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Old 01-30-2011, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default You can lead a horse to water...

So, I'm sitting at the bar in the Frankemuth Brewery yesterday and I get a text from my wife's cousin: "Is bell's two hearted ale supposed to be this hoppy and bitter or is this stuff just past its shelf life?". I replied and explained that it's an IPA and yes, it is supposed to be hoppy and bitter. He didn't beleive me, because it had been chilled and warmed a few times, so it's just bad and three bottles of Two Hearted have been needlessly sacrificed

He is what I refer to as a "beer poser"; he's knowledgeable enough on the subject of beer to hold a general conversation, but when put to practice, he looks for (and finds) flaws in each beer I've given him and everything is pale in comparison to the "gold standard beer": Budweiser.

When I first made the move to AG brewing, I made three batches in a short amount of time: A Scottish Export Ale, Irish Stout and an IPA. I brought a few bottles of each to a sunday dinner at my in laws and shared them with who ever was willing to try them; it was actually kinda cool to serve a small flight of my own beer. I got the usual responses from mainly BMC drinkers "this tastes weird", "it doesnt taste like normal beer", "theyre good, but i still prefer bud" etc... which is fine, but I was really pissed when I caught this same cousin dumping a bottle of my IPA because "No beer should be that bitter, it's obviously bad". He almost dumped a bottle of stout because the head wasnt as creamy as Guinness (the gold standard stout...) and of course, this meant that it too, was bad. I had to explain that the guinness he drinks is infused with nitrogen, not just carbon dioxide and it has a completely different effect on the beer...

So, needless to say, I am done advocating good beer to this individual. There is no hope.

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Old 01-30-2011, 04:46 PM   #2
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To each his own.

Although if I caught somebody drainpouring a perfectly good bottle of my homebrew saying it was "bad", there would be azz-whoopin I'm not a germaphobe, I'll finish that bottle

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Old 01-30-2011, 04:53 PM   #3
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To each his own.

Although if I caught somebody drainpouring a perfectly good bottle of my homebrew saying it was "bad", there would be azz-whoopin I'm not a germaphobe, I'll finish that bottle
+1 damn straight!
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:59 PM   #4
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Why not explain to him that it's not the beer that's gone wrong...

Anyway, he should probably be let in on the secret that bad beer is usually pretty tart, not so much bitter, and that yeah, there's a lot of EXCELLENT bitter beer out there for MEN to enjoy. (and some ladies...)

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:03 PM   #5
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It's not your job to convert them. People like what they like.

My thing about all this is....The craft beer industry has existed since right around the time I turned 21, about 24 years ago...at least that's when I first noticed there were OTHER beers around besides BMC....there was snpa, and bell's and sam adams starting to pop up in a few stores in Metro Detroit at that time, as well as imports like Guiness, Bredore's and Double Diamond (from England- the first non bmc bottled beer I ever bought)...This stuff was first in my awareness in the mid to late 80's....

In fact when I was underaged I had my first taste of bud, spat it out and made my decision that beer sucked...and drank other things in the interum, mostly wine, and bourbon...in fact the first legal drink I ever bought was a bottle of calvados. Yet, since I loved to read, I always heard about beers like guiness, and other things...so I kept hearing that there was "good beer" out there.

Then I turned 21 and shortly after, like I said above, I began to see these OTHER beers around in bars and better beer/wine stores around my college campus. Plus the first micro brewery was in a resteraunt near campus as well.

I think my first non BMC beer I tried in a bar, was a guiness....And, as much as I think little of it NOW, it was a soul changing moment...I truly found out that there was something better than a budlight out there.

The point being..There has been alternative to BMC somewhat readily available since probably 1985...and more and more everyday.

Despite bmc's control over distribution craft, or imported beer has managed to be available to one degree or another for a lond time.

And now with commercials for Sam Adams, and even a show about dogfish head on one of the most popular cable channels...it really is NOT invisible anymore...if it ever was...And I don't believe it ever was.

Just like it was my choice to explore the world of beer for 24 years, it has been other folks choice to make Budlight the best selling beer on the planet, despite the fact that personally it makes me want to puke. Craft beers make other folks want to puke...It's just the way it is.

It's not AHB's "fault" that their product is the top seller...Nor is it totally a vast conspiracy to manipulate the marketplace as some of us beer snobs want to convince ourselves (though it does go on to a greater or lesser extent) But it's NOT the main...

The main reason is that more folks like those safe, (flavorless to me) light lager style of beer.

And despite a 10% loss of sales over time...it's still going to be the top seller in the market place...

Why? Because the majority of folks choose it over the vast array of other products out there. It simply reflects the relatively safe tastes of human beings...especially the american populace.

Most people are afraid to try new things...so their horizens or limited...but there's also going to be folks, who DO try craft beers....and go back to BMC...because that's what they prefer....there's nothing wrong with them...it's just their choice....

Just like it is our choice to like the alternatives...that's just the way it is.

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:20 PM   #6
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It's just funny, because you know you would never receive a call from someone drinking a Coors Light saying "Is this supposed to have no flavor, color, or aroma and be one step away from soda water?" Hehe.

All joking aside, I agree with Revvy that it's all relative to how much of the entire beer spectrum you're exposed to. Since most people in the US only know one style (BMC), that's what they compare everything else to. What I find interesting about this is that in ye olden times, beers would have been much darker and more full-flavored. Imagine when the first pilsner styles came out. Everyone would have been writing letters to their relatives saying: "Is this supposed to taste so light and fresh?"

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:25 PM   #7
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I What I find interesting about this is that in ye olden times, beers would have been much darker and more full-flavored. Imagine when the first pilsner styles came out. Everyone would have been writing letters to their relatives saying: "Is this supposed to taste so light and fresh?"
But that's EXACTLY the history of the American Lager.

America like most of the world had quite an extensive array of beers available prior to the German Invasion of brewer's which later introduced the light lager. They pretty much had the "brewing culture" of all the countries that people immigrated from...Most English beer styles..you know Porters, Stouts, Partigyles, stuff like that. As well as mostly heavy German Styles of beer. Not to mention people from Scotland, Ireland, Russia and other places where beer was drank.

Remember up until then, beer was food.

In fact thew whole history of the light lager is the American populace's (not the brewer's) desire to have a lighter beer to drink, which forced the German brewers to look at adding adjuncts like corn and rice...not as the popular homebrewer's myth has been to make money by peddling and "inferior commercial product" by adding adjuncts, but in order to come up with a style of beer that the American people wanted.

Maureen Ogle proved that in Ambitious Brew it actually made the cost of a bottle of Budweiser cost around 17.00/bottle in today's dollars. Gee I've paid 17 dollars for a bomber of beer before...not too much difference there, eh?

When AH released Budweiser with it's corn and rice adjuncts in the 1860's it was the most expensive beer out there; a single bottle retailed for $1.00 (what would equal in today's Dollars for $17.00) this was quite difference when a schooner of beer usually cost a nickel.

This is the part that blows the "cost cutting" argument out of the water. In order to use those adjuncts you have to process them separately from the rest of the mash, and then add it to the mash. You either have to do a cereal mash to pr-gelatinize them or you have to roll them with heat to make them flaked...either way, besides the labor and energy involved to grow and harvest those plants, you expend labor and energy to make them usuable. You have to boil them in a cereal mash. That's another couple hours of labor and energy involved in the cost of the product.

It wasn't done to save money, it was done because heavy beers (both english style Ales and the heavier Bavarian malty beers) were not being drunk by American consumers any more. Beer initally was seen around the world as food (some even called it liquid bread), but since America, even in the 1800's was a prosperous nation compared to the rest of the world, and americans ate meat with nearly every meal, heavy beers had fallen out of favor...


And American 6-row Barley just made for heavy, hazy beer.

The American populace ate it up!

The market WAS in a sense, craving light lagers...The German brewers didn't want to make the switch. They were perfectly happy with their bocks and all those other great heavy German Beers. But the rest of us weren't into it.

Bush and other German Brewers started looking at other styles of Beers, and came upon Karl Balling and Anton Schwartz's work at the Prague Polytechnic Institute with the Brewers in Bohemia who when faced with a grain shortage started using adjuncts, which produced the pils which was light, sparkly and fruity tasting...just the thing for American tastebuds.

So the brewers brought Schwartz to America where he went to work for American Brewer Magazine writing articles and technical monographs, teaching American brewers how to use Rice and Corn...

The sad moral of the story is....The big corporate brewers did not foist tasteless adjunct laced fizzy water on us, like the popular mythology all of us beersnobs like to take to bed with us to feel all warm and elitist....it was done because our American ancestors wanted it.

Blame your grandfather for having lousy taste in beer, NOT the brewers themselves. Like everything in business, they had to change or die.

Maureen Ogle's book Ambitious Brew is the best and most historically accurate of American Beer History books out there. I can't recommend it enough.

It a dose of reality. I used to believe the same stuff you all did until I read it. It's kinda humbling to realize we're NOT "the pawns of an evil corporate empire" after all.



http://www.amazon.com/Ambitious-Brew.../dp/0151010129

Her blog archive has a lot of material covering the imbev takeover or Anheiseur Bush as well as stuff that didin't make it into here original book, so I encourage you to dig through that as well.


http://maureenogle.com/blog/

It clears up a lot of stuff like this, and busts a ton of myths like this one.


Listen to this from Basic Brewing;

Quote:
November 30, 2006 - Ambitious Brew Part One
We learn about the history of beer in the USA from Maureen Ogle, author of "Ambitious Brew - The Story of American Beer." Part one takes us from the Pilgrims to Prohibition.

http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicb...br11-30-06.mp3

December 7, 2006 - Ambitious Brew Part Two
We continue our discussion about the history of beer in the USA with Maureen Ogle, author of "Ambitious Brew - The Story of American Beer." Part two takes us from Prohibition to the present day.

http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicb...br12-07-06.mp3
That's why I find the arguments the "bud basher's" like to use so amusing...It's so historically inaccurate. It really is our ancestor's fault that BL is the most popular beer in the world.

And they had choices back then as well. They didn't HAVE to drink that style, they chose too.

That's why I'm so about, let folks like what they like, and WE like what we like, and there's plenty for ALL to go around.

And there's also plenty of passionatel beer geeks out there to share this stuff with and talk about this stuff with who understand. I have tons of beer geek friends and many of them I met through here. THOSE are the people I discuss the merits of this IPA with, not folks who have little or no interest in it.

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:34 PM   #8
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Always count on Revvy to clear up a misconception.

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:36 PM   #9
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Pointless thread. Who cares what someone thinks about beer. Who?


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Old 01-31-2011, 04:57 PM   #10
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I definitely second Revvy's recommendation for "Ambitious Brew." It's a well crafted (pun intended), well researched look at our nation's brewing history.

Being both a history geek and a beer geek, it was a great read.

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