Once I had a strange encounter at a party. The beverage of choice at this party was a classic Midwestern university favorite- Miller Highlife. Now this beer is known as the ‘Champagne of Bottled Beer.’ This is both the marketing slogan and the tongue in cheek name for what is otherwise a pretty shitty beer. If one were to peruse the finer beers of the United States it wouldn’t be counted amongst them. Now it is far from the worst, that needs to be said, but it ain’t good by any stretch of the imagination. If your goal is getting drunk and you’re not flush with cash it can be a pretty good way to go. I’d go with others, but it’s not a bad call.
Now at this party a girl who seemed far too sober for such ideas tried to convince me that it was beer flavored champagne. When I responded with what I thought was manifestly obvious, that the name was a marketing slogan. She vehemently differed. She was from Milwaukee, hometown of said beer, so she was an expert. There, in the Miller factory, which incidentally I’ve taken a tour of, they take champagne, add beer flavoring, can it, and sell it in deer hunting themed 30 packs.
It is possible I missed that part of the tour. It is possible for various misguided and honestly whimsical reasons someone might make beer flavored champagne. I don’t know what these reasons would be, though I’m sure economics isn’t one of them. The price point alone would seem to indicate the absurdity of taking a more expensive product, making it noticeably shitter, and selling it for less money.
I honestly thought the girl was fucking with me. Her earnestness, however, convinced me otherwise. She genuinely thought that not only was there such a thing as beer flavored champagne, that she was at that very moment drinking it. That at the very party she was attending, the guests were so absurd that they were taking this ill conceived and bizarre concoction and playing beer pong with it. More than all of this, in her world where the cans contained fucking beer flavored champagne that no one, not a single person, thought that the very idea of such a drink was straight bat shit crazy.
I couldn’t really argue with her. I gave the various seemingly low hanging fruit of ‘it’s a slogan,’ ‘champagne is a metaphor,’ and ‘who the fuck would make beer flavored champagne.’ None of these made even the smallest chip in the armor of her internal logic. She was convinced and I was astounded.
Sometimes when I’m lost in thought, on the subway or waiting for deli meat I wonder if she is still steadfast in that belief. If she is in a supermarket somewhere and looks at a sales display of Miller Highlife and thinks about that kid at a party who was too stupid to realize that the drink he was drinking was beer flavored champagne when it says it straight on the can. I wonder if she buys a 6 pack, takes it home and weirds out whomever she lives with now.
I guess I’ll never know, as much as I would be super curious to find out.