Animated beer bottles jousting on a football field. Scantily clad women partying with a funny-looking dog. Considering the irreverent tone conveyed by the beer industry through its advertising, you'd expect these folks to be at least a little, er, spirited themselves, right? Well, if Philip Van Munching's Beer Blast: The Inside Story of the Brewing Industry's Bizarre Battles for Your Money (Times Business) is even close to the mark, consider your expectations realized--times 10.
As Van Munching writes, "If most businesses are Monopoly or Stratego, the beer business is Twister." Why is this? "It demands odd, often comical, often sexy contortions. And everyone who plays it ends up falling on their ass from time to time."
Written with irreverence, Beer Blast chronicles everything from the short-lived career of Honey Tree Evil Eye (a.k.a. spokespooch Spuds MacKenzie) to the growing presence of entrepreneurial-driven microbrews.
Throughout the text, third-generation beer manufacturer Van Munching makes the same point again and again: When you sell beer, you sell romance. "Beer, whether it's used as a reward, a relaxant or a refresher, is a gift people give to themselves," he writes. And what could be more romantic than Spuds MacKenzie?