Tuesday, 29 June 2010

More Lout



Fresh from my second trip to the Isle of Man in two months, I come back to find that Stella are launching a new beer called "Stella Black". The 4.9 per cent beer, which is not actually black, but pale and golden like most other mass produced lagers, will be brewed in Belgium and imported to the UK. One cheer for that.

Reading the hoots of derision from the trade in the comments area on both the the Morning Advertiser and Publican sites, it seems there might just be a credibility gap for them to overcome, but be reassured. In addition to its other redeeming features - well I suppose it might have some - but the press release doesn't say what if anything they might be - there will be "a reverential pouring ritual”. Yes that's right, a reverential pouring ritual. That's got me hooked.

Now call me an old cynic (please do), but unless by some miracle this stuff is actually good and even if it is, it's got "This is going to bomb" written all over it.

Now altogether, sing the song. "Ste-lla Blaaack Label"

17 comments:

BeerReviewsAndy said...

If it said black on the pump id expect it to be black!

did they not try releasing other types of stella before that bombed, i seam to remember atois bock, eiken atois and peeterman artois all bombing too....

Tandleman said...

They've got form!

Velky Al said...

You old cynic Tandleman! ;)

Looking at the slogan there, that it is "matured for longer" begs the questions, matured longer than what? Bud Light?

Cooking Lager said...

you're blog is improving since you became a fellow lager lout, Tand.

crownbrewerstu said...

IOM did you go for the bowls fest?

Cooking Lager said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cooking Lager said...

A few years ago the big burger franchises faced a decline amid claims of poor quality meat in books like “Fast Food Nation” & claims of contributing to obesity in films like “Super Size Me”. MacDonald’s considered introducing a “premium meat” burger but dropped the idea fearing it would be perceived as an admission of poor meat quality across the range. Instead they dropped the supersizing and the mega macs and the double quarter pounders and went for a guest range of burger involving bun, cheese & dressing variety whilst promoting the quality of the existing burger patties. The sales picked up. Burger King introduced the “better meat” Angus hamburger and are still struggling with poor sales.

The big lout manufacturers have the problem of how to convince a punter that a pint of Stella is worth £3+ when it’s tuppence at Tesco. With premium ale at £1.50 a bottle in Tesco & a pub pint £2+, the pong market has less of an issue. The logical thing for Stella to do is to introduce a new brand for the on trade that purports to be worth the price. How this damages the regular Stella brand depends on its value. The company still promotes it as a premium brand but the market no longer views it as such. Stella 4% stemmed the decline of the Stella brand and has been a success, whilst the previous attempt to turn the brand into a range failed.

An interesting feature of the new brand is that it’s only claim is to have been lagered for longer. A claim of an all malt beverage would be an admission of a lack of quality in its core product. One feature I haven’t mentioned is the taste. If it tastes like a decent pint of lager, I suspect it will find a market.

Curmudgeon said...

Apparently in the past InBev planned the launch of a 5.5% ABV premium version of Stella called Stella Black, but aborted it at the last minute, possibly because of concerns about the anti-drink lobby. Trying to get people to pay more for a slightly weaker beer does sound like a plan destined for failure.

Tandleman said...

I know where you are coming from Cookie, but that I assume was the reasoning for Artois Bock,Eiken and Peeterman too and they all bombed, as Andy mentions.

It may restore some brand value if they are lucky, but somehow the record doesn't look promising.

Stu - I did take my bowels, but no bowling and I saw no bowlers either. Mind you I'm not sure if there was a typo in your comment. (-:

Sid Boggle said...

"Reverential pouring ritual"? Will some unlucky member of bar staff have to dress up as a monk while gregorian chant sounds throughout the pub? The whole place will stop and chavs will fall to their knees in grateful thanks as the aged lout cascades like piss into the gimmick glass.

Amen.

RedNev said...

Between "a reverential pouring ritual” and lagering it for 20 minutes instead of 10, it's funny how the option of simply brewing a good drink never ever crosses their minds. Or am I just being naïve?

Bailey said...

It's not black? Seriously? What a rubbish bit of marketing. Do you think the 'reverential pouring ritual' means that the automatic dispenser pauses halfway through to give them time to fetch WKD Blues from the fridge?

Curmudgeon said...

Artois Bock might not have bombed if they hadn't insisted on selling it in titchy 250ml bottles at the same price as a 500ml can of Stella.

Mark said...

Can't wait to give this one a try - best get it before it goes the way of the other new brands they try and release...!

Erlangernick said...

What was on the Isle of Man this time then?

And w.r.t. der deutschen Grammatik. Jawohl, Mannschaft is feminine: "DIE deutsche Mannschaft is a young team". But then, "Many young players play on DER deutschen Mannschaft". Get those cases sorted before your next Reise nach Bamberg!

(Actually the Franconians struggle with the cases too, for some bizarre reason.)

Tandleman said...

Nick - See next post. As for German grammar, well, I do my best, but it is confusing.

Erlangernick said...

Tandelmann, it appears the air in Gaststätten like Hebendanz and Griess might be cleaned up by the next time you're around. Das bayerische Volk is voting today on a referendum to implement a complete, consistent, non-big-tobacco-friendly smoking ban. And the numbers look good: 60% yea...ja with 2/3 of "counties" reporting.

If it goes forward thus, in a state where anywhere from 30-40% of the people smoke, what does it say abbout how a smoking ban vote would go over in the UK today, with 20-25% smokers?