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March 23, 2009

National stereotyping is a terrible thing but you have to admire the Australians for coming up with a beer so typically saucy, so un-PC and so cheeky that it might have been invented by Sir Les Patterson, Australia’s chardonnay-fuelled cultural ambassador, aka Barry Humphries.

Skinny Blonde is a low carb lager produced by Hamish Rosser, drummer with Aussie rock group The Vines. Much like the old Tennents lager cans, bottles of Skinny Blonde feature a pin-up model in a bikini. Unlike the old Tennents lager cans, the Skinny blonde label uses the latest ink technology to make the pin-up’s bikini disappear as the beer inside the bottle is drunk and the ink warms up.

Unsurprisingly, Skinny Blonde has become a hit in Rosser’s Bondi neighbourhood and there are plans to roll it out in New Zealand and then, eventually, the UK.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Britain’s pubs employed a more low tech version of the same sales ploy. Remember the pics of glamour models whose assets were covered by packs of salted peanuts? The more astute landlords would strategically remove the packs so that vital areas of the model’s anatomy would remain hidden until the last couple of packs. I don’t know if the tactic sold more nuts but it certainly did little to encourage the idea that strip tease could be glamorous.

Of course, rock stars making their own booze is nothing new. Sammy Hagar is known for his Cabo Wabo tequila; Willie Nelson has his Old Whiskey River Bourbon while Jay Z’s record label distributes Scotland’s Armadale vodka in the States. Approaching the idea from a slightly different angle, Motorhead’s Lemmy is actually made from Jack Daniels.