Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Foster's... Australian for piss water

Foster's Lager has held a strange place in the thoughts of many beer drinkers. It's not quite as awful (or, in some cases, wonderfully awful) as the large market domestic beers available in the United States. And yet, it's still not as decent as even beers like Corona, which at least allows you to drop a slice of lemon or lime in to add to the general taste. Of course, the true beer connoisseurs will continue to rely on drinking either microbrews created domestically, or imported beers, generally coming from Europe. Foster's has often been considered a step up, albeit a very small step, from beers like Budweiser and Miller.

And yet, that could all change, very soon. For the next ten years, at least, Foster's is going to be brewed in the United States. By Miller Brewing Company (y'know, the makers of the "Champagne of Beers"). The beer is going to be marketed as trying to bridge that middle ground from the cheap domestics to the classier beers. Of course, for most Miller drinkers, that bridge will be stretching from Budweiser to Sam Adams, never mind beers like Smithwick's.

Naturally, this could be a good thing for both brands, giving Foster's a greater presence in the United States, while allowing Miller to claim a "higher quality" beer, without actually having to devote time to developing something better. And yet, somewhere, beer drinkers are crying. Crying over yet another piece of beer assimilation (like they could tell much of a difference between Foster's and Miller before). Crying over the loss of the relatively amusing commercials for the Australian beer. And crying because, when trying to stuff a lemon wedge into their Corona, they got a little juice in their eye.

So cheers to Foster's and Miller and all the rest. Cheers to bringing mediocrity to another beverage (something we thought was mostly left to the realm of Coca Cola). But, ultimately, cheers for giving us another reminder of why we drink the Irish or German beers. They may cost more, but they at least taste like something we would enjoy drinking.

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