Thursday, October 4, 2012

Big Hurt Beer

( With an entertaining but ultimately disappointing Sox season over it's time to talk about the weirdest thing this season. No, not Youkalis's batting stance, or the Sox rescheduling a Yom Kippur game to include the Jewish third baseman, but rather Frank Thomas's beer. Thomas was an unbelievably gifted player and will always be tremendously respected by the fans here, and he's done a good job on TV as an analyst, so I'm glad he's back in town. But because he was quiet, prickly, or stoic during his playing days I wouldn't say he was warmly beloved, which one would think would be the criteria for launching a restaurant, bar, or brewery in your name. But I guess I loved him enough to try it, and that's where it gets weird. First if all, I am no beer connoisseur -- if I wasn't drinking Big Hurt I'd be drinking cheap-assed Old Style, so I genuinely can't complain..I don't have the tools to do so. It tasted fine.  'Better than Bud Light' is as specific as I'll get. But DAMN! The packaging?!? First of all, the huge BHB logo, with the backwards 'b' kind of made me think of HGH, the performance enhancing drug every slugger but the naturally gigantic Thomas (and Thome, and maybe a couple others) used in the 90s. But that's a stretch. The real weirdness is the shirtless stud logo of Thomas's rippling back, shaved head, and gleaming muscles. I can't imagine what they were going for. Often the iconography of a muscular black man's back exposed vulnerably despite being broad and muscular is used to invoke the era of slavery. But forgetting that, to me the logo just seemed like it was declaring this to be gay beer. Coupled with the big muscled Frank statue unveiled this year at the ballpark that looks like it was sculpted from a Tom of Finland drawing, it seems the Big Hurt is going for a whole new audience, which might be good business, but it's a bit surprising. Despite his sexy stats Thomas never struck me as a sexy, seductive guy. But if it sells lager, more power to him!

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