‘Hooch’ legacy hits Bass US alcopops launch

The legacy of gangster Al Capone is causing problems for British brewer Bass in its a attempt to launch Hooper’s Hooch alcoholic lemon drink in the US.

US consumers associate the word hooch with the illegal whisky made during the Prohibition period – the moonshine which brought Capone riches as a bootlegger.

“‘Hooch is a slang term in the UK for alcohol, while in the US there is a residual and latent understanding that it came out of Prohibition,” says Andy Glaser, Bass’s US marketing manager.

Glaser says the company is considering printing an explanation of the name on the drink’s packaging.

Bass is testing Hooper’s Hooch in Miami and San Diego in the US and is hoping to emulate the success of alcopops (alcoholic soft drinks) in the UK. The alcopops market is worth up to 200m in the UK, less than a year after Hooper’s Hooch became the first drink of this type to be launched here.

Bass intends to follow the same strategy in the US as it did in the UK, and will market Hooper’s Hooch as a new category of drink which is an alternative to beer.

Cover Story, page 44

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here