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Tom Long, MillerCoors CEO, asks consumers to judge brewers by the quality of their beers

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Todd, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Brad007

    Brad007 Advocate (620) Vermont Mar 28, 2007

    Fair enough.

    In that regard, I can't say that I agree with the quality of their offerings. I respect that they feel their offerings are competitive but my taste buds have disagreed on more than one occasion.
  2. Snowrs

    Snowrs Savant (380) Indiana Oct 10, 2009

  3. I had a feeling that the topic of defining “quality” was going to be a ‘hot button’ issue:

    “This is a challenging statement to discuss since the word “quality” can have differing definitions. If you define “quality” to mean a consistent product then I suppose Tom Lang can defend this statement. In the context of craft beer I would argue that the word “quality” has a different definition. I am confident that the majority of BeerAdvocates would view the word “quality” in the craft beer context to be a flavorful and tasty beer. While “flavorful and tasty” are indeed subjective, those words would not be applied to the majority of the MillerCoors products via BeerAdvocates.”

    I certainly can understand why some folks would utilize the ‘manufacturing industry’ definition or “quality”. As I tried to articulate in my first post, I am of the opinion that within the craft beer community (a.k.a. the BeerAdvocate community) the definition of “quality’ means something more than producing a consistent product. To leverage the post of Jules11788, I would suggest:

    “superiority in kind <merchandise of quality>" means a flavorful and tasty beer.

    The standard BMC type beers are neither “flavorful’ or “tasty”. There are indeed a lot of beer consumers who drink BMC type beers. I agree with the previous posted statement of: “I don't think people like his product for the consistency as much as they like the blander taste.”

    As regards the ‘craft beers’ that MillerCoors and AB InBev make (e.g., Blue Moon beers, Shock Top), I am not a fan of those beers since they are not tasty to my palate.

    Cheers!
    dennis3951 and Jules11788 like this.
  4. Snowrs

    Snowrs Savant (380) Indiana Oct 10, 2009

    OHHH wait according to BJCP style guidelines Coors light is a recommended example of that style.
  5. Snowrs

    Snowrs Savant (380) Indiana Oct 10, 2009

    Because you don't find something to your taste you can not call it poor quality, that is the definition of bias and rules all future arguments null and void because you can not divorce your personal bias from the argument.
    bergbrew likes this.
  6. DanK4

    DanK4 Aficionado (240) Maine Jan 17, 2012

    This whole shit-show between the BA and everyone else is driving me mad. Tom- while I hear you're a man of great insight and humble, I still think the beer your company produces needs serious work. It's not the age of mass production anymore. While "BEER" used to be a fine pick from the supermarket, it's just not cutting it anymore. All the BMC co's have been force feeding this swill for too long, and now we have other choices. And guess what, those other choices are pretty damn delicious. While there is a market for your product, the whole world isn't looking for something to play beer pong with or do keg stands (huuuge generalization). As far as all this "Craft vs. Crafty" business, I think the consumers will decide what breweries are the crafty, we don't need someone to define it for us- thanks anyways. It's the golden age for beer. Cheers.
    gengle and YogiBeer like this.
  7. Jules11788

    Jules11788 Savant (390) California Feb 15, 2011

    I have had 1811 and Naragansett, though not in a blind taste against a BMC beer
  8. “Because you don't find something to your taste you can not call it poor quality,”

    The above statement is valid. If Snowrs has an alternate definition of quality as regards craft beer I would be interested in reading it and discussing it.

    I readily admit that my definition that quality craft beer = flavorful and tasty is a non-objective definition; I said as much via: “While “flavorful and tasty” are indeed subjective …”

    Cheers!
  9. Brad007

    Brad007 Advocate (620) Vermont Mar 28, 2007

    I gave Budweiser a chance with their hokey brewmasters pack.

    It was cheap but lacked flavor.

    I tried. I really did. I'll drink just any beer once if only once.
    YogiBeer likes this.
  10. Siggy125

    Siggy125 Savant (470) California Nov 10, 2006

    Tom Long: "hey 95% of beer drinkers... what do you think of our fizzy yellow swill?"
    95% of beer drinkers: "we think it's great!"
    Tom Long: "see everyone, I told you our beer was great stuff".

    Tom L.... you appeal to the masses that don't take beer seriously. Don't try and compare your products with craft beer. You're dealing with apples and oranges.
    jrnyc likes this.
  11. Siggy125

    Siggy125 Savant (470) California Nov 10, 2006

    Yeah I suppose Drs have recommended examples of what a stool sample should look like.
    jcb7472, jglowe77, CMUbrew and 2 others like this.
  12. CalvinG

    CalvinG Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2012

    Lost market share is the only reason Miller/Coors ever showed artisanal brewing interest. And, when they started back in the 90's, they made every effort to trick consumers into believing Blue Moon was Belgian.
    If Tom Long's company didn't try to keep better brewers off the shelves, I MIGHT consider them. Until then — no chance. Tell your friends and family whenever possible.
    btw: A real Belgian Blue Moon looks like this.
  13. nickfl

    nickfl Advocate (745) Florida Mar 7, 2006

    No, they win medals because they foot the bill for the competitions and the organizers know they have to kick back some recognition to their major sponcers. That is why the GABF and the world beer cup both have many different categories for beers that are all just light adjunct lagers. Making a consistent product is not the same at making a quality product. McDonald's hamburgers are consistent, so is wonderbread, as is Hershey's chocolate. These products are all impressive technical accomplishments, but they are not high quality and they are not worthy of the same respect as a world class, hand made, artisanal product (which is a description that applies to some, but not all, craft beer). Miller was once a good company (now they and other big brewers are managed with about the same level of competence and care as the banking industry) but they have always existed to produce an industrialized commodity, not a quality product.

    The truth is that there is a fundamental difference between craft brewers and companies like miller, some people have heard that it is difficult to brew light beer and use this to justify respect for the big brewers, but this is confusing the issue. Technical expertise does not excuse a bland, generic product or abusive business practices. Craft beer IS better than macro beer. No matter how skilled of a marketing professional Mr Long is, he cannot change that and more and more consumers are waking up to this fact.
    jglowe77, JediMatt, YogiBeer and 2 others like this.
  14. So, a related story: I am watching football game on TV and I see a commercial for Henry Weinhard’s beer. I go to the Henry Weinhard website to see who makes this beer. In small, hard to read font, in the lower left corner: 2012 Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co., Hood River, OR * Milwaukee, WI

    So, who is Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co.?

    Wikipedia states: “The Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve brand survives today and is currently owned by SABMiller, and some of its beers are brewed under contract at the Full Sail Brewing Company.”

    On another web site (beerpulse.com) I see:
    “Joe M. on September 13, 2012 at 11:54 am said:
    I bought a 12 pack of Henry’s Private Reserve a few months ago, and the code stamped on the bottle indicated that it was brewed at the Miller brewery in Irwindale, CA.”

    So, if you are willing to spend 15 minutes web searching you can determine:

    · Henry Weinhard’s is listed as Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co
    · Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co is owned by SABMiller
    · Henry Weinhard’s is contract brewed at Full Sail (Oregon) and Miller (Irwindale, CA)

    This marketing crap from MillerCoors is just too irritating!:mad:

    Cheers!
  15. chimneyjim

    chimneyjim Aficionado (230) Oregon Jun 23, 2004

    and Miller is ending its contract with Full Sail as of March:

    http://www.newschoolbeer.com/2012/09/henry-weinhards-no-longer-to-be-brewed.html

    * * * * * * *

    Chaz likes this.
  16. As much as I wish to be like so many BA and hate the big breweries, I don't forget what got me into craft. How many people drank Blue Moon and then opened their eyes to craft beer? Hell, how many people still enjoy a Blue Moon or a Hoegaarden now? When it comes to quality they flat out are great at it. I'm not running out to grab an IPA from them, but if I'm in a bind, the quality they offer on their "craft" selection is actually extremely consistent. Has everyone's palate changed enough to the point that you don't like the first "craft" beer you've tried? I'm not by any means saying that te big brewers business practices are right, but that's not the debate at hand. It's about the consistent quality of their beer. Which, while we may not enjoy said beer, are always brewed to a high standard.

    Not to mention 99% of you will still but BCBS. And you won't thank ABInBev but they will make it consistently good year in and year out.
  17. “And you won't thank ABInBev but they will make it consistently good year in and year out.”

    I will believe that when I see (experience) that. Too many good people have left Goose Island for my tastes. The guy they put in charge of Goose Island (Mr. Shock Top and Mr. brew Becks in St. Louis) does not have a true history of craft beer brewing.

    Cheers!
  18. I don't think BCBS will be out of this world good, it will sacrifice some of its flavor in place f consistency and mass production, but it'll be a quality product. As evil as the big brewers are they aren't gonna put out a product that isn't consistent. Although, the worst case scenario, which I admittedly didn't acknowledge in my previous rant, is that they make a muted version to appeal to everyone, which is also a possibility, in which case I eat crow
  19. I'll throw it out there that I actually LOVE AAL's. There are some damn good ones out there floating around, and frankly, sometimes you really just can't beat the simplicity of a classic American brewed lager.

    That being said, MillerCoors products are pretty freaking rancid outside of the Banquet beer in my opinion. I'd rather be the DD than ever have to make do with a High Life or god forbid one of their "malt liquors" they market.

    You guys ever tried Red Dog? Barf.
  20. srk47

    srk47 Initiate (20) Dec 24, 2012

    Based on the overall feeling I get from the comments and reviews I see posted on this website, a more befitting name for this website might be beersnob.com, since the spirit of many postings here are done in such poor taste.

    Firstly, I understand the concept of craft beer, and the appeal of making no sacrifices in order to drink beer with extraordinary depth and flavor complexity. However, the hostile tone I see towards both mass producers (i.e. Miller Coors), as well as consumers of inferior beer is completely uncalled for and takes away from the perceived credibility of the beer advocate community in general.

    All people are born with the ability to think and act independently (or relatively independently), though not many choose excercise this ability. A shame, yes. Something for you to worry about, no. If people are happy drinking Miller Light, then we should be happy that they're happy. We may feel that they aren't acheieving maximum beer drinking pleasure, but who am I, or who are you to tell them that? Just because you've taken the time to think about beer and prioritize what makes a good beer, the same can't be said for everyone. What sparked your interest to learn more about quality beer? Dissatisfaction with mass production? A tip from a friend? I doubt it was that someone made you feel like an idiot, or inferior for drinking Budweiser. The point is, people who want to discover good beer will discover good beer, and if they don't, they either can't taste the difference, or they prioritize differently than you might; either way, none of this should concern anyone on this website.

    The other issue I have with what I've been reading is the negative vibe towards mass producers of beer; you all are sounding anti-capitalist. Again, this argument returns to the idea of independent thought and action. Anyone who goes into beer production has the right to produce and market their beer as they see fit. Why is it unfair that Miller Coors has the ability to better market and advertise their beer? Every company starts out small, and success is the ONLY thing that's allowed them to gain this advantage. They may not have the best tasting beer, but you don't have to drink it. And unless I'm missing something, Miller's ability to get their beers on the shelves anywhere is completely unrelated to consumer choice. If we look back into the history of beer and its price and availibility, more quality beers, craft and mass produced, are available from all over the world at reasonable prices. Older generations wouldn't have even had access to know about some of the great beers out there, and many micro brews have popped up as a result of competition and dissatisfaction with available selection.

    I enjoy this website, and I think it's extremely helpful for learning about beer, but the overall tone from the users of this website is overpoweringly elitist, which surely isn't the attitude that will help attract new beer advocates.
    cmannes and tallfellapgh like this.
  21. Danielbt

    Danielbt Savant (380) Texas May 4, 2012

    I would venture to say that you are completely and totally wrong. You greatly underestimate deeply ingrained human traits like confirmation bias. People love to pick flaws that may or may not exist in things they have already decided they don't like.

    Also, people seem to be conflating Miller Coors and AB InBev freely. They shouldn't. Different companies, different practices.
  22. acevenom

    acevenom Advocate (545) Louisiana Oct 7, 2011

    I like the regular Coors and Miller High Life. Some of the Blue Moon line isn't bad either. I also enjoyed the Project 12 pack from AB and I don't think Shock Top is as bad as some other people. I would absolutely have no problem buying Batch 19 if it was available nationwide.

    Quality is a subjective term with quite a few people. It doesn't mean one's opinion is necessarily wrong regarding one beer or the other. I know quite a few people who are perfectly fine only drinking BMC and we live in a market where they can generally find a lot of what they want without difficulty. It becomes more of an issue if you're looking for different Pabst products.
  23. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (930) New York Mar 12, 2009

    You may be right, but a look at the review section shows about the same as every beer. Some like it, some don't, here is why. So I dispute your point, except in the general sense that every beer has the biases of being
    1. A local beer
    2. A non-local beer
    3. A style you have never tried
    4. A style you don't like
    5. A brand that other of their beers you haven't liked.
    6. A company that is too big
    7. A company that is too small
    8. A company that is a publicly traded company
    9. A company that contract brews

    So you may be right, but each of these biases above could be argued with your argument, so every beer is judged unfairly, if unfairly means with bias.

    Than that being the case, they are all being judged equally, and fairly, if fairly means equally.
  24. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (930) New York Mar 12, 2009

    Well, I have been accused of being an apologist for big beer because I don't think having a stock offering, and success that enables a company to legally manipulate the market to advantage, is immoral. So I guess I don't fit your cookie cutter. That said the part of your post I didn't quote was pretty much the same kind of uninformed bs you accuse this community of.

    Crap beer is judged as crap beer because it is crap beer, it tastes like crap, it is made to conform to speed, volume, and cost rather than taste and traditional quality, and it is tolerated by a public that enjoys it largely through having few options for 70 years. But that same public enjoys Big Macs, and Hot Dogs made with the parts of meat most fine butchers discard. No one accuses someone of elitism because they turn down big macs in favor of prime rib, no one accuses someone of elitism because they make a joke about Boones Farm drinkers while they sip a vintage Rivendell, yet here you are with finger pointed. Heal thyself, physician.

    As for your point about not attracting new beer advocates, well, I don't worry about that for two reasons. First we have plenty to support the breweries I love, and too many at releases. Second, it is the taste and quality of the beer that will determine how large the community becomes, not the personalities of the folks already enjoying fine beers.
    CWinchell, jacksback, frazbri and 3 others like this.
  25. Lare453

    Lare453 Champion (760) Florida Feb 1, 2012

    If miller cooks made a beer that got a 100 on here, I'm sure we would be drinking it. I'm in it for good beer, as most people are. There are a few that wont drink a 100 if it was mabe by bmc based on principle. But I am not one.

    Tom, make a beer that gets rated a 100 or wins a gold at the gabf, I'll try it.
  26. Set yourself up on that one:

    2011 GABF WINNERS

    And that's only go back one year. Probably a dozen more examples in the past 30 years or so of the GABF.
  27. BladeRunner

    BladeRunner Savant (260) Illinois Apr 4, 2007

    All I want to know is why won't Miller/Bud at least try to make an actual Pilsener? If Bud/Miller produced a beer as good, or better than Prima Pils/Noble Pils I'd buy it.

    I have no problem drinking beers produced by Macro breweries as long as it tastes good. I personally really enjoyed Coors Batch 19 and I encourage BMC's to continue to produce higher quality brews.
  28. dhannes

    dhannes Savant (360) Wisconsin Feb 14, 2010

    Here in Wisconsin, MillerCoors' products are typically in the lower half of the pricing spectrum (typically $5.29/6-pack or $9.99/12-pack)...you can get some for a bit less, but for $1 per 6-pack more, you can get a much better beer.

    Note to Tom: The market IS judging you by the quality of your beers...that is why craft brewers are growing by leaps and bounds, while the large brewers are losing market share each year.
  29. Lare453

    Lare453 Champion (760) Florida Feb 1, 2012

    Eh... Way are you going to do... I did funnel a 12 pack of red dog in college and yanked for a day... It was awful.
  30. Derranged

    Derranged Advocate (500) New York Mar 7, 2010

  31. Barmen Pilsner would fit the bill, but it is only made at Sandlot. I really liked that one when I had it.
    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/987/19256
  32. BladeRunner

    BladeRunner Savant (260) Illinois Apr 4, 2007

    Sounds great, but no way am I making a huge trip just for a beer.
  33. Chaz

    Chaz Champion (815) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002

    Did you miss the part where Prince Rogers Nelson said that BMC had ruined the entire GABF by being sponsors to the event, to the point where there was Payola involved?

    Get with the program, Just Kidding. The GABF is as corrupt the palate of the American Public; collectively-speaking.
  34. I need to tick Red Dog.
  35. srk47

    srk47 Initiate (20) Dec 24, 2012

    "Crap beer is judged as crap beer because it is crap beer, it tastes like crap, it is made to conform to speed, volume, and cost rather than taste and traditional quality, and it is tolerated by a public that enjoys it largely through having few options for 70 years. But that same public enjoys Big Macs, and Hot Dogs made with the parts of meat most fine butchers discard. No one accuses someone of elitism because they turn down big macs in favor of prime rib, no one accuses someone of elitism because they make a joke about Boones Farm drinkers while they sip a vintage Rivendell, yet here you are with finger pointed. Heal thyself, physician."

    Cavedave, I see and understand your point. However, is it realistic to assume that people who drink beer regularly are unaware of the wide selection of craft beer readily available today? Do you think it's realistic to assume that when these people walk in the store to pick up their Coors Light that they have blinders on and don't see the other few hundred beers available? I believe it's irrelevant to blame satisfaction of what you'd consider mediocre beer on "70 years" of limited selection. What about the price factor? For most people, choosing a case of beer is low priority relative to the other choices people make on a daily basis.

    Furthermore, while it's true that people who choose Prime Rib over Hot Dogs aren't accused of being elistist, it's also true that those who choose Prime Rib aren't likely to log into a forum afterwards and complain about why Oscar Meyer has ruined consumer choice of fine meats by flooding markets with Hot Dogs, and that those who would choose a Hot Dog are limiting themselves based on what better meats might be available.
  36. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (930) New York Mar 12, 2009

    Craft beer is growing 13% annually. BMC beer is declining at an ever increasing pace in this country. No blinders are on for AAL lovers, but brand loyalty is a hard habit to break, and new tastes are hard to introduce. I am not saying one is better than the other, but I am saying that once someone gains an appreciation for beers made with more care for traditional quality, it is likely they won't go back to what they used to think was good. Stats seem to back up my points, and not yours on this. And it isn't irrelevant in the least to think that 12 years of great selection in beers can only slowly undo buying habits of the last 70.
    Perhaps if Prime Rib had been illegal in this country and only recently gained a foothold in the marketplace this would be different, and there would be a BetterMeatAdvocates.com. In any case your point, assuming there is one to this statement(I believe there is not) is completely irrelevant, as there is such a place for discussing better beer.
  37. kexp

    kexp Savant (265) North Carolina May 10, 2007

    Shareholders would not tolerate.
  38. You're absolutely right. What a pity.
  39. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Savant (490) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    That is only valid if you consider quality to be a quantitative measure. It isnt. It is, pretty much by root word orgin, qualitative.
  40. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Savant (490) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Of course quality is subjective, if it was a measurable quantitative value, the word would be "quantity". :)

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