Monday’s ad is for the Australian beer Tooheys Oatmeal Stout. It looks to be an older ad, pre-WWII possibly, but I’m not sure. Since it refers to the Oatmeal Stout as building “radiant health,” I suspect that it’s from a time before the age of television. It seems to me that such health claims tend to be in ads from before the 1940s.
Today I saw in the UK Sun that American actor Megan Fox is doing ads for Brahma, the Brazilian Budweiser, an especially accurate association since Brahma is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Why do we care? We don’t, but I’m game to look at a couple of ads with Megan Fox in them. Isn’t that why advertisers chose her? Of course, it’s still a tasteless, flavorless beer.
As Mais Gostosas do Carnival (The Hottest Carnival)
Is it just me, or does that beer have his arm around Fox? Is the beer wearing sunglasses because he doesn’t want to be seen with Megan Fox?
Convidando Megan Fox Pra Uma Brahma (Inviting Megan Fox for a Brahma)
And here she is going off to have a picnic. According to the Sun, she’s flying down to Rio to do a commercial and pose for some more ads.
Although humorously enough, a few years ago the hipster appeared more partial to Pabst Blue Ribbon. This was taken by paparazzi in 2009. Ah, sex and beer. What’s not to love. It seems to me, the big brewers follow a variation of the old lawyer’s adage. “When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When neither the facts nor the law are on your side, make an ad hominem attack.” In the brewer’s world it’s more along these lines. “When the beer tastes good, promote the beer. When the brewery has personality, promote the brewer. When the beer has neither, promote a celebrity, a cartoon, or both.”
Popular Science’s BeerSci series had another interesting post last month on How Beer Gets Its Color, this time addressing “the two chemical reactions that most influence the malt character and color of your brew.” It’s wonderfully geeky, and goes into the Maillard reaction, named for French chemist Louis Camille Maillard, which is also known as “browning,” and is essentially how “amino acids react with a reducing sugar.” Between that, and caramelization, the various colors in beer are created.
Brewers used to use the Lovibond scale — expressed as “Degrees Lovibond” — when referring to color, but it’s largely been replaced by SRM (Standard Reference Measurement) or the EBC (European Brewing Convention), which is similar but has a different numbering system. Here’s what the SRM range looks like:
For more infomation, check out the terrific Beer Color Laboratories. I keep their wallet size color reference guide in my wallet at all times, and have the larger one in my office. They’re great if you don’t have a spectrophotometer lying around.
Another interesting expression of beer color is coming out of Switzerland. Beertone is essentially a playful spoof on or homage to the Pantone color system used by design professionals. Beertone is taking individual beers and making a beertone card for each, with information about each beer on it. Here’s a sample mock-up of what the cards will look like.
- The Beer Color: The concept from Beertone. Each beer has been shot in a special glass, to avoid reflexes and extern influences. The results are amazing.
- The Beer Bottle: There’s so many cool Beer Labels that we thought, we must have the bottle on each page.
- Alcohol by Volume: The percent alcohol by volume (% alc/vol). It’s a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in an alcoholic beverage.
- Brewery: it’s important to know who produced the Beer. Big and small companies have their places on Beertone.
- Beer Name: That’s most important thing to remember when the barkeeper asks what do you wanna drink.
- The Color Information: As part from Beertone concept, we present the color references from different color models. With the best values compared to the Beer color.
- Brewery Site: If you want to know more about the Beer and its Brewery, here you will have their official site.
- Beer Description: Here the Beer enthusiasts will have a description about each Beer. Useful information is always relevant. What a better way to start a good conversation at the bar?
So far, only Swiss beers are available for pre-order — and they’re pretty pricey — with plans for German beers and Brazilian beers to be released later this year.
It certainly seems like a cool idea, if a little unwieldy. I think they should sell them like trading cards and sell packs at bars. But I’d certainly like to see them expanded into the U.S., Great Britain, the Czech Republic, et al., and see what a wider geographic range of beers would look like.
Today’s infographic is one of several versions of the Periodic Table of Beer Styles. It looks similar to the one hanging in my office, though mine has some color on it, while this one is strictly black and white.