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The Macrobrew Styleguide
Thursday, February 28, 2008   12:56 PM

While I don't agree that the criterion of "correctness" has the sort of wide-ranging applicability that some prescriptivists attribute to it, like most copy editors I think that being correct is its own reward.

And so two or three times a week, I find myself checking the beer names in our mystery shoppers' beverage server interactions. It's not only that I believe you should always, always check names; it's that I refuse to leave something unfixed that is objectively, clearly wrong — even if nobody else would care.

First off, on a regional note: the plural is Leinie's, short for Leinenkugel's. Though personally, I always just say "Honey Weiss" — that's my fallback beer when the waitress is standing there and I'm panicking because I haven't made a decision.

The import beer in the notorious green bottles is spelled Heineken, but I've seen some rather creative guesses.

The light beers are usually spelled wrong. Light should be capitalized when it's part of a proper name: it's Bud Light, Coors Light, Sam Adams Light, Amstel Light, Keystone Light, Busch Light, Michelob Light, etc.

The only lite spelling you're likely to encounter is Miller Lite. Note that one of my brother's favorite beers, Miller High Life Light, does not use the funky spelling, nor does MGD Light.

Miller isn't the only company to use litethey lost a lawsuit about this — but except for Labatt it's the only company selling lite beer that I've actually ever heard of.

(Possibly because lite has an extra negative connotation: a few years back New York Times Magazine had a tidy essay on the use of lite.)

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