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Craft v 'Craft'

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by MordeciaFunk, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (260) Australia Feb 14, 2012

  2. mulder1010

    mulder1010 Initiate (0) Australia Aug 29, 2008

    Well, I would rather hear what mistress is drinking than your opinions since you work for the empire.
    So ask for opinions but unwilling to post yours?
    Makes total sense to me
     
    Lukie likes this.
  3. Parrotshake

    Parrotshake Savant (345) Australia Nov 29, 2008

    I guess on an individual level your palate is the ultimate measuring stick. I'll give almost anything a shot once. The people I stayed with in Portland a couple years ago had a fridge full of beer to which I was welcome, mostly Shock Top and Deschutes Black Butte Porter. By process of elimination I exclusively drank the latter. Had no idea Shock Top was a BMC product until I read those articles - still new and exotic to me at the time - I just didn't like it very much. Still pretty into LCPA regardless of who owns it, etc.

    As far as the cynical marketing of faux-craft beer goes, only the people who buy it know why they bought it. I don't know that it's cutting into craft breweries' action. The educated beer drinker won't pay for it, whereas the beer-curious might find it a gateway to something worthwhile. The word 'craft' on a label means nothing to the vast majority of people no matter which way they swing.
     
    hawthorne00 likes this.
  4. The silly thing about labelling the craft beer market as "craft" is all the connotations the term implies.

    I don't care who makes my beer so long as it tastes good. I don't care if it's a pale lager or a DIPA, so long as it tastes good every time I buy it. I don't mind if it tastes different, I don't mean exactly the same like it's bloody Coca Cola, I just want it to taste good.

    It's a given that the big boys are going to try to step over the "craft" brewers, given they are losing their market share, however tiny a proportion that might be. What one can hope is that they learn something about making beer in the process.
     
    brendanos likes this.
  5. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (425) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    Do you care about what goes into it, such as high fructose corn syrup, chemicals, and tetra hops?
     
  6. Or spices, some innovation or something different and never thought of before? The whole 'has to 100% malt' argument to be consider 'craft' is a poor one. If we go by history, the majority of UK Ales use an adjunct, same Belgian ales and there goes brewing any oak aged beers. Sorry, I know you guys know this ... sorry to bang on.

    I've never understood the 'chemical' arguement with beer beers either. These guys may use process aids or adjuncts, fasters or fixers, seems folks forget alcohol and CO2 are the best preservatives know to man ...
     
  7. mulder1010

    mulder1010 Initiate (0) Australia Aug 29, 2008

    It's more about the attempt at something different. Blue Moon is very successful in the US. When I am back I do like to try their seasonal's as the effort at staying craft is still there.
    To me it has always been about who and what you are inside. Goose Island has reminded the same though they have expanded in a big way with INBEV buying them. Unibroue has not changed and is also expanding.
    If InBEV bought LC and created a barrel program and other things to expand and improve the brewery I think we would all be behind it but firing the bulk of the staff for them sends a very scary message as the true intent of the purchase by Lion.
    The big groups here generally make middling beers even with good ingredients, I do not see that improving so why even purchase?
     
  8. dgilks

    dgilks Advocate (685) Australia Jul 14, 2008

    It is always going to be a difficult question. What is in the bottle is generally far more important that who made it. I'm going to suggest that we go beyond craft being a question of quality or ownership but a question of direction.

    Is the producer continuing to improve and develop the quality and flavour of the product or is it being diminished over time?

    By this standard, Goose Island clearly remains a craft brewery but the likes of Matilda Bay and James Squire do not. Similarly, small brewers who aren't quite there yet but are trying can say that they are craft breweries while those who are solely in pursuit of the highest margins do not.

    I accept that this becomes purely arbitrary and unmeasurable but I'm willing to accept that as it says more than measuring it based on whether adjuncts are used or how many barrels you produce.
     
  9. I have to laugh when a bar proudly declares all their beer to be "additive free" when I know for a fact that a lot of them are brewed with some form of processing aid, stabiliser, antioxidant etc. On the flipside CUB, under the direction of SAB Miller, are moving to eliminate ALL additives / processing aids etc.

    Good beer is good beer regardless of how it is made!
     
  10. Not intrinsically, no. If there is a sensory impact then yes, definitely.

    I also think that if you're drinking enough beer for any of these additives to pose a health risk, your liver has already left the building.
     
  11. danieelol

    danieelol Advocate (510) Australia Jun 15, 2010

    It's all very well to say "I only judge beer by it's taste" and go with the whole subjectivity angle, but honestly,

    If it's brewed in traditional macro style i.e. with tetra hops, it's going to taste like shit

    If it's a collaboration brew with bush tomato, vegemite and witchety grub, it's going to taste like shit

    If it scores in it's 8th percentile by style, it's going to taste like shit

    If it's available in a mainstream bottle shop, it's going to taste like shit (with rare exceptions)

    These are some rules that I live by.

    Whether or not Little Creatures survives in its present state depends purely on which decision Lion Nathan takes out of the following: a) it's more profitable to keep making it the same way and having it appeal to "craft drinkers" or b) the brand image is of more importance than the taste, and it is beneficial to perhaps dilute some of the grain and hop bill with some tasty Basmati rice and yummy hop extract. Please do not mock or discount the second choice as it is expressed here, for I have learnt from experience never to underestimate the pure wankery indulged in by producers and consumers in cities such as Sydney, and the latter option may well be the best option for the company in purely commercial terms.
     
  12. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (425) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    I just find it weird that no one cares about what goes into a product they are putting into their body.

    A stigma only really seen with alcohol.
     
  13. Really no processing aids or additives ... CUB are a tetra hop house, saying no additives or processing aids means y youse cannot use carageens, yeast nutrient, isinglass calcium sulphate or chloride ... common brewing practice and science??

    Just poking sticks ... no need to get hung-up on the stuff that goes in, as one mate said once about thier mega-lager 'Scotty its the alcohol that makes you sick in the morning, nothing more nothing less'.
     
  14. They will most certainly continue to use salts, but are eliminating tetra use in anything other than clear glass (it previously had been used in everything as a foam enhancer), eliminating kettle finings (no joke), fermenter finings, reducing or eliminating pre-filter product additions, scrapping acid washing - among other things I forget. Believe it or not they are purists and would rather design a better process than use additives.
     
  15. Real Hops ... who would have thought that for CUB ... next they will buy land out west of Melbourne and build a new plant out there ... wait ...
     
    brendanos likes this.
  16. Okay then,

    To the tune of Arnold Schwarzenegger asking a bunch of kindergarten students "who is your daddy and what does he do?":

    What are these additives and how will they hurt you?
     
  17. God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural... fluids.
     

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