Insidious Stella Artois campaign sadly effective

The most recent issue of Marketing casually mentions, in an article on Stella Artois’ branding, that the lager contains “only the four traditional ingredients of beer” — malt, water, hops and maize.

So, it seems that the sneaky campaign from earlier this year has partially achieved its aim. That is, subtly linking the idea that beer has a limited number of traditional ingredients (as per the German purity law) with the four slightly different ingredients found in Stella.

Maize is not, of course, traditionally found in beer, and has only been included by sly brewers in the last century or so to reduce the cost of production and lighten the flavour.

9 replies on “Insidious Stella Artois campaign sadly effective”

Though it pains me, to be fair, maize has probably been used by British brewers since the Free Mash-Tun Act of 1880 – it’s certainly mentioned in Henry Stopes’s Malt & Malting of 1885 (he says it makes a very good patent malt, for colouring poter and stout …)

However, it’s funny InBev shuld call the grain “maize” rather than by its usual British name, sweetcorn. Perhaps we should go into pubs, point at Stella drinkers, and chant: “Urgh – your beer’s got sweetcorn in it!”

Zythophile — I reckon I’m covered as far back as 1885 by my lazy phrase “last century or so”…

Doesn’t yeast count? Not only does it do all the hard work for us, but it doesn’t even get credit.

I suppose in a beer like Stella every last trace of yeast is removed through pasteurization and filtration. But really, is yeast not a “traditional ingredient?”

Damon — yeast wasn’t even an ingredient in the first Reinheitsgebot… because no one knew it was in there working away! Talk about an unsung hero.

There is a small brewery in Interlaken, Switzerland that makes a very nice lager with Maize as a main ingredient — funny how it has much more flavor than today’s Stella.

Bailey, love the tags you give this posting – Stella Artois, sneaky bastards. And if you google both tags guess what comes up top of the list! Good stuff.

Sorry, for taking so long to check back for comments on this post.

@SteveH I know the Reinheitsgebot didn’t get it right the first time, but if InBev doesn’t yet know of yeast’s contribution to beer then, well lets just call it inexcusable.

I’ll never drink another Stella again. That’ll scare those marketers straight.

For all you young folks. In the late 1960’s if you wanted a German style beer – you would buy Lowenbrau. My measure of wealth (then) was to have enough money to buy a whole case of Lowenbrau all at one time. It was about $30 then. Then – Miller High Life stepped in and bought Lowenbrau US mfg and distribution rights. What happened next? Well it was corn, screw tops, and a loss of their prestegous market place. Lowenbrau Munich took back the rights a few years ago but Lowenbrau has lost their vigor never to return. Stella Artois is doomed in the USA because they failed to observe the lessons of history. So long Stella – it was good while it lasted – until the corn.

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