Before you ever take your fist sip of beer you’ve already seen other people consuming it countless times. This doesn’t stop once you reach adulthood either, all around us beer, and alcohol in general, is being shown to us as an acceptable pastime. From the heavy drinking detective in crime films trying to crack the case, to the partying crowds of your favourite sitcom, all the way to the relaxed night in on your favourite family drama. Collectively we watch a lot of TV, and TV in return shows us a great deal of people drinking.
Just think of how many popular shows are centered around a bar or a pub, or if the locations are absent how many characters homes are littered with beer cans and bottles of booze on a regular basis?
Whether you like the stuff or not, its hard to deny that beer drinking culture is omnipresent. But if you look closely you will notice something odd about many of the beers consumed in your favourite shows, they often drink a brand that you have never heard of. Even more mind melting is that shows that have no link whatsoever, like Glee and Fear The Walking Dead, somehow have their characters drinking the same beer. But what is it?
Opening this door is like a Pandora’s box of spotting beer brands in your favourite TV episodes, and if you continue to look you will notice the same brand popping up almost everywhere. From comedies like My Name Is Earl to The League, to sci-fi like Star Trek and big films like The Social Network, one brand keeps rearing its head over and over again, somehow tying all these universes together into one place. But what is this magical beer that transcends time, space and reality? It’s called Heisler.
Heisler beer is recognised by its bright red label, its arched white font and its pattern of gold stems and flowers. This now very noticeable brand is ever present because it isn’t actually a real brand. That’s right, Heisler is a fictional beer, well in one sense. The beers are real, as in the bottles and cans are actually made by someone, the idea that all these beers are computer generated and superimposed into shows would be another discovery altogether. Heisler is made by Independent Studio Services, a company that creates props for filming, and because beer is in such high demand as a prop (because actors can’t actually drink on set) they produce lots and lots of Heisler which is non-alcoholic.
Getting actual beer companies to allow their brand shows is surprisingly difficult, since many scenes don’t make beer drinking look great on the brand, Heisler however couldn’t care less because its not real. Allowing actors to do multiple takes without getting wasted, giving them the freedom to drink and do whatever they like, and supplying them with a brand that looks real is Heislers magic. What this does mean however is that the beer all your favourite characters drink, isn’t one you can readily get your hands on, and even if you could, Hollywood’s favourite beer can’t get you drunk.