News Schell's Response to the Brewer's Association

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    What revision? Correct me if Im wrong (others do it, Im cool with it). What was Schell doing in that 50 year period that was so out of the mainstream with the rest of the brewing industry? Ive never even been in the state of MN, I dont have any clue to their history. I know what my local was doing during that time...adopting the pop tap can and creating Billy Beer. One of those is marginally interesting. But it doesnt lead to good beer.

    Its, as best I can tell, very similar to current zoigl recipes. When I get to Franconia to compare and contrast I will let you know (and probably alter my recipe a bit, but I doubt much).
    Horbar likes this.
  2. SatlyMalty

    SatlyMalty Initiate (0) Sep 12, 2012 Washington

    Taking an unnecessary dig at homebrewers makes me want to give you another punch in the stomach. I'm happy for you that you can brew beer for a living. I really am. I'm also happy to brew beer at home and don't like reading elitist shit from a brewer (professional or otherwise).
  3. RKPStogie

    RKPStogie Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Everyone needs to relax. The point of starting this thread was to drum up support amongst MN BA's (or at least highlight) Schell's response to the brewers association. And to point out that they are hypocritical and flat out wrong in their "blacklist." Peronally, I'd rather argue with someone from the brewers association...though I don't know if anyone from them are on BA.

    The Brewers Association needs to fix their rectal cranial inversion...
  4. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2009 Virginia

    I'm not sure what your roll has been at the brewery for the last 6 years, but bickering back and forth with people on the internet (whether right or wrong) makes your brewery look bad.
  5. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    I'm gonna start using the term a "Nabomac brewery". The first word of which comes from the Old English (the language, not the malt liquor) root word meaning...oh, wait, no it's the phonetic pronunciation for the acronym "Not Anheuser Busch or MillerCoors".

    Yeah, I know, an acronym not yet it use by the beer geekery but I sort detest "BMC" since there is no "Budweiser" brewing company (at least, not since they closed the one below, in Brooklyn circa 1900). So, does "BMC" mean the breweries, the beers, all "AAL's", all the beers made by parent co's ABI, SABMiller, MolsonCoors?

    Uh - huh... it is a clumsy acronym but, after all, I'm talking about a group which call rare beers "wales" and will "save time" by using "u" for "you", so it's not like they're real fussy about such things.

    But ultimately it is AB and MC with their 75% combined market share that is really the "enemy" - of both the B.A. craft members and all small US breweries. Does Mendocino/Saratoga's Indian ownership really hurt "craft" brewers? NAB's importation of the Labatt brand affects craft beer---how?

    But it is the hypocrisy of the organization whose Purpose Statement opens with the phrase "To promote and protect small and independent American brewers..." and then creates a DO NOT BUY sort of blacklist pdf that is most disgusting. A "blacklist" that names the very (few) small brewers in the US - Schell, Straub, The Lion, Yuengling, Genesee, City, Cold Spring, Minhas, etc - that still compete head to head with AB and MC by continuing to brew and market US style/adjunct "light lager" and "light beers". (And sells them at a similar price point or below, in most cases.) Those beers are still far and away the dominant beer styles sold in the US, accouting for over 90% of the market.

  6. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    No, Yuengling uses corn grits in all their beers, most of which (Premium, Porter, Lord Chesterfield Ale, etc) pre-date the "craft era". Their Black and Tan and their now-flagship Yuengling Traditional Lager (something like 80% of their production) were both developed in the 1980's, when Dick, Jr. took over and tried (and succeeded beyond anyone's expectation) to reverse their downward course.

    It was curious when at the beginning of last year Yuengling joined the Brewers Association but didn't request the "craft" designation (after all, Yuengling Lager is not that different from the "craft" Shiner Bock as far as adjunct and other ingredients go). IIRC Yuengling was not a member of the old "small brewers" Brewers Assoc. of America. I wonder how Dick, Jr. is reacting to the Non-Craft Brewers pdf by the organization he pays maximum dues rate to. (He could just be too busy maxing out the capacities of his 3 adjunct lager breweries to notice).

    Beer writer Lew Bryson once brought up the lack of an all-malt Yuengling beer after an interview with brewer Ray Norbert (who developed the "Lager" recipe, based on either an old Bohemian one or a pre-Pro Yuengling beer depending on what article you read). Norbert responded: "I'm running two shifts, 6 days a week; we just put in a major expansion that doubled my capacity, and the sales force is still selling more beer than I can make. Tell me: what's broken that I need to fix?"
    RyanMM likes this.
  7. bergbrew

    bergbrew Initiate (62) Jan 12, 2004 Minnesota

    You're right. That was a poor choice of words, and I apologize for using them.
    albertq17, JxExM, RyanMM and 3 others like this.
  8. bergbrew

    bergbrew Initiate (62) Jan 12, 2004 Minnesota

    What I meant is that Zoigl is more of a communal brew, not a single person brewing it at their house. It has a specific meaning both yesterday and today, and that meaning stems on not only what it is, but the region where it is made.

    It wasn't meant as a dig on homebrewers, although I'm the first to admit it certainly came across that way.
    RyanMM, SatlyMalty and Chaz like this.
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    It was a great play-on-words, actually - if a bit obscure and maybe too "insider"- so some have taken it to be mean-spirited and "elitist" if they didn't click on the link in your post in the phrase "something like this" and read the article.
    JxExM, Chaz, bwiechmann and 1 other person like this.
  10. RKPStogie

    RKPStogie Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Keep up the great work at Schell's you will always have my support. Now to celebrate being off call with a Chimney Sweep. Yes, it's 7:30am
    WYVYRN527 likes this.
  11. kelvarnsen

    kelvarnsen Devotee (402) Nov 30, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    Although I have never had Schell's this thread is kind of interesting. I am curious though, Schell's made the list by being an "adjunct" brewer right? But how come they are on the list, but not FX Matt, whose Flagship beer is Utica Club?
  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    F. X. Matt considers its flagship beer brand these days Saranac, and that line probably easily accounts for more than the necessary 50% of production to met B.A.'s "Either/Or" rules on "Traditional".

    Utica Club today is a minor brand, and not nearly as well-distributed as Saranac.

    Also note that Nick Matt is a former Chair, and an At-large member of the Board of Directors of The Brewers Association.
    Chaz likes this.
  13. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Zealot (515) Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Huh... I knew that much but didn't know those used corn grits. Good on them I guess, no skin off my back as long as it's not fizzy and yellow.
  14. JediMatt

    JediMatt Initiate (82) Jun 18, 2010 Iowa

    Great response to the article. I am a big Schell's fan and buy a lot of their beers. They are definitely a craft brewery in my book. And they should be in BA's book too.
    KarlHungus likes this.
  15. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Fizzy and amber, then? :wink: What's the Lager - SRM 3 - 5 or so?
  16. mjryan

    mjryan Zealot (581) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    So Schells gets "blacklisted" because they brew a couple of adjunct lagers? Pure stupidity. What on earth is the Brewers Association hoping to accomplish here? August Schells is, in every sense of the word as we here know it, craft. They are a craft brewery and the fact that the B.A. doesnt see this really speaks volumes about the orginization and its leadership.
  17. Centennial

    Centennial Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2009 Vermont

    Lion brewery is on the list as an "adjunct brewer" so does that mean the brands they contract brew belong on the same list? These brands are marketed and sold by craft breweries such as sixpoint as "craft beer".
  18. GregoryVII

    GregoryVII Initiate (150) Jan 30, 2006 Michigan

    I believe, as you say, the main intent of this campaign was to bring attention to the fact that Blue Moon, Shock Top and the like are not independently owned breweries and that the way BMC portrays them is misleading to the public.

    The "blacklist" or list of "domestic non craft breweries" perhaps did go too far (though, for what it's worth the list does acknowledge that August Schell is small and independent). I still think it is worth bringing attention to the consumer who makes their beer. And, while I cannot agree with this particular move, I think a lot of people are reacting too far in reverse. The BA has done so much for the industry, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
  19. GregoryVII

    GregoryVII Initiate (150) Jan 30, 2006 Michigan

    Completely discrediting itself? Hardly. Ill advised move, yes. But as for Boston Beer Company, they do best by is the it their fault that a south Alabama bar is serving an 8 month old light struck beer? Are they personally responsible for how every single person serves their beer? Sounds like the bar is to blame. Don't frequent the bar, but don't blame Boston Beer Company.
  20. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story the Brewers Assoc. authors stated that "The Brewers Association has defined a craft brewery but we have not defined craft beer" but I always swear that on their website they once did state something to the effect that "...only a craft brewer can brew craft beer..."

    Obviously, the wording I remember was a simply way to disqualify the Blue Moons and ShockTops from the macros, but it also could be read as to eliminate the contract-brewed craft beers that come out of non-craft breweries like The Lion, City's 3 breweries, NAB-Genesee, formerly Miller-Eden for BBC, etc.

    But I could never find it again (the one thing annoying about the web vs. printed material, too easy to do a Pravda and make the old stuff disappear. When I used to Google it, I'd only find my own quotations of it! :grimacing:)

    Finally found a Google cache of a Suite 101 beer article What is Craft Beer? from 2007 which quotes it

  21. Groenebeor

    Groenebeor Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2009 California

    That bottle being light struck has to do with the crappy bar in a crappy state, not the fact that SA is a large craft brewery.

    Although, it's not doing craft beer any favors when that happens.
  22. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    More of an individual brew at a communal brewery. That is then served at the individual homes. Which I think is a fair point by you, although you will notice that the link you provided refers to "homebrewers".

    As far as me not being in Franconia, well, I guess I could call it zoigl-style or something, like people do with lambic-style or maybe pzoigl. But that is just silly, as a brewer that made a Burton Ale would understand.
  23. mdwalsh

    mdwalsh Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2009 Iowa

    Yes, you can pull that data, that is easy. I'm interested in seeing what part of BMC sales are Goose, Blue Moon, etc.
  24. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Yeah, I doubt that is available. Although they are public companies, so maybe that is in the annual reports.
  25. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    For 2011:

    M-C was 59,625,000 bbl. (domestic and imports) and Blue Moon (all varieties) was 1,725,000 of that​

    AB was 98,500,000 bbl. (domestic and imports) and Goose Island was 127,000 bbl.​
    bismarksays, mdwalsh and KarlHungus like this.
  26. RKPStogie

    RKPStogie Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I agree with your point about the 8 month old light stuck beer, but we'll have to agree to disagree about the Brewers Association discrediting itself. To me they are compelelty discredited. Schell's does not deserve to be included on this list.
  27. Tballz420

    Tballz420 Meyvn (1,187) Mar 4, 2003 Minnesota

    Good response from Schell's but this whole labeling beer thing is way out of control. Everyone should quit trying to define what someone else is, or what their beer is, and drink it
    Zach136 and KarlHungus like this.
  28. cevafm

    cevafm Initiate (0) Mar 30, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I don't understand why the gentleman from Schell's was defending Straub and Yuengling. Neither are craft breweries or claim to be. That being said, Schell's is most definately a craft brewery.

    The problems with Yuengling is that they are following the BMC method of expanding and making more money while pretending not to be BMC. Go take a brewery tour and you will see how full of it they are. I went on one, and a beer noob asked a question as to why Yuengling only distributes to 13 states. The tour guide, who was not a new hire, stated that "Unlike Budweiser and Coors, some of our hand-crafted beers are too high in alcohol to be approved by the LBC in many states"

    Not only did the tour guide not stutter, but she rattled it off like she had it memorized.

    Does Lager taste better then a Budweiser or Coors. Subjective. I will purchase the Lord Chesterfield and Premium from time to time. The Porter is a joke of a dark beer and the Black and Tan is awful. Lager is just premium with porterine added to it, flavor profile is exactly the same. Refuse to pay 5 bucks a case more for it.

    Octoberfest and Bock are just variations on the Lager and are not as good.
    tdiana likes this.
  29. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    I think because, regardless of what "type" of beer those two breweries produce (or the others on the "B.A. Non-Craft" blacklist) or which adjuncts are approved vs those found not acceptable by the Brewers Association, the organization essentially declared war on those breweries when the war should be against Anheueser Busch and MillerCoors. Those are the two breweries that control 75% of the US market, those are the companies making the "faux craft" brands like ShockTop and Blue Moon, those are the companies buying into craft breweries and distributing their brands through their extensive coast-to-coast wholesale networks.

    I think too many BA's in these threads are often missing the point - it's not whether Schell's is "craft" or not - it's being called out in that pdf, lumped in with AB and MC. Schell's knows the beers they brew, the beers their loyal customers have drank for generation and they know they use the dreaded adjunct - corn. They also are probably aware of Spoetzl's "exemption" and their use of some magic maize that enhances rather than lightens. (And the "magic" is probably due to the act of Gambrinus writing dues checks for their 3 US breweries from all indications). So, essentially apparently Schell is on that list because they've got the pride not hide behind that fiction?

    Don't like adjunct lagers? Don't drink 'em - Straub's or Miller Lite. Grain Belt or Bud. Yuengling Porter or Keystone. Putting Schell's and Straub and Yuengling (a Brewers Association member!) and the others on their list really helps no craft brewers and just makes the organization looks petty (or "more petty" considering the other moves they've made) as well as hypocritical (as I noted in the other thread).

    If the Brewers Association wants to battle AB and MC, then make a list of their imports and their brands, their faux crafts and the craft brewers they wholly or partially own. And leave the "other" US brewers out of it. Don't hide behind the "adjunct" technicality when the craft shelves are loaded with pumpkin ales, fruit flavored beers, artificially flavored beers, alcoholic iced teas, ciders, etc.

    I'm not sure where I quoted this today (but it bears repeating)- the Purpose Statement of the Brewers Association:

    "To promote and protect small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts."
  30. dauss

    dauss Zealot (560) Aug 9, 2003 Colorado
    Industry Beer Trader

    Oh no, the price of corn is just too expensive. Too bad corn is the most heavily subsidized crop in the US. It is so incredibly cheap, regardless of the "drought", some form of corn derivative is in nearly all processed food products. Schell says that corn is more expensive than malt, however, they're probably doing what BMC has learned back in the 70s, use corn syrup. MillerCoors has tank cars of corn syrup delivered from Cargill.
  31. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,382) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Not sure if it is corn, sugar, or tobacco.

    AB used to have a big corn syrup plant in Lafayette IN. now owned by Tate.
  32. mdwalsh

    mdwalsh Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2009 Iowa

    Okay, now Micheloeb, Henry Weinharts, Shock Top, Leinenkugels, etc please, and put it in a pretty chart form? (or just site the source)
  33. MN_Beerticker

    MN_Beerticker Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2012 Minnesota

    I am not sure about any of the other BA's but I can think for myself. I cut my teeth on Grain Belt Premium and Schell's products. I am certainly not going to let a group tell me what to buy or not to buy. Bottom Line: The Marti's are craftsmen and continue to turn out a fine product.
    Ford, darknova306 and bwiechmann like this.
  34. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Do you mean the 1970's? If so, I think you're about a century off. According to an article in The New York Times, Aug. 20, 1881 How Lager Beer is Made, quoting the United Lager Beer Brewers of New York City and Vicinity:

    Corn…in the form of corn-meal, corn starch, rice, grape sugar, and glucose are used [in some lager beers]. (Glucose is a liquid form of grape sugar.)

    And the Master Brewers Association of America's Practical Brewer (1946) noted that:

    (Note, I have no idea what form of corn Schell uses for their Deer Brand and Grain Belt adjunct lagers.)

  35. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Ha! See, sometimes we beer geeks don't remember how good we have it now in the internet age.

    In the not-too-distant past (well, depending on one's age, I suppose) brewery tour guides were often the only source of misinformation about beer and the brewing industry. Well, them and the drunk down at the end of the bar whose brother-in-law once worked as a helper on a Schaefer Beer truck before he joined the Marines. ("Hey, kid, ever have bock beer? You know how they make that stuff, right?")

    Now, thanks to the internet, Wikipedia, beer blogs and forums we have access to a virtual tidal wave of myths, old wives tales, misinformation and information - some of it even accurate!
    franklinn and Chaz like this.
  36. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,292) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    :grimacing: My sincere apologies, I must have accidentally forgot to add my footnote citing my sources (which is always done on the BA forums):

    Etan, bwiechmann, Chaz and 1 other person like this.
  37. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    The Zoigl is located in the Upper Palatinate, not Franconia. Just a small geographical side note :slight_smile:
    Chaz likes this.
  38. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Thanks, I cant keep my german geography straight. I knew that at one time, but am always confused because the Upper and Lower Palatinate arent near each other. Doesnt the lower border France? While the upper borders Czech?
  39. mdwalsh

    mdwalsh Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2009 Iowa

    Didn't mean to have that come across snarky. I wanted to make the chart on my own!
  40. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,950) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I'm glad to hear this. Just make sure that -when you've finished your chart- you share it with the group! :slight_smile:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.