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

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

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  1. Biffster

    Biffster Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2004 Michigan

    I don't drink it. I don't like it. But I have to say that you are dead wrong about quality. I have spent almost 25 years in automotive, aerospace and other forms of manufacturing. The light beer brewers meet a quality and consistency standard that aerospace or even biomedical could never hope to achieve, to say nothing of consumer products or automotive. You might not like the product they produce, but you cannot accuse them of producing a product you may not like in a slipshod or careless way. Like it or not, there is no denying it is probably one of the most high quality, consistent products mass produced anywhere.
    hopfenunmaltz likes this.
  2. bdub32689

    bdub32689 Initiate (0) May 19, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I would have to disagree with you on the "no more then 50-60 percent" in major grocery stores because at least regionally here in the northeast I see the biggest discrepancy in the grocery store more then anywhere else besides places like whole foods.(reasonable guess would be 75% of the space is brand BMC own or partially own) You maybe correct though that the in smaller markets like Western Washington the big companies don't have a stronghold compared to markets like Boston and New York where putting a large amount of money on branding makes sense.
    The point of my original post anyway was that taste should be the number 1 determinant of what beers people like not the exclusivity. Who cares who brews it or if its popular or not if you like it drink it. It bugs me that a lot of these threads people just post about beers they think others will be impressed by. I respect the light beer market for what it is because at the end of the day it supports the industry as a whole and is often a gateway for people to try new styles.
  3. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    I live in Baja California Norte (aka San Diego County). There are dozens of taco shops and Mexican markets that sell Coca Cola that is imported from Mexico. There is certainly a difference in taste.

    It may be true that in blind taste tests, participants weren't able to tell which was which but I would guess that they would say that the 2 samples are from different batches.
  4. kingofhop

    kingofhop Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    well said, Swill. Well said my friend. BTW, I ain't seen ya on BA in a while. Howz it goin'?
  5. industrialswill

    industrialswill Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2010 Washington

    Hey back into an old hobby that I turned my back on for about 15 years...[cars, man.... not pot].
    Glad to see you here holding The Fort down as one of the FEW TRUE BEER LOVERS that this forum has ever known.
    Do you still have your perfect, unblemished record intact...?
    So....What's the "Craft - to - Swill" ratio [Cr/Sw] at the stores in your area....?
    Honestly, I can not believe how good this Miller is drinking right now. I stop at just 1 TallBoy per night, figuring that I don't want the novelty to wear off.
    Pretty much the same thing happened a couple years ago when my brother in law brought over a load of Coors Lite for Xmas vacation..I couldn't believe how good it tasted, especially since I figured it would just taste like water after drinking heavier ales all the time.
    When I 1st found this website a couple years ago I was dumbstruck by all the guys who absolutely hate BMC. Back when I was a kid there were only to kinds of people who didn't like BMC...
    1. girls
    2. guys who acted like girls
    Ha-Ha....!! Take care, man.
    kingofhop likes this.
  6. maltmuncher

    maltmuncher Initiate (0) Aug 22, 2012

    Man this crap all ends up the same... I dont get it. Aside from a business / economy view and how everyone one here is going rant about how inbev is going to ruin the world and rig the election and cause the next zombie apocalypse. Sad thing is most of them started on the same products from the companies they bitch about.

    For what the product is/started out as... a german lager style beer made w/ american products aka now american lager-yes they have a level of skill needed to mass produces a product exactly the same. And for the masses it works, they won. Big deal-not going to crap on my day over it.

    Most people dont support gay marriage but I am not going to blame all my problems and all that is wrong in the world, cause two dudes wanna pound one another (dont ask what that has to do with this, I guess I am a homo)....

    OP-nice share, thanks for posting the rest of you need to go change your menstrual products.
  7. Danny1217

    Danny1217 Champion (833) Jul 15, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    When I'm on a diet I drink Guinness. Decent enough flavor at only 120 calories per pint. I also still feel like a man when I drink it. The alcohol content isn't ridiculously low either.
  8. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (11,900) Mar 18, 2010 California

    I saw this article through another website. I guess they have a point with the consistency issue, but other than this aspect, light beers are pretty gross in my opinion. I will still tick them though.
  9. deathevocation

    deathevocation Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2008 Australia

    I've had coke in a number of countries. You wouldn't even recognise the coke from Saudi Arabia as coke, it's that different. US, Japanese & Australian coke tastes pretty much the same (save Australian uses cane sugar as opposed to US which I believe doesn't).
  10. DaveBlack

    DaveBlack Zealot (525) Dec 19, 2009 Virginia

    Which is why every 5-gallon batch of homebrew that you've tried is better than any commercial beer you've ever bought...?
  11. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    As I said upthread consistency != quality.

    They dont produce a quality product. They product an amazingly consistent product.

    The term quality has been misused by the Quality Assurance folks (Im sure marquis would have a lot of fun with me making this argument).
    happy4hoppybeer and maltmuncher like this.
  12. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (993) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    As a homebrewer, you well know that process, not ingredients, makes quality beer. Are you saying that the macros do not have quality processes in place?
  13. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    The processes may be "quality" (I would describe them as "excellent", as I wouldnt use the word "quality" in that situation, to avoid the later confusion) but the beer produced always isnt. It doesnt matter how excellent the processes are, Bud Light wont be a quality beer.

    That isnt saying the macros cant make quality beers, I think most GI beers are quality and there are other quality Inbev beers. Im saying that excellent process does not itself lead to quality beers.
  14. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (993) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    So by the same token, a light lager made with American 2-row, which many consider of inferior quality compared to, say, Weyermann pilsner/Munich malt, won't be a quality lager...regardless of the U.S. craft brewer's skill? Hmmm...are we on common ground now? ;)
  15. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Your logic seems to suffer.

    If A then B, does not imply if B then A.

    I would think it would be HARDER to make a quality lager with inferior products, but it isnt impossible.
  16. cinghialetwo

    cinghialetwo Initiate (0) Oct 20, 2012

    Sorry if I speak , but I think a craft brewery has better quality compared to making wine. For beer ingredients are repeatable (barley, malt water) while a wine must be the same grape,in the same place . Grapes are small quantities respect water
    I just think if a brewer uses a special hops (example hops as the hill of St. John in the region of the Rhine Westphalian state collected in the month of July).
  17. TheHammer

    TheHammer Champion (827) Feb 15, 2009 Ontario (Canada)

    I have to agree with rlcoffey on this one. Consistency does not equal quality and I disagree with a lot of the stuff in this article. While I have few doubts as to big macro beer being the ones who pushed the advances of beer technology and chemistry (such as pasteurizing and adding chemical preservatives to beer in order to mass market) the point I would stress is for all of these technological advances in brewing, craft beer has existed far before macro beer.

    When you have breweries like Samuel Smith's and Weihenstephaner who have been around for hundreds of years, producing consistent product, the need for said technology has never been a requirement for craft beer. The thousands of local brewers across the world, who weren't concerned with how late the barley harvest was going to be, because they didn't cater to a market that required such massive, immediate purchasing and instead purchased and grew their own barley locally to serve their local market.

    It was not until the large local market brewers like Molson, Coors, Busch...etc expanded their influence through cheaper, consistent mass brewing techniques that they began muscling craft beer out of the market. One needs only look at the Province of Ontario who's beer store distribution system catered to these larger brewers (partially as a concession to prohibitionists, partially due to their predatory practices) and the ages it's taken for any small breweries to even exist, yet alone succeed here. Prohibition also is a major blame as pretty much the only experienced brewers who didn't close shop, were only brewing for volume as the populace craved alcohol far more the quality. This has been going on for ages, as people in North America have been taught that beer should be generic lager and anything else is "terrible, bad quality beer"

    I will give the macros credit, they did provide some tools and some research for modern craft breweries to exsist, but to say they would not exist without them, especially when you have so many organic and "traditional method" craft brewers out there, I think is wrong.
  18. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Let me be very clear what Im saying, since you seem to keep trying to read other things into it:


    I am saying nothing else. I am implying nothing other than that. If you are inferring anything else, you are mistaken.

    Is it easier to make a quality beer if you have excellent processes? yes.
    Is it easier to make a quality beer if you use excellent ingredients? yes.
    Are either necessary? no.

    Mediocre ingredients with mediocre processes can lead to a quality beer. It would be hard and rare, but its possible.
  19. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (993) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Was joking.

    You are the one saying it is impossible for Bud Light (not Budweiser?) to be a quality beer. If it's not the processes or the ingredients or the consumer's "faulty" preference on which you're basing your claim, then what is it?
  20. TheHammer

    TheHammer Champion (827) Feb 15, 2009 Ontario (Canada)

    I would say it's the active choice of the large brewer to brew generic uninteresting beer for as low a cost as possible, so in a sense recipe is to blame. I would make the arguement though that large brewers like Budweiser don't use quality ingredients (as evidenced by using adjuncts and chemical preservatives) and while following good quality control processes in regard to infection and consistent product have a poor record of quality control in regards to appealing flavour. I would also argue that they certainly have the capacity, knowledge and ability to brew more flavourful beer, but choose not to, as they have a market who is regrettably content with generic lager that gets you drunk.

    In a bit of an add twist of fate, some big brewers are realizing that the market is evolving and getting away from generic lager and moving towards craft beer, which is why some big beer are now producing higher quality lines under different labels, or partnering/buying out quality craft brewers to make the product for them so they can tap the craft market (Like the purchase of Creemore Springs by Molson/Coors). This for the most part is a mixed bag, for while getting more exposure is good, there is always a worry that if the craft market stalls, big beer is going to start falling back to cheaper ingredients and cheaper recipes, thus ruining that label.
  21. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (993) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    From the penultimate paragraph of the original Atlantic article:

    "For Brooklyn Homebrew's Kyler Serfass, it took three months of experimentation to crack the code using an old refrigerator he discovered in the basement of his apartment building. 'When I saw that fridge, it was like a light shone down from heaven,' he said. Serfass made only two cases' worth of his 'Budweiser clone,' but the duplication was considered such an achievement that it won him a gold medal at this year's Homebrew Alley competition, held at the Brooklyn Brewery."

    I suppose you would have judged his beer as "generic and uninteresting"?
  22. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    See my comment in the other thread about Justice Stewart's definition of obscenity.

    And yes, it applies to Bud too, I was just specifically calling out Bud Light.

    Edit: confused first and last names of a supreme court justice. Doh!
  23. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (993) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    So you would have "seen it" in the above-mentioned homebrew competition, too?
  24. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Not sure what that has to do with anything. Ive judged before. You judge against a standard. Its possible to win Cat 1 (bjcp) without being a quality beer. Just the best entered.

    True for the other categories too, for that matter. Although Ive always felt the winners in the categories Ive judged were quality.
  25. TheHammer

    TheHammer Champion (827) Feb 15, 2009 Ontario (Canada)

    I probably would have, if it was indeed a Budweiser clone, as this article suggests. I have doubts that it tasted like Budweiser or Bud Light though, as I doubt the same ingredients were used, and I doubt he had access to chemical preservatives that give Bud it's metallic taste. I should probably add though I was referencing this thread and this article, which I erroneously thought was the same article this page referenced.

    Let me make one thing clear, I don't have a problem with Light Beer, I have a problem with Light Beer that has no flavour. Sleeman Clear and Sleeman Light are probably the two beers I would reference in this comparison. One is beer flavoured water, one is a light beer that has taste, and in my opinion, the vast majority of macro produced beer (espcially light beer) is either lacking in flavour or is generically boring, like many import lagers.
  26. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (2,816) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Please provide documentation for the claim that Bud uses chemical preservatives to a create metallic taste, thanks.
  27. stupac2

    stupac2 Disciple (387) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    It's sort of baffling that people don't understand this. So the argument is that I'm supposed to respect Bud Lite as a beer because it's a phenomenal engineering effort? Uhh, what? In what world does that make sense?

    Making a terrible product really consistently isn't something that should be admired, it should be mocked. If they applied those kinds of standards to making something good, just imagine what they could do.
    MrMcGibblets and happy4hoppybeer like this.
  28. Optifron

    Optifron Initiate (193) Aug 17, 2012 Minnesota

    People can complain about the big guys all day long, but at the end of the day, they're responding to consumer demand, and doing it well. Like almost everyone here, I barely touch the macro products, because I don't enjoy the product, but is it poor quality? If your definition of quality is a beer with a complex layering of flavors, sure the macro guys are near the bottom, but that's not the product they're trying to make. If the definition of quality is making a consistent beer that is light in taste without complexity and inexpensive (and let's face it, that's what a large part of the market wants, like it or not that's the demand), then I'd say the macro guys are at the top. Not only that, but ABI's purchase of companies like Goose Island shows they're not stupid, and they recognize a growing change in consumer demand. Unfortunately, I'm assuming ABI will figure they can get higher profits by decreasing the complexity and using cheaper ingredients for some the GI beers, at which point I will stop buying them, but maybe we'll get lucky.

    Honestly, I may not like the macro products, or what I assume will happen to beers from companies like Goose Island when they get acquired by the big guys, but the only potential complaint I have is the use of legal-but-unsettling business tactics that people say (and is probably true) the big guys use (i.e. bullying distributors and using legislation to keep the craft guys down). To me, everything else is the evolution of business that makes America great. Marketing and advertising, what's wrong with that? They have as much right to advertise as anyone else. Buying smaller companies? That may be a bummer for people who love those smaller companies, but what can you complain about? If the small guys want to take the big buyout paycheck from ABI, that's their business decision and ABI has done nothing wrong. If the small guys want to grow slowly so that they keep majority control of the company, I'll love them all the more, but again just their personal business decision. Despite the big guys, our selection of varied and fantastic artisan beer only seems to grow every year, and as long as we keep that demand alive and growing, I don't see the selection going away. The guys who make a great product with market demand and know how to run a business will stick around, and the ones who can't do both will fail.

    *I should note that as a chemical engineer, I have an almost reverence for the technological skill and business sense of the big guys, whether or not I actually like the product. Bias stated.
  29. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (2,816) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    TheHammer likes this.
  30. dpnelson1978

    dpnelson1978 Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2009 Minnesota

    Sure, if you confuse quality with consistency.
  31. TheHammer

    TheHammer Champion (827) Feb 15, 2009 Ontario (Canada)

    You know, what, that is a fair comment to make, and I retract my statement about chemcial preservatives. I will instead say I doubt he had access to the tools needed to pasteurize and "Beechwood Filter" his beer, which may be contribute to it's awful metallic taste. I assume that unnatural, awful metallic taste was as a result of preservatives.
  32. Optifron

    Optifron Initiate (193) Aug 17, 2012 Minnesota

    This is where I think people have issue, is saying they make a terrible product. Can you really say a product with that much demand and market share is terrible? Do I enjoy it? No, absolutely not, but clearly a TON of people do. In the eyes of much of the market, it is clearly the product they want, be it because of taste, or price, or whatever else, this is what they buy.
  33. dpnelson1978

    dpnelson1978 Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2009 Minnesota

    It doesn't necessarily taste like garbage... it usually just doesn't taste like anything at all.

    The taste is inferior. The only people that would argue against that without simply trying to be argumentative are people who really aren't drinking the beer for the taste. They want it to be a water substitute that can get them drunk.

    But if you and Optifron want to be impressed by technology there are some great bottled water producers I can point you towards.
    MrMcGibblets likes this.
  34. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,208) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The definition of quality will apply to all beers, weather mass market or the ratest of whales. If you have ever work in a manufacturing setting you get this. The system know as DFSS has to do with finding out how to reduce variation and adjust the mean to produce a consistant quality product.

    Some of you misuse "quality", and apply it to only aspirational or prestige products. You can make a quality widget that sells for a fraction of a penny, for example.

    You should read what Dr. Bamforth has to say about beer quality someday.
    Sneers likes this.
  35. Biffster

    Biffster Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2004 Michigan

    True. Consistency does not, in itself, equal quality. Quality is the result of both consistency and and accuracy. What does this mean? This means that someone manufacturing something makes exactly what they set out to make, and gets the exact same result every time. It has NOTHING to do with whether it is interesting to you, or appealing, or if they use expensive enough ingredients to suit someone's taste. Sorry, but it has NOTHING whatever to do with taste. The market will take care of that, one way or another.

    They very consistently and very accurately produce exactly what they set out to produce. Anyone who has ever actually produced a material product for any length of time knows exactly what I'm talking about.

    This whole trainwreck of a thread boils down to two different meanings for quality. Some of us are talking about quality in the quantitative sense. Some of us are talking about quality in the qualitative sense. Two entirely different meanings of the same word.
    TheHammer, drtth and hopfenunmaltz like this.
  36. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,208) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The Beechwood aging is in the lagering tanks. Strips (they call them chips) of beechwood are laid in the tanks before they are filled. The beechwood has been steamed so as to impart no flavor. The reasons for the strips is to give more surface area for the yeast to settle on, which exposes more of the yeast to the beer, giving the yeast time to clean up the off flavors from the primary fermentation. This may help speed up the lagering process, maybe not.
    CypherEnigma likes this.
  37. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,208) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    That sums it up nicely.

    A Honda Fit would be an example of an entry level car with high quality. Not an aspirational car.
  38. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    As I said at the beginning, the definition of quality as used in industrial processes is wrong.

    Quality Assurance/Quality Control are misnomers. I dismissed that secondary definition at the beginning.

    I also would point out the root of qualitative vs the root of quantitative. Consistency and accuracy are quantitative. As is sales. If quality was quantitative, it would be called quantity instead. Oh wait, that word already exists.
  39. hopsbreath

    hopsbreath Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Oregon

    American Adjunct Lite Lager producers set the bar for their product and achieve it every time. Wether you call it quality control or consistency control it's just semantics. The end result is the same.
  40. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Semantics are imporant.

    What often happens when the same word is used for two different things is that the two get confused in people's minds. Hence why its important to use the word consistency when you mean consistency.
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