The above is how began a press release I received yesterday. Actually, I suppose it really began with the headline, one which read: “Calling All Beer Connoisseurs…”
It was about the imminent arrival to a local pair of beer-themed restaurants of a new and limited-availability Belgian draught beer, the aforementioned “most famous and most popular” in all of Belgium.
Its name? Jupiler.
For those unfamiliar with Jupiler, it is indeed the best-selling beer in Belgium, but that doesn’t mean it has anything going for it. Hell, the best-selling beer in the US is Bud Light, and I don’t see “beer connoisseurs” clamoring for that one as if it were some special release of Dark Lord or Pliny the freaking Younger. Best-selling beer in Britain? Carling! (It is still Carling, isn’t it? Confirmation, please, my British friends.) Best-selling weissbier in Germany? The utterly underwhelming Erdinger. Etc.
I’ve never made notes on Jupiler, but I have tried it. It’s as dull and boring as any mass-produced lager, aiming to not enchant with flavour, but flow quickly down the throat as coldly and inoffensively as possible. You want a review? Check out Non-Snob Beer Reviews.
Even so, there are hundreds of thousands of people living or working in the downtown core of Toronto who know only that Belgium is a country associated with beer. For them, the promise that Jupiler is big in Belgium will be read as a glowing endorsement. And as familiar as they are with bud and Coors Light and Molson Canadian — now available in a low-cal “Sublime” lemon and lime flavoured version! — they will probably gulp it back at $7.52 a glass and think they’re drinking something special.
More’s the pity!