For my first Top 10 list of 2010, I’ve decided on a decidedly unreal topic, Fictional Beers. By fictional, I mean beers that were created in literature, film, television or other similar media. I drive my wife nuts whenever we watch a TV show or film, trying to identify the beer on the screen to see if it’s a real brand or one the filmmaker’s made up. At least initially, all of the brands here were conceived and created only in the mind of a writer. You’ve seen them in the hands of your favorite characters on the screen or read about them in the pages of comics or novels. Some proved so popular that they made the jump to real products. So for my 21st Top 10 List, I present my favorite fictional beer brands. Let me know your faves. Here’s List #21:
Top 10 Fictional Beer Brands
| Spud Beer from Saturday Night Live
While SNL spoofed many beers over its long television run, being a potato fanatic makes this one my personal favorite. Most people seem to like Schmitts Gay Beer or ColdCock Malt Liquor, but I prefer “the beer that made Boise famous.”
| Olde Frothingslosh from the Pittsburgh radio show “Cordic & Company,” with host Rege Cordic
Olde Frothingslosh Pale Stale Ale might have stayed a footnote in radio history, had it not been for Iron City Brewery (then Pittsburgh Brewing) making up actual cans of this beer (with just regular Iron City inside) for collectors. The beer started out out as just another joke on Cordic’s radio show in the 1950s with the beer’s taglines “A whale of an ale for the pale stale male” and “Hi dittom dottom, the foam is on the bottom.” The first cans were done in 1955, but they were revived again in the 1970s, this time featuring plus size go-go dancer Fatima Yechberg (real name: Marsha Phillips) on the label and the popularity of the cans soared even more than in the fifties.
| Dharma Beer from the TV show “Lost”
This might be higher if I was still a fan of Lost, but I stopped following the show somewhere in the muddled season three. Still, like Repo Man before it, I love it when everything looks the same, as if it was all made by one entity.
| Heisler Beer from the ISS, featured on countless programs.
Heisler Beer is the most famous beer you’ve never heard of. It was created by Independent Studio Services as a prop to be used in television and films. A partial list of TV and films it’s been used in includes American Pie Presents: Band Camp, Beerfest, Bionic Woman, Bones, Burn Notice, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Desperate Housewives, Dollhouse, Everybody Hates Chris, How I Met Your Mother, The Hulk, Malcom in the Middle, My Name Is Earl, The Pretender, Prison Break, The Rainmaker, Star Trek: Enterprise, Stealing Harvard, Superbad, The Shield, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Training Day, Two and a Half Men, Veronica Mars and Weeds. See Wikipedia for a more complete list.
| Olde Fortran Malt Liquor from “Futurama”
Also created by Matt Groening, Futurama had several fake beer brands on the animated series, such as Benderbrau Cold-Fusion Steam Beer, Löbrau Beer, Pabst Blue Robot and St. Pauli Exclusion Principle Girl Beer. But Olde Fortran is the one I recall seeing most often, so that’s why it’s number six.
| Buzz Beer from the “Drew Carey Show”
Years before the FDA stuck their nose into caffeine and beer, Drew Carey was working on Buzz Beer in his garage.
| Samuel Jackson from “Chappelle’s Show”
I loved Dave Chappelle’s show, and while he had many more poignant and funny moments, as far as beer spoofs go, this one was freaking hilarious.
| Shotz Beer from the TV show “Laverne & Shirley”
This one may be lost on the young folks, as this Happy Days spin-off has been off the air since 1983, having run for eight seasons beginning in 1976. But all the leads worked at a brewery, Shotz in Milwaukee, so it sticks with me in my memory, at least, and perhaps those who are old curmudgeons like me, too. In retrospect, it’s surprising no brewery stepped up and made a Shotz Beer.
| Elsinore Beer from the film “Strange Brew”
Given that Strange Brew is the greatest beer movie ever made (though I still hesitate to actually call it a “good” movie), it’s only natural that Elsinore Beer — no longer with rats or drugs in each bottle — should be one of the top fake beers, too.
| Duff Beer from the TV show “The Simpsons”
How could it be otherwise? No brand so thoroughly explored all that’s repugnant in big beer advertising and marketing as Duff Beer has done for twenty years.
It was, as always, really difficult to keep the list to ten, and to put together this list I also compiled a more complete list of Fictional Beer Brands, listing as many as I could remember or research. Take a look and see if there’s any you can think of that I missed. Here’s a few more that nearly made the list:
Butterbeer, from the Harry Potter series, Flager Lager, from “Magnum P.I.,” Newton & Ridley from England’s “Coronation Street” (I have friends who are fanatical about the show), Pawtucket Patriot Ale, from “Family Guy,” Rocketfuel Malt Liquor, from “News Radio,” Romulan Ale, from “Star Trek,” Tenku Beer, from “Kill Bill,” and last, but not least, the generic Beer (like every other product in) the film “Repo Man.”
Let me know your favorites, and if you see any that you think should have made the list, please post a comment.
Also, if you have any ideas for future Top 10 lists you’d like to see, drop me a line.