Is April Fools for pranks or not anymore? Yesterday, Asus revealed that the Steam Deck competitor it joked about over the weekend is apparently real, and now Nothing’s following suit by actually producing the craft beer it teased for the internet’s worst holiday.
Nothing describes its “Beer 5.1%” as an “unfiltered rice lager,” and its store page says it’s got just five ingredients and is being made in collaboration with an independent Welsh micro brewery. There’s a button to sign up for updates on the beer, which could be released sometime in summer, although it’ll probably need to be special ordered as opposed to plucked off a store shelf.
So, does it actually come with a yellowjacket like in the photos? If so, I’m chucking the silver can at the nearest wall, even if that can’s minimalist design is probably the only thing about this whole project that has anything to do with Nothing.
Alright, yes, I get it. It’s an extended joke, a kind of one-two marketing punch meant to make you laugh and then keep you engaged with the “what?” factor that they’re actually making it. The cost of a batch or two of brew is probably worth it to the company (the audience for this is likely going to be limited to a small group of fans) if it can keep attention on the gimmick past April 1.
We recognize we’re being part of the problem by covering this, but the beer does at least fit Nothing’s M.O. The Nothing brand of devices was built on its guerilla marketing style and its minimalistic design sense, even if most of the company’s products are fairly standard (if cheap for their premium feel). The company uses taglines like “Less distractions. More soul” to promote its rather typical mid-range Nothing Phone (1), which mostly sets itself apart with some LEDs on the back. Viewed through that lens, a beer that’s only standout feature is the design on the can actually makes sense as Nothing’s next release.
At the same time, the company recently released its Nothing Ear (2) Bluetooth earbuds, now with custom sound profiles so it can compete with Google Pixel Buds Pro and Apple AirPods Pro, though for a lower price. We loved Nothing’s last few audio products, including the first generation Ear (1) buds and the Ear Stick, so the company isn’t all style and no substance.
It’s possible Nothing’s beer will actually taste good. Honestly, I quite like the clear plastic on Nothing (1) phones. It reminds me of my old clear plastic Game Boy and Nintendo Gamecube controllers. But if you’re going to sell a local brewed rice lager, of course I expect it to be “crisp” and “dry.”
Freetime Beer Co., which provided the beer for Nothing’s Soho store launch in London late last year, is actually responsible for making Nothing’s new beer. The company doesn’t actually have a 5.1% beer listed on its site, so at the very least, it’s not simply putting one of its existing brews in a new can here.
Overall, the extended bit here is probably harmless, although it’s contributing to making April 1 harder than ever on people who just want to keep up with real news. CEO Carl Pei’s hype train is currently more focused on his new flagship. Nothing is still working on a Nothing Phone (2), which is expected to be more powerful than the first Nothing Phone. The last Nothing phone launched in July last year, though the company still has yet to give a firm release date for its successor. I suppose sipping on a brewski is one way to stay occupied in the meantime.
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