Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Great Australian Beer Disaster

It's not really a disaster, for most of us, I just wanted to use that headline.

But in a cynical, purely capitalistic attempt to boost profits, the makers of the beer VB - or Victoria Bitter, or Vitamin B, as we used to call it - are slashing the iconic brew's alcohol content, and raising the price.

There'll be rioting in the streets. Slightly less drunken rioting :
The alcohol content of Victoria Bitter is to be cut as brewer Foster's tries to slash millions of dollars from its tax bill.

Foster's will also raise the wholesale price of all its packaged beers by about 2 per cent next month.

Industry experts say the VB alcohol content reduction - from 4.9 per cent to 4.8 per cent - could save Foster's $20 million in beer tax a year.

But the company has assured drinkers the taste of the iconic VB will stay the same.
Yeah, that's what they want us to think. But VB afficionados will be able to taste the difference.
"The taste will stay exactly the same. Our master brewers have done a lot of work to make sure of that."
Master brewers? For VB?

Clearly a boycott is in order. Maybe.

Beer sales, according to this story, are actually showing a "long-term decline" in Australia. But we spend more on beer, because we're going for the premiums now.

Clearly it's a dirty, nasty conspiracy to make our booze-heavy beer more like the Americans - weak as piss.

BTW, the (staged) photo that goes with the story here, of a clearly shattered old VB lover, is excellent.