Here comes the King

Lance Armstrong says he's excited about his three-year association with Michelob Ultra, because it complements his active lifestyle by injecting it with a shitload of money.

Lance Armstrong says he's excited about his three-year association with Michelob Ultra, because it complements his active lifestyle by injecting it with a shitload of money.

Just think — if Bristol Brewing made worse beer and more money, they could have Lance Armstrong as their celebrity spokesperson.

Instead, the former Shiner Bock drinker will be pimping Michelob Ultra, one of the jillions of brands belonging to industry titan InBev, and a concoction described as “a great-tasting beer with lower carbohydrates and fewer calories.”

Uh huh. I haven’t sampled an Anheuser-Busch product in many a moon, since I discovered what actual beer tastes like. But I suppose that given the proper incentive — a Brinks truck full of greenbacks and free Michelob Ultra backing up to the house every Friday — I could learn to lower my standards, too.

As a much younger dog I would drink pretty much anything as long as it was cheap — Falstaff, Buckhorn, longneck Buds. But as it is written in 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man I put away childish things.” Including watery beer.

In my dotage, I favor IPA from Bristol, Lagunitas or Second Street Brewing in Santa Fe, when I happen to be in town. Anchor Steam or Anchor Porter. Guinness, of course. And the Deschutes beers are all excellent, whether you’re talking ale, porter or stout. I’d recommend any of them for free.

In fact, I just did. No wonder I remain so distressingly unwealthy. I will never be smart.

• Extra-credit snark: This is not Anheuser-Busch’s first marketing coup, of course. More Americans can recognize the Budweiser Clydesdales than can find Afghanistan on a map. I recall enjoying a semantic analysis of the original Budweiser jingle in college. Don’t recall if it was in journalism class or semantics, but the gist of it was that the jingle said absolutely nothing about the beer — it was a series of empty statements punctuated with references to Anheuser-Busch trademarks.

Think about it for a second:

“When you say ‘Bud,” you’ve said a lot of things nobody else can say.” (That’s because ‘Bud” is a trademark.)

“When you say ‘Bud,’ you say you care enough to only drink the King of Beers.” (“King of Beers,” another trademark.)

“There is no other one.” (One what?)

“There’s only something less.” (Than what?)

“Because the King of Beers . . .” (That trademark again.)

“. . . is leading all the rest.” (Of what?)

“When you say Budweiser — you’ve said it all.” (The complete name, which is also a trademark.)

10 Responses to “Here comes the King”

  1. Swell Says:

    My Uncle Walt lived on Blatz and catfish, in that order. He had an old ‘frig full of it at all times in a shack by the Pecatonica River which flowed thru his farm. Guess where me & the homeys went for supplies?

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Conventional wisdom was there was a pipeline between the Genesee Brewing Company ( and Todd Union at the University of Rochester. For 99 cents a pitcher, one could anesthetize one’s brain on a Friday night and stagger off to the dorms. Spent many a brain cell, er, Friday night doing just that.

    But really. As Patrick says, there are certain things one does not do as an adult. Drinking recycled beer is one of them.

  3. Larry T. Says:

    I thought the TV ads for this swill were stupid already–the “athletes” drinking this watery piss as if it was some sort of magic potion when it really has no flavor, no carbohydrate and practically no alcohol. Seems you can get that pretty much for free out of the tap in your kitchen, no? Now Chance Legstrong will be in those ads, creating even more fantasy/hype about this magic elixir. I hope he’s making ’em pony up large quantities of cash for the cancer club in addition to the loot they’re putting in his personal accounts. He probably needs more cash to pay child support for his latest kid?

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Only time weak beer worked for me was when I was doing my geological field work in East-Central Minnesota. I had rented a cheap hotel room across from the St. Cloud Penitentiary. It had a small fridge, stovetop, and sink. What more does a grad student need? And, I suppose, lots of guests visiting friends and family in the Greybar Suites across the road.

    I could come “home” from a day in the field and eat dinner and do evening mapping and paperwork over plenty of local (Cold Spring Brewing Company, I think) 3.2 beer without getting drunk or too intellectually sloppy–just had to pee a lot. I guess there is a reason for everything, even 3.2 beer.

    Interestingly, the Cold Spring Brewing Company, once pretty much defunct, has apparently made a comeback. Guess I should go out to my field area for a reunion with that beer bottle.

  5. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    Everyone should have an Uncle Walt.

    As for Shiner Bock, there was a time (before Gambrinus bought them) when I could go to the 7-11 on the the drag in Austin and buy a 6-pack for $3.20. Granted, it was way back when bikes were made of steel.

    And Bock keeps one regular. I’m sure the Spoetzl family had that in mind to offset a steady diet of Elgin sausage, BBQ brisket, beef ribs, just a little sauce, some fresh vadalia onion, pickle, and a big slice of Sunbeam or Mrs. Baird’s soft white bread. (cole slaw and beans optional) Oh, and cold fresh banana pudding full of ‘Nilla wafers for dessert. Mmmm, hmmm…

  6. Joey Says:

    They must be paying ol’ TexAss a lot; at least enough to have to sell off some assets:


  7. James Says:

    Do we need any more proof that Ol’ What’s His name is a whore? Nope, this pretty much seals it.

    And to think Landis got popped for drinking too much beer in ’06? Oh wait….

  8. Brian Says:

    In my life I have not finished drinking only one beer because it was just to damn nasty to continue. And that beer was….wait for it…Mic Ultra. The barkeep in the Louisville airport felt so bad he gave me another of my choice. Still think that crap taste like, well, crap. Rather drink a diet coke.

  9. John Says:


    On beer ads — I’m a gentleman of a certain age (about the same as yours) and I happened to grow up in Upstate New York, which was the distribution area for Utica Club beer. They had a series of utterly charming and funny ads that featured two talking beer steins — Schultz and Dooley (the local beer-drinking population was mostly German and Irish stock), who were voiced by the incomparable Jonathan Winters. Through the magic of the internet, it’s possible to revisit these great old ads — here’s a sample:

    And while we’re at it, who can forget “Good old country Bear Whiz Beer”?

  10. Scot Says:

    Who endorses Bode? I think he would be an excellent spokesperson for a brewer/distiller of any sort. Although part of me is quite certain he imbibes in spirits that spend all of thier natural lives in plastic bottles, and beer from Miluakee… Which after enough of said beers sounds ironically alot like mediocrity, which can be deftly use to describe Mr. Miller’s olympic record. Oh real beer, the envy you inspire, you real beer drinkers you. We lower enlisted still reside inside the realms of canned bud light and natty ice, attempts to educate people on the virtues of newcastle and guiness only result in being told that one can not shotgun beer if its habitat is glass instead of aluminum. Maybe I’ll be a real boy one day too.

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