I used to think that products like Busch N/A and O'Douls Non-Alcoholic Beer were fads from the 1990s. After all, who would buy non-alcoholic beer? It has the same amount of calories as beer, tastes worse, and doesn't get you drunk. I see no possible benefit. I thought that with the disappearance of the ads for these products from TV within a few weeks meant that non-alcoholic beer (oxymoron?) had gone the way of Crystal Pepsi and New Coke.
I was to find out that, apparently, the US Army has been keeping these "Near Beer" companies in business all these years. We had the chance to partake in not only "Near Beer", but also cigars when we promoted one of our lieutenants the other day.
The cigars came from a humidor left over by the previous unit. Although the bands said "Macanudo", I have the sneaky suspicion that, like most tourist traps, the local bazaars simply use 25-cent cigars and simply slip on bands from expensive brands. I was also a little dismayed when I saw that many of the labels were made to look like expensive brands--e.g., the design for one band looked like the distinctive Montecristo brand, but was really a cheap knock-off. War is hell.