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Schell's Response to the Brewer's Association

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by RKPStogie, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (515) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Very true. And the assumption (which may or may not be valid) is that the brewery is taking that into account and making proper adjustments, including willingness to throw away batches until the proper process is achieved on the new equipment.

    Whether or not this assumption is true, is, of course, entirely another matter altogether.
  2. What strikes me as "silly" is the Brewers Association's clumsy attempt to define a "craft brewer" without also defining "craft beer" and my posts on the topic, I thought, illustrate that.

    They say craft brewers are both "traditional" and "innovative" and once declared (but have since deleted*) that "...a craft beer can only be made by a craft brewer..." . They now say only:

    "Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness."

    * Speaking of deletions, the B.A. "Blacklist" pdf is gone >
    Chaz likes this.
  3. Chaz

    Chaz Poobah (1,090) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002 Beer Trader

    They have since substituted the following language:
    Prest-O Change-O rearrangeo!
  4. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (515) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Isnt that exactly what people have been asking them to do? Get rid of the "blacklist"?
  5. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (515) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Yes, you posts did illustrate that, Im not talking about that. You were also making some other point about contract beers made at non-craft breweries.
  6. theCoder

    theCoder Savant (400) Minnesota Oct 24, 2011 Beer Trader

    Kudos to Schell's for that. Read it awhile ago and love it. Although not a fan of Grain Belt, I love all their other offerings especially Nordeast. Their recent fresh hopped pils was fantastic and I'd gladly drink it again, and their annual winter offering is always a favorite of mine.
  7. Buysse

    Buysse Aficionado (105) Minnesota Oct 1, 2005

    I've read a lot of the posts but not all. I can tell you this, I've lived in Minnesota my entire life (I'm 79) and Schells has been around the whole time, but I've never considered them a craft brewery. I do think they are trying to brew craft beer now. There was a time when they would basically prostitute themselves to brew anything if you wanted it in a unique can and could guarantee something like 5000 cases. It was how they survived and more power to them. I belonged to a beer can collecting club and we had many different beers (names) brewed just to get collectible cans. I've had some of their latest brews and they are not bad but I still would not consider them a craft brewery. It's not in their DNA.
    dwoolley1 and Chaz like this.
  8. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Savant (440) Germany Mar 21, 2005

    I think if you rent equipment but still do all the actual brewing yourself it counts. Not everyone who's just getting started can afford 20 Grand in equipment so in such a situation I would be rather lenient if I were to make such a list. What I find questionable is to give someone else a recipie and that someone else does all the work but it is passed off as an original brew. That I do not find ok.

    Brewing good beer in any situation is good. Passing someone elses work off as your own by slapping your label on it and failing to mention where it really was made is not.

    As for the "craft" discussion, I would think that craft means it was made by one master. "Craft" translates to "Handwerk" in German which means, "done by hands", as opposed to being made industrial. So, if a brewery is so big that they make the same beer in multiple facilities, supervised by more than one brewmaster I would call them industrial, not craft. That still doesn't necessarily mean their product is bad. As you said, it is not easy to draw a definite line, this is like Physics or Medicine, it's not an exact science :)
  9. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Savant (440) Germany Mar 21, 2005

    I would think it does. Something else does too that I have never seen mentioned around here. Brewing water. The breweries around here all have their own wells and exclusively brew with water from that well. They often stress that fact too on labels and in advertisements and to me it seems a valid argument bvecause I have experienced more than once how a brewery went downhill in a hurry after they grew too big and had to get additional water elsewhere. How come brewing water (and the necessity to have a stable supply of high quality water) is such a non-existant topic around here ? :confused:
  10. RKPStogie

    RKPStogie Savant (280) Minnesota Nov 4, 2011 Beer Trader

    It's still bull shit. Now they will have a list that will NOT include Shell's et al. Small, check. Independent, check. Traditional, check. They make some of the most traditional German style around. What's the BA' excuse going to be this time? They serious have their priorities f****d up. They should be focusing more on exposing Blue Moon, Shock Top, etc. as BMC attempts at craft.
    RyanMM likes this.
  11. They have routinely at the beginning of every year put out a press release listing both the Top 50 "Overall" Breweries and Top 50 Craft Breweries in barrelage for the previous year. A lot more subtle and takes some time to figure out which breweries are not "craft" according to their definition.

    Here's 2011's for example > Brewers Association Releases Top 50 Breweries in 2011

    As with any trade organization, it doesn't strike me as unusual to support and promote their membership (even if their purpose statement is somewhat schizophrenic). OTOH, calling out the "non-craft" brewers - many their own members! - was wholly inappropriate.
  12. steveh

    steveh Champion (970) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    "The jury will be asked to disregard the statement by the prosecution."

    You know that can't really occur.
  13. steveh

    steveh Champion (970) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    (I downloaded a copy earlier if you need one... ;))
  14. TomClem likes this.
  15. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (515) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    The problem is, not all contract situations are the same. Some are like you said, where someone else brews it, but you slap your label on it. Others are just renting equipment, your brewmaster is still in charge of the process.

    Its what is tricky about the whole contract brewing thing, unless you are an insider, you probably wont know which situation it is.
  16. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (515) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Its not non-existent, but it might not be discussed enough. However, with water treatment, brewers should be able to build the water profile they want/need.
  17. Well, the 'quality' of water was discussed in this thread:http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/bottled-water-vs-hard-tap-water.54293/#post-752624

    It was in the homebrewing forum so I suspect most BAs do not go to that forum.

  18. blaird

    blaird Disciple (70) Wisconsin Sep 28, 2007

    As long as you don't pay attention from the 90 second mark on, as he specifically said MillerCoors somewhere around the 90 second to 120 second mark and talked about getting a job at Coors and them funding his Phd in brewing. By the way, the interviewer was terrible, she didn't have a plan going in and the story was messed up in the beginning.
  19. Brewers Publications will ship Water by John Palmer in April. It is intended to be a comprehensive study for both amateurs and pros.
  20. Sesmu

    Sesmu Savant (370) Massachusetts Feb 28, 2007 Verified

    Back to the original post (just didn't have time to reply earlier):
    This is a disgrace! Brewers Association should apologize and remove their so-called blacklist.

    Have we come a full circle? From embracing innovation to oppression? So now it is defined what can and cannot be used as a beer, or craft beer, ingredient? Reinheitsgebot II, here we come!

    And Brewers Association is the authority when it comes to accepting certain ingredients as true (craft) beer ingredients? So corn is not acceptable, they tell us, but za'atar is? And the bull testicles? And the book pages?

    As has been noted in parallel discussions, Brewers Association's definitions of craft, craft beers, and craft brewers are full of contradictions. And this is another fine example of it.
    RKPStogie likes this.
  21. Sesmu

    Sesmu Savant (370) Massachusetts Feb 28, 2007 Verified

    Does anybody have a copy of the original pdf? I didn't download it when it was up. For purely historical reasons :rolleyes:
  22. Chaz

    Chaz Poobah (1,090) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002 Beer Trader

    Sesmu likes this.
  23. Because brewers can build the water profile to fit any beer they desire to make.
    bwiechmann likes this.
  24. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Savant (440) Germany Mar 21, 2005

    You seriously believe that ?
  25. mjryan

    mjryan Advocate (550) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    Well it's true, so I'm sure he seriously believes it.
  26. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Savant (440) Germany Mar 21, 2005

    I'd like to know more about this.
  27. For starters, there is Chapter 8 "Water", which is (mostly) available in the Google Book's free preview of The Handbook of Brewing (or just about any other professional brewing text).

  28. TheFunGuy

    TheFunGuy Aficionado (210) Virginia Dec 27, 2011

    I enjoy their Carmel Bock, Grain Belt not so much. Therefore I have no dog in the fight on either side.

    I can see the small guys wanting to claim they are quality, and excluding the huge mega corps. In this case, though, they seem to be eating a fellow small guy for no good reason other than an arbitrary rule attempt to exclude the huge guys. The huge guys are tricky, with the attempts to market as a small, craft brewery. However, that does not justify the attack on Schell.
    TongoRad likes this.
  29. There are several homebrewing books that cover this to some extent. It needs deeper coverage of some material, so John Palmer is covering it in the book I mentioned above. The basics are in his online book howtobrew.com under chapter 15.

    There are online programs that help you determent water chemistry for the beer being brewed. I find it easy to start with RO water and build from almost pure H2O (RO is cheaper than distilled). Many breweries use RO water and adjust. Stone and Firestone-Walker are 2 examples in the USA.

    Read the water knowledge section here if you wish.
  30. rnorgart

    rnorgart Savant (300) South Carolina Nov 16, 2005 Beer Trader

    Ok,from that top 10 list, I know Gambrinus is Shiner. But what is the heck is Matt?
  31. [quote="rnorgart, post: 768625, member:]Ok,from that top 10 list, I know Gambrinus is Shiner. But what is the heck is Matt?[/quote]
    FX Matt Utica NY. Saranac brand amongst others..
  32. tai4ji2x

    tai4ji2x Advocate (665) Massachusetts Aug 10, 2007 Beer Trader

    perhaps most significantly for craft fans: new amsterdam and brooklyn
    Chaz likes this.
  33. We don't get Schell in my neck of the woods. But I respect this man for sticking his neck out and stating his opinions. I however, will support any and all Yuengling endeavors. Always keep a stock of their lager in the fridge, can't beat it.
  34. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Savant (315) California Dec 10, 2011

    I wonder if BA will blacklist so many makers of west-coast style IPA/DIPA that use sugar to...lighten the body while retaining high alcohol! Vinnie has the homebrew version of PtE available via .pdf and you must use adjuncts if you want to high that alcohol/lighter body/high hoppiness.
  35. Hops extract too. Saw Sinimar in the pub brewery. The horror.

    That being said, RR is my favorite Brewpub in the US. Got to get back.
    Chaz likes this.
  36. The main reason that is it such a non-existant topic is because a) it is highly technical, and b) is only of interest to people actually brewing beer. This forum is for beer advocacy, not home brewing. There are much better homebrewing forums out there if that's what you are interested in.
  37. Beer Advocate has a home brewing forum.

    So you don't have interest in how beer is made?
  38. mjryan

    mjryan Advocate (550) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    An excellent homebrewing forum at that.
  39. Thanks for posting,very good history lesson from Schells.