Blue-Collar Beverages That Travel Well

How one nation’s mass-market swill can become another’s aspirational nectar
Illustrations by Lydia Nichols

The global liquor industry is one of the few places on earth where it is evidently possible to put lipstick on a pig. Multinational giants like Anheuser-Busch InBev and Diageo have become masters of exporting a beverage from one country to another, having first subjected the product to a repositioning bordering on an extreme makeover. By manipulating the exotic nature of the brand, one nation’s blue-collar beverage can become another’s aspirational nectar.

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