Archive for the ‘BMC Week’ Category

Things BMC Drinkers Like

Friday, September 11th, 2009

from theweeklybrew

coors-light-twins

Sorry this is late. I’ve been in meetings all day and am just now sitting down at the computer. In fact let me finish my lunch first…… K done. Man it’s 3 now…. I’m really late posting. I have two posts to write to. Well might as well start out with my proper Friday post first. Keeping with the BMC theme though I’m doing things BMC drinkers like rather then beer geeks.

1) Twins

Coors has spent alot of moola to educate us on how much it’s drinkers love twins. In fact the twins helped us underscore another thing BMC drinkers like, scantily clad women.

2) Commercials

The twins, Bud frogs, and wassssup all came to us via commercials. Great commercials in fact seem to be the best thing BMC has contributed to our society. Sure they pioneered brewing techniques and equipment that is now industry standard stuff, but that was years ago. The commercial rivalries between the corporations are famous. Their commercials…. How many people would really remember them if youtube and tv didn’t always remind us of them constantly?

3) Wearing logos

Beer geeks are guilty of this too, but we tend to limit the brewery logos we wear to t-shirts and hats. BMC drinkers though have lines of products all branded with giant logos. Swimsuits, towels, shirts, gloves, hats, you name it it’s probably branded with their logo. Generally we think of the kind of people who own these items as white trash. The truth is though that college students love this stuff.

4) Drinking Games

Speaking of college students…. I’m not sure why drinking games haven’t infiltrated beer geek culture. Perhaps we’re more refined and mature. Or perhaps it’s because it costs us $7 for a six pack of beer. Either way BMC culture loves its beer games. Among college students your ability to shotgun, chug, or play beer pong can make you a legend. Nevermind the fact that you look like a drunken idiot and barely survive college with a 24/7 hangover. Your a legend now, and that’s all that matters. Maybe they’ll like your legendary party stories at those pesky AA meetings.

BMC Brewing Myths

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

from theweeklybrew

santa_beer

I know I said I’d spend the last 2 days of my tribute to BMC having fun at the expense of the big brewers, but I want to get this out. Ever since Doc Worts comment about Bud containing formaldehyde I’ve wanted to do a post on BMC brewing myths. The problem is where to start? The two most common ones are that and the Coors supports Nazis one. Then I received an email from JR that brought the desire back. JR sent me an ’08 article about Coors addressing barley growers. So without further ado, some of my favorite, but wrong BMC myths that people still believe to this day.

1) Coors supports Nazis/Neo-Nazis, and hates gays/Hispanics/you name it

For some people this may not seem far from reality. After all, it was founded by a guy named Adolph, and the families politics are/were fairly conservative. For some people a name and politics are enough to make you a Nazi. The reality is that there has never been any evidence, nor any legitimate reason to believe that Coors does, nor has supported the Nazi party. This fear mongering is exactly what helped push through prohibition in the first place and led to the confiscation of German owned breweries during the first world war. Also Coors has repeatedly passed tolerance tests from gay and Hispanic groups.

2) Budweiser puts formaldehyde in their beer as a preservative

You kinda want this to be true and false at the same time. In our modern view of corporations it doesn’t seem like a stretch for Budweiser to poison drinkers just to shave nickles from production costs. On the other hand though it is morally reprehensible to think a company could do this. The reality though isn’t necessarily disturbing, but gross all the same. Apparently a study (It’s referenced alot, but I can no longer find it online) showed that formaldehyde was used in the production of aluminum cans in small amounts before the cans were washed and sterilized. The theory was that improperly cleaned cans contaminated beverages with formaldehyde in amounts enough to taste. Formaldehyde isn’t currently used in can production and there is no evidence it’s in modern beer (can’t reliably test 50 yr old beer I’d think). If the study was true then formaldehyde would’ve been in any canned beverage made at that time. Formaldehyde is extremely toxic though so if it was in tasteable quantities then people probably would’ve died.

3) Americans get the crappy beer

This one is almost believable. You hear all these people coming back from Ireland, England or Germany tell you about how much better the beer is there. The reality is they are sometimes right, but right for the wrong reasons. When most breweries make beer they don’t make separate versions. The bottle you get in Scranton, PA is theoretically the same as the one from Munich. The problem is poor storage and handling conditions in the import, distribution, and retail sectors. I can’t count the number of good imports I’ve purchased only to get a skunked bottle, even from reliable retailers. It’s one of the reasons I’m more likely to choose Northwest beers when possible. If you think your beer tastes different then the “real” stuff look on the label. Does it say brewed in Germany? Or brewed in Canada? If it says Canada then the problem is that you really aren’t drinking the real stuff.

4) BMC Brewers no longer use barley in their beers (Thanks JR for bringing this one up)

This one we get to thank the craft brewing hype machine for. After all, according to them there isn’t even enough barley for a consumer to taste the difference between grain and hydrogenated corn syrup based extracts. The reality is brewers do use barley, and as far as I know the don’t use hydrogenated corn syrup. They may use corn, or corn sugar, but as far as I know not hydrogenated corn syrup. Many in the craft brewing industry feel that anything other then an all barley, all grain recipe produces an inferior beer. These people are not afraid to do the sort of rumor mongering that they accuse BMC breweries of doing. The fact remains that every year breweries purchase large amounts of barley that is trucked to their companies. If their not putting it in their beer then I’d wonder where it’s going.

What Do They Bring

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

from theweeklybrew

There’s been discussion in the comments of this blog recently over corn and other adjuncts. The current belief in brewing seems to be one of corn and rice = bad beer. The truth is though that corn and rice are like any ingredient to a recipe. Used in moderation they can enhance a beers characteristics.

First let’s start off smashing the dreams of those that hate rice based beers, yet love Belgians. Many Belgians are made from invert sugar. This is just table sugar that has had it’s chemical bonds broken down. But table sugar is different from corn or rice right? Chemically yes they are. In terms of what they bring to the party they aren’t. All three ingredients are used to create a drier and lighter beer.

In an all malt beer there are residual sugars left in the beer that the yeast cannot break down. This often comes across as a sweeter taste. Also for higher alcohol all malt beers you need more malt to achieve the alcohol. This will result in a darker color. Combine the two and you have the complaint of light beer drinkers everywhere. A heavy, sweet, and thick beer. Replace some of that grain with straight sugar like in a Belgian Dubel and what do you have? A much lighter, and much drier beer.

Corn and rice are used in much the same way. Their starches are easily consumed producing alcohol without much flavor or color.  Also they are both historicly cheaper then sugar. With their availability, ease of atainment, and price they are more economical then sugar. While they suffer a bad reputation due to both the big guys using them, and the fact that early corn beers went rancid (due to corn oils), modern day brewers can achieve great results using them in moderation.

Fall Is Here

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

107mapleleaf

from theweeklybrew

For many people summer is already over now that labor day has come and gone. Fall weather is already settling in here in the valley, and the school year starts tomorrow. This also means that it is now football season.

Football season is the time of year for consuming mass amounts of light lager. So in honor of summers fall, and in honor of football. I feel the need to do some posts dedicated to the whipping boy of beers. First off, a little history.

The Beer That Made Brewing Big Business

Tracking beer prior to 1810 is difficult. We know the names of some brewers, but no statistics such as consumption (consumption numbers are inaccurate anyway) nor any stats on production. Many historians point to this as a sign that beer just simply wasn’t as popular to early Americans as people want to believe. We do know that many spirits were cheap, and easily available, and we also know that British ales were the typical beer produced.

The first year we can track production is 1810, and the total barrelage produced was a measly 180,ooo barrels. Breweries were much more local affairs due to both technology, and demand. People often blame shipping for ruining beer and preventing it’s transport during this time. The truth is that the British had been shipping beer across the world for a long time. More likely distribution costs and slow methods of transportation were to blame. Combine that with a lack of demand, and the only true way for a brewery to get big was in big cities.

The big change in American brewing came when German immigrants brought a thirst for lager to these shores. Immigrants from around Europe helped to boost the beer industry, but German lager was something different to Americans, and they quickly adopted it. A surplus of German brewers, and a higher demand for lager pushed lagers to the forefront, and British ales to the background. The fact that lager was so popular became important when the industrial revolution caused beer production to skyrocket. Even prior to artificial refrigeration brewers were looking for ways to boost production in order to expand their markets. Icehouses began springing up and brewers bought rail lines. Artificial refrigeration though made lager king because it could be brewed year around now. Combine that with early prohibitionists who embraced beer as a nutritious less intoxicating alternative to spirits and the explosion makes sense.

The creation of light lager though is what concerns us. In a time when lager was king, the brewers were looking for something new to brew. Being from Europe, the wealthier ones would spend time back home. It was through a trip home that we were introduced to Budweiser, and the light lager fad. Budweis was a region in Europe that made a pale lager brewed with Saaz hops. The beer was so pale and light, because of poorer soil conditions that the barley was grown in. Low quality barley made a unique beer. Brewers in the US tride to duplicate the lighter beer, but American barleys weren’t conducive to this. Brewers looked to adjuncts. At the time using corn or rice in beer was more expensive, and required some advanced brewing skills.

Beer produced through the new adjunct methods was pale, light, and Americans loved it. In fact at the time adjunct beers were considered higher quality. Many of these light lagers became flagship beers. With increased production capacity more resources were dedicated to the flagships which sold and less to the other lagers. Sorta similar to Widmer Wheat, or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It was only natural that these flagship lager beers would grow to dominate the American landscape that was already dominated by lager. The rise of prohibition certified this when it began shutting down smaller breweries that still catered to their German clientele, or their customers from the British Isles.