Bass Pale Ale: Product of the USA?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by ericlawton007, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. ericlawton007

    ericlawton007 Jan 7, 2006 Connecticut

    Don't usually drink Bass, but I was at my parents for dinner and it was what my mom offered me. Tasted the way I remember it should taste (its been many years since I've had a Bass), but on the label I saw that it was brewed in Baldwinsville, NY. Anyone know when this started and whether a buy out of the original Bass in England led to it being brewed in New York?
     
  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    Interbrew (the predecessor company to Anheuser Busch-InBev) bought the Bass label in 2000 (Coors owns the original Bass brewery in Burton-on-Trent).

    They started brewing in domestically at the Anheuser Busch brewery in Baldwinsville, NY in the Spring of 2011.
     
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  3. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Mar 18, 2010 California

    Similarly, the Harp Lager I am drinking right now is brewed in Canada.
     
  4. bubseymour

    bubseymour Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Bass doesn't taste anything like I remembered it. I'm done with it. Has nothing to do with macro snobbery or anything...I just think it tastes bad now.
     
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  5. airforbes1

    airforbes1 Oct 27, 2010 California

    I can't remember if I had Bass before I became a beer snob. Late in 2011, after I had become a beer snob (therefore had a good idea of what the style should taste like), I ordered a pint of Bass at a local beer bar. My reaction was something like, "This is supposed to be an English pale ale?!" It wasn't undrinkable, but it was bland. Although I can't compare it to the English-made Bass, based off that experience I have to imagine the US-made stuff just isn't the same.
     
  6. marquis

    marquis Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Try it on cask dispensed from gravity. It drinks like a much stronger ale and is scrumptious. Brewed by Marston's in Burton on Trent.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. NealPaisley

    NealPaisley Dec 28, 2012 Wisconsin

    I just bought a 6, and upon tasting had to look at the bottle again.... made in USA. Sad, that. I remember it being so much... more. Not again with this one unless I'm in the UK.
     
  8. charlzm

    charlzm Sep 3, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    I haven't had a Bass in 5 years; I went back and checked my BA review! I used to drink it semi-regularly back in the early to mid 2000's; the brewing moved to the US in 2011? Huh. I remember it as clean with a bit of a crisp, green apple bite to it but not much else.
     
  9. utopiajane

    utopiajane Jun 11, 2013 New York


    Me too I had a yen for it this past summer and first thing I thought is "this is different." =(
     
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  10. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Fully agree. I drank a lot of Bass in the early 90's and it is very different now. Sometimes it's a matter of taste changing over time but sometimes it's so incredibly obvious.
     
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  11. rgordon

    rgordon Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I will not fuss about the internationalization of mega brand name icon stuff. Those icons are like genetic memory in the species. I'm almost certain that the rebirth of local brews is the antidote to any damage done to our collective physche relative to the dying of these icons. New icons are thriving! I used to keep Bass at cellar temperature- when it was English- and relished each one.
     
  12. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I revisited it recently (also used to drink a ton in the 80s and 90s), and while its flavors are more muted, I still found it to be a pleasant enough beer.

    EDIT: but marquis is correct, on cask it is a completely different experience. That pic is making me incredibly thirsty!
     
  13. Hockey_Fan

    Hockey_Fan Jan 13, 2013 Maryland


    I agree. I had some at an Indian restaurant last week and it didn't taste familiar at all.
     
  14. rtrasr

    rtrasr Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    What a fine old brand. It deserves better. If Bass is going to be brewed in the States, then it should follow the correct recipe and be offered on cask as well as keg and bottle. I first noticed Bass in East Coast bars in 1989. My first taste of ale.
     
  15. jeff52

    jeff52 Oct 8, 2008 Missouri

    Is the Bass brewed in the USA not the "correct" recipe? What is different in the recipe?
     
  16. rtrasr

    rtrasr Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    It does taste different than earlier incarnations. Maybe original would be more correct than correct.:D
     
  17. PaulyB83

    PaulyB83 Sep 1, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Hope to one day go across the Atlantic and try real Bass again.
     
  18. BeckQuint

    BeckQuint May 11, 2016 South Carolina

    Really sick of crap brewers like AB, Coors, etc buying good brands and churning out rubbish. Unless you go to a pub that brews their own it is hard to find a good beer not owned by the mega corporations. That said this will be one less Bass I will ever drink.
     
  19. LuskusDelph

    LuskusDelph May 1, 2008 New Jersey

    Looks like this 3 year old thread has awakened. :eek:
    In any case, it should be noted that Bass Ale changed long before AB had anything to do with it. The reality is that Bass Ale hasn't been the same since (I think) at least the late '70s when the original company changed the brewing method. That said, I will say that the current US version may lack the character of the import Bass I remember from the early/mid 1970s (which itself was, even then, quite different from the version sold in England), but I definitely wouldn't characterize the current US brewed version as "terrible". It's actually quite well made and has a very nice balance. More than once, I've ordered a glass of it instead of some locally made brews (which by and large unfortunately tend to be amateurishly overdone crap).
    There was some talk recently of AB-InBev quietly trying to reformulate Bass Ale to more resemble it's classic flavor profile. I wonder if that effort is actually continuing. I'd probably buy it more often if they succeeded in doing that.
     
  20. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I doesn't taste any worse than it used to.
     
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  21. Giantspace

    Giantspace Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Had one of these bout a year ago. It was nice. Nothing amazing but for the price it's not bad at all. If I put it in a different bottle you would all think it was quite good. Trust me.

    Enjoy
     
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  22. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I don't know that there's much incentive in today's market. It might sell fairly well at first due to nostalgia, but I can't see an English Pale Ale (that isn't hopped to high hell) doing well in today's US market.

    I see, for example, London Pride slowly disappearing from many tap lists, and the bottles of old product sitting on the shelves.
     
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  23. tzieser

    tzieser Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    @jesskidden should have a response template for this subject since it pops up several times a year.

    joking aside, I personally think the USA-brewed Bass tastes a little bit better than it did say, ~10 years ago. Not nearly as stale as the imported shit that was rotting on shelves. I remember getting a can around 2007 that was nigh undrinkable
     
    #23 tzieser, Jul 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  24. tzieser

    tzieser Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Agreed. AB/InBev should take some cues from SABMiller (should be easy now that it's a joint venture amirite?!:rolleyes:)....they did a really good job of improving Pilsner Urquell for the N.A. market by "express cold shipping" their beer and switching to brown bottles (and IIRC they even sent a few oak casks over from Czech Republic; wish i got to try some!). Much better stuff than it was a few years ago. If they started making some cask ale versions of Bass I'm sure it would get attention from beer enthusiasts. I'm also quite surprised they haven't jumped on the nitro bandwagon yet i.e. Tetley's (please don't:D)

    EDIT: apparently they did make a "Bass Extra Smooth" but I'm pretty sure we never saw any of that here in the states.
     
    #24 tzieser, Jul 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  25. drtth

    drtth Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Wow, guess I'm spoiled. I've not seen that problem in years. In this area of the US the problem would be that you have to go out of your way to find the stuff brewed by large brewing companies. But there is hope. Try making a visit to Columbia when the pop-up beer garden is being held. Lots of tasty German beers to be found and the brewery is owned by a local. I'd bet the folks you can meet there would be able to help you find the beers you want to find.
     
  26. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    Since this 3 year old thread was revived, it should be noted that BA and AB employee, @Peter_Wolfe, has a long, informative* post about Bass, including some info on his tweaking of the US recipe.

    * Well, except I don't think this is true anymore:
    Marston's brews the cask Bass and the bottled UK version is/was brewed at an ABInBev facility in the UK.
     
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  27. bgart13

    bgart13 Dec 22, 2013 Illinois

    So, has anything changed with Bass since Peter posted about that in 2015? There was a period for a couple years, and the late '00s/early '10s where I drank Bass regularly, then took a break for a bit. When I went back, I found it taste awful and saw the change to being made in the US. I'd love to have a good Bass again, but have been avoiding it like the plague and drinking other better UK brews.
     
  28. kuhndog

    kuhndog Sep 6, 2011 New York

    I loved Bass back in the 90's. I tried it again about a year ago and it had (almost) the same taste profile but it was much weaker than I remember. I would also like to know if the recipe has been tweaked.
     
  29. bgart13

    bgart13 Dec 22, 2013 Illinois

    For English beers, I've ended up sticking with Samuel Smith primarily. Sometimes London Pride and a couple others I've tried. I know Bass ain't exactly as good as SS, but I wouldn't mind being able to have a good one now and then.
     
  30. drtth

    drtth Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    One thing we do know has changed since then is your taste buds. While not all at once, some of them are always dying off and being replaced so that every seven years they are all new. So depending on when in the 90s you had the beer you've somewhere between 1 and 2 complete replacement sets of taste buds. :)

    (Not to mention that your sense of taste changes over the years and things can taste less intense later on in life than they do when we are young.)
     
    #30 drtth, Jul 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
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