the german tax collectors

Since a lot of beer meta has been going around, I thought we might talk about the use of the Schultz brand a little, especially since it’s going to feature in the up-coming episode tonight.

I think the context in which we see the brands is important, and the Schultz brand is seen in four major scenes that are connected with death and dying.

The first is Dean sharing a cold one with the croat he plugs in The End:

The second is when Sam and Dean are killed in The Dark Side of the Moon. Their bedsides are littered with blue Schultz beers, and like @sandraugiga has pointed, in heaven the colors of the brand are reversed: in heaven the beer is red and gold.

The third major appearance of the brand is in The Point of No Return, the context being that Dean has chosen to say yes to Michael. Essentially he has chosen to die and has been making preparations for his eventual death. The street preacher kneels down to pray for the angels to come and claim Dean.

The fourth major appearance of the brand is in the eleventh hour, in Two Minutes to Midnight, right after Dean has had a meeting with Death. Dean drinks the beer while asking Bobby what he thinks Death will do to people who lie to his face.

There are four major scenes connecting the beer to death, and the name may also contain a clue. Schultz (Schuld) has the meaning of ‘debt’ in Germanic languages, and is furthermore connected to medieval tax-collectors – and the only two things that certain in life, according to the old adage, are death and taxes.

So, I propose that on the show the Schultz brand is connected to death, or the looming presence of death, and the rest of the appearances of the brand might be reviewed against it. At least one other instance where the brand is featured in connection with a major character death is Nightshifter.

Since the beers are behind Dean, it’s possible it also foreshadows the deaths that were to come at the end of the season.

But fact remains that three times that we see a character drink the beer, they die soon after: Jaeger and Dean, Sam and Dean, and Bobby.

Further instances of Schultz beer being connected with death:

Bobby takes it out of the fridge just as he is dying.

A fallen can of Schultz is on the table immediately following Bobby’s death.

Dean kills a man and a demon by throwing him into a whole glass case full of Schultz. In this instance it may also foreshadow the return of the ‘Holy tax accountant’.

Schultz beers are prominently displayed in Van Ness house, a house full of dead people.

Addition following Our Little World:

The episode featured a murder in front of the Schultz beer sign.

This seems to be pretty poignant evidence in favour of interpreting the beer brand as a signal for death (& taxes – and incidentally, often the figure of the “Holy Tax-Accountant”, cf. Dean drinking the beer in The Third Man while he calls for Castiel).

So now we must ask ourselves what it means that both Sam and Dean were drinking Schultz beer in Baby, but that Sam didn’t pack all the beer Dean had intended for them to drink. Because Schultz is the beer of death.