Tweet It seems like Damm didn't have enough with Inèdit and Saaz. They needed in their portfolio another innovative, ground-breaking, revolutionary, one of its kind, 33cl of pure awesomeness in a bottle beer. Behold! Here is Weiss Damm. A Heffe Weizen....
In the official description of the product we can see bollocks like: "...brewed according to the original German recipe of the 16th century Bavarian master brewers", which by now should not surprise anyone, really. It is the rest of their marketing that bothers me the most, though.
Weiss Damm is nothing new in the Spanish market. Imported wheat beers have been relatively easy to find for quite some time already.
Well, they are imported. Weiss Damm is Spanish!
OK, but there are several micros that have been brewing wheat beers for longer than you.
Micros, micros. Who drinks those beers? Nobody!
Well, I wouldn't say that. Anyway, what about Cesar Augusta from La Zaragozana?
Hombre! That is not the same. Our beer is brewed according to a recipe from the 16th century and...
Cut it out! Because this beer is as Spanish as Paulaner!
This isn't something Damm has said in the open, but it's well known that this Weiss is brewed in Germany. I couldn't find by whom or if it is "custom made" or something that's been just relabeled, but those things are rather irrelevant, really. The fact is that Weiss Damm isn't even a Spanish product.
Hmmm.... Can it be that what makes this beer so innovative? The first Spanish beer brewed out of Spain?
Ha! Not even here they are innovating! Do you remember Belenos, that "Asturian" beer that was actually brewed in Belgium?. And I could also mention Moritz with a very visible "Barcelona" on the label, even though it's brewed in Zaragoza.
All this, actually, it's not very different to what the macro brands like Heineken, Budweiser, Guinness, etc. have done for a long time; they are brewed locally, but are positioned as something from abroad. The difference is that Moritz, Belenos and Damm appeal to nationalist or regionalist feelings, while the macros appeal to that "imported is better" bollocks many people have in their heads.
And they are not doing half bad. There are still many people here who believe Stella Artois is a Belgian beer and not long ago I saw in some Spanish newspaper the results of a survey that found that the favourite beers there were an American and a Dutch, referring to Budweiser and Heineken, without mentioning that both are brewed locally.
What I'm afraid of is that soon this might not be limited to the multinationals. Stone Brewing Co. have recently announced their plans to set up shop on this side of the Atlantic.
The reasons given by the brewer are more than logic. Their products are gaining popularity in Europe and brewing here makes a lot of financial, commercial and, why not, environmental sense. The question here is what will come out of their European brewery? It think it's safe to assume they will keep the brand, but will they also brew beers like Ruination, Arrogant Bastard, etc.? If so, won't those beers then loose much of their soul, just like it's happened to all those that are brewed under the same brands in different countries?
All this brings up the following question: What defines the origin of a beer? The place where it is brewed or the nationality of the brand? To me the answer is very simple, but it seems that for most people it is always the brand above the drink.