Why in god's name is he creating a writeup on, of all things, Zima!?

Let me first say that I have never tasted (that I recall) Zima, I just find it interesting as a cultural artifact. So read on, and later you can pelt me with rocks and sticks if you don't like it.

Amid a fad for "clear" products - everything from clear motor oil to Crystal Pepsi - in the early 1990s, Coors introduced a "clear maltbeverage" in September 1992, though most of the country was spared until it was distributed nationally in 1994. This clear beer was called Zima, and it essentially was beer, until the color (and flavor) was removed by charcoal filtering to produce…well, god knows what it is.

Zima was aggressively promoted towards the young, hip, male, free-spending 21-34 demographic through promo CDs and web sites, as well as traditional media. But that demographic is a fickle one, and Zima was largely dismissed as a drink for losers and became the butt of literally millions of jokes. (Example: On Friends, when Joey learns that Ross has invited some fellow scientists from the museum to his bachelor party, he adds a six pack of Zima to his party shopping list. That's just the tip of the iceberg.) Zima was primarily popular among females 21-34, which was not the hard-drinking, free-spending manly demographic that Coors was shooting for, and only added to the negative image of Zima as the effeminate drink of choice.

In 1995, Coors spent $14 million promoting a new product, Zima Gold, to appeal to that elusive demographic. Ads touted the higher alcohol content (5.4%), but Zima Gold wasn't even worthy of jokes, much less purchasing.


Alcohol% by volume: 4.8
Calories k-cal/12 oz: 185
Carbohydrates g/12 oz: 21.4
Protein g/12 oz: 0.0
Calcium amg/12 oz: 30
Sodium mg/12 oz: 22
Potassium mg/12 oz: 58
Niacin mg/100 g: < 0.25
Vitamin B1 mg/100g: < 0.01
Vitamin B2 mg/100g: < 0.01
Shelf life: 97 days/14 weeks

Editors Note:

In 2008, MillerCoors LLC announced that it had discontinued production of Zima in the U.S.

source: background - altculture.com; nutritional data - coors.com

In Slovak (as well as several other Slavic languages), zima means winter.

It also has a secondary (or derived) meaning as cold. For example, the Slovak expression je mi zima literally translates it is winter to me. Idiomatically, it means I am cold.

When the Zima beverage first came out in the US, it seemed to me its creators knew the meaning of the word because all of its TV commercials were based on the idea of something very cold, like zima, I mean, winter.

Yes, I have tasted Zima, and it is all you've hoped for and more. Has a bit of a weak citrus flavor to it and tastes something like a flat, metallic gin and tonic.

The original ad campaign featured a fast-talking gentleman with a indefinable European accent abruptly sitting down with fashionable twenty-somethings in hip locations and talking to them about the wonderful qualities of this "clearmalt beverage." Each thirty-second ad ended in one of the twenty-somethings telling the European guy what a nice hat he had.

As far as I can tell, the drink—if you'll excuse the pun—fizzled out. Perturbed by lagging sales, Coors launched Zima Gold in an attempt to reel in their intended male demographic. The ad campaign featured slow-motion shots of a carefully diverse group of men and women playing football in the rain—getting muddy and flashing big grins to the camera. From what I've been told, the drink itself tastes something like a flat, metallic rum and coke. Regardless of its claim of being more 'bold' than its clear cousin, Zima Gold also took a nose-dive, and I don't believe you can purchase it anymore.

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