And sometimes you drink a beer just because you like the look of it. I don’t even necessarily mean the look of the beer, sometimes just the look of the bottle and label is enough. Take this one here; Stolichnoe, product of Russia, brewed in Moscow by Ochakovo.
The label says it’s a premium lager, though I suspect there’s no official definition of “premium.” I actually thought it tasted of virtually nothing whatsoever, scarcely even of beer, and I read a couple of reviews at ratebeer.com: one said “Bad stuff,” another said “Terrible stuff.” They won’t get much of an argument from me.
But I’m still left with a love for love that label (it comes in various versions): Soviet Constructivism with a hint of Metropolis: all very knowing I assume, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they'd employed some American marketing company to design the label for them. Is an eye-catching label a good enough reason enough to buy a product? Well no, probably not. Looks aren’t everything, but they’re definitely something.
Years ago, when I was doing the only professional cooking job I’ve ever had, as relief chef on Monday nights in a pub/restaurant in Cambridge, the loathsome manager handed down his wisdom, “If you’ve got a full plate and it looks all right you can get away with murder.” I was very green, and barely knew how to cook, but I could tell this was very bad and wrong. I can’t tell you how delighted I was that the manager got sacked before I did.
I can’t absolutely swear what’s going on in that factory type thing in the picture at the top of this post – I suspect they’re not actually making beer; but the current Ochakovo brewery looks like this - that's quite industrial chic, no?