Like a Celebrity Couple, Google and Dogfish Head Make a PR Baby

It might be that I’m writing this from the back of a moving vehicle, but the news that Dogfish Head and Google have brewed a beer together is making me a bit queasy.  The whole thing seems so forced that it’s easy to see there is no love here, just the chance for mutual self-promotion. It reminds me of a Hollywood Scientologist marriage – TomKat, Will and Jada, the Travoltas, pick one. “Doogle” even gave their celebaby a silly name: URKontinent.

Suri knows the score!

The concept behind the beer combines two things Dogfish Head loves: Collaboration and using ingredients from all over the world.  Sam and the gang have done all sorts of collaborations in the past, from working with other breweries to brewing a beer flavored with wood scraps from a surfboard shop.  They love to play nicely with others.  And they also love putting exotic ingredients in their brews.  Pangea is probably the best example of this, as it uses ingredients from each of the seven continents.

Like Pangea, URKontinent uses ingredients from all over the globe, each suggested by a Google employee.  It’s a remake of sorts.  But in the case of the URKontinent, it seems a little forced, an obvious PR stunt designed to get Dogfish Head publicity using Google’s incredible digital reach. In Google’s case, they get to showcase their global collaboration tools by using them to create something everyone loves: good beer.  I’m not going to name those tools here because, well, screw them.

You're no Ralph Macchio!

I’m also not going to list what all’s in the beer, a Belgian Dubbel, because I actually don’t care.  This beer is the equivalent of Suri Cruise: The product of a loveless marriage created mostly for the sake of public attention.  No thanks.

If you’re interested in trying URKontinent, you may be in luck, as Dogfish Head is promising a limited release of the beer.  You were probably also interested in the remake of the Karate Kid, starring that other celebrity-marriage offspring, Jaden Smith. With the movie and the beer, I doubt that the new one has the heart of the original, but you’ll never know until you see for yourself I suppose.

In both cases, I’m not interested enough to invest the time and effort.




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Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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13 Comments on “Like a Celebrity Couple, Google and Dogfish Head Make a PR Baby”

  1. October 5, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    They were pouring this during GABF. I liked it, though I had no idea about the backstory.

    • October 5, 2011 at 11:24 am #

      I’m sure it’s a decent beer, just like Suri’s a decent kid. Still, I reject it on principle (but would totally taste it if they were pouring it,too).

  2. October 5, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Soooo… you are angry that DFH is good at marketing? Or do you just hate Google? You seem really angry at the concept, which seems an odd way to judge a beer. For a person who doesnt care enough to “invest the time and effort,” you seemed to care enough to post a blog entry about how much you didn’t care.

    • October 5, 2011 at 11:29 am #

      Ha-ha – you got me there! I did invest quite a bit of time expressing how I don’t care to invest time in this beer. 😉

      And I’m not angry, I’m just not enthused about this particular collaboration. I love DFH and applaud their ability to mash up interesting idea and ingredients and garner attention along the way. It’s just that theis seems like more BLATANT than other efforts in the past. All in all, I think it’s good for craft beer that they’re going to get all this attention, but I still feel wonky about the partnership.

      Anyway, I write something every day, and this is what got me clicking on the keys this morning.

  3. October 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm #


    Yeah, it’s clearly a promotional stunt, but i am willing to forgive it if the beer is good. While i (somewhat) disagree with your assessment, I respect your opinion on it. Thanks for taking the time to answer.

    • October 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

      No problem. Thanks for taking the time to comment. You’ll find lots of friendly disagreements around these parts.

      Especially with my brother. That dude is a moron. 🙂

  4. October 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Had this at GABF. Not to impressed but I’m stopping by DFH Brewpub on Monday. I’ll have to give it another try if they have it.

    • October 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

      Thanks for rubbing it in!

  5. October 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Phew, harsh. I hope Suri already knows that and she’s not finding out via public media. If she doesn’t know, you’ve may have instilled a dislike of any beer, not just Goobeer, in that child. Scarred for life, Jim. Think about it.

    • October 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

      I’m sure she’ll still enjoy a nice Thetan Tippel…

  6. October 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Eh! so what. Not anything to really get worked up about as long as Google doesn’t have a controlling interest in DFH. I think that as craft beer gains in popularity you’re going to see it juxtaposed more and more often with mainstream media and business. Its the price of success. The alternative is that it will stay a fringe activity aimed at a fringe market. I don’t think that that was what Sam had in mind.

  7. Matthew
    October 26, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Given this post, I thought you might like the fourth answer in this interview:


  1. Let’s Be Friends: The Collaboration Mombo | Beer & Whiskey Brothers Blog - October 7, 2011

    […] couple days ago my brother Jim posted about a collaboration that Dogfish Head did with Google.  They came up with URKontinent, which by all accounts is a pretty tasty beer.  Then yesterday they came out with the news that […]

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