Occasionally I find out news that really upsets me. Today is one of those days. As an avid James Bond enthusiast, I was shocked and appalled when I heard rumors that the “shaken not stirred” was going away. Today it was confirmed in Advertising Age that Britain’s best known secret agent is going to change the habits of a lifetime and drink beer in the new Bond film, Skyfall. Heineken has struck a deal for a Bond campaign. There will be a new Heineken ad tied to the Bond film and Bond will reportedly be shown drinking Heineken in at least one scene in the movie itself. This is an act of near heresy for a movie character who has been defined for the last 50 years by his love of martinis.
Whereas older Bonds (including Sean Connery) dressed very formally and made a great fuss about having their vodka martinis shaken, not stirred, Craig’s secret agent seems far less bothered about how his drinks are prepared.
“Do I look like I give a damn?” he already said to a bartender in Casino Royale when asked how he wanted his martini. It is only a small step to seeing him swig his beer from a bottle. The topic of Bond and beer has been tackled before. Kingsley Amis, writing under the pseudonym William Tanner in his now out-of-print Book of Bond, gave would-be 007s advice on which lager could be drunk in specific situations:
“You drink it occasionally; In Geneva, a Löwenbräu; in the States, a Miller’s High Life, a couple of Red Stripes in Jamaica and as many as four steins of local brew in Munich if you find yourself with an ex-Luftwafffe pilot. But eschew English beer. It, like cider, belongs in pubs and 007 does not.”
I tried to justify it as best I can but I give up. Goodbye 007 and your Martini. Hello Heineken and hell.