Just hook it to my veins. 21st Century Fox is licensing its fictional brand of lousy beer Duff to be distributed in Chile and only in Chile for now – but with plans to expand into other South American and European markets in the future, according to the Wall Street Journal. The cause of this move into IRL production a quarter century after the drink’s meta-inception is unlikely sounding enough to be a Simpsons first act.
Fox doesn’t seem to really want to sell Duff. Though it’s been available in small batches at Universal theme parks for years, the media company has resisted distribution in the real world for decades. While disputing the right of two Australian brewers to craft beer under the Duff moniker in 1996, Fox’s lawyers said that the company has “consistently refused” to add beer to its dizzyingly prolific merchandise line because it could be “detrimental to children.”
So, either Fox has gotten more evil or kids don’t watch The Simpsons anymore. Actually, both are likely true but the real reason the Duff brewery has been breathed into the real world like Homer at the end of “Treehouse of Horror VI” is that Fox was in jeopardy of losing legal control of the brand.
Chilean brewers have been putting Duff Beer into the tummies of their countrymen for years without permission from Fox. An intellectual property complaint was filed and much Duff was seized, but Fox’s control of the Duff name was still tenuous.
Ariel Casarin, a Chilean associate producer who has written previously about Fox’s intellectual property claim, told WSJ that fictional products don’t necessarily have the same protection as real world ones. “Because the product did not in fact exist, the argument goes that Fox cannot claim trademark on it,” Casarin said. Once Fox starts actually selling Duff in Chile, it has a more open-and-shut claim to the brand.
So, what’s Duff taste like? We’d imagine something like a pissed-in PBR, but that’s not exactly how head of Fox’s product division Jeffrey Godsick describes it. “It’s a premium lager,” he said. “It’s got a very good balance of flavor and refreshment to it. It’s fairly deep golden in color. It’s got a hint of fruit to it. It’s got a caramel aromatic to it,” Godsick continued in what definitely sounds like he was just reaching for random adjectives and doing a fair job of stringing them together.
Will we ever see this fruity caramel premium lager on American shelves? “I think there’s potential to have Duff everywhere in the world,” said Godsick. Cool. But I’d rather have a Flaming Moe.
Image via FireBox