Man Up

Yesterday, I was watching the first game of the Sixers-Heat Playoff series. Chris Bosh, who looks like a brother from James Cameron’s Pandora planet, manned up. I am afraid it is going to be a tough series for the Philly team. At least the Sixers are respectable once again, after several years of being pathetic. We’ll see how the Sixer’s do at home, where they are a much better team.  Home-Court advantage.  Speaking of pathetic, one of the commercials yesterday on TV during the game was that new one that has the Liteguards who are being trained to save mens’ summers from bad beer.

The one thing that the big brewers have on the microbreweries are the sexy girls in TV commercials. Some of the commercials can be witty but more often than not, it portrays men as adolescent-acting clowns. And women as either sarcastic and snarky mean girls, or Freudian mommies, or busty bimbos.  All beautiful. It is practically Orwellian 1984ish where the language used is precisely opposite from what is actually happening. Man up? How about man down? Great taste…huh? It is Lite beer, neutered specifically to have no taste. The vortex bottle? What is its design purpose? Existential Inanity. The Liteguards, a rip-off from bouncy body-parts Baywatch, are more like the Sirens of Greek Mythology, drawing men to the rocks of destruction of all that is truly manly. If I was one of the Dad’s of the girls in these lusty commercials, I would be embarrassed. “But Daddy, I am an actor.” Right.

You want to Man Up? Get rid of the Lite Beer.

I went with my wife (a real woman) to Wegman’s in Downingtown to check out their exquisite beer selection. We also sampled salami and cheeses for half an hour. My wife used to live in Princeton, New Jersey, and Wegman’s is where she used to shop weekly for groceries. Now, living in Lancaster, Pa., I take her on dates to Wegman’s yearly. She even took a picture of a fish with clear eyes (how one can tell how fresh a fish is? Examine the lack of cloudiness in the eyes). My wife caught herself in mid-snap of the picture and decried, “I am acting like a tourist.”  I feel sorry for the poor girl. Moving to Lancaster, Pa., has been a real cultural demotion. Me? I prefer Redner’s. Until they closed in Columbia.

Here is some beer culture:

Belgian, European? Now, how pathetic is Lite Beer compared to these??? Like going to the Louvre.

Here is some Pennsylvania masterpieces (and speaking of Home-Court advantage):

Like DaVinci, Rembrandt, Matisse…

Sorry, the picture is not better. I was also starting to feel like a tourist…”But,” I felt like saying, “I have a microbrewery  blog.” So, I rushed the pic but Photoshop was able to sharpen it up quite a bit.

Wegman’s is able to sell beer because they also serve food…I did get to my ounce limit and had to give Lina (my wife) the last two liters of Belgian to purchase. Pennsylvania beer laws reinforce the Big Brewers’ hegemony. Once other retails operations can sell beer, then the monopolistic containment of craft breweries will be breached.

Look at the puny section for the Big Boys at Wegman’s…a mere trickle.

May the waves come and clear the beaches of this Liteguard drivel.  It should be mocked because it is pathetic…


2 responses to “Man Up

  • Carl Metzler

    I love the blog, but expanding the sale of beer to other retailers would be very bad for Craft Beer. Wegmans is one of the best bottle shops I have ever been to, but they are filling a niche and are the exception, not the rule, as to what beer in gorcery stores would be like in PA. If a grocery store (especially Walmart) was able to sell beer in PA, it would be the death knell of great beer selections. They would stock a handful of decent beer and the rest would be pure BMC. And if grocery stores were able to sell beer, 99% of beer stores in PA would be out of business almost over night…taking w/ them their large Craft Beer sections.

    • ericbierker


      Thanks for taking the time and effort to comment as well as your appreciation for the Blog. I agree that there would be some risks with deregulating beer and spirits in general in Pa. because free enterprise really isn’t free. The existing major players will try and use their dominance to squash competitors. I particularly despise Wal-Mart and do not shop there on principle. Another issue is that a lot of beer distributors are small businesses and have based their investment on existing laws.

      Here is what I envision happening. The Big Brewers will have the distribution channels into retails operations like the Wal-Marts and Grocery Chains and etc. Substantial players in Microbreweries such as Dogfish, Troeg’s, and Victory, will also get shelf space, perhaps not at Wal-Mart initially but definitely in places like Giant. The smaller Microbreweries such as Spring House will probably be shut out. Yet, I think this is where Distributors will retain and edge.

      Here is why. The inferior taste and quality of the Millers, Buds, and Coors, are the biggest competitive advantage that the smaller brewers and distributors have. If these two entities cooperate (Dist and MB’s) , this marriage could open the way for more diversity in the smaller shops. As with the case with Lite Beer, where someone could offer to give it to me for free and I will only drink it if there is nothing else–and I mean nothing else–to drink, cede the larger brewers to the big retailers.

      And, then educate beer drinkers on the qualities that make microbreweries compelling–better taste, craftsmanship, locally-brewed, etc. The organic food movement is starting to make such inroads with produce. The argument has to be made that the consumer gets what he or she pays for. In a small way, I am trying to create such sentiment with what I am doing. I think it is a battle that can be won but the smaller players had better use their wits. David beat Goliath by relying on God and using his strengths rather than fighting according to Goliath’s strengths. In David’s eyes, Goliath was too big to miss….the very size of the behemoth beers makes them a formidable opponent but also a bigger target.

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