One of the most commonly recurring themes of lager advertising is that the beer has to be instantly refreshing – providing relief from searing thirst within nanoseconds of hitting the tongue. Ciders, too, promote this continually within their commercials. In fact, pretty much any alcohol designed to be served long, cold and shotgunned is marketed in this way. I’ve been there. I know from previous experience what it feels like to take that first swig of Bud or Coors Light. Something similar to the Sensodyne adverts, in my case – plenty of jaw clutching and wincing.
Last night, after work, was one of those lager commercial moments – a busy pub, crowded with mixed-ethnicity urbane professionals, laughing and cavorting to uplifting Rn’B. It wasn’t my night though – I was in Cloisters next to a bloke reading yesterday’s Metro by the fire. But, there, I had the beer that is the most instantly refreshing I think I’ve had. The peerless Fyne Ales Jarl. It’s not cold, not carbonated, has certainly never come into contact with ice. Yet it has the best first sip of any beer I can think of.
There’s no better wake-up, no more instant an uplift to the mood, than a bolt of grapefruit, lemon and lime from Fyne’s finest. It’s the proverbial smack in the face moment – “You’ve been Citra’d”. That got me thinking, as I drained the rest within moments, these marketing types are missing a trick. Yes, Miller Genuine Draft and the like can be refreshing. But so can a bucket of water to the face. Refreshment is about more than temperature. It’s about flavour.