on the same inexplicable
surge in demand for alternatives to beer
as Mike's Hard Lemonade
(its main competitor ), Anheuser-Busch
's "Doc" Otis Hard Lemonade is a malt-liquor
-flavored beverage sold in 12 ounce
bottles. Although its alcohol
content is only 5.0%, compared to Mike
's 5.2%, "Doc" Otis enjoys some small advantages over its rival:
(1) It has an incrementally smaller amount of sugar (although it is still sweet enough to provoke hysterical nausea and instant cavities if consumed to excess).
(2) While originally marketed with an entirely concocted, character-based campaign, its supposed inventor is less irritating than Mike's, if only because "Doc's" biography is related with enough self-aware facetiousness to avoid seeming insulting. The "Doctor," who evidently earned his nickname for his ability to mix lemons and liquor with almost medical precision, embarks on "zany," "wild" adventures involving Native Americans, prostitutes, cowboys, and angry husbands. Wacky hijinx ensue, although the visage on the front of the bottles posesses all the rough-hewn severity of the Old West. In short: stupid, but tolerable (unlike the story of "Mike").
(3) Anheuser-Busch, perhaps responding to righteous (if timid) consumer outrage at the idiocy of these fictional characters and the deplorably blatant marketing manipulation they represent, is repackaging "Doc" Otis: it will soon be offered without any narrative context, simply as the wine cooler it more or less is.
On a particularly hot afternoon, especially after a painful night of drinking or a long bender, "Doc" Otis, like Mike's Hard Lemonade, is not at all unpleasant, especially to those who just can't drink any more damn beer (but be warned: the carbonation of these 'hard-lemonade' drinks is just as likely to induce vomiting as that of beer, and all that sugar will come back to haunt you).