Okay, it’s official. Entrepreneurs have finally run out of things to sell to you, and are now targeting your dog.
A Dutch brewery has launched a beer for pooches called “Kwispelbier,” made from beef extract and malt. Yes, that’s right: If you thought dog breath was bad, wait until you get a whiff of beer dog breath.
Apparently the creator of the beer wanted to be able to share light refreshments with her pooch after a day’s hunting. While I applaud the fact she’s not feeding her dog real beer (as dogs can’t walk in a straight line at the best of times), I am afraid this is the start of a very bad trend.
The next entrant into the market will be a beer based on chicken extract. (“Kluckspelbier,” perhaps.) Then some other brewery will decide they need a piece of the action and put out a lamb lager. Pork will be next, probably as a stout.
We’ll see a few newspaper stories about dog beer in the “Oddly Enough” section. Jeanne Moos on CNN will do a segment on a startup dog beer brewery in Chugwater, Wyoming. Then some celebrity — probably Lady Gaga, who is no slouch when it comes to getting out in front of this kind of thing — will be spotted buying a bottle for her dog.
Suddenly, People magazine will run a cover story about Dog Beer being the New 30 or the New Black or whatever the new old thing is supposed to be this year. We’ll read about how some brewery has decided to set up a virtual dog beer brewery in the online game Second Life; there will be an entire social networking website called MyDogBeerSpace.com and the venture capitalists will hear their siren song with the article: “Beer 2.0 — Dot Com Riches To Be Found In Boozy Bubbles?” in Wired magazine.
At this stage everything will go completely nuts. The Gap, that clothing retailer everyone has apparently forgotten about, will suddenly rebrand itself as a purveyor of hip dog beer drinking fashions and accessories (think of the traditional St. Bernard’s brandy cask collar, only in khaki).
Not to be outdone, Apple will launch iBrew, a special portable device for finding the hottest dog pubs. It will come with a funky, way cool interface that will allow it to be operated with the slurp of a dog’s tongue. And Martha Stewart will bring dog beer to the aspiring mutt masses, when Living magazine does a story on “Craft Dog Beers: Pairing With the Right Kibble.”
At this stage, everyone will be brewing the stuff, and so companies will be forced to introduce dozens of new product lines to try to capture more market share. There will be “Bad Dog” brand, a strong, rough finishing lager attempting to appeal to the pit bull and rottweiler demographic. “Woof Lite” will target the weight conscious greyhound and whippet population. “Bark!” will be a caffeine-infused brew, because clearly, Yorkies and Jack Russells are just too quiet.
The whole trend will reach its pinnacle when the top dog beer brewery decides to sponsor America’s Super Bowl. The sentimental ads will feature very large, brawny humans pulling an old-fashioned wagon loaded with dog beer kegs.
Shortly after that, the bottom will drop out of the pooch porter market. Not coincidentally, this will be right around the time when television executives finally clue in to the trend and air “The Brewmaster.” This will be a reality TV show where sixteen wannabe brewers have to outwit and outlast (but not outspay) their opponents to win a chance at owning their own dog beer brewery.
This may be followed by a few half-hearted attempts to revive the trend; for example, you might see mouse martinis, or budgie bourbon on the shelves for a few months. But it won’t work. Something else will have become the New Dog Beer by then.
And given that dog beer involves beef extract and malt in the same bottle, I really don’t want to know what the New thing will be.