Posts Tagged ‘Beer Myths’

BMC Brewing Myths

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

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.