Here’s a slogan for Duff Beer you won’t see used – ‘‘Duff Beer – so bad you’ll have to drink it twice’’.
And yet that’s exactly what I had to do. See, I asked for and received a review sample of the beer. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from it – it was just going to be another stock-standard lager. And there’s nothing wrong with that; not everyone wants to drink a beer with lots of flavour. Some people just want to drink a beer without having to put much effort into thinking about it.
Honestly, I have no real dramas with that at all. Just because I like flavourful beer doesn’t mean everyone else has to. So people like that stuff, it’s fine with me.
But Duff isn’t a stock-standard lager. It’s a good deal worse than that. It starts off with an odd, slightly chemical flavour before some malt notes come barging in out of nowhere. Then the malt disappears, leaving that that odd flavour centre-stage.
‘‘Unbalanced’’ was one word that sprung to mind. ‘‘Processed’’ was another.
But the next day I thought there must have been something wrong with the can I had. I thought surely that wasn’t the way the beer was meant to taste. So I bought one myself and tried it.And was shocked to discover that, no, that apparently is the way it’s supposed to taste.
Which is, by the way, just one of the strange things about this beer. Other strange things include;
1) The fact that a beer inspired by The Simpsons is released a long, long, long time after anyone ceased to care about the TV show. I would say that show has jumped the shark, but I think the phrase ‘‘jumped the shark’’ has, ummm, jumped the shark.
2) The can includes the phrase ‘‘Australian edition’’, even though it’s brewed in the US. Does that mean the American brewer made a special version just for us? Or is it a cynical effort to make the beer look special? Or – and I reckon this is accurate version – it’s part of some weird licencing agreement that precludes beers made for one territory being sold in another. Branding it ‘‘Australian edition’’ makes it pretty obvious where it came from if it turns up somewhere else.
3) Some internet research shows that Duff Beer may not have the official approval of Matt Groening. Seems in Europe a brewer won the right to make Duff Beer, over the objections of Universal Studios. But Universal Studios have their own Duff in their US fun parks. But Groening has said he never wanted a Duff Beer as it might encourage the kiddies drinking.
4) There is actually no mention of The Simpsons on the can and only the briefest mention on any of the accompanying promo guff. Which makes me think this doesn’t have any real link to The Simpsons.
Finally, replace the two Fs in the beer’s name with a D and you’ve got a name that’s much more accurate.