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On draft, obviously, at Universal Studios. Beer was surprisingly easy to find in and around the park, and while they didn’t have any knock-out selections there was some decent stuff scattered around.

But, you know, you got to get Duff. Ever since I was a little kid, when I first watched the episode where Homer goes to the brewery and get a DUI, I wanted to try it (which means I totally ignored the message of that episode, I guess, but such is the power of fine, imaginary branding).

Only Matt Groening said repeatedly that he’d never release an actual Duff beer because he didn’t want to sell a product that would hurt people. An Australian brewery got sued for making Duff in the 90s, and by the early aughts cans of their swill were going for over a hundred per on ebay. There’s a couple of grey/black market knock offs produced in Mexico and Germany but, again, they’re inaccessible unless you want to chance an international beer trade with someone who statistically is very likely to be a sex offender.

Thank goodness, Groening has come to his senses. Or he realized there’s some money on earth that isn’t his yet and so he panicked and allowed Universal to make this. Or, erm, to, uhh, contract this out to Florida Brewing Company, a brewer whose reputation maybe isn’t so good.

What connects did these guys have? If Universal had put out an open call to produce this beer, could you imagine how many revered or at least competent brewers would have jumped the chance?

Anyhow, this ain’t good. I guess that’s sort of the point, but it’s not even “not good” by typical BA, “MACRO BADMAN” standards. It’s more like the bad lagers churned out by mediocre brewpubs across the country, who all seek to produce a beer that appeals to girlfriends in 2003. “It’s like Bud Light!” the waitresses say, even though it’s much worse than Bud Light because at least Bud Light doesn’t taste like candle wax.

It starts off fruity and sweet–completely okay, but far off for the style. Then, quickly, it gets too sweet. The middle is syrupy, the finish is medicinal. Bit of an off taste, like it was made with extract syrup.

It’s hard to lager a beer. It takes a really competent brewer to do so effectively. Frankly, I would have greatly preferred it if they had been contracted out to AB. As is, I’m glad I can say I tried Duff, but even while sitting in a life-sized replica of Moe’s Tavern I couldn’t bring myself to order a second.

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