Is Stella Artois Different Now?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Reidrover, Apr 15, 2022.

  1. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,591) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
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    OK I know we are all serious beer geeks and stuff like this should be of no consequence. But I wanted a nice non thinking lager . Went to the Plaid Pantry to night an bought a very oversized can of SA. Bigger then the old cans.
    Got home poured in a glass. Then tasted. This is NOT Stella Artois. Says brewed under the strict supervision of the brewmasters from Leuven. Yea maybe they were strict supervisors but this beer is like Busch. It's nothing like the old Stella. Just cheap sickly sweet American corn lager.
    I think i will buy a 25 oz can of Busch and this at $2 difference. I bet they are the same swill.
    Or are my taste buds shot out?
     
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  2. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,591) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
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    Yeah i got the "i" and "o" turned around.
    And yeah i read a former thread saying there was no change. But this is a crap lager. A year ago it was OK and refreshing. This is cheap crap. Been drinking crap beer for 30 years i know the difference.
     
    #2 Reidrover, Apr 15, 2022
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2022
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  3. Raime

    Raime Meyvn (1,310) Jun 4, 2012 Korea (North)

    SA is brewed by AB in the U.S. right? Doesn't surprise me. Bought a few twelvers of Budweiser over the past 6 months or so and what was once a solid crisp cheap lager seemed like it had been relegated to a sickly sweet malt liquor that would trigger my gag relfex after more than a few bottles.
     
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  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,426) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    The US-brewed version's ingredients are, according to ABI's TAP INTO YOUR BEER website:

    The Belgium-brewed SA, according to other official international ABI sites, was "Pils Malt, Noble Saaz Hop, Maize".
     
  5. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,591) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
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    Maybe. Last year it was fine. This is just dreck. I had 19.2 oz. cans last. This is a big honking can..first time I have seen it. Its just not the same sickly sweet.
    I had the same problem with Budweiser's Beck thing. Terrible. Now i aint no spring chicken. And I am not imagining
     
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  6. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,591) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
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    Tastes like Budweiser forgot the hops.
     
  7. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,591) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
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    Maybe they just brew one beer and put it in all the "brands".. Blame corona
     
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  8. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (521) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Always preferred SA on draft as it was a lil skunky in the green bottle. But it's been years since I had SA at all, and after reading the differences in the recipe from the real deal to homogenized nonsense, I'll steer clear for a better option.
     
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  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,430) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Perhaps AB took something from the Duff Brewery playbook?

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,591) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
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    ISO Duff Dry
     
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  11. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (344) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts
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    Corona is brewed by AB too, so I don't think that Mexican lager is to blame.
     
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  12. Tony787

    Tony787 Defender (656) Feb 25, 2020 Canada (ON)
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    Same here in Canada Stella Artois is not imported from Belgium they brew it here under Labbats brewery in Canada
    They did an ok job on the Stella Artois but they failed on some others like Spaten and lowenbrau
     
    #12 Tony787, Apr 15, 2022
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2022
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  13. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,772) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
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    That's unfortunate. The last one I had also tasted rather simplistic, but I chalked that up to me being in Las Vegas and not 100% sober. Guess it might've been the beer.

    A few years ago my wife and I did a "macro showdown" of common everyday lagers from the US, Canada, Mexico, and a few common examples from Europe. Stella was the winner.

    Similar things happened with some of the German brands (like Beck's) that they started brewing over here. Hell, even some American regional faves that they started brewing in other places have changed for the worse. It'll feel very strange to have to drink Stella in Belgium to "taste the real thing." There are usually a ton of other options I'd rather have while over there, but I do like the stuff.
     
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  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,430) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    On a related note, below is a video of a blind taste test of ‘bad’ lagers and Stella Artois is one of the beers but keep in mind it is a European brewed version (Belgium?).



    Cheers!
     
  15. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (8,045) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    Oh, I don't know aboot the Lowenbrau. I thought they did a terrific job brewing it.
     
  16. AlfromPA

    AlfromPA Initiate (44) Dec 9, 2021 Pennsylvania

    Calling Stella Artois, or any other purported AL/AAL, swill is way off the mark, but I see it all the time. Swill as a noun refers primarily to slop that was given to pigs: a mix of organic matter including garbage in various states of decomposition as well as other waste forms that will remain nameless. If AAL is not to people's liking, it is due mainly to the fact that it is annoyingly flavorless; swill on the other hand was certainly not flavorless (or would not have been to humans, had they dared to ingest it).
     
  17. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,095) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    OTOH it is a common expression widely known to mean a pleasure enjoyed by some but not by others, and considered awful by those who don't like it. If it is the fact that it likens certain folks to pigs you find distasteful, I need to point out that pigs are highly intelligent animals, keen survivalists, with as varied an appetite as humans, and in fact have been known to enjoy beer, They also eagerly enjoy the "slop" left over from brewing beer, and are worthy of respect. Just sayin'
     
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  18. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Champion (851) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio
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    I don’t think you can say that your gag reflex is triggered if you can ingest a few bottles.
     
  19. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,426) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    I blame Adolphus Busch, who famously called his company's Budweiser beer "dos schlop" (he preferred wine and champagne), and his son, August Anheuser Busch, Sr., who called the proposed* Repeal era 2.75% Budweiser "...simply an insipid slop without life or snap to it", calling it "... belly wash...".

    * Eventually, the changes to Volstead Act in 1933 limited beer to under 3.2% ABW, after some suggested it be set at 2.75%.
     
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  20. AlfromPA

    AlfromPA Initiate (44) Dec 9, 2021 Pennsylvania

    If it is the fact that it likens certain folks to pigs you find distasteful, I need to point out that pigs are highly intelligent animals, keen survivalists, with as varied an appetite as humans, and in fact have been known to enjoy beer, They also eagerly enjoy the "slop" left over from brewing beer, and are worthy of respect. Just sayin'[/QUOTE]

    I like and appreciate our porcine relatives; I just note that as a metaphor swill is inappropriate because, well, real swill is a lot more tangy than a typical AAL, which is usually not tangy or anything else.
     
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  21. AlfromPA

    AlfromPA Initiate (44) Dec 9, 2021 Pennsylvania

    Well, perhaps this is finally a good justification for the use of the word swill to denote an AAL; after all, if the brewers themselves called it that (or slop, pretty much the equivalent), who are we to quibble?
     
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  22. crazyspicychef

    crazyspicychef Disciple (339) Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Exactly what I was thinking!
     
  23. crazyspicychef

    crazyspicychef Disciple (339) Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I miss Löwenbräu.
     
  24. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,426) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    I'm becoming partial to "belly wash"...
     
  25. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,952) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    Thanks for the heads up, and I can easily believe that it's gone downhill. I haven’t had any since the change, but I thought the Belgian brewed stuff was pretty good, albeit overpriced (the German budget beers are both better and cheaper, which are usually what fills that niche for me. )

    Curiosity will probably get the better of me before long, and I'll wind up trying the new stuff myself. I'll be sure to check in when I do. :wink::beers:
     
  26. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,952) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    I guess the real question will be how much of a percentage of the regulars can tell the difference, and will it effect ABI's bottom line? I'm sure that there's an assumed loss being absorbed by cheaper production and distribution costs.
     
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  27. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,426) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Well, they've already done it with 3 other (former) European imports, so they've probably got a good idea...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  28. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,591) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
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    They destroyed Bass and Becks but weirdly the St. Pauli Girl i had a month or so back was pretty original
     
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  29. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (361) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    I noticed a while back that as per Ambev's corporate website Stella Artois is listed at 16 IBUs. Clerical error? Local Brazilian recipe/specs? It would not be the first time that the specs have been changed, if it is accurate. That would be an obvious way to make the beer slightly more easy drinking for a some consumers, which might also increase the impression of sweetness in the beer for others.
     
  30. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,430) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Patrik, I also took note on the website that they detailed this beer as being an "American Premium Lager". A consequence of lowering the IBUs to such a low level?

    Cheers!
     
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  31. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,726) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    I am not suggesting that you are "wrong" @Reidrover , but I thought I'd add to the thread just to provide another opinion. For me, the 25oz cans do taste a bit different than the 11.2oz bottles, but I couldn't tell you how much of this is a faulty impression on my end, a case of beer age, a case of light-struck character (which I absolutely get in the bottles), a case of super-fast recipe shift, or a case of the cans coming from a different US facility (I don't know where the beer is brewed over here, but they changed the the bottled beer to US brew at a different time than the canned beer changed).

    Note that I am talking about the canned beer being a little different than the brewed-in-the-US bottled beer... not a comparison to the old imported beer. Personally, I did not pick up a drop in quality when they started brewing the bottled beer here.

    Also note that I am not talking about a tremendous difference. The cans seemed a bit fruitier and acidic compared to the more herbal and bitter bottles I was accustomed to. Once again, I couldn't say if this was totally a result of the light-struck character or something definitely beyond that.

    I can't remember if I ever had a Busch, but I want to stress that the canned Stella in no way resembled something along the lines of BMC (Coors Banquet, High Life) to me.
     
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  32. tolar111

    tolar111 Crusader (715) Aug 17, 2008 New York

    As I recall the American made Beck's wasn't far from the German made Beck's in the beginning, but as time passed the American made Beck's became the dumbed down version that it is now. I had a few 25oz cans of Stella a while back and it was ok, but lacking in Euro hop character. If I get a chance to try the St. Pauli Girl I will, but the pricing is out of whack for what it is
     
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  33. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,591) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
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    Maybe they were old cans. But this was the first time I had seen the 25oz cans at this store. They used to have the 19.2 stovepipe.
    It wasn't really Stella. The 19.2 cans were more like it.
    I dunno.. different plant/brewery? Just terrible. And it had the best possible opportunity as I hadn't drank another beer for days before.
     
  34. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,591) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
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    Yeah I was shocked that St. Pauli tasted more like the old stuff than Becks.
    I just wish they would take Becks Dark back. A big fav of mine in the 90s
     
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  35. AlfromPA

    AlfromPA Initiate (44) Dec 9, 2021 Pennsylvania

    Fwiw Stella Artois was sold as a budget Euro-Lager in London when I lived there in 2012-13 (I'm sure it still is). This was before Brexit--not sure if it was brewed in Belgium or the UK. I remember six packs of cans stacked up on pallets at the local Tesco. Stella Artois cider in cans was also a big seller. And back in the day Stella Artois was also a standard Paris cafe beer, along with Kronenbourg/Kanterbräu. I was a bit surprised to see Stella Artois marketed as a high end Euro import here in the US.
     
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  36. Fordcoyote15

    Fordcoyote15 Meyvn (1,146) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania
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    I never understood Stella Artois. It's all marketing and I honestly think Hamms or a Coors original is a more flavorful and quality beer per [broad macro-esque] style.
     
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  37. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,952) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    A quick impression from a Kentucky Derby party last night was that it's slipped a bit, yet it was also better than I expected.
    [​IMG]

    I also have a more controlled experiment planned at home some time soon. I actually have a few bottles of the imported stuff, so I also got a recent domestically brewed can.
     
  38. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,726) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    Old imports? I can still buy imported Stella in stores that’s past the best by date. Based on my experiences, I would recommend adding a US brewed and bottled Stella to the mix to compare all three… especially if the imports are old.
     
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  39. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,591) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon
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    Nah..now if you said Rainier ..
     
  40. barneyrubble

    barneyrubble Devotee (411) Aug 21, 2020 Colorado

    I am enjoying a Stella 12 oz thin tall can right now. Brewed in April, possibly up the road a piece at AB in Ft. Collins. It has been ages since I had an old Stella, so I cannot reliably compare.

    What I can say is this beer tastes like a good adjunct beer or a decent local Helles but it is pretty devoid of hops. It reminds me a lot of Ratio Cityscape or Wibby Lightshine Helles for locals. It is cereal forward and somewhat sweet.

    I do feel it is more enjoyable for me than Bud, Bud light, Coors light, Miller, and especially PBR , but it is sweet malt forward. It is not a "go to" for serious tasting, well none of the above are either. I put it in the same class as Full Sail Session, although I prefer the FS. But at less than $1 a can, when on sale Stella gets the nod easily.

    [​IMG]