Bullsh*t Beer Gimmicks Through the Ages


The Ancestor — Pawuel Kwak


Dating back to 1731, Pawuel Kwak is a Belgian amber ale whose signature glass is arguably the first recorded example of bullshit beer gimmickry. The design probably came about after market research found that “looking like a scientist” was the coolest thing one could do in smallpox-ravaged, 18th century Brussels.

After that, things fell pretty silent on bullshit beer gimmick front.

…and then…America happened.

The Bottom Bottle Opener — Miller High Life

I’m not gonna lie. Compared to all the gimmicks that came after it, this one actually seems rather useful. Plus the commercial does a brilliant job of capturing the spirit of the summer of ’87 — when goombas cooked eggs on the sidewalk and tuxedo-clad men patiently waited for buses.

Wide Mouth and Vented Wide Mouth Can — Coors Light

Drinking beer used to take forever! It was like there was some Soviet-era Minister of Lager Rationing coming between the can and your face. Downing an entire 12 pack by yourself could take up to an hour. Then, one day in the 1990s, Coors Light was like “Damnit, this is America!” and invented the wide mouth can. It is rumored that, for a fleeting moment during the prototype’s maiden pour, the pallid gray-green face of the Statue of Liberty lit up with a healthy, ruddy-cheeked complexion (like that scene where Joan Allen masturbates in movie Pleasantville). A decade or so later, Coors followed up with the Vented Wide Mouth Can, which used cutting-edge aerodynamic innovation to…do…something. Still, in comparison to its revolutionary predecessor, the new design seemed unremarkable, perhaps even a tad forced (like the scene where Joan Allen masturbates in the movie Joan Allen: Masturbates).

Present Day

The current renaissance in American craft beer production and consumption has led to a counter renaissance in bat-shit crazy gimmicks by the big boys desperate to recapture the market share they’ve lost. And since making beer that actually tastes good is time-consuming and expensive, and since Goliath didn’t beat David by learning how to be small and likeable (Goliath beat David, right?), here’s what they’re bringing to the table.

Cold Activated Bottle and Cold Activated Window Box — Coors Light

I want you meditate on how much money and how many man hours were spent on developing these products. The endless executive meetings, the conference calls with the branding agency, the numerous prototypes, the focus groups, the millions in marketing dollars. All to spare you the exhausting prospect of having to TOUCH SOMETHING WITH YOUR HAND to determine if it’s cold.

Taste Protector Lid — Miller Lite

You know you’re playing a weak hand when the biggest selling point for your product is that it has a lid. It’s innovations like this, as well as their patented “gravity-obeying hops,” that keep Miller Light a step ahead of all those other beers floating wildly throughout the cosmos.

Vortex Bottle — Miller Lite

Ok…so what are these “specially designed grooves” specially designed to do?

…Besides make you look like you’re giving brain to a smaller than average black dude wearing a clear, ribbed condom.

WHAT?!? THAT’S WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!!!

My Bud Light — Bud Light

Here is a bottle you can write on because, according to this product’s press release, “Bud Light drinkers are always looking for fun, quirky ways to express themselves.”

Indeed.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase “Bud Light drinkers” I think of young poets furiously scribbling their tortured musings on whatever surface this bankrupt world will afford them…not these f*ckwads.