Look out, ya’ll: it appears that Kid Rock is hoping to stimulate the poor economy with a Michigan-based beer brand of his own design. Conrad Doucette of Maxim Magazine tells us “The beer will be ‘an American lager’ and will be suitable for parties, Pistons games, and BBQs all summer long. Snobby sots need not apply!” What this translates to is “Kid Rock plans to bottle a Budweiser-clone in the center of the failing auto industry capital of the world.”
There are both good and bad elements here. The good has to do with the help this may provide in the way of jobs in the Michigan area. The down side: it’s questionable whether any amount of rejoicing that dozens of Michiganders will be getting these jobs will outweigh the tears many of us will cry in our craft brews at the notion of a “Kid Rock brand beer.”
First, with regard to the economy, Kid Rock’s new business venture may very well provide help to the job loss sustained in the Webberville area, home to Michigan’s Michigan Brewery which will be housing the operation. “Clearly, people are excited,” Doucette writes. “Michigan Brewery notes that job applications won’t even be considered until after mid-March.” With such a surge in interest in the jobs surrounding this new product, one could expect that this will no doubt provide an economic stimulus in the form of the much needed employment in the area. In fact, Michigan Brewery presently only employs about eight people, but once Kid Rock’s product is brought on board, they hope to increase the employee base to around sixty individuals.
On the other hand, I can’t say (personally) that I’m really excited about tasting a brew Kid Rock is backing, especially when it’s being described as an “American Lager”. Now granted, there is nothing wrong with a lager beer; with their crisp carbonation, light flavor, and reasonable alcohol content, there is good reason why lagers have become the most popular brews in America today. However, we must look at the cultural aspects… Kid Rock’s target demographic is perhaps best summed up in the Maxim article where Doucette describes that “The beer… will be suitable for parties, Pistons games, and BBQs all summer long.” This would indicate that the beverage is no-doubt going to be billed as your typical “beverage for the man’s man”, and I think it’s safe expect an inexpensive, drinkable, but understandably typical domestic beer. However, before we complain too much, let us all be reminded again that there will be new jobs which result from the production of this brew… so there is no doubt that some good will come of this.
I can’t say I’m expecting it to be any particularly flavorful or even artistic addition to the range of beers made available in the US today, and in a strange way, it almost brings to mind Paul Newman’s face being printed on salad dressing bottles. As a consumer, I have to ask “what next”, and I wonder to some degree what superstar’s face printed on a bottle of beer, salad dressing, nail polish remover, or bug repellent would make most people more (or less) likely to buy it?