13 May 2009 @ 8:17 AM 

Tiny Spoiler alert: If you have not seen J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek reboot yet and care wildly about a throwaway line about 20 minutes into the film, you may want to stop reading now, but I promise that this post is actually about beer.

Behold this scene. Kirk meets Uhura in a bar. Aww. They’re… like.. kids! How cool! The whole clip lasts just a minute and doesn’t give away anything about the film if you haven’t seen it yet. Go ahead. Watch it. I’ll wait.

Fun, eh? “That’s a lot of drinks for one woman!” Nice pickup line, Jim. It’s hard to imagine that you actually do get all the girls. I’ll tell you what, though. I barely noticed it the first time through; the mention of three “Bud Classics” nearly took me out of my seat.

For years, sci-fi has been responsible for motivating the minds of inventors and that is particularly true for Star Trek. There’s a reason that there are cell phones that look a lot like the communicators you see in Star Trek. There’s a reason that there are actually scientists working on matter transference. One person thought it up in their wildest dreams and a fanboy scientist somewhere that actually knew his shit about physics said, “Holy shit. I bet I can do that.” I hope that, instead, this is one of those instances where 30 years from now I have to explain that reference to the younger generations.

“See.. back in the early part of the 21st Century, our country – in fact, our world – was dominated by just a couple of major beer companies that made some really bland stuff but were incredibly powerful. At that point, the companies had been around for 150 years or more and it seemed like there was nothing anybody could do to crack the market beyond a really specific 10% or so. This ‘Budweiser’ was one of them. Of course, that was back before we ran out of oil and the megabreweries couldn’t figure out how to ship 200 million barrels of beer quickly and cheaply and business started shifting back to local taverns.”

Bud Classic? Really? I mean.. I get the throwaway joke. It’s like Coke, Coke Classic, etc. It’s in the future. They’re in a bar. Bud Classic. A-ha-ha-ha. I also know from an interview with Jimmy Kimmel (start at 5:36) that the engine room of the Enterprise was actually Budweiser’s factory, so you probably felt like you had to throw in a little product placement. But you know what? There are a lot of beer factories out there with lots of rooms with lots of pipes that aren’t A-B that would have been equally as good, and those vats wouldn’t have been filled with Bud Light, they would have been filled with Awesome. A “Sam Adams Classic” might have been a really great touch, actually.

I do appreciate that you’ve got a woman – and what’s more, a black woman – coming in and ordering a beer (and a shot of bourbon!). Uhura has frequently been cited as a source of inspiration to others. People have called her a role model. We can only hope that this reinvention of the character will continue to follow suit! But… a Bud Classic?

“I don’t want none of that fancy new beer! You get me a Bud like they made it back in the good ol’ days in the 20th Century!”

Can you imagine a future in which our tastes as a species are so unrefined as to hearken back to old Budweiser?

No! I refuse to believe in a future in which the dominant beverages, even in a dive bar in Iowa outside of a landside space station, are Bud Classic and Slusho Mix. Jack? Okay. I’m fine with that. (I’ll have a taste of that 150-year, thanks!) But I refuse to believe that in a future where space travel is possible we, as a society, are so damned pedestrian.

You hear me, Abrams? You could have put anything in there! She could have said “I’ll have the Nendefarian SPACE Ale!” and I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but feed me a line about Bud Classic and I start seeing your future in a much more Blade Runner-esque “it’s always dark and foggy and rainy” kind of way. That future isn’t a beacon of progress and a place of peace where anything is possible, but one where we’re finally mindless drone minions to our corporate overlords.

I reject this bleak vision of our drinking future. My future holds great beer. Besides, in a real future Iowa, it probably should have been Dos Equis Classico.

Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 13 May 2009 @ 09:24 AM



Responses to this post » (One Total)

  1. Jimmy says:

    Hey Erik,

    Good stuff! I wonder what would happen if they made Bud “Classic” now, with the original 100-and-however old recipe? We know its changed over the years so its got to be at least a little different.

    “New Coke” totally sucked, so they had to go back to “Coke Classic”. Maybe some 19th century Bud is in order.

    or maybe not.


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