Wednesday, March 05, 2008

When a Brewery Isn't a Brewery

I happened to glance at the beer aisle at Ingle's today and noticed a beer that I haven't heard of. It is called Wild Blue Blueberry Lager, brewed by the Blue Dawg Brewing Company. This was not a brewery I had heard of before, but its location next to the Stone Mill Pale Ale clued me in on its actual origin. It is brewed by Anheuser Busch.

This isn't the first time one of the big three brewers has deceptively invented a brewery name for marketing purposes. Perhaps the biggest example of this is the very successful Blue Moon Belgian White, brewed by the Blue Moon Brewing Company, aka Coors. Coors also produces Killian's Irish Red, a bastardized version of a recipe for an Irish Red Ale that was changed to a lager for sale in the United States. Anheuser Busch has recently used the phantom brewery trick to cash in the increase in organic products by releasing the previously mentioned Stone Mill Pale Ale and Wild Hop Lager from 'Green Valley Brewing'.

Hey, I think it is great that some of the bigger brewers are attempting to make beers that actually have taste and substance, but I'm not a big fan of them hiding behind pseudo-breweries that tend to trick consumers into thinking they are supporting a small craft brewery.


  1. Oh no! I should've checked your blog earlier. I bought some of this today. And, in fact, I checked all over the label because I couldn't figure out where the beer was brewed when normally the brewing company's name is front and center. I finally found reference to the Blue Dawg Brewing Company on the bottom of the carton. I thought, that's weird, never heard of them before. But I bought a 6-pack anyway. Damn, I hate that!

  2. I also hate how they're mimicking the Flying Dog beers in their labeling and design. I worked for the guy who owns Flying Dog back in the late 80s when it was one of the first successful small microbreweries. I own a copy of the first drawing that Ralph Steadman did for Road Dawg Porter. Damn, I need to get that framed.

  3. The Flying Dog labels are great, and yes you do need to get that framed. So have you tried the Wild Blue? I read some pretty poor reviews of it, but who knows, maybe it is not that bad.

  4. Oh, it most definitely IS that bad. The stuff is rank. I too feel completely cheated, and this only encourages me to avoid supporting A-B at all costs. Sleazy marketing efforts make me itch.

  5. Anonymous5:30 PM

    mother fuckers!