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Old 06-20-2008, 12:10 PM   #1
JMD87
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Default Anheuser Busch ...

Okay, I get the fact that AB makes some terrible beer per beer 'elitist' standards, however I really don't understand the rage against the company. Without going on a rant, the way I see it is AB is a company that is out to make money. The only reason they are successful is because their customers BUY THE CRAPPY BEER! Who are we to be angry because AB is successful? Do people think they should brew a more "acceptable" beer for the much smaller market of people who like real beer? Or should they keep selling their beer to the masses that will line their pockets with gold?

This isn't just about AB either... this goes for basically any of the top-selling domestic breweries. I guess I'm either a dope, or I have a lot to learn. I know this is talked about all the time, and mostly everyone will skim over this post, but I don't know man from a business point of view, they seem to be doing everything right.

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Old 06-20-2008, 12:36 PM   #2
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Default You're new here, aren't you? ;)

Not everyone on this site is 'angry' per se at the huge corporations. Part of it is just camaraderie at knowing me make something better than what we can buy at the store. Would I be sad if Budweiser closed it's doors? Well yea, because they employ many hundreds of good people plus the economy would suffer. I just don't buy their products and likely never will ever again.

We as homebrewers like to make high quality, flavorful ales and lagers, The way that beer has been made for thousands of years. Bud, Miller and Coors are the opposite of that. They make extremely bland, fizzy generic barley soda with no hardly any flavor to it whatsoever. It's pandering to the lowest common denominator. It's also, IMO, a sign of the decline in our culture. It seems to be the American way to water down and bowdlerize real traditions, foods and activities so they are boring and generic. Look at all our fast food chains. You can get the exact same burger at any McDonalds in the world. It's terrible in it's mediocrity, but at least it's consistant! I'm sure there's a cooking forum somewhere mocking BMK (Burger king, Mcdonalds, and KFC) for their unhealthy foods.

You see all these macrolager ads lately for the 'vent hole' and making it ice cold via the 'code blue'? The vent is so you can shotgun the beer so you don't have to taste it. When you drink ice cold liquid it literally numbs your tastebuds so you can't taste anything. That's not to say that they aren't trying. The big three are trying to branch out into the craft brew market with mixed results. I haven't had any, but I hear their craft beers aren't very good. Who knows if it's because they're not trying, or if they're afraid of scaring off their customer base with actual, you know, FLAVOR.

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Old 06-20-2008, 12:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JMD87 View Post
from a business point of view, they seem to be doing everything right.
I agree with you that they have an admirable business. Good for them. But that has nothing to do with the quality of the product, and everything to do with peoples' willingness to buy it.

I recently bought a $600 espresso machine. I could have gotten one for $50 at Target. Those types outsell the "real" espresso machines like mine by a dramatic margin, but they aren't real espresso machines- they don't even make true espresso.

By many countries' standards, AB doesn't make beer- beer contains malt, hops, barley and yeast. By those standards, AB makes malt liquor using a variety of malts (including possible corn and rice). Now, Americans call it beer, but in many other countries it's not beer.

So some may say that the $50 espresso machine makes espresso, but I say no, it actually just makes strong coffee. Some people say AB makes beer, I say no, they make malt liquor. Maybe that's purely a snob thing... but maybe it's actually a technical distinction worth making.

Sure, I admire AB's business. But if you ask me if they make good beer, I have to say that no, they make bland and tasteless malt liquor. Sure, it's good bland and tasteless malt liquor, but it's still bland and tasteless malt liquor.

You can tell me that you consider it beer. And you can consider what comes from the $50 espresso machine to be "espresso". But it's really a cheap and tasteless imitation intended to appeal to the lowest common denominator- the truly clueless. Anybody with an appreciation for beer, or for espresso, can tell the difference.

FWIW, I don't think people really rage against the company... if anything people rage against their marketing tactics which basically aim to dumb down the consumer and make people less knowledgeable about their products. Using terms like "frost brewed", "born on dates", "cold filtered". Maybe those techniques have merit in some cases, but it seems they frequently use them as buzzwords for quality when, in fact, they may indicate a lack of quality, thereby making consumers who listen to their adds less knowledgeable about beer. And I think that is a damn shame.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by EvilTOJ View Post
Not everyone on this site is 'angry' per se at the huge corporations. Part of it is just camaraderie at knowing me make something better than what we can buy at the store. Would I be sad if Budweiser closed it's doors? Well yea, because they employ many hundreds of good people plus the economy would suffer. I just don't buy their products and likely never will ever again.

We as homebrewers like to make high quality, flavorful ales and lagers, The way that beer has been made for thousands of years. Bud, Miller and Coors are the opposite of that. They make extremely bland, fizzy generic barley soda with no hardly any flavor to it whatsoever. It's pandering to the lowest common denominator. It's also, IMO, a sign of the decline in our culture. It seems to be the American way to water down and bowdlerize real traditions, foods and activities so they are boring and generic. Look at all our fast food chains. You can get the exact same burger at any McDonalds in the world. It's terrible in it's mediocrity, but at least it's consistant! I'm sure there's a cooking forum somewhere mocking BMK (Burger king, Mcdonalds, and KFC) for their unhealthy foods.

You see all these macrolager ads lately for the 'vent hole' and making it ice cold via the 'code blue'? The vent is so you can shotgun the beer so you don't have to taste it. When you drink ice cold liquid it literally numbs your tastebuds so you can't taste anything. That's not to say that they aren't trying. The big three are trying to branch out into the craft brew market with mixed results. I haven't had any, but I hear their craft beers aren't very good. Who knows if it's because they're not trying, or if they're afraid of scaring off their customer base with actual, you know, FLAVOR.
Yeah, I mean, what's next, their own BJCP category? Oh, wait.

I'm of the staunch opinion that there's nothing inherently wrong with Lite American Lager. It's a valid style, like any other. Go ahead and have some dortmunder...it's almost equally as clean and devoid of real character.

It's not pandering to the lowest common denominator. It's giving people what they want. Nobody forced people to go to the store and plunk down $15 on a 30-cube of Natty Light. But people do anyway. Everyone wants to blame the companies, like you did above, but they're only giving people what they want. Lite American Lager is a holdover from the days when clear beer was a novelty...and now it pisses of homebrewers, who strive for flavorful beer, that the most popular style in the world is the least flavorful. But do you honestly think that if, tomorrow, Budweiser changed their recipe to be an altbier, all those Lite Lager drinkers would spring out of their coma and become "enlightened" like us? No. Of course not. The beer tastes of the world are a constantly evolving thing...so enjoy this revolution that we're part of, the craft beer revolution, and stop blaming the companies that are just giving people what the prevailing taste in beer is.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:37 PM   #5
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Sure, I admire AB's business. But if you ask me if they make good beer, I have to say that no, they make bland and tasteless malt liquor. Sure, it's good bland and tasteless malt liquor, but it's still bland and tasteless malt liquor.

You can tell me that you consider it beer. And you can consider what comes from the $50 espresso machine to be "espresso". But it's really a cheap and tasteless imitation intended to appeal to the lowest common denominator- the truly clueless. Anybody with an appreciation for beer, or for espresso, can tell the difference.
Good thing you're not the authority on what comprises "beer"! It's a BJCP style, it's beer, it's just a different type of beer. Your espresso machine analogy is incorrect, because that's a matter of QUALITY, not style. I would argue that Bud, Miller, Coors, et al, have perfected the style known as 1a Lite American Lager or 1b Standard American Lager. They make good beer, and yes, it's certainly beer...they make good American Lager. To go back to your analogy, I would argue that the equivalent of your hypothetical $50 espresso machine is keystone light or milwaukee's best. They're Lite American Lager, but they're not nearly as well-made as, say, Budweiser.

I just don't buy the whole argument that, if you don't like a particular style of beer, it's no longer "beer". As if a product's definition depended on your approval.

Just sayin...
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:39 PM   #6
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I just don't buy the whole argument that, if you don't like a particular style of beer, it's no longer "beer". As if a product's definition depended on your approval.

Just sayin...
It's not my approval. It's that of other countries who have a specific definition of beer, as compared to malt liquor.

It's like Spaten Optimator in America. It's not a beer. It's labeled as malt liquor. Why? Because Americans have a screwed up notion of what "a beer" is.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:44 PM   #7
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Who are we to be angry because AB is successful?
To me, it'd be one thing if they just left the craft segment alone. They are successful, good for them.

You may not recall but A-B practiced a little distribution manipulation called "100% Share of Mind" a few years back.

Quote:
"In March 1996, August Busch III announced that he decided that A-B distributors should not distribute craft beers any longer, and that A-B distributors should give '100% share-of-mind' to the Budweiser family of products. In fact, A-B launched a 'share of mind' campaign headed by a 'share of mind' team... The purpose of this nationwide effort was to eliminate as many non-exclusive distributors as possible
http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/...18/story7.html

Now that may be 12 years ago, but earlier this year A-B was involved with legislators in Birmingham, AL to try to keep the law against beverages with abv over 6% illegal (http://youtube.com/watch?v=3zXK4RoD_aU). Now again, that's just A-B protecting their interests, but it certainly isn't mutually supportive and if you're an Alabama resident and wanted a bottle of Stone, tough ****.

Competition is tough and A-B using their size to muscle out the craft segment is the reality of the market. But it doesn't mean they don't suck any less for it, IMHO. Especially now when they want to hold hands and sing Kumbaya with the craft beer segment, talking of cooperation and mutual support (according to some articles I've read). Guess it's just a coincidence that BMC growth has slipped over the past few years and craft beer has been jumping double digits? Even funnier is how the tears are flowing now that InBev has thrown in a bid, basically doing to A-B what they've been doing to a few micros over the past 10-15 years.

Me, I'd rather support the smaller guys who are working their butts of, making the craft beer segment what it is today instead of glorifying A-B.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:44 PM   #8
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It's not my approval. It's that of other countries who have a specific definition of beer, as compared to malt liquor.

It's like Spaten Optimator in America. It's not a beer. It's labeled as malt liquor. Why? Because Americans have a screwed up notion of what "a beer" is.
Good thing I don't use the government's labeling standards as my guide . It's labeled as malt liquor because we went through prohibition and we still have latent issues with alcohol, and feel that the higher the concentration of alcohol in a drink, the more "dangerous" it is.

I'd rather defer to something like the BJCP, which is removed from our latent booze demons...
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:49 PM   #9
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When it comes to the naming argument, that's something that is ubiquitous across many things - for example, the production of Champagne in France versus elsewhere. I don't think anyone can fault AB for their business model, they found a market, a very large one, where they can market a product - good for them.

My feelings on the BMC's is a lot like my feelings towards television these days. Most of it flat out sucks in my opinion, but if people enjoy it, fine go ahead and watch it. But don't try to convince me that American Idol is good and I should watch it, because it's just not my thing. Same thing with BMC's - if you like it, fine. But don't try to convince me it's a "great beer", because my standards for a great beer are completely different. Are they better? I don't know. I know more about beer than most people out there, but in the end it comes down to a matter of taste (or lack thereof).

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Old 06-20-2008, 01:52 PM   #10
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My issue has more to do with their marketing than anything else. Several people have stated that Budweiser is just making the beer that people want to drink; this isn't necessarily true. AB spends millions of dollars convincing people that the product they sell is what beer should taste like and that dark beers are actually bad. It's not that I am angry, it's just frustrating that I can't find a decent beer to drink when I'm out in public because AB has fast-talked everyone into drinking their product.

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