In Beer Blast, Philip Van Munching takes you behind the scenes of the massive, cutthroat, increasingly embattled beer industry. He dissects in colorful fashion all the brewing fads and follies of the past two decades, including the overhyped (and sometimes downright silly) product claims, like “Beechwood Aging” and Coors’s “Rocky Mountain water, ” the would-be fads that fizzled (dry beer, ice beer, clear beer), the weird ad gimmicks (some of which worked), from Spuds McKenzie to the Swedish Bikini Team, and the microbrew revolution now being co-opted by “phony micros” such as Red Dog (really brewed by Miller). Ever wonder how malt liquor became the drink of choice for inner-city gangs? Or how Sam Adams Boston Lager – brewed in Pittsburgh – can get away with its “Colonial heritage” pose? Van Munching knows and tells. The marketing hotshots are squandering hundreds of millions of dollars on hype, fads, gimmicks, and just plain dumb ideas in the ongoing beer wars. And while they’re fun to laugh at, anyone in business can also learn from their idiocies. Among the lessons: When launching a new product, think small; beware of minor changes in your quality formula – they add up; don’t tinker with a marketing plan that works; and never forget your key ingredient, the romance of the product.
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