For Homer Simpson, there is only one beer: Duff. However, Matt Groening is on the record as saying that he will never allow an officially licensed Duff beer on the grounds that it will encourage underage drinking. That surprisingly thoughtful stance has prevented an official cash-in, but that hasn’t stopped some breweries from either trying to push counterfeit Duff, or just coincidentally producing a beer with the same name. If you’re keen to drink Duff, real Duff beer, then these are the best you can get.
A brief note before we begin: It’s well documented that a canned energy drink modeled after Duff beer is available at the Universal Studios Simpsons ride and in limited locations in the U.S. and the U.K.. But that’s not beer, so we’re ignoring it. Also, this list is by no means comprehensive; a quick search on Beer Advocate will pull up a number of other brews. These, however, have the largest Internet footprint and the most to talk about.
While many of the other Duff beers could perhaps be argued as merely coincidentally named Duff, we’ll start with a true blue ripoff with Duff, from Mexico. Founded in 2006, the company is apparently headed by Rodrigo Contreras who designed a bottle identical to the beer featured in The Simpsons. He even secured a trademark on the name in Mexico and used the Duffman theme music on the brewery’s website — though Wikipedia notes that Mexican law would probably not protect the upstart company. Interestingly, the website seems to have been left to languish for the past three years, but that doesn’t mean the beer isn’t still for sale south of the border.
Lion Nathan Duff
An exercise in small brewery vs. enormous media conglomerate, the Australian brewery Lion Nathan began producing a Duff Beer in the 1990s. They were quickly and summarily served by 20th Century Fox’s lawyers, resulting in the product being pulled from the shelves and becoming quite the collector’s item. Though Duff is ocassionally available on eBay, Lion Nathan has a number of other beers, one of which is responsible for easily the best beer commercial I’ve ever seen.
Apparently a titular beer has been brewed for the Buffalo, New York restaurant Duff’s Famous Wings. According to Beer Advocate, the brew is much how I imagine Duff beer, being described as pale, hay-colored, and “just like Coors!” If light beer and wings is your thing, you could move to Buffalo and live like Homer.
This is another seemingly coincidental beer, the name playing off the Gaelic word “dubh” which means “dark.” The beer is apparently dark indeed, and full of a “sickly sweet” flavor which seems to have not done it any favors as far as ratings on Beer Advocate are concerned. However, it is still for sale in bottles.
Story goes that founder Gavin Duff named his brewery after himself when he set up shop in the New Zealand city of Dunedin. However, Twentieth Century Fox filed suit and forced the brewery to change its name. Reborn as McDuffs, the company continues to produce quality beverages. Though the Duff name is gone, the beer remains the same.
While the Mexican Duff beer did a good job, the gold standard for Simpsons ripoff beers has to go to Eschweger Klosterbrauerei and their The Legendary Duff Beer. Unlike the Mexican brew, this German beer seems to be thriving with distribution across Europe and recently expanded its line to include both cans and bottles. Boxes of 24 cans are available online, but good luck getting them delivered stateside. Aside from the new packaging, the company even launched their first variant flavor: A grapefruit and blood orange infused version of the lager. Surely, Homer would not approve. Despite its apparent success, the beer fell flat on Beer Advocate, which only seems appropriate.
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