Hey, have you seen this stupid shit?
That's right, Miller Lite has introduced the Vortex Bottle in hopes of lifting their flagging beer sales by convincing you that swishing around your beer as it pours somehow makes it taste better, as opposed to flatter. What slogans might they have rejected for this product, you ask?
Finding sales in dire straits as more and more Americans discover tastier crafted brews, large beer companies often pull a Domino's and scrap their product, starting again from the drawing board, intent on manufacturing a better product that will earn back the respect and patronage of the customers they lost. Wait, did we say "often"? We meant "never." What large beer companies do instead is continue manufacturing the same weak, flavorless piss-water and festoon their products with gimmicky horseshit that impresses the same sort of people who can stare for hours at the introduction screen on their convenience store's electronic gambling machine. Here are some of the horseshittiest beer gimmicks.
4. Coors Light's Cold Activated Label
Remember Hypercolor? Wasn't it awesome? If you said "fuck no," you are correct; what fifth-grader needs an orange shirt that's going to turn bright pink around his armpits during recess, earning him the nickname "Pink Pits," which will follow him until he graduates high school and joins the Foreign Legion? Nonetheless, Coors resurrected the concept when it formulated its plan to bill itself not as the best-tasting beer, but instead as the "coldest tasting" beer. Obviously they knew they could never get away with claiming to be the best, so claiming to be the "coldest-tasting" was kind of a clever little curveball on their part, since it's a completely unverifiable boast. As part of the campaign, Coors changed the labels on the bottles so that when the mountains pictured there turned blue, your Coors beer was now at the proper temperature to drink. "Why not just verify its coldness by touching it?" you might somewhat reasonably ask? Well, that's a very good question, but it has a very simple yet enlightening answer, which is that (note to self: make something up before handing this in, then delete this parenthetical). Everyone knows a hot Coors Light tastes like a sack of assholes, but if you wait 'til those Rocky Mountains turn blue, you'll be enjoying a sack of much chillier assholes, perhaps the assholes of some Minnesotans, maybe even some Canadians.
3. That Bizarre "Ice" Business a Few Years Back
Back in the early-to-mid '90s, various beers started popping up with the word "ice" in their names. Coors had Coors Arctic Ice, Miller had Miller Lite Ice, and of course Budweiser had Bud Ice, which you may remember from those commercials that somehow managed to make a penguin seem creepy.
Even Canadian brews Molson and Labatt got in on it, each releasing their own "ice" beer, some claiming to use fractional freezing to concentrate the taste, but if you had any of those North American ice brews, you knew right away that whatever the brewers did to it, it didn't make a damn bit of difference. We bet they sure tasted cold, though, right?
2. The Face-Shatteringly Revolutionary Taste Protector Cap
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What do you do when you can't even think of a lame-ass gimmick for your lame-ass beer? Easy: Turn a feature it already possesses into a gimmick. Hence, the caps on Miller's beer bottles and cans became Taste Protector Caps. This is technically a true connotation, since that is the function of all caps and lids everywhere: to protect the taste of the product by preventing it from spoiling, preventing bugs crawling around in it, hobos peeing in it, and so on. The way they marketed the caps, you'd have thought Miller had modified them to include some kind of nigh-weaponized Teflon seal that would no sooner let foreign elements into your beer than Jesse Ventura would let verifiable facts into the hopelessly tangled, fermented lump of bread pudding he calls his brain. But no, they were the same caps they'd always been. They only kept out oxygen, not terrorists. Sorry, America.
1. Box With a Window
Look, maybe we were a bit snarky above, but obviously we all know Miller Lite's Vortex Bottle is going to demolish its competition and reset the very tradition of beer brewing itself unless someone comes up with a gimmick that can stand up to it. Lucky for us, Coors Light is that company. Okay, check this out. Their beer bottles come in a box, right? Well, now there's a box with this little panel on it that starts out opaque. But! When it gets put in the cooler... oh, dude. It turns clear. And that's how you know it's cold. In fact, you can double-check because the clear panel on the box will let you see the bottles inside so that you can check to see if their god damned labels have turned blue. Wow. You've already gone through two levels of Temperature Awareness Bureaucracy before you've even laid a hand on the box. Coors Lite: Because You Shouldn't Have to Touch Something to Know It's Cold.™
We're well aware that this is not an exhaustive list of stupid beer gimmicks. Which ones should we have included? List 'em in the comments!