La Flûte et Le Beck’s


In a witty exchange today on Twitter among beer writers Adrian Tierney-Jones, Melissa Cole, John Porter and others, a new Beck’s beer package was discussed: a can of Beck’s dressed up as a champagne flute.

Phoebe French of (see full report here) explains the concept:

The new can, called Le Beck’s, was created … in a bid to “earn an enhanced premium perception”.

…. Beck’s … claim[s] that the cans are “a first in world beer packaging”. The inspiration behind the packaging was to bring canned beer to venues and events where it is not traditionally consumed. As a result, the Le Beck’s cans have been trialled in art galleries, classical music concerts and other “exclusive” events in Germany. Due to the “overwhelming response” Beck’s is now considering launching the beer flutes globally.

I posted a reply to the tweets stating I recalled reading of a Lowenbrau ad from long ago which stated: “When you’re out of champagne, open the Lowenbrau”. I said maybe Beck’s has a long memory, which got a smile or two.

Checking further I see I was right about a Lowenbrau-champagne ad, but apparently got the line reversed. In the 1960s this ad circulated in American media:

Either formulation – my apparently erroneous one or the documented one above, gets the point across: Lowenbrau is the beer equivalent of the most famous wine in the world.

Still, I’m wondering if Lowenbrau perhaps did run the line as I recalled it in an earlier period, pre-WW I to my recollection, and a 1960s ad agency reversed the wording for the U.S. market.

I actually like my version better: more subtle, more honest in its mild self-deprecation. No beer however great is likely to challenge champagne for luxury but if you run out when celebrating open the Lowenbrau, a great beer to follow the best wine in the world.

So I’ll continue the research, but for now it’s the version pictured above that Lowenbrau ran. And certainly it did great work to sell the beer. Brian Tracy in his book Victory! (2002) states how the campaign turned a previously languishing product into a star import, see here.

The power of advertising.

Note re images: The first image was sourced from the news story linked in the text. The second was sourced from an eBay listing, here. All intellectual property in the images belongs to its lawful owners, as applicable. Images used for educational and historical purposes. All feedback welcomed.