BMC Brewing Myths

from theweeklybrew


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.


6 Responses to “BMC Brewing Myths”

  1. Dr Wort says:

    I see you looked up the formaldehyde…. ;-}

    That’s it? Come on….. you can find more dumb ass myths people have about their beloved BMC….. ;-}

  2. Jared says:

    Oh there was more, but most of them were so far out there that they didnt deserve the time of day. Like the classic one about Mexican workers pissing in Carona vats. Really, that stuff is just so over the top it’s sad. Also most people who read blogs have shorter attention spans. At least that’s what studies say. Why bore people with a 5000 word essay on myths?

  3. jrbox says:

    Regarding: 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.

    1. Guinness / Murphy’s Stout in Ireland
    I am yet to meet a person who has had Guinness or Murphy’s Stout in Ireland who has not reported how remarkably different / better they are there than here.
    ? Is this just mass delusion or is there something to it ?
    Place this question in high rotating in your conversation starters and judge for yourself.

    2. Guinness 250
    Notwithstanding the aforementioned, I would like to know where Guinness Stout and/or Guinness 250 Anniversary Stout can be found on tap in Salem. [Guinness being nectar of the Gaelic Gods; aka, Vitamin G. I am partial to Murphy’s due to matrilineal]

  4. jrbox says:

    matrilineal lineage. My 2nd GGM was a Murphy.]

    regards, jrb

  5. Jared says:

    It may be mass delusion, it depends. First off a beer brewed overseas has a long journey before it reaches our shelves, and improper handling, combined with age, will effect the flavor.

    As an experiment take two identical bottles of beer. Leave one on the back porch in the sun for a few weeks, and store the other in the fridge. After a few weeks chill both bottles and do a comparison. I bet you taste a difference.

    Also, look on that bottle of Guiness. Does it say brewed in Canada? Some European beers are now brewed in Canada to save on shipping. The problem is these beers are usually made differently to appeal to the tastes of Canadians and Americans. Guiness Extra Stout is the best example of this. Guiness Draft, is brewed in Ireland. Also Guiness had/has a program for a beer where they ship unfermented wort to another country for extra strong beers in order to avoid European taxes that are base on ABV%. Not sure where this program shipped to, or even if it was long lived or still around.

  6. John says:

    I am in Frieburg now and have been for about a month. That would be in Germany near the borders of France and Switzerland. I can tell you that a lot of the beers here are very pleasant. The bulk of which seem to be Hell and Pils. But thats what you get in the bars and the braueries.
    The truth is that the cheap beer that a lot of people buy from grocery stores, gas stations, and Allies is just like what we have back home. Its cheap, its bland, and some of it is in plastic bottles.
    I imagine that the bulk of things that gets over as far as the US have to be good enough to make it all the way to another country.
    But trust me, they have really bad beer here too.

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