Wednesday, October 12, 2011

suds series vol 4

Next up on our Suds Series: the ever important Brewery tour.

Yep, I'll admit it: I've been on the Budweiser Brewery Tour 3 times: the first time I traveled to St. Louis,  when my sister came to visit, and when my parents came to visit. It never gets old. The tour is your classic indoor-outdoor walking tour (all downhill! And then a trolley takes you back UP the hill!). You meet the Clydesdales, and sometimes the dalmatians. You see beautiful red-brick architecture, learn about how to make crappy beer, and ultimately, get to drink crappy beer for free. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase: "They couldn't pay me to drink that swill."

The best part about the brewery tour is how the tour guides really seem to love Budweiser. And I bet they do. Regardless, they're basically spewing beer propaganda, musing about how Budweiser is the greatest beer in all humanity, which I find really amusing. They take themselves a little too seriously at the Busch brewery.

The Miller Brewery tour, is a totally different animal. As I've said before, Michael went to Milwaukee without me on a baseball trip a few years ago. When he went on a brewery tour at Miller, the promotional video that they played before the start of the tour began with several shots of cavemen looking glum and bored. A voice-over narrator intoned: "From the Dawn of Time, Man has yearned for Miller Time." Instead of canned discussions of corporate responsibility and the number of fresh ingredients that go into each brew, the video had intentionally hilarious re-creations of the birth of Miller and flashbacks to the old Bob Uecker commercials from the 70s and 80s. That is how I want my beer company to act.  Not too seriously. They know they're not a great beer, but they know that they have a good thing going. Miller Time, baby. Miller Time.

But when Michael took me to Milwaukee to go on the Miller Brewery Tour, Miller had changed its tune. They talked about how they gave back to the community. They talked about how they're green. They talked about boring things like brewing beer. They did NOT talk about Miller Time. Nor did they show cavemen. I was very disappointed.

So how do we judge this? I WANT Miller to win this because in the very recent past, they didn't take their brewery tour so seriously. And honestly, if I hadn't gone to Milwaukee earlier this year, and was doing this Suds Series anyway, I would be basing my opinions on Michael's story about cavemen and Miller Time. And I want to be able to forgive some sins.

So Miller and Milwaukee, I am going to give this one to you. I hope that you'll bring back the cavemen. It will be good for your image. And it will give me a reason to go back to Milwaukee.

St. Louis: 2
Milwaukee: 2

Next up: microbrews!

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