Okay I didn’t literally receive “the end of the world” but rather an “End of the World Survival Kit” from Shock Top (one of the craft beer divisions of Anheuser-Busch), highlighting their new “End of the World Midnight Wheat” ale. The package comes out of the blue, but the theme doesn’t: I noticed awhile back (about the time I received the Lemon Shandy from them) that the Shock Top website was heavily playing up the Mayan Apocalypse End of the World theme (on December 21) with a countdown timer, videos, and more.
Of course I love this and think it’s extremely clever and fun (but then again I have an interest in this apocalypse stuff!) so I have to say, I really enjoyed this PR package from them; probably the coolest marketing package I’ve thus far received:
It didn’t arrive entirely unscathed, unfortunately: we immediately noticed shards of brown bottle glass and indeed, even though it was packed fairly extensively inside, one of the bottles had shattered. I suppose you could say it was in the spirit of the “end of the world” kit…
And weirdly, another of the bottles was intact—with the cap still on—but was completely empty of beer! I’m not entirely sure what to make of that. Mis-bottling? Not-properly sealed so it leaked? Hard to tell.
The rest of the kit was fine (though the book that came with it was beer-soaked) and I have to reiterate what a clever idea and packaging this was:
In addition to (what would have been) a full six-pack of the beer, there also a USB memory stick containing some marketing files (dressed out in “wood”), a roll of duct tape (always a useful survival item as the Mythbuster proved), a package of beef jerky, and The Official Underground 2012 Doomsday Survival Handbook, which as I said had been soaked in beer. (Which when you think about it seems kind of appropriate for a survival theme.) The box is pretty nice, too.
The beer itself? “End of the World Midnight Wheat”—a 6% abv beer brewed with midnight wheat malt, chocolate malt, “chili and other spices,” definitely not a usual offering you’d expect to see from an A-B arm. But then again Shock Top has been pushing those boundaries—for a corporate industrial brewer. I’m looking forward to trying it, and will post a review soon.