Oh no, not again. Look, I want so badly to write something positive about DB. I’ve said time and time again that I don’t care who makes good beer, so long as it IS good beer. I’d heard exciting things about Single Source – a beer from DB that talked about malt and hops as real ingredients, with individual flavours, and a story to tell. But then, I heard the marketing spin.
I honestly just don’t know where to start. Perhaps with the two quotes which got me the most steamed. This well-written article contained the following quote: “But according to Monteith’s head brewer Tony Mercer, the story of beer hasn’t really been told”. Well, gee. I wonder why that could be? Perhaps because DB is so intent on pushing lowest-common-denominator style over educational substance for its brands. And they are brands. Not beers. I can’t remember the last time I heard a press release from DB which talked about the flavours of the individual beers being promoted. Lucky for us that Single Source is here to do what nobody else has ever done and tell us the story of beer! Once upon a time, children, beer was invented by DB! Of course, plenty of people have told the story of beer. If only most of the pubs in NZ weren’t locked down by our big duopoly, perhaps that story would be far more widely known. Small brewers love to talk about their beer. Actualy TALK about the beer – the flavours, the ingredients, the passion. Not just the image that they say drinking that beer will give you.
The second thing that bugs me, and the thing that brought this to my attention was the other quote from the above article: “So Grant Caunter, DB’s innovations guy, believes this level of traceability in a beer is a world-first.” – Except Keith Galbraith has been doing it for ages. Sorry, it’s a Flash site, so you’ll have to click Beers, then Our Beers. Read all about the level of pride Keith takes in his beer, and the detail he provides about the origins of all his ingredients. And Keith is just the most high profile of the small brewers who care about their ingredients. I don’t think I’ve ever met a craft brewer in NZ who didn’t care about what ingredients they use, and where they come from. Yep, DB’s Grant Caunter. Nice to see you innovating there. Good job. Have a Tui on me. Seriously, this rubbish is what passes for innovation? Step 1. Nick someone else’s idea. Step 2. Chuck a massive marketing budget at it. Step 3. Boast about how innovative you are, and what a service to beer you’re doing by telling people the story of beer. Once upon a time, children, we stopped dumbing down beer quite so much as we usually do, then we took credit for “telling the story of beer” via someone else’s idea.
Now, moving on from the blatantly misleading, and into the just weird. These snippets just prove how stupid DB think we beer drinkers really are.
It’s important to know the elements that go into making a beer. If you don’t understand the source, you’re not going to understand the finished beer.
Once upon a time, children, we tried to tell people that they couldn’t understand any of our other products, since we don’t tell them the source of the ingredients that go into them.
A beer that didn’t need to rely on hype to be appreciated.
Once upon a time, children, we managed to imply that all our other beers are just hype, while hyping our new beer. Which isn’t. Honest.
The great thing about Single Source is that nothing is hidden.
Once upon a time, children, we explained that Single Source is not hiding any nasty surprises, unlike our other beers!
I understand it’s a pricey drop too, due in part to the black light excluding bottle. Well, good on DB for realising that light is the enemy of beer. I’m sure they will immediately be packaging their entire range in black glass too, so that none of their other beers are tainted by light strike! After all, a company that knows this would never package their fine products in UV-admitting clear glass, now would they?
The bright side, at least, is that by making it acceptable to pay $10 for a beer in a bar, DB may help some of their craft brewing cousins, who don’t have massive economies of scale and marketing budgets, and need to charge $8-10 a pint to make money. Here’s hoping that catches on and the story of beer ends with all craft brewers living happily ever after.