What beer are Will Hunting and his crew drinking in the movie Good Will Hunting?
November 16, 2008 10:34 AM   Subscribe

What beer are Will Hunting and his crew drinking in the movie Good Will Hunting?

They are shown drinking beer out of bottles in the L Street Taver and out of cans in Chuckie's house and at the demolition site. It appears to be Sam Adams from the color scheme but with the label modified with a bar of text or something across the middle of it. The way they the beer is held or placed in the movie suggests a deliberate abnegation of product placement but the general impression of the label suggests a product that is strongly associated with setting of the movie.
posted by mumblelard to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe they wanted to imply that it is Sam Adams without paying for it to actually be Sam Adams.
posted by doomtop at 11:02 AM on November 16, 2008


OT: doomtop, why would you think that the movie production would have to pay Sam Adams for the privilege of advertising their brand?
posted by IAmBroom at 12:01 PM on November 16, 2008


Sam Adams doesn't come in cans, so unless we're talking about two different beers, or talking about a parallel movie universe where it could, it wasn't really Sam Adams.

I also have to say that I think Will and his buddies are a bit too blue collar to have been drinking Sam Adams. I would have guessed something cheaper.
posted by autojack at 12:01 PM on November 16, 2008


To correct, while Sam Adams was a sponsor of Project Greenlight, they were not affiliated with Good Will Hunting. I'm fairly certain that there's no paid product placement in that film.
posted by incessant at 1:19 PM on November 16, 2008


Response by poster: autojack: I don't know what the brand perception of Sam Adams is in the Boston area or how it is priced. I can see it being priced competitively to maintain market share in their "home" market, but given the monopolistic leaning nature of beer distribution in the US maybe this isn't possible. Also, are you positive that Sam Adams is not available in cans?

scabrous: I have read the article and it is unclear to me what relationship Sam Adams had with Ben and Matt during Good Will Hunting. The partnership seems to be centered around Project Greenlight but inspired by the entrepreneurship the pair had exhibited around GWH. If Sam Adams was involved in GWH then it is almost definitely not Sam Adams they are drinking in the movie. Sam Adams would have wanted their product more clearly displayed and would have wanted any competitors product obscured as the beer displayed in the movie was obscured.

Also, what would have been the spot on accurate beer for a group from what David Foster Wallace described as "Boston Bonehead Culture" to be drinking in the mid 90's?

Thank you all for your helpful responses.
posted by mumblelard at 1:28 PM on November 16, 2008


I don't know what the brand perception of Sam Adams is in the Boston area or how it is priced. I can see it being priced competitively to maintain market share in their "home" market, but given the monopolistic leaning nature of beer distribution in the US maybe this isn't possible. Also, are you positive that Sam Adams is not available in cans?

In my (limited) experience here in Boston, Sam Adams can be found everywhere, in at least a few varieties including a seasonal one. The price is about the same as other beers. I've not seen it in can form.
posted by losvedir at 1:38 PM on November 16, 2008


Even if Sam isn't available in cans in real life, they certainly could have slapped some Sam Adams badging on them for the sake of Ben, Matt, et al drinking from cans.
posted by The Michael The at 1:56 PM on November 16, 2008


Here's one of the scenes with beer cans.
posted by zamboni at 2:38 PM on November 16, 2008


The can in question is almost certainly not Sam Adams - their head brewer despises canned beer.
posted by zamboni at 2:46 PM on November 16, 2008


Response by poster: zamboni's information has fairly definitively ruled out Sam Adams. Thank you.

Any positive identifications? I am also interested in what beer would be the likely choice of this group in real life even if that is not the beer depicted in the film.
posted by mumblelard at 2:55 PM on November 16, 2008


Best answer: Also, what would have been the spot on accurate beer for a group from what David Foster Wallace described as "Boston Bonehead Culture" to be drinking in the mid 90's?

Brubaker. Even if not strictly accurate in terms of being the "bonehead beer," you would probably get some townie points for working it into your story / film / whatever.
posted by rkent at 3:41 PM on November 16, 2008


Response by poster: There is probably not a real answer to this short of contacting the set dresser for the movie. Thank you for all of your help.

rkent's Brubaker lead was very interesting if not exactly what I was looking for and it has opened up a new direction of investigation for me.
posted by mumblelard at 4:45 AM on December 19, 2008


Mod note: Final update from the OP:
Thanks to the wonders of high definition television, I can now say definitively that the beer they are drinking is Stroh's (http://pabstbrewingco.com...strohs.png).
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:58 AM on January 2, 2018


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