A good friend of mine, who worked as Chief Buyer for a large airways company, used to fight off his Monday misery by grabbing his Rolodex, selecting a random supplier, ringing him (or her) up at 10 AM and giving him (or her) hell for about an hour or so. It would usually be about a minor incident but he’d blow it up to cosmic proportions and moan and groan about it until he (or she) caved in and offered him some form of compensation. By then it was around 11:30 anyway, time for lunch and getting to work seriously. Regardless, it cheered him up hugely.
OHIM (O Hell – It’s Monday) Beer Tirade may very well become a fixed item on this blog as it is indeed a great way of getting your week started. This Beer Tirade is about Grolsch Kornuit. The beer has been around for about two years now, and the second Dutch commercial for it has been on national TV since late March – but I’m so done with the ridiculous BS of the ‘Grolsch Kornuit – Harvest Home’ clip I can’t but share it with you.
The first commercial introduced to us the ‘new generation Grolsch Brewers’ who, apparently, were set on creating a new and up-to-date beer for today’s young drinker. A jolly group of bearded boys with tattoos all over them were kicking a ball, riding bikes whilst being hip and brewing beer. Actually one of the characters in the clip is a real Grolsch Brewer – his name is Marc Janssen and he is not the Big Beard. Bet he doesn’t ride his longboard into Enschede or Groenlo . If he did, the local youngsters would glue him by the beard to a garage box and quarter his longboard with their mopeds. You just don’t do that there. Anyway, watch the commercial and admire the modern day marketeer, believing to have been very 2.0 but unfortunately the result is very 1.0
The actual Kornuit beer is advertised as a ‘surprisingly fresh pils’. As if Grolsch didn’t HAVE a surprisingly fresh pils already, Kornuit is brewed with Cascade (and, says the label, Columbus) hops so brace yourself baby, you’re in for a treat! I fear the only place you’ll find Columbus and Cascade hops in Kornuit is on the label. No, I’ll rephrase that: it says on the label it’s in there so it has to be, but then they must have used one hop cone each on the entire hop gift that has been made up of less flavorful varieties then they use in regular Grolsch.
Kornuit is a joke of a beer. I LOVE Cascade hops, Liberty Ale by Anchor Brewing Company (the first beer ever to be hopped entirely with Cascade, and now considered the first ever American IPA) ranks in my Permanent Top Three Best Beers Ever and I believe I can recognize Cascade Hop blindfolded and hanging upside-down from an oak tree. Nothing in Kornuit is reminiscent of Cascade hops. If Grolsch REALLY wanted to make young, hip and in-tune-with-time beer, than Kornuit is their new Zinniz (you may remember their May 2002 launch of this Bacardi Breezer crusher, that was abandoned in October 2003). Kornuit has less character than original Grolsch, and that is by all means a brilliant pils. Kornuit is a waste of otherwise innocent and fine raw materials, brutally maltreated in a mashtun in a doomed attempt by SAB Miller to stay relevant in today’s beer market. And then there’s the commercial – ‘Harvest Home’.
The young brewers are excited because the fresh hop is in! They all carry sacks of whole cone hops in, start brewing and decide this calls for a party – a Hop Harvest Home Party! Yeah baby! I could have understood it when this commercial came out on TV late October or so, but this one hot screens in March. Cascade hops are harvested in September and start hitting wholesalers and brewers in October. Call me an old grumpy hairsplitter but that’s what it is: if you get your fresh Cascade in March you’re a dimwit. Party’s over, particularly because the sacks of hops carried in can never be used in Grolsch’s brewery: the whole cones will seriously clutter up the sensitive machinery and block the whirlpool. There are NO sacks of whole cone Cascade Hops in the Grolsch Brewery, and likely none in a fifty mile radius. There are pallets full of pellets in the brewery, sure, but throwing a Harvest Home for that would not be credible, now would it?
Peter Cuypers, the Grolsch brewer who introduced ‘the second hop (one for aroma, one for bittering)’ and in who’s honor Kornuit apparently has been brewed (Peter was a bit of a revolutionary brewer and a rascal himself you know), may have turned in his grave – but most likely from laughing. Maybe that’s what SAB Miller wants us to do too.