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Beer Blast: The Inside Story of the Brewing Industry's Bizarre Battles for Your Money
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Beer Blast: The Inside Story of the Brewing Industry's Bizarre Battles for Your Money

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  70 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
A member of the Van Munching brewing dynasty offers stories about the personalities, feuds, fads, and follies of the beer business.
Paperback, 309 pages
Published May 26th 1998 by Crown Business (first published 1997)
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Melki
May 30, 2013 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm living in the land of sky blue waters,
And I'm grabbing all the gusto up it's true.
Well, you only go around
Once in life they say
And when I'm out of love I'm out of you.
*

I bet few of you would disagree with me if I said the best thing about American beer is its advertising. After every year's Super Bowl, beer commercials consistently rank among the most popular, and catch-phrases uttered in these ads become part of our every day lexicon. (Wassup, anyone?)

If the Van Munching name sounds famili
...more
Chana
The history of beer in America and all the crazy stuff that gets done to sell it, all the in-fighting, all the idiotic decisions and lack of common sense, all the bigger than life personalities of the founders and owners of beer companies. It is a lot of fun to read. Personally, I don't drink beer or any alcohol. My last beer was probably in high school during the mid 1970's. I think it was Coors. I also don't watch sports, so I am unfamiliar with beer commercials. If you had asked me, before I ...more
Nevrlost
Jul 15, 2009 Nevrlost rated it really liked it
Beer marketing over the last 50 years as told by the family that had the U.S. distribution rights for Heineken Beer. If you like beer and remember Spuds McKenzie, the Coors mystique, the invention of light beer, Corona, et al, you will enjoy reading about the beer wars and how the big players in the market tried to market their beers.
Paul
Aug 06, 2007 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: booze-shelf, history
Beer Blast could be categorized into two separate genres: business marketing and history. Considering the subject matter, beer being sold in America, and me being a history nut I thought, 'worst comes to worst I'll read the history half of this book and dump it when the boring business section comes along.'

However, Van Munching writes a very personal, very humorous account of what methods the "Big Beer Companies" (read: assholes) use to convince us, the ignorant consumers, to purchase their brew
...more
Belle
Oct 30, 2009 Belle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
you always knew the beer barons of america were capable of evil, but now you know the specific details of some of the schenanigans they pulled.

it's an interesting read, especially if you're interested in beer and business like i am. really makes me despise the big 3 (or big 2 or whatever) even more, though.

however, i had a few nitpicks that i couldn't get over:
at times, i found the writer's style annoying. for some reason, his insistence on talking directly to the reader, combined with his sarca
...more
Nick
Dec 24, 2008 Nick rated it liked it
This would be 4.5/5.0 stars, but Van Munching gets derailed in the later half of the book.

This is an interesting, and not too in depth, look at the marketing efforts of beer companies to garner drinkers throughout American history, particularly the 20th century (written in 96'). Brings up lots of strategies, anecdotes, etc that are interesting without being too overly detailed.

Van Munching is the Grandson of the man that made Heinken the top import in America for 50 years. Although his family pl
...more
Alex
Mar 27, 2014 Alex rated it it was amazing
Clearly written, coherent, and such a compelling narrative.

Great topic to start, of course--beer is interesting. But, Van Munching is a story teller, a damn compelling one. I was thoroughly entertained while reading this. But Van Munching also educated me.

I learned about Jim Koch and the value of hustling and disrupting. I learned about ambitious marketers trying to make a name for themselves, and why they should not seek change for the sake of change. I learned about a myriad of deceptive techn
...more
Dave
Jun 04, 2013 Dave rated it liked it
This is really the story of Heineken and Heineken marketing in the USA with some analysis of what was going on with Miller, Coors, Sam Adams, and Anheuser-Busch in the 1970s through 1990s. It was pretty interesting to read about the campaigns and the products that I vaguely recall from that time period. The author was directly involved so he had some interesting anecdotes. I definitely learned some things: Sam Adams was (is) brewed in Pittsburgh. Busch the second rode Clydesdales. Malt liquor is ...more
Chandler
Great synopsis of the beer marketing wars, mostly between Miller and Anheuser-Busch through the mid 90s. Everything from wine coolers to malt liquor as well as the flagship brands are discussed here. Provides a lot of insight into brand loyalty and how exactly to stay on top of the marketing heap. I only wish he had a new edition chronicling the rise of microbrews in the 2000s.
Marty
Dec 14, 2012 Marty rated it really liked it
“Beer Blast” is a fun, although sometimes discouraging rush through the varied history of success’ and failures in the beer wars of North America. Although it could use an update from the late 90’s it is still relevant today and certainly worth the read.
Emilie
Jan 07, 2012 Emilie rated it liked it
Shelves: alcohol
Philip is slightly cynical as he is clearly burnt out on the industry, but has put together a very readable recap on the beer industry between the 1970s and 1990s.
Paul Young
Nov 30, 2014 Paul Young rated it liked it
Interesting angle behind the scenes on the marketing-side of the beer business, particularly the big players. LOTS of pages spent on Heineken - distractingly so.
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rob payne
I liked the insight, i live right next to coors, so brewing is well thought of around here.
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