I enjoy good quality beer and I’m quite happy that the rest of America has started to feel the same way but we are nearing a major turning point. I understand beer is big business and everyone is trying to get on-board but someone needs to walk down the hall and bitch-slap those assholes who work in marketing. The other day at my local supermarket I came across this in the pet food section:
Yes, Brew Buddies dog treats because… I don’t know… you’ll feel less like you’re drinking alone while watching MLB Network? Who exactly does this company have in mind as their target market? I’m trying to imagine the gullible dipshit who would by these. Your garden variety frat boy or redneck is just going to crack open a can of Milwaukee’s Best and pour it in Diesel’s bowl. (Of course his name is Diesel and he is some sort of Rottweiler/Pit Bull mix.) Anyone who actually knows about beer wouldn’t be dumb enough to waste their money. That means the person this is for is Nuevo Craft – a term I just made up – You know that friend of yours who has been drinking Blue Moon for about a year and just recently started trying stuff from Rogue, Stone and Founders. I’m not knocking your pal. Good for him/her broadening their horizons, welcome to the Good Beer Party. I just don’t want them to fall victim to all the craft beer parasites that are trying to cash in any way they can.
I’m a beer nerd from way back but I’m not going to nerd out on you here. Instead I’m just going to give you some very basic beer information. The Brew Buddies package boldly exclaims “Made with malted barley – just like your beer”. Yes, the primary ingredient in beer is malted barley but there is nothing magical here. Barley is a very common grain that gets used in lots of things including breads, soups, snack foods and… wait for it… animal feed. Different beers use lots of types of whole grains too, like wheat, oats, rye, corn. Take a look at that 100lb sack of kibble you got from Sam’s Club and check the ingredients. See where it says “whole grains”… guess what that means?
The other main ingredient in beer is water. Is Evian going to start saying it is “just like beer”? How about a sports drink called Brewer’s Choice since the thing that makes up 90% of the bottle is identical to beer? Campbell’s is missing out on a whole marketing segment since they use barley and water in some of their soup. Bakers use barley, water and yeast, why in gods name are they not calling their product “beer” and charging five times as much? Because they are not assholes, that’s why.
Look if you want to feed your dog carbs, go ahead, it’s not exactly good for them but it’s not necessarily bad for them either. Give them a slice of bread. Let them chomp on a granola bar because that’s basically what Brew Buddies are, just don’t pay extra because there is a picture of a beer bottle on the package. And you know what, unlike your old college roommate, the dog will happily watch sports with you even if it doesn’t get a beer.