(The other day, St.John’s Wort acquired a new employee. Vanessa Scott has graciously volunteered to be my guest blogtographer and executive plus-one. As is sometimes the case with new employees, she’s a bit of a keener and took a rather larger number of pictures than I would have. We went to the Molson Canadian 67 Sublime launch and she took pictures of everything: The people, the venue, the beer, the bloggers. I think that she may have stopped short of getting a picture of the people across the street who shared a tender moment on their sixth floor balcony. The majority of attendees at the launch were content to smile and wave at them, although there was the occasional catcall thrown in.)
Let me talk to you about Molson Canadian 67 Sublime.
It would be extremely easy to dig my official Peter Cushing Van Helsing costume out of the closet and stand here brandishing a stake while shouting something like “Get thee gone from my sight, thou foul abomination! Thou crusty botch of nature!” It is expected of me, which would make that course of action even easier than usual. I have no great love for lime beers, as I demonstrated in a post from last summer. This review was never going to be smiles and sunshine and cuddly frolicking puppies.
I’m going to indulge in that in the next paragraph, and then I’m going to attempt maturity and objectivity.
Molson Canadian 67 Sublime seems to me to have more in common with a lime flavoured Italian soda than it does with beer. It has, like nearly all lime flavoured beers, a slight chemical aftertaste which is by no means entirely pleasant. At 3% alcohol, you would probably be more likely to hydrate than dehydrate by drinking it in quantity. I’m sure it’s a marvel of technical ability and brewing prowess, but it is vastly not to my taste.
There. I hope that I have been mean enough to maintain my credibility. Ha-Ha! (Please don’t sue me.)
Now for the maturity and objectivity:
I suspect that the reason that we’re seeing so many light lime beers is for the simple reason that patio culture is such a big thing. There are entire sections of The Grid (nee NOW) which are devoted to reporting which are the best patios in the city as we gear up for summer. Periodically, I hear people talk about which patio is their favorite and I can certainly understand how that would be a draw if you’re of a certain frame of mind. Some people go to a bar because there’s a new craft beer on tap; a significantly larger portion of the population goes to a bar’s patio to sit in the sun with their friends and socialize.
As craft beer drinkers, we’re Anoraks. Trainspotters. Nerds. The light lime beer demographic is entirely separate from us. To paraphrase Robert Frost, our apple trees will never get across and drink the beers under their patio awnings. Or something.
There are entire sections of the population to whom the concept of lifestyle is massively important. They play racquetball and run in the rain. They know where their chakras are located. They attempt to balance a rich family life with positive social networking and a fulfilling campaign up the corporate career ladder.
That all seems like a lot of work to me, but what do I know? I’m not a typical 30-something. Just the other day, I considered buying heavily discounted marshmallow Peeps in order to see what would happen if you put them in the microwave. That should give you some insight into the level that I’m operating on.
The interesting thing to me is that Molson is vigorously targeting this demographic, and they’re doing it by positioning Sublime as a health and wellness oriented beverage. The nutritional information is on the back label, just in case you doubt the veracity of its claim to have only 67 calories. It is designed for this demographic specifically. It is, I assume, for people who want to spend hours on a patio socializing without the pesky hangover and dehydration that can result from just that activity and significantly hamper your carefully composed lifestyle. Fair enough.
The door prize for the launch was a gift card for The Running Room. If that doesn’t tell you how targeted the marketing is, nothing will. I have never tried a 5K jog after a pint of Imperial Stout (or at all, judging by the look of me), but I assume it would be messy.
It’s actually a pretty good marketing campaign. I saw a billboard on Church Street yesterday. It promises nothing that it can’t deliver. “Lemon and Lime Flavour. 67 Calories.” It does what it says on the tin. Compare this with the slogan for Miller Chill that I saw on a patio yesterday: “How a light beer with a taste of lime should taste.” Not only is it sort of clunky on the basis of redundancy, but it’s a ridiculous claim that seems to assert that it is the prototypical light lime beer.
I’ll tell you what. Of the Light Lime Beers that I’ve tried, Molson 67 Sublime is probably the best in the sense that the lime flavour is not overly syrupy. I am also perfectly willing to admit that after the rather lengthy walk to the event it was a refreshing beverage. That’s sort of how you have to think of it. It’s a beverage. It’s a lifestyle accessory for a certain demographic having a long night on a patio discussing which Bikram yoga studio has the best instructors or whatever trendy, responsible people without beer blogs talk about. Possibly Jersey Shore.
In this instance, I’m going to come down on the side of Capitalism. If that’s what the patio people want, then more power to Molson. They have successfully identified and targeted a need and they are aggressively attempting to compete with other brands in order to fill it. Having seen the Molson marketing and PR teams in action, I’m impressed. There’s a reason they’re at the top.
I can’t recommend it as a beer, but chances are that if you’re reading this, you already knew that.