Duff Beer is such a well-known fictional beverage, people who have never even watched The Simpsons know where it got its start. No wonder fans around the world have tried to make a quick buck bottling and selling bootleg Duff brews.
WSJ reports that 21st Century Fox has officially announced its plans to brew and sell legit Duff Beer.
Don’t get too excited just yet, America—there are currently no plans to offer it for general sale in the U.S. apart from the Simpsons sections of Universal theme parks in Orlando and L.A. Instead, Fox is starting with Chile, then plans to bring Duff to other countries in South America and Europe by early 2016.
But Fox hasn’t ruled out the U.S. entirely. The company’s consumer products division president Jeffrey Godsick said, “I think there’s potential to have Duff everywhere in the world.”
But why start in Chile? Simple: bootleggers. Fox has been fending off bootleg versions of its iconic brew around the world, but nowhere has the battle been more fierce than in Chile. The ongoing dispute in the country has been so bad, Duff Beer intellectual property disputes have even made it into a textbook taught at the Universidad Adolfo Ibanez in Santiago.
[pullquote]“Once you see enough piracy, you are faced with two choices. One is deciding to fight it, and the other is deciding to go out [into the market] with it.”[/pullquote]
Associate professor of strategy Ariel Casarin, who wrote the Duff Beer chapter for that textbook, believes Fox was forced into the brewing business because intellectual property laws are hazy regarding fictional products. Casarin told WSJ, “Because the product did not in fact exist, the argument goes that Fox cannot claim trademark on it.”
In other words, if the beer actually exists, Fox can more aggressively pursue bootleggers while making money on Duff. Talk about multitasking.
So what will the beer taste like? Fox tapped British brewmaster Paul Farnsworth to help craft their lager.
Godsick also has a few words about future marketing campaigns for the beer: “Duff is inspired by the brand that’s in the show, but it begins and ends at that. It’s a completely stand-alone brand…you will not see any characters from the show involved in the marketing in any way.”
In conclusion, we see the following in the very near future: Duff Beer for me, Duff Beer for you, I’ll have a Duff…you’ll have one, too.
[via the WSJ]