What is the best thing about Grolsch? Think about it. It’s the bottle right? What the Coca Cola contour bottle was every civilisation in the history of man (or at least since 1894) the Grolsch swing-top bottle is to beer drinkers.
In fact it even has a name ‘De Beugel’ which using my brilliant Dutch language skills means ‘The Brace’. This is the one thing that sets it apart from other euro lagers. When drinking from this bottle you felt like a man, a man of refinement. The bottle feels solid and classy, and the swing top manages to give all the usefulness of the twist top, whilst maintaining an air of distinction and general beer wankyness.
But clearly someone in the marketing department thinks this bottle makes the beer look old fashioned and thinks that it’ll turn off young people. Marketers always think you need to appeal to young people, even though young people have no taste, will only remain loyal to a brand for approximately 4.2 minutes and don’t actually have any money for beer because they are spending it on crack cocaine and Lady Gaga iTunes downloads.
So the marketing wunderkind decides in his wisdom to change the bottle, away from the distinctive bottle that every man and his blind dog recognises as a Grolsch bottle and replace it with a standard looking green bottle, a bottle not dissimilar to their main competitor – Heineken, or any other beer in the world, with the possible exception of Lucky Beer
But destroying the bottle wasn’t enough – to increase the street cred of this beer the good people at Grolsch had a marketing campaign which consisted of a Tram (or bus in Sydney) which and I quote ‘Looks as if they’ve been tagged by a graffiti artist who drinks premium beer.’ This led to this hideous beast, which looks like a advertisement for an sugar infused energy drink to me.
This is a pure case of marketing concept before product attributes, or throwing the baby out with the bath water, which is not a wise thing to do and would is suspect led to a visit from family services.
I find it interesting that Grolsch is distributed in Australia by Pacific Beverages, which is a joint venture between
SABMiller and, you guessed it Coca-Cola. This sure explains why they seem to think they are selling lolly water instead of a good quality Euro Lager. Perhaps the marketing man used to work on Mother (and product they freely admit they completely cocked up)
But is it a good quality Euro lager? Yeah it is, not my favourite beer in the world, but certainly not the worst beer out there either. It’s a great refreshing beer, mainstream yes, but European mainstream, which means not as sweet a Aussie mainstream (I’m looking at you Carlton Draught/Boags Draught et al) or as watery as the mainstream Americans (Miller/Bud) rather the Europeans produce and nice smooth neutral beer, some might even say balanced.
Oh and a rating for the Grolsch from the shit bottle? – Well ‘Let’s have a Schooner ‘