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Old 03-12-2012, 03:22 AM   #1
malt20
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Default commercial ale vs lager

Why are there no mass produced ales like there are lagers (coors light)?

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Old 03-12-2012, 03:53 AM   #2
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There are tons of mass produced ales.

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Old 03-12-2012, 04:00 AM   #3
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Guinness, Bass, Fuller's, Samuel Smith

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Old 03-12-2012, 04:08 AM   #4
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SNPA, fat tire

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Old 03-12-2012, 04:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruppe View Post
Guinness, Bass, Fuller's, Samuel Smith
New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, some Sam Adams, Smithwick, Founder's, Bell's, Goose Island, Newcastle, Gennessee, etc, all produce ales.

Stouts are ales, if you've ever had a commercial stout.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:18 AM   #6
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I think (and this is my interpretation so it could be wrong) that the OP means "mass produced" as in produced near the scale of something like Bud or Coors. And I also infer that the OP means in the US (Bass, Guinness, Fullers, and Sam Smiths are all Euro-ales)

If this is what the OP is asking, I would surmise that the dominance of lager beer in the US results primarily from prohibition. Near the turn of the century, there were thousands of breweries, mostly small, producing all manners of ales and lagers. According to beerhistory.com, in 1873 there were 4131 breweries (record number) that produced 9 million barrels of beer. According to the same site, in 1933, there were 31 breweries back in operation.

Post-prohibition US breweries focused primarily on lagers. Because there were so few breweries after prohibition, a relatively small number of breweries rose to dominate the scene relatively quickly, meaning lagers dominated the US beer scene. One of the breweries was Anheiser-Busch, who waited out prohibition by legally selling extract (to lots of people who illegally used it to produce homebrew).

Exactly why these companies focused primarily on lager brewing goes beyond my beer history knowledge. But I did learn the other day (from a Travel Channel show) that another brewery was also operating in St. Louis just before prohibition, and was much larger than Anheiser-Busch, called the Lemp Brewery. The Lemp family brought with them from Germany a recipe(s?) for amazing lager beer, which in the mid-1800s was a fairly novel concept for the US beer market. Just before prohibition, the Lemp dynasty was becoming huge, and was dominating the US beer market b/c of the popularity of their lager beer. Unlike A-B, they assumed prohibition would last, so they called it quits for the brewery and sold it off. So if I were to guess why lagers were the primary focus of the small number of breweries who ran the scene following prohibition, it would have something to do with how well breweries like Lemp had marketed lager beers, and how popular they were becoming across the country.

If that's what you were asking, I just gave you a lot of text for nothing. But at least it was good procrastinating from the real writing I need to do for work.

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:27 AM   #7
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It's because more people prefer lagers....

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Old 03-12-2012, 06:58 AM   #8
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It would seem that producing an ale at mass quantity would be cheaper than a lager like c minus or bud light or any of those lagers. So if they're all about money. Why not a mass produced ale?

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Old 03-12-2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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Genesee Cream Ale is one that comes to mind.

But I think the issue with "ales not as popular as lagers" in terms of the mainstream is due to flavor. We don't need to BMC bash now, but its no secret that one key of their success is their ability to be unoffensive with respect to their exceedingly low flavor profile. Many say lagers are the clean ones and the ales have the flavors - yeast derived that is. That's what I think.

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