In the United States, beer commercials showcase parties, girls and talking frogs. In Canada they play a completely different role. Canadian beer commercials are filled with hockey, beavers, snow and everything else stereotypically Canadian.
Canadians aren’t a very openly patriotic people. They typically wear their Canadian pride underneath a snowsuit, rather than hang it from a flag on the front of their house. But this isn’t true in beer commercials. Watching an ad for Molson or Labatt’s will convince you that you are not truly a Canadian until you have a “two-four” under your arm.
Never was this more true than in Molson Canadian’s “The Rant.”
This commercial tackled numerous Canadian stereotypes. In the ad, a man named Joe stands up on stage and spouts off how perceptions of Canadians are false. They don’t say “aboot.” They don’t live in igloos. They aren’t lumberjacks. (Not even Molson would deny a Canadian’s love for the beaver however, saying beavers are “a truly proud and noble animal.”) Of course most of what Joe mentions defines Canada as “Not American.”
This wasn’t just a beer commercial for Canadians. It was a cultural event. It was up there with the 1972 Canada/Russia hockey series and the birth of Celine Dion’s baby. The speech from the commercial was printed on t-shirts and posters and it was performed at National Hockey League arenas around the country. It was more than just beer. “I AM CANADIAN” became a mantra for the True North Strong and Free.
You see, in Canada beer is different. It’s not just a way to get over a fight with your girlfriend; it’s part of the national identity. Beer and hockey are tied together and they’re both cornerstones of Canadian culture, like Anne Murray and bagged milk.
A good way to spot a Canadian is to ask them if they want a beer. Not only will they say yes, but a true Canadian will respond with “None of that weak American stuff.”
Canadians hate American beer. It’s considered unpatriotic to drink. You can’t play hockey and run through the snow chasing beavers while holding a bottle of Budweiser. It just doesn’t work. Despite the fact that most major Canadian beer companies are owned by foreigners, Canadians are still very proud of their beer.
So if you want to spot a Canadian simply take him or her to a bar and see what he or she orders. It will always be a Canadian brand and, if no Canadian brand is available, a Canadian will settle for a European beer. In rare situations, given no other choice, a Canadian will order a Coors. But that’s only because Coors owns Molson.
Canadian beer is a national identity and any real Canadian would know that.