Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Apparently, people like to eat.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Garm » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:37 am UTC

And another one bites the dust. Sad times.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Dark567 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:52 am UTC

I can't.....
arrrggg
ggrrrr
wha
How do I go on!?

EDIT: I mean, Sofie and Matilda are the only women I have ever loved, don't take them from me!
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:23 am UTC

God dammit.
Time to track down some Bourbon County Stout fast. Only place I've been able to find it is my favorite beer bar, and they don't sell it for take-away. Guess I'll have to bite the bullet.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Ulc » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:59 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:God damnit.
Time to track down some Bourbon County Stout fast. Only place I've been able to find it is my favorite beer bar, and they don't sell it for take-away. Guess I'll have to bite the bullet.


Do I need to mention that I currently have two Bourbon Country and two bourbon Country Vanilla edition standing on a shelf?

But god damn it, Goose Island was actually a fairly decent brewery, that's probably gone now.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Azrael » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:42 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:
TheAmazingRando wrote:Time to track down some Bourbon County Stout fast.
Do I need to mention that I currently have three Bourbon Country

I bought a case of bombers last winter, and have 4 or 5 left aging in my basement. It's really good stuff, but Weyerbacher really does stouts well, if you're looking for substitutes.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby lewismd » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:22 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Aaaaaaaand done with that brewery.

I simply will not support shit like that.


I do not get this attitude. Like, at all.

Yeah, ABI makes some really shitty beer. Yes, they have a huge market share and that lets them do fun things to get their beer places that micros can't. Fine. But are you really boycotting every beer on this list? Goose Island makes great beer. If they continue making great beer while under the ownership of ABI, why not keep drinking it? Sure, if the quality goes completely to shit, then it will suck and we can all stop drinking Goose. (And I'll have to retire Honker's Ale from my pantheon of favorite beers.) But that's the case whether or not they're owned by ABI. If this lets them brew at a larger scale AND experiment more, as their press release says, why should we be angry about that?

This article makes an interesting case against big craft breweries, though Goose Island was already there before the acquisition. But I think this article, linked in the previous article, also makes some good points. Change isn't necessarily bad. But if you really want to help the little little guys, you already should have been boycotting Goose. And Sierra Nevada and New Belgium and Deschutes, etc. They just aren't little any more. Personally, I'll keep drinking all of the above, as well as getting Fulton or Surly on tap whenever I can. There's no reason to arbitrarily stop drinking good beer because of an ownership change.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby netcrusher88 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:40 pm UTC

Of the beers on that list, most of those that I recognize suck. The exception is Spaten and to an extent Franziskaner, which is the same brewery anyway.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:46 pm UTC

lewismd wrote:Yeah, ABI makes some really shitty beer. Yes, they have a huge invisible hand share and that lets them do fun things to get their beer places that micros can't. Fine. But are you really boycotting every beer on this list?

...yes? Are you implying that it's at all difficult to drink beer without drinking from that list?

If you can't see a reason to object to local businesses selling to/being purchased by giant foreign corporations, you either have no imagination or you're not trying at all.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby telcontar42 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:50 pm UTC

lewismd wrote: But are you really boycotting every beer on this list?

There isn't a beer on that list that I really want to drink.
lewismd wrote:But if you really want to help hte little little guys, you already could have been boycotting Goose. And Sierra Nevada and New Belgium and Deschutes, etc.

Compared to InBev (or Miller or Coors)? They are still tiny.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Dark567 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

telcontar42 wrote:
lewismd wrote: But are you really boycotting every beer on this list?

There isn't a beer on that list that I really want to drink.

Hoegaarden.....
yeah thats the only one I would drink.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Azrael » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:09 pm UTC

telcontar42 wrote:
lewismd wrote: But are you really boycotting every beer on this list?

There isn't a beer on that list that I really want to drink.
Franziskaner, Hoegaarden and Leffe are pretty damn good. But I don't buy them at home, and don't get them when going out unless the selection is really, really bad (in which case it would be odd to find those anyhow).

And I can't say I understand your incredulity at my position when you then link those articles. Seriously, read them again -- I'll just use your own sources to support my position.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby lewismd » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

I didn't link to the articles to necessarily support my position of not hating ABI automatically, but to spark more conversation.

I still don't get the automatic dislike of anything from a big foreign corporation. If you can point me to a specific reason I should dislike ABI besides being big and having a lot of shitty beer in their catalog, I'm open to hearing it. I guess my imagination just isn't good enough. There are problems with multinationals, sure. I just don't get why that means I should stop drinking a beer I like just because it is owned by one. Practically every product I consume is made by some large multinational corporation. I'm over it. In fact, I think many large, hated corporations do a lot of good. Everyone hates on WalMart, but their ability to provide dirt-cheap goods helps improve the quality of life for low-income people. If ABI kills puppies or something, I'm open to hearing about it. But I don't hate large corporations on principle.

telcontar42 wrote:
lewismd wrote:But if you really want to help hte little little guys, you already could have been boycotting Goose. And Sierra Nevada and New Belgium and Deschutes, etc.

Compared to InBev (or Miller or Coors)? They are still tiny.


Read the article. Local breweries aren't really competing with SABMillerCoors or ABI for tap space, they're competing with the Sierra Nevadas and Boston Beer Companies of the world.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves World Police and wants Worl

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:55 pm UTC

Re-read what I said. The objection is not to big foreign corporations. (Not my objection, at least.)

Some people think that a business should be operated by the people who are actually invested in the product or service being created or provided, rather than by the person with the biggest checkbook, and are willing to adjust their own consumption to better reflect that ideal.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves World Police and wants Worl

Postby lewismd » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:14 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Re-read what I said. The objection is not to big foreign corporations. (Not my objection, at least.)

Some people think that a business could be operated by the people who are actually invested in the product or service being created or provided, rather than by the person with the biggest checkbook, and are willing to adjust their own consumption to better reflect that ideal.


From reading the press release, I don't get the impression that this is a hostile takeover. It sounds more like Goose Island needed cash to expand and this was the best way to do it. It also sounds like the brew-master was ready to move on, as laid out in one of the earlier articles I linked about the greying of the craft brew industry. Unless there's some seismic change in the quality of the beer, I still don't see the point of boycotting it. Buying Goose doesn't mean I can't also support smaller breweries that aren't owned by ABI.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:53 pm UTC

lewismd wrote:If you can point me to a specific reason I could dislike ABI besides being big and having a lot of shitty beer in Thor catalog, I'm open to hearing it.
Beer Wars is a pretty good documentary on this. Distribution monopolies, political lobbying in favor of the three-tier system, and bullshit lawsuits against craft brewers are 3 examples that spring to mind.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby telcontar42 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:43 pm UTC

It looks like just a baseless accusation at this point, but this is the kind of thing that makes people not want to support companies like InBev.
http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/3653192

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby netcrusher88 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:03 am UTC

Notably, in Washington at least, micros like the three-tier system because the WA liquor control board wields it to price-fix. Bud isn't that much cheaper than Sierra Nevada Pale - or than Elysian.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:40 am UTC

I just found a bottle of Lucky Bastard (or technically Lukcy Basartd I guess), the one-off Arrogant Bastard 13th anniversary blend (regular, oaked, and double), at the liquor store across from where I work. Seeing as this is one of the best beers I've ever had, and you can't even get it on tap at Stone Brewery anymore aside from the occasional growler fill event, I had to pick it up. Not sure how long I'll be able to shelve it before I give in and drink it, though.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Ulc » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:35 pm UTC

So, Flying dog and De Molen made a collaboration stout - basically the malty darkness from the Hell and Damnation with the hops from Gonzo - I have no idea how it tastes, but here's the important thing, I just got gifted a bottle from the distributor as a "thanks for good working relationship now that you're pulling out of the position as purchaser"

It's sitting right there - just waiting for me to hand in this damn assignment and the guy that I'm grooming for my position and I are going to drink it.

It's going to be glorious unless I know my brewers totally wrong.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Garm » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:47 pm UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:
lewismd wrote:If you can point me to a specific reason I could dislike ABI besides being big and having a lot of shitty beer in Thor catalog, I'm open to hearing it.
Beer Wars is a pretty good documentary on this. Distribution monopolies, political lobbying in favor of the three-tier system, and bullshit lawsuits against craft brewers are 3 examples that spring to mind.


That's in my NetFlix queue. I need to watch that I guess.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby mercutio_stencil » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:08 am UTC

The whole hating on ABI thing is kind of played out in my mind. The three tier system has nothing to do with them, it's a holdover from prohibition; Britain has the same system as we do thanks to Maggie Thatcher, much to the chagrin of the big English breweries.

Fact of the matter, ABI makes some of the best beers in the world, even if they aren't to my taste. Every Bud tastes exactly like ABI wants it too, which is more than I can say for most of the microbreweries that I have experience with. They treat their employees fantastically well, and they are responsible for an awful lot of the quality malt and hops that the microbreweries use.

I'm not doing to say I drink a lot of Bud, but I respect the contributions that they have made to the industry.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Azrael » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:15 pm UTC

mercutio_stencil wrote:Fact o' the matter, ABI makes some o' the best beers in the world, even if they aren't to my taste. Every Bud tastes exactly like ABI wants it too, which is more than I can say for moſt o' the microbreweries that I have experience with. They treat Thor employees fantastically well, and they are responsible for a awful lot o' the quality malt and hops that the microbreweries use.

No, they really don't. Take a peek at the list linked earlier, crack open Beer Advocate, sort by rank and let me know how far down you have to go to find an ABI brew. Better yet, check the top brewery rankings -- until a few days ago none of the daughter brands were anywhere close.

As for consistency: You know who else is consistent? McDonald's. Consistency doesn't make you good. Sure, it's admirable quality control, but that's really only of passing interest to ... well, anyone but process engineers. Hell, ABI's entirely consistent, innovation-free, static product line is the source of some of their loudest detractors.

Nor can you credit ABI with the barley and hops crops, unless you can credit McD's for the grass fed beef I can buy at the butcher (you can't). ABI doesn't control the barley production, and one of the hardest parts for craft brewers is securing quality (never mind unusual or custom) malts. The macro's are demonstrably a problem in this area, not a boon. The things most readily available are the limited selection they use. Furthermore, ABI's largest by volume product uses rice as an adjunct. That's not doing much for malts, is it? Without ABI, beer consumption wouldn't plummet. The crops would still be there, used by lots of smaller breweries. You know, just like it was before they all joined into a massive conglomerate.

As for hops? Of literally dozens of varietals, the ABI lineup uses ... maybe 4? Craft brewers routinely use a much wider spectrum of products the marcos simply never touch.

So, they aren't a shit employer. Great.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby uncivlengr » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:39 pm UTC

That's about as much as you can expect of an argument supporting ABI.
edit: "contributions" to the industry, though? Resisting the urge to retch.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Dark567 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

Azrael wrote: Without ABI, beer consumption wouldn't plummet.
Although I agree with the rest of your post, I am not convinced of this. Bud provides a fairly cheap product and I know a number of people that won't drink beer that's not made from rice(Why? Fuck, I can't even fathom why). I think there is a fair number of people that would just start drinking vodka instead.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:18 pm UTC

No matter how much they protest, I am firmly of the belief that they are full of shit and would still drink beer if their favorite macros (or every macro) went under. People, uh... people really like beer. They like that macros are cheap, but if there isn't a cheap option available, they'll suck it up and buy what is available. You can raise the price of a pack of cigarettes as much as you want, we've seen that people will still buy them as long as they're available. There are some things people really want, and beer is one of those things.

Would people drink a little less beer? Maybe. If you have to pay twice as much for a six-pack, maybe you don't quite drink yourself into a coma because it's a little more costly. Yeah, I'll buy that people who drink a shit-ton of fucking awful beer would consume less of it. I don't buy that anyone who drinks in moderation is going to significantly change their consumption. On the whole, I think that's nothing but a benefit to society. People who spend less time doing keg-stands and getting shit-faced are more productive individuals, which translates into growth across the board.

So yeah, I'm with Azrael on this one: Fuck macros. I have about as much respect for their accomplishments in making incredibly consistent, reliable pisswater as I would for someone who managed to create the world's most effective and unblockable pop-up ad. Which is to say, fuck you amount of respect. Great talent or skill is meaningless if not applied in a similarly great way.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby uncivlengr » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:17 pm UTC

Yeah, it's hard to argue that if the beer consumption by people that care only about cheap intoxication were to disappear, it'd have a negative impact on the quality of the industry. Increasing the shear volume of beer consumed globally is hardly a noteworthy endeavour, and that seems to be the only "contribution" to the industry by macros like ABI.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Von Haus » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:55 pm UTC

Reading this I was about to step in in the defence of beer from Belgium, then I remembered it was mod-madness...
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby mercutio_stencil » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:20 pm UTC

Raise your hand if you have any actual experience in the industry? Anyone but me?

There isn't much diversity in the suppliers of brewing materials. Most malt comes from a few malt houses; hops are only a little better, but there is still an incredible amount of consolidation. Practically every brewery orders from the same suppliers. The recipes used by ABI are surprisingly varied, I know because I've seen them. A bud has something like 10 different hops in it, from all around the world. They do this to minimize variations from different growing conditions. The malt bill has something like 8 different malts and adjuncts. The massive volume of these orders is a lot of what's keeping the suppliers in business.

Maybe without the macros, there would be a revival of artisan malting, with small scale barley growers providing for local breweries. Problem is, there really isn't much demand, I've only known a few people who cared at all about the issue. For most breweries, cost is the main issue, with consistency of product being a second.

Hops have it a little better, there is a greater diversity of hop growers, but because hops have only one real use, they are completely dominated by the beer industry. Even the small growers have to have a close relationship with a brewery, and at the brewers whim when it comes to production. This is true at every level of scale, be it ABI and a thousand acre hop farm, or a 5 bbl brewpub and a contract farmer.

I think the real issue here is a fundamental difference in the understanding of quality. The fact that I don't like the way a beer tastes in no way impacts its quality. If what was good and bad in the world was dictated solely by what I liked, we would live in a very different world.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:34 pm UTC

Cool appeal to authority bro.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Azrael » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:19 pm UTC

mercutio_stencil wrote:Fact o' the matter, ABI makes some o' the best beers in the world ... Every Bud tastes exactly like ABI wants it too ... They treat Thor employees fantastically well ... Raise y'all's hand if you have any actual experience in the industry? Anyone but me? ... The recipes used by ABI are surprisingly varied, I know because I've seen them ... I think the imaginary issue here is a fundamental difference in the understanding o' quality.

We get it. You're somewhere in the QC line for ABI. Somehow that doesn't strengthen your position much.

Again, McDonald's. Consistency does not equal quality and even excellent quality doesn't make the product good.

Does AB produce popular products? Good examples of industrialization? Sure. Is it good beer? No.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby mercutio_stencil » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:21 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Cool appeal to authority bro.


You're right, I actually was about to edit it away because I realized how smug it sounded, and how poor of an argument it is.

I won't change my original post, but I'll explain: There isn't really a massive divide between the craft brewers and the larger scale brewers; for the most part they exist in a happy equilibrium because they occupy different niches. I don't like people putting words in my mouth by saying there exists this stark divide between the two, because there isn't. Most of the craft brewers I know would jump at the opportunity to work for ABI for a few years, although they would do it mainly for the money.

While there is reason to hate on some of the corporate policies of ABI, such as the bullshit lawsuits, and the godawful commercials, their products and processes are something else entirely. They are extremely technically proficient, and every beer they make is exactly the beer they want it to be. This is really no small accomplishment, and it takes a lot of work to develop brewing skills to that level. The fact that I don't personally like the taste of many of their beers is something else entirely.

I had a little bit too much coffee and was a little to tetchy when posting my previous comment.

Let's get back to the idea of what makes good beer, since that seems to be the sticking point here. What qualifications do you consider when judging a beers quality.

BTW, I'm not an ABI employee, but not for lack of trying. I just understand and respect the work that they do.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:33 pm UTC

As a consumer, why should I be objective about quality? If I don't like the product put out by ABI, I'm damn well within my rights to object to their dominance of the market. I don't care about the technical difficulty of their quality control if the taste they're controlling for is cheap, metallic, and flavorless at cold temperatures.

Besides which, quality control isn't necessarily a good thing. People cellar their beers because they want a unique, complex taste. I look forward to yearly limited releases by my favorite breweries (like, say, Deschutes' Abyss, or Stone's Double Bastard), not just because they're excellent beers, but because I know they'll have a distinct character from the last time around. I'd be disappointed if they tasted the same from year to year.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:51 pm UTC

What people like Charles Bamforth (great video, by the way) don't understand when they say "don't hate on the macros because what they do is really challenging and difficult" is that we're not hating on the macros because they're poor chemists. There's really interesting, really amazing chemistry going on. But being a good chemist is not the same thing as making good beer. The macros produce a vast array of similarly-branded, similarly-flavored products and spend lots of money trying to convince their customer base that their particular iteration of the same old same old is somehow better than the others. They maneuver their products to take advantage of whatever they possibly can in the name of profits, and if that means no-so-subtly branding themselves as the keg-stand beer, or the beer pong beer, or the fuck hot chicks and be respected by your fellow illiterates beer, then hey—it's all good. But no matter how challenging the goal is or how much the company focuses in on the goal, the goal has nearly nothing to do with the beer, and that has consequences for its quality as a beverage.
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mercutio_stencil
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby mercutio_stencil » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:35 pm UTC

I think the difference of opinion here about the nature of quality. It's my opinion that quality exists independent of taste, and that a beer can be of high quality even if I don't like the taste.

Taste is a subjective thing; I happen to like the taste of Pilsner Urquell, cardboard and all, because I have fond memories, while I can't stand Sierra Nevada because of my 21st birthday party (long story). However, that doesn't mean that I'm going to claim that Sierra Nevada is a poor quality beer, or that Pilsner Urquell is a high quality one.

You should drink beer that you like the taste of, and that's that. You also shouldn't let other people tell you what you should like, or not like in beer.

However, one also should accept that a beer can be of quality, even if it doesn't fit ones personal taste.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby McCaber » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:12 pm UTC

People might be overreacting to this. After all, Miller bought Leinenkugel's when they were just starting to do craft beers, and they're still around producing quality brews.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Azrael » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:56 pm UTC

But Leinie's never makes lists like these. Not even close. Certainly not multiple times, nor top 10 appearances.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:11 am UTC

To be fair, there are a lot of extremely high quality craft beers that don't have an A rating on BA and have never earned a gold medal.
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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be excit

Postby Azrael » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:35 am UTC

Oh, absolutely. But when one of the companies that does do those thing is purchased by a conglomerate who's biggest cited strength is their ability to push out massive quantities of the exact same beer they've been doing for 80 years, there's a cause for concern.

Miller not screwing up Leinie's is like a new owner not screwing up the Detroit Lions. Sure, they're a major league team, but ...

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy

Postby lewismd » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

Putting aside the "Should we hate ABI" debate, I have a somewhat different point to make. Goose Island has said that they were at capacity and needed to expand. They say the brew pubs are not owned by ABI and can continue to do what they do. And they say that the support from ABI will allow them to experiment MORE because they don't have to worry about a beer blowing up like Matilda did and overwhelming their capacity.

Now, we are free to not believe that. But can't we at least give them the benefit of the doubt? If the worry is that the industrial processes of ABI will hurt the quality of Goose Island brews, can we at least wait and see? If I buy Matilda in a few months and it sucks ass and tastes like a Bud, then I'll get out my torch and pitchfork and join you guys. If Matilda continues tasting like Matilda, as do Bourbon County Stout, Honker's Ale, etc, then what did we really lose? Those people who dislike ABI on principle can stop drinking Goose Island, but I'll continue to enjoy their beers if the quality stays high.

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Re: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy

Postby Garm » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:48 pm UTC

Beer quality is an interesting topic...

The things that I generally use to determine beer quality are (in no particular order):

  • Mouth Feel - This covers body and carbonation. I like German Wheat beers which tend to be a bit more carbonated than other types of beer.
  • Aroma - Does the beer smell like something other than "beer" (which is where most macro brews fall)? Is there a particular aroma that sticks out? Can I tell if it's from the hops?
  • Flavor - What elements go into the flavor? How well is the beer balanced?
  • Appearance - Does the beer look good? (secondary question, does it have an obscure enough of a label that my snob friends will ask what it is? :) )

My throw away thought before I run off to dinner is that macro brewers, in general (so not just InBev/ABI), provide a consistent product that is desirable because it is generic.

I'll post about my opinions on beer later. I'd be interested to hear what other people thing are important attributes of beer and if I'm being overly general.
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