Drinking Your Words
It's a little late in the season to be talking about blonde ales, but a number of people are upset over a recent advertising campaign for Deep Ellum Brewing. Apparently, DE's Dallas Blonde "Goes Down Easy" ad on a windowless van that is painted pink with a drawing of a little girl doll, is promoting rape culture. Who knew? (Hint: Not Deep Ellum Brewing.) To me, this is a clear case of words being taken completely out of context, when someone used the context that the words were in to get an idea of what the words meant.
Now, as Deep Ellum eloquently conveyed afterwards, advertising phrases are meant to be read as a literal description of that product. This is how advertising works. There's no subtext. There's no hidden agenda. Deep Ellum saying their Dallas Blonde "Goes down easy" is saying "this is a light beer that is easy to drink" in the same way that Virginia Slims, "You've come a long way baby," is saying "these cigarettes are perfect after a marathon."
Words are words. In fact I've redone Deep Ellum's the ad to prove this point.
See? The meaning is the same.
But maybe what made people upset when they saw Deep Ellum's ad campaign isn't the fact that DE may possibly be helping perpetuate "rape culture." (Totes are.) Maybe what was most upsetting is the idea that this craft brewer compared their beer to women in a way that not only insulted women, it insulted the beer. I imagine it went something like this...
"Hey! We need a new slogan for our beer, the Dallas Blonde. What should it be?"
"Well, the word blonde reminds me of the broads I see in magazines, the ones who look pretty and make me feel like they wanna sleep with me."
"Yeah! Those ladies seem great and they're ALWAYS in ads, they must be good at selling things."
"I can think of a couple of things I'd like them to sell me!"
(laughter and high fives)
Come on craft brewers, use your imagination! If you want to compare craft beer to women, do it in a way that proves that you understand, respect and love beer.
And, you do LOVE beer.
It's actually not far off to compare good craft beer to women if you know the beer well enough. If you've paid attention to it, and all it's complexities. If you've gotten to know and love all it's aromas and flavors. And when you put it up to your mouth and get that first taste. You're probably getting thirsty right now just thinking about it...
Anyway, the point is, the brewers who have respect for their craft create names and phrases that both elevate their beer and give new meaning to the phrases that they've attached.
Otherwise, they're just words.