One of the highlights of Christmas with my folks was my brother showing us the web site for Utenos beer, one of the many fine brews we had on our trip to Lithuania a few years ago (I dug Švyturys Baltijos myself, but the UT was good). Well, not the website, as much as the commercials.

Beer commercials are works of art. They present an alternate reality where skinny, ugly men crack open cans of weak, watery American brew, and suddenly all the competitors from this year’s Miss Sweden contest appear and whisk our heroes to a tropical paradise with entertainment by some loud hair band, lots of fireworks and a hot tub filled with some kind of aphrodesiac/hallucenogenic substance that makes the girls fall for the guys. I wish that Salvador Dali had worked at an ad agency, just to see what kinds of warped stuff he would make.

Anyway, Utenos is now owned by Carlsberg, so that means the little brewery from eastern Lithuania has a big-ass marketing budget. It also means that, in order to compete with the other fine breweries (Švyturys, Kalnapilis, Gubernija, Ragutis), its ads would have to have an extra dimension other than Boobies. Utenos found that dimension, and it is awesome: making one’s choice of beer a patriotic statement, and put it to a maddeningly catchy song.

Just go and watch, and don’t blame me if you find yourself humming “Reik?jo berniukams” or doing the Utenos finger dance.