Duff Beer is a brand of beer that originally started as a fictional beverage on the animated series ‘The Simpsons,’ since then it has become a real brand of beer in a number of countries without permission or consent from it’s original creator, Matt Groening, and has resulted in legal battles with varying results. Groening has stated that he will not license the Duff trademark to brew an actual beer, over concern that it would encourage children to drink.
It is Homer Simpson’s beer of choice and a parody of stereotypical commercial beer: very cheaply priced, poor-quality, and advertised everywhere. The name was inspired by one-syllable beer names in the US (such as ‘Bud’). In an excerpt from his autobiography, former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan claimed that the beer was named after him as the writers were fans of the band and he was known for his extreme alcohol consumption.
The beer’s official spokesperson is Duffman. While Duff Beer comes in several varieties, it is revealed on a Duff Brewery tour in ‘Duffless’ that regular Duff, Duff Light, and Duff Dry are the same beer, although Homer and Barney apparently remain oblivious to the fact. A tasting room also contains several varieties that Barney stated they had not tried yet, including Raspberry Duff, Lady Duff, and Tartar Control Duff. Duff is described as ‘The beer that makes the days fly by.’ Fudd, a competitor to Duff, is enjoyed by residents of Shelbyville, rival town to the Simpsons’ home of Springfield. Consumption of Fudd however is alleged by bartender Moe Szyslak to have made hillbillies go blind.
Bart and Lisa Simpson traveled with their aunt Selma to Duff Gardens, a parody of the Busch Gardens amusement park. In the gift shop, Bart spots ‘beer goggles,’ spectacles that mimic what drunks see: they make Aunt Selma appear young, feminine, and beautiful to Bart – and also, somehow, alter her voice. Later, they see the mascots of Duff Beer, the Seven Duffs: Sleazy, Queasy, Surly, Edgy, Tipsy, Dizzy, and Remorseful. There is also a direct parody of the ‘It’s a Small World’ attraction at Disney parks. In the cartoon, the boats float on a brown liquid as animatronic children sing ‘Duff beer for me, Duff beer for you, I’ll have a Duff, You can have one, too,’ over and over again. Lisa drinks the liquid in the ride on a dare from Bart, and she freaks out from its hallucinogenic properties. Other Duff Gardens attractions include the Beeramid, the Beerquarium (‘Home of the world’s happiest fish’), the Beer Hall of Presidents, the Washing Machine ride, the Whiplash rollercoaster, singing group Hooray for Everything (who sing a politically correct version of Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ and are based on Up with People), and a direct parody of Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade.