Have you faced the beer bait & switch?


Some say I'm not cranky enough, to those: Eff off (with the guns). I just broke my iPhone and I want to smash my hand through a wall because of it.

Have you ever faced a beer bait & switch. You know what I mean, you see a beer at a liquor/beer store, and just looking at the label you think "Oh! This might be good!" only to be severely disappointed and feel cheated out of your money.

A BIG case of this is Alexander Keith's. They list their beer as an India Pale Ale yet it's one of the biggest disappointments one can experience when drinking a beer. I've spoken to a lot of friends from United States who come up to Canada, see "Alexander Keiths India Pale Ale" listed on the beer menu, because hey, aside from the beer snob worthy pubs (the 1%), almost every licensed restaurant or pub in all of Canada has Keith's on the menu. As soon as you take the first sip of Keith's, you think "what the fuck? I ordered an India Pale Ale and got a lager!" Unfortunately, this is the case for a lot of people, getting a beer they expect to be good or at least somewhat SIMILAR to the style it's listed as on the label, only to get ripped off. Folks like Lynn have been advocating for Labatt to stop calling the staple Keith's brew as an India Pale Ale, because it's not even a pale ale, it's essentially a lager. She started a twitter movement called #KeithsisnotanIPA that's got a good amount of support from fellow beer geeks. Lynn's so prolific in the push to force Labatt to stop labeling the beer as an IPA that the Keiths' locked Twitter feed actually blocked her. Labatt sure doesn't know anything about social networking, locking a Twitter feed so that the public can't view your tweets, and then blocking fellow beer drinkers because they don't agree with the BS the brand lies with? That's just not right in my opinion.

Then there's a bait & switch I faced with personally back in 2008. While visiting a local dépanneur in Quebec City, I was craving some micros, I saw a mix pack on sale for $11.99. The labeling, naming and colour scheme was insanely similar to the popular McAuslan St-Ambroise brand that I actually thought the beer was St Ambroise (as I wasn't really paying attention). Actually.. it turned out to be another Labatt bait and switch, it was their St Urbain brand of beers, which was specifically launched in Quebec to CONFUSE customers into thinking they were actually drinking St Ambroise, because hey.. similar colour scheme on labels, similar name, to someone who isn't really paying attention (like me) thinks it's actually the real deal. I remember drinking the beer and thinking "What the hell? This tastes like watered down piss." I was ripped off. Thankfully in this case, McAuslan went to court with Labatt (can't find the source) to force Labatt to stop them from confusing customers into thinking that St Urbain = St Ambroise. This is the only article I could find at the moment regarding the issue at the moment.

Have you ever experienced beer bait & switches? What did you do about it? Complained to the brewery or just grudgefully drink it and wash it down with actual beer?

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