Celebrity Beer Branding.
A belated Valentine’s Day gift came last week for America’s journalists and bloggers, who never let a bad pun left unsaid. The late holiday treat came from Michigan Brewing Co., which received a nearly $750,000 tax credit from the state for the creation and production of a line of Kid Rock-branded beer.
“This one’s for you, Kid Rock,” wrote the Detroit Free Press. “Let Kid Rock quench your thirst,” read a CHARTattack headline. A Newsday blogger got it all wrong: “Kid Rock may be one of the five coolest people walking the Earth.” Paste Magazine’s blog had the best headline: “Kid Rock’s stimulus package calls for more Kid Rock beer.”
Michigan Brewing’s owner said the beer, which he wants in stores by spring, will create 400 jobs in the state. Drinks Americas, the beverage branding company Kid Rock is partnering with, says the first beer in the line will be an “easy-to-drink, traditional, good-tasting American-manufactured beer.” Translation: While the economic output might be impressive, the beer output might be Budweiser taste with a novelty name. Blech.
It turns out Drinks Americas markets a variety of ways to get blitzed with celebrity branding: Donald Trump vodka, Willie Nelson whiskey, Dr. Dre cognac. It also turns out Drinks Americas founder J. Patrick Kenny needs a lesson on parallel construction. “We think we will be introducing a product that tastes great, is very drinkable and one that millions of Kid Rock fans in America will try and adopt,” a press release has him say.
Will the beer have an awful name to match the taste? Seems so. Drinks Americas trademarks a bunch of terms late last year that all seem to match the drink’s potential: Glory, Topless (as well as Topliss), Violator (and also Violateur—for French Canadians, I guess), Rock Red and Redneck Beer. What, no Beerwitdaba?
Recommendation: Don’t wait for Kid Rock’s beer. If you need to drink a pale American lager, try Straub, brewed right here in Pennsylvania. It’s on tap at Society Hill Hotel.
Beer on tap: Westmalle Tripel