair.
While the brewing of this “beer” gets a D+, the marketing on the other hand is a solid A. While the “beer” is not very beer like, the “beer” can is very convincing. The slogan of “The World’s First Alcohol-Free Craft Brewed Lager” has great buzz words with craft brewed. People love artisan shite. Also, being the world’s first shows the “beer” has initiative, and consumers love to say they were on the forefront of the next Big Thing, and were an early adopter of new lifestyle choices. When I first saw the can I thought “Oh good a 93 beer rating.” It wasn’t until I was slurping it down my gullet that I looked again and was like “Oh wait, 93 calories… I guess it has that going for it.” It also has some good fine print to trick booze hounds into drinking it. “5%… of Retail Sales go to MADD.” The drunk stumbles into Duane Reade and wants to keep the bender alive, so sees this on an end cap and blurry eyed checks the alcohol content to be deceived into thinking its a regular old fashioned beer. Kudos, MADD.