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Old 06-15-2009, 08:40 PM   #1
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Default Why do BMC "craft" brews taste bad?

I have a friend that occasionally hosts tasting parties where we do blind tasting of 10-20 different commercial beers of a given style. We've done IPA, Pale Ales, etc. When there is a BMC variant of the style, it usually gets worked into the mix. We do tasting by numbers, write out our tasting notes, and then vote for our 3 favorites.

Without fail, the BMC variant ends up being the bottom of the pack every time on everyone's list. It's always unanimous and not just the beer snobs in the group. My wife, who until recently actually preferred BMC stuff, still ranked their 'craft' beers in last place among the choices.

So, I'm starting to wonder if there's some kind of reason behind this. Is it due to the scale of the operation? Cost-cutting? Something inherent in the brewing process?

One would think that they would have done extensive test marketing before launching the product. Maybe they figured customer loyalty would be enough? e.g. The customer regularly buys Bud, so maybe if they were feeling adventurous they'd just pick up American Ale, retch, and then go back to good ol' regular Bud?

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Old 06-15-2009, 08:44 PM   #2
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i don't think they are marketing to the hard core craft brew folk. they are trying to get the bud light/bud diesel drinker to try it on a whim, like it, as it has a bit more flavor, and buy that as their standard beer. since it costs more with not much more input cost, the company makes more money.

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Old 06-15-2009, 08:48 PM   #3
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I think these beers often get stuck in between two camps. They try to make them "accessible" to BMC drinkers, who still find them weird compared with Bud, Miller and Coors. The "snobs" don't like them because they often do taste like bowdlerized versions of the real thing.

That being said, I think Blue Moon sells well, as do a few of the others. Someone likes them.

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Old 06-15-2009, 08:51 PM   #4
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Like it or not, BMC craft brews are our future. Baby steps is what I'm saying.

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Old 06-15-2009, 08:53 PM   #5
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It would be hard to argue that the BMC 95% marketshare represents a marketing failure.

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Old 06-15-2009, 09:01 PM   #6
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BMC "craft" brews taste bad because they're not craft brews. They're faux versions designed to be as bland and middle of the road as possible for the chosen style, which the marketing folk believe will appeal to that section of their customer base who may want to try one of these "craft" beers they've heard about. BMC have seen the success of the craft market and want a slice of the pie, but without going to the trouble of making the real product. Anybody who knows what craft beer really tastes like won't be fooled (as you found out), but many others who are just tempted to try something different from YellowFizz Lite may not realize they are being duped.

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Old 06-15-2009, 09:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanP View Post
BMC "craft" brews taste bad because they're not craft brews. They're faux versions designed to be as bland and middle of the road as possible for the chosen style, which the marketing folk believe will appeal to that section of their customer base who may want to try one of these "craft" beers they've heard about. BMC have seen the success of the craft market and want a slice of the pie, but without going to the trouble of making the real product. Anybody who knows what craft beer really tastes like won't be fooled (as you found out), but many others who are just tempted to try something different from YellowFizz Lite may not realize they are being duped.
Personally, I have a problem with the term "Craft brew"

The proper term is "Beer"

If BMC is turning a slight curve toward making better beer, then no matter how small that curve is, then I support it.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Personally, I have a problem with the term "Craft brew"

The proper term is "Beer"
It's a fair point, but I think there's a distinction to be made between beer that's brewed by people who genuinely love their product and take pride in crafting it (to pick a word) to be as good as possible, compared to the large corporations who make brewing decisions based primarily on finance/marketing considerations. BMC no doubt employ some passionate brewers, but they're not the decision makers. "Craft" doesn't seem to me like a bad single-word/convenient description of what differentiates the small brewers from the corporations.

Quote:
If BMC is turning a slight curve toward making better beer, then no matter how small that curve is, then I support it.
Yeah - I was pleasantly surprised to see the Michelob adverts for their "craft" beers all over the NYC subway a few months ago. I thought then that anything that makes people aware of styles like Marzen, Porter or Dunkel Weiss can only be good. But I'm still not convinced by the sincerity of the beers, and I've no plans to buy any. If the craft beer market tanked tomorrow I suspect real "craft" brewers would still be making their beer and trying to sell it, but Michelob's line would vanish in an instant.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laughing_Gnome_Invisible View Post
Personally, I have a problem with the term "Craft brew"

The proper term is "Beer"

If BMC is turning a slight curve toward making better beer, then no matter how small that curve is, then I support it.
I have to agree, to an extent.

Just this past Saturday I went home for my sister's graduation and was visiting with the family when the conversation turned to my homebrewing, which then turned to beers they like.

A lot of them liked beer that I loved but there's always the bulk of the group who ask about Blue Moon, Michelob's "craft brews'', etc. I think its a good thing, but when someone says blue moon, I usually end up giving my schpiel about Coors and how Hoegaarden is the better choice.

This can also be said about the other brands attempts at real beer...
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:49 PM   #10
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BMC do not get people to drink their products by making the best. They do it by really good marketing. The fact that their beers don't taste great should not be a surprise. The big problem is that when people go out on a limb and try these "new styles", they are getting the bottom of the barrel, watered down swill that BMC calls beer and make decisions about non-NAIL beers based on bad brew.

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