Homer Simpson would feel at home in Latin America. His favorite beer, Duff, is available in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.
The lager has the same logo as the brew that Homer guzzles at Moe’s, his local bar in the Fox cartoon series. In South America, the beer’s motto is “Yes it does exist!” But nobody seems to be willing to discuss Springfield’s finest.
The makers of Duff in South America say they aren’t allowed to talk to the U.S. media. Duff Mexico — which started the Latin American trend — would not respond to interview requests. And 20th Century Fox, which owns the rights to -Simpsons, said it would not comment on the story and would not say if it has a licensing agreement with any of the Duff producers.
The stonewalling doesn’t mean Duff is keeping a low profile. In Colombia, Duff Sudamerica sponsors concerts and is available at dozens of the swankiest bars. When Duff launched in Chile in March, their raucous parties and Homer imitators made the nightly news.
The owner of the Chilean franchise, Enrique Robles, told El Mercurio newspaper he hoped to sell $750,000 worth of beer this year alone.
“Two generations of young people have been raised on the Simpsons,” he told the newspaper. “What we have is an unsatisfied fantasy.”
That fantasy remains off-limits to U.S. fans of The Simpsons.
Fox has never licensed the beverage in the United States. According to several reports, Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening fears that bringing Duff into the real world would be tantamount to pushing alcohol on minors.
The Duff dearth north of the border has only made fans more desperate. Online message boards buzz about where to find Duff. On eBay, an empty bottle of Duff beer from Argentina sells for $14.99; a decal off the Colombian product is being offered for $8.99.
At Rock Garden, a bar in Bogotá, Duff commands import prices — about $5.50 a bottle — even though it’s brewed in the nearby city of Medellin.
The bar’s general manager, Reynaldo Román, said the Colombian brewers of Duff, 3 Cordilleras, have assured him they are legally entitled to sell it.
“I’m not going to tell you that this is the best beer in the world, but it sells very well,” Román said. “When people see it they have to buy it. The marketing has already been done for it, there are a lot of Simpsons fans in Colombia.”
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