When the first ads started to hit the airwaves I began to wonder if this “Band of Brewers” was a tease for a movie from the guys behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. You know the type of movie…zany outsiders band together to conquer a common enemy whether it’s zombies or Timothy Dalton chewing up scenery or an ill-fated pub crawl. Why couldn’t it work?
At the very least I was hoping it was a stealth campaign for the movie Drinking Buddies. Nope. In reality Band of Brewers is another faux craft brand from MillerCoors that has released Third Shift Amber Lager onto store shelves and tap handles:
Impressions? Well…it tastes like the band of brewers were sitting around one night drinking Coors Light and decided what was missing were some steeping grains. That’s the best way to describe Third Shift Amber Lager–enhanced Coors Light. Whatever.
Here’s the primary problem with faux craft. The beers generally turn out to be variations of the same boring macro-brews that we, as a group of beer drinkers, are increasingly rejecting in favor of true craft beers. Just reimagining the same tired formula does not produce something new, it produces something that is derivative.
Look at the six-pack carrier:
Single color print impression on rough finished plain cardboard? I was half expecting handwritten details on the labels or, at the very least, something printed in a handwriting-esque script.
It is heartening to see that the largest brewers in the world realize that the answer to declining sales may not be a revival of the Swedish Bikini Team, but rather is producing better beer. However, these attempts at faux craft come across as crass opportunism.