Let’s all have a moment of silence for Sparks, the scary caffeinated “beer” that, as of today, will cease to exist in its current form. The result of a joint venture between SABMiller PLC and Molson Coors Brewing Company, Sparks became the target of a lawsuit by over 12 state attorneys general and consumer interest groups who objected that the beverage was alcopop being marketed to underage drinkers.
The brainchild of a San Francisco–based beverage marketer called McKenzie River Corporation, Sparks was sold to SABMiller in 2006 for $215 million. (The company also bought McKenzie’s Steel Reserve.) A cross between an energy drink and a crappy beer, it contained caffeine, taurine, guarana, and ginseng, and was also available in a sugar-free, blue-colored version. Mmmmmm.
The Chicagoist said it best: “No good night ever started with Sparks.”