I was perusing the list of beer products approved for Ohio today and noticed some interesting names:
-Stone Face Ale
-Devil’s Hop Yard IPA
My interest piqued when I read that all of these products were registered by none other than AB Inbev, the global conglomerate that represents almost 50% of every beer sold in America and 100% of every commercial questioning one’s manhood for drinking anything other than fizzy yellow crap beer.
Having never heard of these beers, I hit “the google” and found this juicy bit on the AB Inbev Website:
New Englanders and Ohioans rallied behind their beer of choice by voting for their favorite hometown brew as part of Anheuser-Busch’s “You Choose It, We’ll Brew It” campaign. Voting ended April 30 and Demon’s Hop Yard IPA was selected for New England and Burnin’ Helles was selected for Ohio as THE beers of choice to be brewed and available locally to residents. Now the brewing of Demon’s Hop Yard IPA and Burnin’ Helles begins and will be available on draught at local bars and restaurants throughout New England and Ohio beginning June 26.
Here are the descriptions:
- Demon’s Hop Yard IPA – Incredibly “hopped-up” and citrusy ale — using domestically grown hops varietals to get the rich and robust flavor. Only one place in New England could provide us with hops this diabolical. (7% alcohol by volume)
- Stone Face Ale – Brewed in the British-Colonial tradition of New England blending Victory, Caramel and Black malts gives this “Brown” a rich, smooth, malty flavor. A true homage to the Old Man of the Mountain. (7.5% alcohol by volume)
- Burning Helles – This rich and malty Bock-style lager will tempt you as it showcases the finest domestic malts and the best hand-picked Bavarian Hallertau hops. It’s a true salute to more than 200 years of Ohio’s proud brewing tradition. This beer will appeal to those who have “a bit of a devil in you.” (6.3% alcohol by volume)
But what really shocked me was the fact that this contest ended in 2006!
So, I must ask, what is going on here? Why are these products being revived? Is AB Inbev up to its old tricks by imitating craft brands? There was a huge stir last year when it was reported that AB had registered local area codes to one day roll out “fake” local products. I mean, re-registering these beers seems to indicate that they’ll appear somewhere, be it on tap at the IX Beer Festival or on draft around Ohio (or even bottles). Regardless of their intended release format and volume, surely someone must have noticed the similarity between:
-Stone Face Ale and Stone Brewing
-Devil’s Hop Yard and Victory Hop Devil
-Burning Helles and Great Lakes Burning River
Sure, some are closer than others, but the entire scenario makes me uneasy. A lot has changed since 2006, with many craft beer brands like Stone and Victory becoming household names here in Ohio. Since these A/B product names were registered back in 2006, I bet there’s little that the (allegedly) spoofed companies can do, but I really wonder if this is something to confuse uneducated consumers and make them think they’re drinking craft or if possibly AB still believes in the old myth about housewives buying beer for their husbands. No, ladies, I know that’s not the case in today’s world, but back in the 20th century supermarkets and beer retailers placed beer at the eye level of women in stores if they wanted it to sell. Even 6 packs came about because the weight was something “women could lift”. Maybe they still believe you’re not only running errands for your husband but you’re so dumb you can’t remember what beer he wanted so you’ll get him this “Stone” something beer. Is this indeed a revival of lost brands, an attempt to confuse consumers, a misogynist plan from an foreign land or has the eagle landed and run out of ideas? I’m interested to hear your thoughts!
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