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Old 10-12-2006, 07:50 PM   #1
kc_lupo
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Default History of Beer in America

I always heard that beer was full bodied in America untill prohibition made it bladder wash. Well this guy is rebuting that..

http://www.powells.com/review/2006_10_07

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Old 10-12-2006, 08:53 PM   #2
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Maybe the author works for, or otherwise has an interest in, a B/M/C company.
the review states that Americans like the big companies' beers because they are light (paraphrasing). I think they just don't know any better.
To each his own...

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Old 10-12-2006, 09:25 PM   #3
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Actually, I believe what this author has to say. Let's be honest, just becuase we homebrewers prefer our beer to be highly caloric and stongly malty/hoppy/etc., does not make it a superior beverage. What BMC do is a certain style of beer which happens to appeal to a large segment of the American population. I honestly believe that the development of this style is less about ignorant drinkers and ruthless capitalism than it is about brewing a beer that a lot of people will drink.

My regular bouts with 30 packs of Miller High Life always remind me that American Light Lager is a style of beer which has its own merits as a beverage. I think that it is time that homebrewers stop being so elitist about our high FG ales and embrace American Light Lager as a style worthy of drinking and a style worthy of brewing.

Just my $.02.

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Old 10-12-2006, 09:26 PM   #4
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That is exactly the opposite that I heard on the history channel. Who here remembers the pilgrims? The first building they made in the new land was guess what a brewery! They weren't german were they? Before America was an actual country they drank porters, milds and bitters. A while after the revelution they didn't like the british so they stoped drinking those beers and started drinking whiskey thankfully the newest people off the boats at that time were germans. They started making their beers and kept the beverage going.

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Old 10-12-2006, 09:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sause
That is exactly the opposite that I heard on the history channel. Who here remembers the pilgrims? The first building they made in the new land was guess what a brewery! They weren't german were they? Before America was an actual country they drank porters, milds and bitters. A while after the revelution they didn't like the british so they stoped drinking those beers and started drinking whiskey thankfully the newest people off the boats at that time were germans. They started making their beers and kept the beverage going.
From what I read the prefered drink back then was hard cider and they also did applejacking. Supposedly beer and ale didn't become the prefered drink till many centuries later. Also the pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sause
That is exactly the opposite that I heard on the history channel. Who here remembers the pilgrims? The first building they made in the new land was guess what a brewery! They weren't german were they? Before America was an actual country they drank porters, milds and bitters. A while after the revelution they didn't like the british so they stoped drinking those beers and started drinking whiskey thankfully the newest people off the boats at that time were germans. They started making their beers and kept the beverage going.
I don't think that the review of that book (or, presumably, the book itself) would deny what you say. So . . . it is not "exactly the opposite." I think that it would be pretty hard to argue that the German brewing tradition was not the single most influencing factor on the history of American beer. It was not until the recent micro-brew resurgence that American brewers returned to the English tradition. Clearly BMC and all of those other beers that dominated the market and continue to dominate the market are direct ancestors of the German brewing tradition rather than the English one.

I think that the smartest point the author of Ambitious Brew makes is that the American Light Lager is descended from the Czech Pils. Seems like a pretty good bet to me. And if we see it in this manner, BMC is less of a "cheap" beer and more of a crisp refreshing interpretation of a respected and historied style.
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonvolt
...BMC is less of a "cheap" beer and more of a crisp refreshing interpretation of a respected and historied style.
C'mon, the article states that the big breweries use (or used) high-quality ingredients (I can't even taste any hops at all in their beers). And why does it taste so bad, compared to homebrew?
Other pilsners don't taste that bad. and how about homebrewed American Light? I've never made it, so I am asking here. I'm guessing that it tastes much better, but if not, I'll stand corrected.

Not really trying to start a debate, but i just think that BMC could do better. I understand that they don't need to, because they already have an established market. It's business.
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:06 PM   #8
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Just a couple of months ago it was found out that Bud has changed its recipe over the past 40 years...less barley malt...fewer hops...more rice...more water...more profit...

Try a Budvar from Budweis (not the Czechvar import stuff) like I have on many occasions and you'll never drink another "King of Beers"...EVER!!

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Old 10-12-2006, 10:17 PM   #9
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"The first brewers in America were German" (Doug Brown) I don't know how else to say this but the first people over here were not the germans (yeah that was native americans, but were talking immergrents) and the people over here didn't drink german lagers. I would say that comes close to the opposite I can think of.

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Old 10-13-2006, 12:01 AM   #10
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The first brewers in America followed English traditions in brewing. Read this book:
Beer in America: The Early Years--1587-1840 : Beer's Role in the Settling of America and the Birth of a Nation
http://www.amazon.com/Beer-America-Y...e=UTF8&s=books

It follows brewing history in the US from the first settlement to about the civil war. German immegrants didn't come until the early 1800's. Until that time ales were the common beers, especially porter and later pale ale. After, lager caught on very quickly and became available across the country, largely in part to the new railroad system. WWII wasn't the beginning of the contempory version of American light lager. But between it and prohibition, they were a big factor in how the American public thought of beer.

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