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Light Beer: You Don't Have to Like It, but Respect It

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by sandiego67, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. It might, it might not, pasteurizing might effect the taste, it might not, brewing with different levels of corn miight change the taste it might not. The point is, I wouldn't give a positive award to a beer that tasted like Bud or Bud Light, because of the taste, and taste is just as much a part of quality as is consistency. If anything, consistency is an expectation in commercial beer, and I don't think consistently meeting expectations is something to be lauded. That's like saying "I respect that chef for not burning my food".

    Biffster has it right, this thread is really about the use of the word quality. Consistency is a part of quality, and sure big beer excels at that, but it's a small portion of total quality. Design is also a part of quality and that is where big beer fails in my eyes. The most consistently made Penny-farthing bicycle pales in comparison to a inconsistently made upright bicycle. Far better to be flawed in implementation then by design.
  2. Fux

    Fux Savant (275) France Apr 20, 2011

    There are lot of confusions in this article and in some arguments seen there.
    People are talking about the amazing consistency of the macrobrews as if it was a goal as itself. But you have to wonder why they absolutely want to make the same product everywhere at each time. This is because that correspond to their marketing strategy, they advertise their product a lot so that people get familiar to it (that's how advertisement works), if the taste changes, people are surprised and the advertisement does not work anymore.
    Is that a problem for a good quality beer? Of course not, a good quality beer is bought because of its own intrinsic value (I'm not talking about preferences), not because it has the same taste each time (what's more different from a batch of Cantillon than an other batch of Cantillon?) . This is not the case for macrobreweries which make bad products. They have to rely on consistency because their marketing strategy is their only way to exist.
    As stated by rlcoffey, the confusion comes from the word quality itself, because people mistake process quality for product quality. At an industrial scale, process quality is a necessary condition for product quality, that's why big companies invest in quality management (for the process). This might be helpful for small breweries to improve their process, but this also reduces their creativity (how many of the so called white whales here have been made by accident?). In all cases, it is not mandatory.
    Regarding quality issues, craft breweries and industrial macrobrewers are then different markets that could exist separately. The reason why I have no respect for macrobrewers is that they actually did killed good breweries and their know-how. Even in Belgium, people drink poor beer. Most of lambic makers have shut their doors in the 80's-90's for instance, and those who survived started to brew adjunct beers to comply with what macrobrewers have made of the market.
    Then I think we have little respect to show to this infatuated guy who explains us that microbreweries do bad beers for most people, because most people want industrial lagers (which is untrue, people just don't know about good beers, the only success of macrobreweries is to make good marketing and cheap beers from cheap and scarce ingredients), and they wouldn't exist if macrobreweries had not made their job for them (which is absurd given for how long beer has been existing).
    There is no occasion to drink poor beer, there is never a good reason not to convert people to craft beer. Do not respect mass consumption, when mass consumption is fooling you.
  3. Fux

    Fux Savant (275) France Apr 20, 2011

    For those who are still not convinced that macrobreweries do bad quality, please answer those questions:
    - Would you cellar macrobrews expecting them to improve or at least to stand over time? Do you think they will be still drinkable let's say two years after you purchase them?
    - Why is it advertised to drink them freezing cold? To let flavors express more?...
  4. Some of the best beers I have ever had will not be drinkable after 3 days. They are called cask ales. So are those bad quality? I say not. And what is up with that warm and flat stuff.

    Just saying that there are a lot of beers that don't fit the Ba view of the world.
    jesskidden likes this.
  5. Fux

    Fux Savant (275) France Apr 20, 2011

    Well, surprising argument. I of course did not say that if you can't cellar a beer, than means it's of poor quality. And of course, I was speaking about bottles conditioned beers. There is obviously no common point between cask ales and macrobrews...
  6. If you ignore the water, malt, hops, and yeast. ;)
    Fux likes this.
  7. BreakingBad

    BreakingBad Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012

  8. I, personally, would go not with the fictional straw man J. Evans Pritchard, but rather with Harold Bloom, and his theory of the "Anxiety of Influence." U.S. craft beer culture and its adherents will go to absurd lengths to distance themselves from admitting any influence by the macros who, by anyone's measurement, have made significant contributions to brewing science and dominate the North American markets.
  9. Drink what you like. Taste and quality are a matter of opinion. If someone likes crappy beer (in my opinion) then let them like it. Everyone's taste preferences are different. High ABV doesn't mean better beer.
  10. You speak for alot of folks who have the resources to drink whatever they like.
    You speak as well as for those who do not [always] binge on AALs just to get drunk.
    You proclaim the taste to be inferior, but I know too many well educated and well traveled folks who can freely pick and choose what they prefer to drink and many of them would tell you that craft beer is gawdawful stuff.
    Sorry to pop your balloon.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  11. Brad007

    Brad007 Advocate (620) Vermont Mar 28, 2007

    happy4hoppybeer likes this.
  12. Brad007

    Brad007 Advocate (620) Vermont Mar 28, 2007

    Maybe if they spent more time talking about the brewing process (ala Sam Adams) and less time pandering to the low IQ jocks that go for tits and stupid gimmicks, light beer would get a hell lot more respect.

    Yes, it is hard to brew right. Yes, the consistency level is marvelous.

    Otherwise, it's just unremarkable.
    happy4hoppybeer likes this.
  13. Brad007

    Brad007 Advocate (620) Vermont Mar 28, 2007

    Hopefully not off topic by too much but as far as I know, Mexican Coke uses brown sugar, Indian (the country) Coke uses cane sugar and Kosher Coke (usually imported from Canada of all the places) uses table sugar.

    That may explain the difference. I will take all 3 of those over standard American Coca-Cola, sweetened with HFCS (yuck!)
  14. dpjosuns

    dpjosuns Savant (280) Illinois Dec 8, 2009

    I hate the taste of the "lite's" (miller, bud, etc.) and I also despise the companies that make them for how they choose to operate their businesses (moreso AB-Inbev, but that's a completely different post), but to say that the light beers produced by Budweiser and Miller are a technically inferior product only goes to show what is wrong with the average craft beer drinker. These beers aren't "bad" empirically, they are bad because [you, me, whomever else] DOESN'T LIKE them. That is a major distinction and one that gives many craft beer drinkers a bad name.

    Mass produced light lagers were the most technically advanced product as far back as the repeal of prohibition specifically so they could maintain their integrity and shelf-life. These beers are some of the most technically advanced products in the world and are created with the freshest ingredients because these major companies can afford to pay for them-and do. That being said- that does NOT mean that you need to LIKE the products. I don't, I hate them and would rather drink water.
  15. Brad007

    Brad007 Advocate (620) Vermont Mar 28, 2007

    They are BAD because they LACK taste. Period.

    There is no way around that.

    That is why people drink craft beer.

    Can craft beer be BAD? Why yes it can! That's a point for another thread though.

    It sounds more like these "macro brewers" are pissed because craft beer is increasing in popularity and cutting into their profits. No problem though as they can come out with cheladas, fruit-flavored beers and other gimmicks to try and stave off their eventual demise.

    If they spent LESS time crying about craft beers/breweries and MORE time putting out a product that craft beer drinkers would buy, then everyone would win. Otherwise, it's jealousy and nothing more!

    happy4hoppybeer likes this.
  16. BMC, macro and light beers may take hard work and all, but in the end they are still bottom of the barrel swill. The quality of work definitely does not show in the final product. Shameful waste of talent.
  17. I'm always astounded by how beer geeks can taste the difference between IPAs from one year -- and even one week -- to the next, but claim that when they drink a macro lager they can taste nothing (save for the adjuncts).
    Sneers, hopfenunmaltz and EJLinneman like this.
  18. Brad007

    Brad007 Advocate (620) Vermont Mar 28, 2007

    Troll much?

    Why can't some people accept that light beer and BMC are not popular with everyone?
  19. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Advocate (620) Oklahoma Oct 22, 2010

    I've toured some of those giant breweries and I am truly amazed at what they pull off every day from a volume vs consistency point of view. They do what they do very well. The public did in fact demand light beer because they wanted to party longer with fewer calories and less vomit. That's what I wanted when I was younger. Now that I don't need to party into the wee hours every single night, I have no need for those beers. I want delicious relaxation.
  20. Herrburgess brought up a question that deserves a straight answer [also a question that many of have] and so far it has been met by the usual side stepping of el matador.
    I enjoy having such a wide array of choices to make in the marketplace. There is virtually something for everyone out there. I doubt that anybody frets about BMC not being universally popular..the issue is more about the silly reasons that go beyond simply saying that you don't like the flavor, or don't like drinking watery beer.
  21. Kinsman

    Kinsman Advocate (600) California Aug 26, 2009

    Threads like this are always may favorites to read. The smug and self-righteuous attitude that comes across in the replies is absolutely astounding. It's like there's a constant battle going on over who can raise their pinky and stick their nose out the highest above everyone else. They complain about BMCs business practices while the very shirt on their back was made in some sweat shop in Cambodia. Or they bitch about multi-million dollar ad campaigns as if they've never once been influence by an ad they saw on the tv. Or they make claims that everyone would drink craft beer if it were cheaper because it has flavor and then start a thread about their brother-in-law that cracked open their last BCBS and drain poured it because it was too strong. I'm not accusing anyone here in this thread specifically but merely suggesting that this BA community as a whole get a serious fucking reality check.
  22. Right on Kinsman.
    Believe it or not, this "community" at BA seems less militant and "crusader-ish" than it did a couple years ago.
    ...which must mean that it's high time for the Craft Beer Illuminati to release an incendiary movie about how BMC's ultimate agenda is to enslave all of us, bar code our foreheads, run tap lines into all of our houses and public drinking fountains, slaughter all craft brewers and of course annihilate all the drinkers of same.
    All the college sophomores tuned in here will eat it up like stink on sheet.
  23. Kinsman

    Kinsman Advocate (600) California Aug 26, 2009

    Ugh, sophomore year. Not that long ago but it seems so hazy. Anyway, I've been off and on actively using this site since 2009 and I'd agree with the change in attitude but it's kind of weird to see the change. There were a lot of long-timed users when I first joined that seemed very protective of their precious craft beer scene but a lot of them seem to have faded (or banned... I do miss Ding and the session beer debates). Now, there are a lot of newbies (and in the grand scheme of things, I'm still new) who are ready to fight an angry war in defense of their holy craft beer. Whether they've been drinking imports since the 70's or just discovered good beer, there are too many people in this "community" who get their panties all up in a bunch way too easily. Let's all relax, have a beer, and get on with out lives.
  24. Yep. In general there really isn't anything to be upset or emotional about in the world of beer. I think some folks actively seek out reasons to bear a cross..possibly out of sheer boredom or they simply lack the ability to occupy themselves in a more constructive way..
    ...to those I say, "Go brew some beer".
  25. Well, if this article has taught us anything is that the Macro lagers are consistent. Maybe not good, but consistent.
  26. Brad007

    Brad007 Advocate (620) Vermont Mar 28, 2007

    The people who start them enjoy trolling the BA community with their nonsense. It goes both ways here.

    Please, don't tell me what I should or shouldn't respect.
  27. But there are so many halfway decent "regular" beers that are comparable with the so called "light" beers when it comes to calories, and ABV. Light beer seems to be for people who don't like the taste of beer, and also don't want to look like pussies, for drinking smearnoff ice or mikes. Drank a bud light on Halloween and can say it was like drinking water, with a hint of battery acid.It had been so long since I drank anything lighter than a guiness that I had forgotten what it tasted like.
  28. And it's not only giants that make gross beer. Has anyone tried and bayhawk beers? They are a very small brewery, and they're beers are TERRIBLE!

    Sorry to the bayhawk brewmaster if he happens to read this, but they definitely need some work.
  29. Fux

    Fux Savant (275) France Apr 20, 2011

    Of course, we all are influenced by advertisement and we don't buy every time fine, homemade, quality products. Whether it is too expensive or we are just too lazy for that, there is always a bad reason. This debate is not about BAs being superior to the mass of people because they know what is good or not. It is about respecting the making of shirt in some sweat shop in Cambodia and muti-million dollar ad campaigns (in the unique field of beer however ;)). It takes time and require some "education" to get into craft beer because it is not that easy to find good beers to drink. I think some people here just don't want to be summoned to respect someone who makes the praise of standardization. For this at least BA's have the knowledge not to be fooled by low cost production, mass consumption and multi-million dollars advertisement.
    There are lots of beers in the middle of the range between industrial lagers and barrel aged imperial stouts. Not loving imperial stouts on the first sip is a question of taste. But preferring a pale ale or simply a Czechner Pils over an industrial lager is a question of quality. None of my friends would prefer an industrial lager (though many drink a lot).
  30. Kinsman

    Kinsman Advocate (600) California Aug 26, 2009

    Not sure what it's like in France, but it doesn't take any time or education to get into craft beer in the US. All it takes an interest in trying something different. Craft like Sierra and Sam Adams is available just about everywhere these days but millions of people are perfectly content drinking their light beer of choice. To them, that is a quality product. Threads pop up all the time from newer BAs who want to convert their dad, brother, friends, girlfriend, etc... and usually they are filled with suggestions like Sierra, SA, Newcastle, or some good craft pils and they are shocked when they come back and complain that none of them worked. People aren't going to universally love craft beer if it's given to them just because it has more flavor; it's simply not for everyone. Quality can't be measured and everyone will have different perceptions of quality based on their own preferences but it seems many beer geeks have a tough time seeing this from way up on their high horse.
  31. goodonezach

    goodonezach Initiate (0) New York Mar 24, 2011

    i think there are american light lagers out there that can be tasty, but i really don't respect the macrobrews. they only care about quality to the extent that it makes money for them, and if they can find ways to skimp out on ingredients, they do, often screwing hop-growers and maltsters in the process. their business model is based on buying brands and then sucking the life out of them by making them as cheap to produce as possible. i know lots of people on here have one mantra: drink what you like, but at its best, craft beer is a movement based primarily on relationships made within the beer community. for example, a few local breweries took serious damage from the hurricane, and the community has really rallied around them by doing fundraisers and beer events for them. it's great to drink beer that tastes good, but doing it amongst friends is the most rewarding part.
  32. Fux

    Fux Savant (275) France Apr 20, 2011

    I have personnally never failed converting friends to craft beer (I mean to have them seeing why it's better that what they usually drink, not changing their consumption). It doesn't work for each with the first beer, you just have to find the one they'll like. I always choose the best beers I can, I don't see the point of trying to convince people to drink craft beer with Newcaste for instance (that seems of very low interest to me) or Sierra Nevada Stout or Pale Ale, which are just average (don't know much about SA, only tried Utopias). Most of the time, Westvleteren, Pliny or Cantillon do the job very well. And if you absolutely want to keep with pale, light beer, why not to try better things like Saison Dupont or Southern Tier for instance (I've had hard time convincing an Heineken - Hoegarden aficionado, but since he's discovered their pale ale, he can't stop talking about it).
    Unlike what you seem to think, it has everything to do with education, you can't convert people to craft beer in front of a soccer game (or baseball, football, or whatever you want). Maybe - maybe - it's easier in France where people use to drink wine and can tell the difference between what they drink on a regular basis and the bottles they open to celebrate.
  33. plaid75

    plaid75 Advocate (740) New York Jan 13, 2005

    By that definition, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas and Stone are among the lowest quality craft brewers in the country.
  34. plaid75

    plaid75 Advocate (740) New York Jan 13, 2005

    Does this change your mind at all:

  35. Kinsman

    Kinsman Advocate (600) California Aug 26, 2009

    Why do people feel the constant need to "convert" light lager drinkers? Whats wrong with letting people drink what they like? Craft beer has become ubiquitous enough at this point (in the US at least) that it doesn't take an educated consumer to know it exists but if they're happy with what they've got, then let them be.
  36. drtth

    drtth Champion (860) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    One possibility, described by one of my Soc professors and one that can't be easily dismissed, is what some Social Psychologists and Sociologists refer to as "confirmatioin validation." Through converston of others the indvidual who is part of the potentially deviant minority convinces him/herself they are not a social deviant and that he or she does have good judgment and has made appropriate choices. But a single conversion typically isn't sufficient to lay the insecurities to rest and so it goes on and on.
  37. Fux

    Fux Savant (275) France Apr 20, 2011

    Hmm... Maybe there is a mistake there, but I though the word "advocate" in "Beer Advocate" somehow was related to the fact we all more or less advocated for beers... But maybe I'm wrong.
    And making my friends discover good beers is 1. a way to support craft brewers, 2. a way to have my friends enjoy something they don't know. I don't care about the average guy in the street, I do care about my friends...
    And as I stated above, I don't try to change their consumption (they do whatever they want, and if they prefer buying crappy beer because it's less expensive, that's up to them), but if at least I can have them appreciate a fine beer, then we're all happy !
  38. Most if not all Belgian beer I've ever tried tastes like crap to me...but the TRUE beer advocate inside of me would not think [for a split second] that it is my sworn duty to steer those people I know away from drinking those "crappy" Belgian beers and get them to drink what I think is good beer.

    That said, I DO ENJOY having others try what I'm drinking just to see what their reaction is...whether they do or don't like it, it's usually good for a laugh or some conversation.
  39. goodonezach

    goodonezach Initiate (0) New York Mar 24, 2011

  40. pixieskid

    pixieskid Advocate (660) Germany Jun 4, 2009

    Well, fucking, put!

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