Hey, no one’s perfect…as we at American Craft Beer understand better than most. That said, there are some brewing ideas out there that are insanely misguided. So welcome to another BAD IDEAS IN BREWING…and we’re blaming the International House of Pancakes for this one!
If you thought that recent reports of a new deer beer weren’t tasteless enough, or that things couldn’t get any stupider that a beer keg golf bag, brace yourself for the world’s most inane branding exercise.
Here’s The Deal
On the tails of the whole pumpkin fall thing which has led respected coffee institutions like Starbucks to wallow in un-coffee concoctions like its annual Pumpkin Spice Latte release, and serious breweries to stoop to brewing beers that taste like pumpkin pie, comes word that IHOP is releasing its own branded pumpkin beer.
You see, in addition to the breakfast chain’s Cinn-A-Stack Pancakes, every fall IHOP offers Pumpkin Spice Cinn-A-Stack Pancakes, and new this year, Pumpkin Cinn-A-Stack Pancakes, so they’ve some pumpkin in their DNA…But an IHOP–branded pumpkin beer that’s not even available at the International House of Pancakes chain how is that a good idea?
Isn’t an IHOP beer that you can only drink at OTHER establishments or festivals the exact opposite of what smart branding is supposed to do?
Isn’t generating something special, in this case IHOPS Pumpkin Pancake Batter Stout, supposed to draw consumers into an IHOP venue so they can chow down on a platter of Pumpkin Spice Cinn-A-Stack Pancakes and wash away its memory with a big mug of IHOP beer?
Brewed in conjunction with New York’s Keegan Ales, and distributed only regionally, IHOP hopes to distinguish itself from the flood of pumpkin-spiced beers on the market by incorporating IHOP’s buttermilk pancake mix into the recipe…not that the world was ever begging for that.
And even though the IHOPS beer will be available at some beer festivals in the Northeast, do you really serious beer geeks lining up for a new IHOP release?
And why would IHOP want to associate itself with beer to begin?
After all, IHOP is where you used to end up at three in the morning when you’ve already had too many beers and are desperate for a greasy food infusion to stem the inevitable hangover you most likely deserve.
In a world awash with established pumpkin beers that continue to loose market share, IHOP’s bid for craft beer cred is not only mistimed…it’s misguided. And a branding exercise that doesn’t draw consumers into its outlets Is not only a BAD IDEA IN BREWING, it’s also just plain old BAD MARKETING.
That idea not a bad enough for you? There’s more…