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

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

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  1. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    HA! Indeed, indeed.

    I really need to finish reading that... rather, restart and finish reading that...
  2. Schwantz

    Schwantz Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2012 Florida

    Taste, price point. If the gentleman wants to be judged by the quality of his product he could test that theory by backing off the multi million dollar ad buys and let his already significant brand recognition and the quality of his product determine his profit margins for 2 or 3 fiscal quarters.
    HipsterBrewfus likes this.
  3. Snowrs

    Snowrs Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Please go look up quality, it is also a distinct characteristic of an object, so quality control is the control of said qualities and once in control of those properties you can release a product that exemplifies those qualities.

    You condemning a product for being exactly what it sets out to be is short sighted. The customer that drinks Coors does not want an Imperial IPA at 9% ABV they want a beverage that is easy to drink cold in quantity that if they drink enough will get th drunk.

    Over Christmas, I had Zombie Dust, Consecration, BCBS, Apple Ale and Celebration sitting in the fridge. My FIL would not drink that "swill" he wanted the Coors in the aluminum bottles. To him those other beers were not percoeved as of good "quality" as his trusty blue mountains.

    Coors has decided that is the customer they want and have tailored their product to that market segment, if that is the people you want to sell to you make the best quality product for that market segment.
  4. broodog

    broodog Aspirant (222) Jul 18, 2009 Illinois

    Does Tom Long seriously think he's going to win over 1 craft beer fan with his pandering bullshit? He doesn't understand the first thing about the customers he's trying to woo. Make a good quality beer and they will listen. Focus your efforts on the beer, not advertising and profit margins. Answer to the craft beer enthusiast, not the stockholders. He's way out of his league, here.
  5. broodog

    broodog Aspirant (222) Jul 18, 2009 Illinois

    Does anyone remember Michael Moore's TV show where he challenged CEO's of large corporations to perform various tasks on the products they sell? He challenged Philip Morris' CEO to smoke a cigarette (which he didn't) challenged the Ford Motor Co. CEO to change the oil in a car (which he did). I'd like to see Tom long attempt to brew a batch of beer.
  6. audioserf

    audioserf Aspirant (253) Sep 3, 2010 Connecticut

    You don't make the kind of money BMC do by being bad at your craft. People who are interested enough in beer to post on BA are not their target demographic. I've never had a gun put to my head in an attempt to force BMC down my throat, and I don't think anyone else has, either. The comments by Tom Long are posturing and an attempt at marketing Blue Moon as craft beer. Marketing is what these guys do. None of this should surprise anybody. The sooner you stop being angry at BMC and focus on enjoying good, craft beer, the better off you'll be.
    CWinchell and seanluvsbeer like this.
  7. Snowrs

    Snowrs Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    We have people on this very board that won't drink BCBS because it is owned by AB. They are not judging the beer by any definition of quality, they are basing it solely on who makes the beer and that is their choice, I am going to drink the beer I prefer as long as the company is allowed to sell it in the US and are not raping baby seals.

    He is not trying to convert you from a double imperial IPA to a Select 65, He is saying if you taste a beer that is of good quality and enjoy don't throw it out once you find out the company may be owned by BMC out of spite.

    Edit: He is right BTW the vast majority of America will drink what they like regardless if they are BMC or "craft"
  8. seanluvsbeer

    seanluvsbeer Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2010 Pennsylvania

    the "craft" brands offered my sab miller Coors are popular because they gain that customer that thinks they want to drink good beer but has no idea what beer should actually taste like. they are so used to a sweet bland lager that when you give them a beer that actually taste true to its style they think its gross or they tell you "its too strong" witch they are usually talking about too much flavor not the actual strength of the beer. these people are confused by complexity and it turns them away. another reason people drink the fake craft swill is because of price. they are so scared to cough up the extra couple bucks to actually try something that will teach them a thing or two. the reason I do not respect sab miller Coors in the aspect of craft beer is not there capability to brew a beer free of flaws because they certainly have the ability to do that. it is there lack of passion to what craft beer really is. they make recipes based on what they feel a consumer will like and what they can sell the most of. no matter how you spin it its all about money for them. craft beer should be bold, balanced, complex, and subtle only when a certain style calls for it. it should always be made with an artistic creativity and fresh explorative passion for creating something wonderful to share with the world regardless of how many people will even understand what exactly went into that beer. its an art not an over industrialized money making opportunity, even though some large companies may see it that way at the moment because craft is kicking there asses. its funny to me that we are seeing these giant brewers starting to complain they are being discriminated against because of there size. it may be true when it comes to some peoples opinion. but then again if that's the only reason you have for disliking those fake sorry beers then you don't really know what good beer is.
  9. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    No one is arguing that... despite how vague, nondescript, and poorly constructed that sentence is. People were arguing your earlier claim that quality=consistency.

    Wow, this doesn't even remotely make sense. So I can't condemn McDonalds hamburgers? They achieve exactly what they set out to be most everytime. Still a terrible product. I can't condemn Priuses? They achieve exactly what they set out to every time... making a shitty car I don't like. I can't condemn Coors and other macro lagers simply because they are a production success? Just because someone else likes them?

    That's laughable.
  10. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    And to this further strawman. Most of us understand he's saying that- judge the beer, not the producer.

    Some of us just don't care that he says that. Some of us don't like supporting the big two beer conglomerates, regardless of what their PR person says.

    If you're contention is that those of us who feel that way somehow CAN'T just because some PR guy from Coors doesn't want us to... well, yeah, nice argument there. Real solid.

  11. Icarus

    Icarus Initiate (175) Oct 6, 2012 Minnesota

    This whole quality argument (in regards to BMC) reminds me of an interview with Jim Koch I heard awhile back. He was stating that he actually respected the fact that they could brew those massive amounts of beer and the quality (taste) was the same no matter where you drank it (US, Europe, Japan etc...) everytime.

    Now that doesn't mean we like the taste or even that he likes the taste, but it is a quality statement nonetheless.
  12. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    Good bit to bring up.

    Not sure if that's the exact same interview, but it's on the same subject and he touches on those points.

    Jim notes the quality of BMC products, and notes consistency as being a major part of that. No one (at least, I don't think) is debating that BMC puts out a consistent product that achieves THEIR goal of "quality".

    Jim Koch also uses the exact analogy I did- McDonalds.

    Hence, within this context, if consistency is our main criteria for "quality"- then we all should be loving McDonalds.

    Can't have it both ways... if the macro lagers are quality products simply for being consistently flavorless, then McDonalds food is also a quality product. For being consistently... whatever their "food" is.
  13. Snowrs

    Snowrs Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Umm I think that Jim Koch just agreed with me.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,777) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    As I predicted in my first post (the fifth post of this thread) the definition of quality, within the context of craft beer, was going to be a controversial topic.

    There is no doubt in my mind, that for production industries like the automotive industry, mega breweries, etc. that producing a consistent product will be described as being a quality product.

    I would venture to say that the majority of craft beer drinkers (e.g., BeerAdvocates) view craft beer as being more of an artisanal product vs. an industrial product. Since there is an expectation that a craft beer be an artisanal product, a differing definition for quality will be applied. I attempted to define quality in the context of craft beer as being a flavorful and tasty product. My interpretation of the Jim Koch interview is that he also is of the opinion that a craft beer should be flavorful and tasty; in other words a quality craft beer is a flavorful and tasty beer.

    Bitter_Echo, rlcoffey and jacksback like this.
  15. Crusader

    Crusader Initiate (190) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    In the discussion about consistency, it is perhaps worth noting that this consistency only lasts from batch to batch as far as the big macro brewers are concerned. Once in a while they will decide to alter the recipe, over the last century or so they have lowered the IBU level of their beers (and changed over from actual corn grits requiring cereal cookers to high fructose corn syrup in some instances). By any objective measurments, a 20 IBU adjunct lager tastes different from a 10IBU lager, it will taste differently. But the quality across batches that are intended to have the same specs will of course be as close to identical as can be since they can brew their beer according to specific specifications and use taste testing to ensure consistency among batches of beer brewed to the same specs with the same ingredients. But obviously, the taste of macro lagers has changed somewhat over the last century, yet the same breweries would probably want to claim that the quality has been maintained. Quality via lightening the flavor or quality by making sure that the brewing process is done thoughourly regardless of the recipe?
  16. JG-90

    JG-90 Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2012 New Jersey

    Exactly what I was thinking, like most I am fine with the large, cheap beer companies. If they want to claim that they make craft beer products, put your name on your "craft" beers.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,777) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Crusader is correct about the ‘changing’ of American Adjunct Lagers over the years. Below is something I posted previously:

    “I think it is interesting that this ‘lightening’ has continued with Budweiser in very recent times (the 20-40 years prior to 2006):

    Below is something I posted recently in another thread which discusses hopping rates in Budweiser over the past 20-40 years, culminating in the year 2006.

    While it may not be totally appropriate to use the description of “cheapening’ for the aspect of diminishing use of hops in making Anheuser-Busch beers over the past 20-40 years I think we should recognize that this indeed happened. The rationale by Anheuser-Busch for this phenomenon is:

    “Mr. Muhleman, who is officially Anheuser's group vice president for brewing and technology, says the company didn't set out to make the beers less bitter. He calls the change "creep," the result of endlessly modifying the beer to allow for changes in ingredients, weather and consumer taste. "Through continuous feedback, listening to consumers, this is a change over 20, 30, 40 years," says Mr. Muhleman, gesturing toward the row of Budweiser cans. "Over time, there is a drift."

    The five Budweiser cans in front of Mr. Busch, dating from 1982, 1988, 1993, 1998 and 2003, were pulled off the production line shortly after they were brewed. They were cooled to minus-321 degrees Fahrenheit over 16 hours and stored at that temperature in a secret laboratory in the company's headquarters.

    The sample cans demonstrate how "creep" works. The difference in taste between two beers brewed five years apart is indistinguishable. Yet, the difference between the 1982 beer and the 2003 beer is distinct. "The bones are the same. It is the same structure," says Mr. Muhleman. Overall, however, "the beers have gotten a little less bitter."

    The above quotes are from an article previously published in the Wall Street Journal in 2006:


    P.S. It is interesting (from solely a business perspective) to see the ever-‘lightening’ of American beers: Budweiser Select 55, Miller Genuine Draft 64, etc.”
  18. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (729) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    That's my experince also. I still drink Bud whenever it is given to me or in a bar with no craft. As far as i can tell it tastes the same.
  19. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    Indeed- and I would think this thought applies even more to craft brewers. Slight changes in recipe for a regular offering. And, with one-offs, sours/wilds, and seasonal brews- even further afield. How would one cite "consistency" in describing a one-off like the 50/50 Eclipse BA stouts? Or one of the many wild ales brewers produce... if you're relying on wild yeast, is "consistency" from batch to batch the main thing we're looking for?

    Macro lagers are consistent. Big deal. They're consistently low quality beers. Craft beers are not as consistent... but while Coors will always be a consistently bad beer, craft brews are often flavorful and enjoyable. Unlike Consistent Coors.

    Coors guy wants us to judge his beers based on the beers themselves and how consistent they are, not on who brews them. Some of us care who brews the beers we drink.

    And snowrs feels the need to tell all of us how we need to define quality and how we should make our beer choices.
  20. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    Well said.

    Jim Koch is right- it's an impressive industrial feat to consistently brew such a bland beer that any flaws are readily apparent. And consistently brew said beers in massive, industrial quantities.

    Good for them.

    I'll take my artisanal craft beers any day. My definition of quality includes things like flavor.
    YogiBeer, CBlack85 and Icarus like this.
  21. Snowrs

    Snowrs Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    You are then not judging the product but the manufacturer and that is your choice, but your also nullifying you objective view of a beer as a beer which I believe was his statement.

    If you read through I was pointing out that they make a quality product, not anything else, because some were saying it was not. I stand behind that assertion. You can make a quality product of it fulfills all required criteria in a non defective manner. A hamburger slapped together by a 15 yo with no care and no checks is not a quality product. The ingredients in a McDonald's hamburger could produce a quality product if proper controls are in place.
  22. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    I couldn't care less wether you think that or stand by that assertion. Obviously, many of us disagree. Simple as that. So you think Coors makes quality beers. Good for you. I don't.

    Would that assertion also refer to when they were using Pink Slime in their burgers? Or are you just referring to beef that's pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals, like they use now?
    Or do you mean the buns those burgers are served on, which contain, among other things, ammonium chloride and ammonium sulfate?
    How about the ketchup they use, which is loaded with BOTH corn syrup AND high fructose corn syrup?

    Those ingredients could make a quality burger, eh?


    As noted, you have a very interesting definition of "quality".
  23. Crusader

    Crusader Initiate (190) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    It amazes me that they are able to sell a product such as Budweiser 55 or MGD (or Miller 64) at below 3%ABV, at what I assume to be a premium price or close to premium price (unless I'm mistaken and it's sold at a bargain price). I guess this has to do with the fact that in the US the alcohol level is rarely clearly marked when it comes to macro lagers, and thus is rarely considered, whereas in Sweden the alcohol level is clearly marked and equally as important since people dont want to be paying the same amount of money for a 5% beer as for a 3.5 or 2.8% beer. I guess in a way it is healthier though, if people are willing to pay a good amount of money for a sub-3% abv, though one would hope that they would buy a better tasting beer than a 2.8% high attenuated light lager of a close to no IBUs.
  24. Snowrs

    Snowrs Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Again it may be my background but there is a very large contingent that agree with my definition of quality.
  25. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,253) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    How can 'quality" beers as defined by some have the quality defects as pointed on the Beer Talk page.

    I really don't like it when I get an under attenuated beer, an under/over carbonated beer, or one with diacetly, accetaldehyde, chlorophenols, oxidation, or infection.

    Quality can mean what it does to you, but that does not mean that is the only definition. I recommend the Bamforth book. I recommend spending some time in a better brewery that is dedicated to making the best beer they can, and seeing what the brewers do to make that beer. It does not have to be a mega brewer, just one that is dedicated to making defect free beer they don't have to recall, or have kiss the sewer.

    I know this will not change anyones mind.
    Snowrs, grantcty and Chaz like this.
  26. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Yes, and that contingent is in "industry". If you look back a few pages, I said that one of the ways to distinguish between industrial brewers and craft brewers would be the definition of "quality" they were using.

    Next you are going to tell me that some artist didnt do quality work because each of his paintings was unique.
  27. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Those would be poor quality by BOTH definitions being argued about.

    Well, unless it was done on purpose, in which case it might still meet either. :) I think Cantillon makes quality beers, but others say they are infected.
  28. Snowrs

    Snowrs Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    What do you define as industry, any good brewer uses these as a basis for brewing their named beer. Show me a brewer who brews the same beer in large quantities over multiple batches and time periods that is not applying these techniques.
  29. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I didnt say anything about the techniques. I said definition of quality.

    You can use the techniques to try to make a consistent product and still think that quality is determined by taste and not by consistency.

    As Ive said multiple times, Consistency != Quality. Im not anti-consistency, I just call it consistency. Quality means something else.

    Im going to go on along bit here about my thought process on this, it can be nitpicked apart (some of which I will do) but if you are doing that you are missing the big picture:

    Im going to break knowledge down into two categories: Science and Philosophy. Newton and Leibnitz might disagree that they are different (there is my nit) but they are dead, so screw em.

    Applied Science is Engineering. Applied Philosphy is Art. (Yeah, yeah, put down the keyboard, roll with it a bit)

    Craft is, IMO, the synthesis of Engineering and Art.

    Its a spectrum, of course. On one end, you have Tom Long, industrialist (nothing wrong with that, just to be clear). On the other end, you would have Dany Prignon, who is probably closest to pure artist in the brewing world. Most craft brewers fall somewhere in between, using techniques from both engineering/industry and from art in order to CRAFT their beers. Some more or less than others.

    MillerCoors and ABI and some others are so into the industrial mindset that they have completely lost the art. Hence they arent craft brewers. And the Snowrs definition of "quality" is part of this industrial mindset.
  30. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,253) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

  31. Snowrs

    Snowrs Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Is an infected beer poor quality? Is a beer that is flat quality? No they are poor quality beer. The brewer did not do their job and put out a beer of poor quality. When was the last time anyone cracked a can of Coors and it was not what they expected?

    What he knows people ( non BA ) will ultimately judge his "crafty" beers on quality, if Coors put their mind and brewing prowess to producing a beer we (BA's) would all love there is no doubt in my mind they could do it and if it was labeled FFF or Founders this community would drink as much as they could down until it was exposed as a BMC.
  32. Retail1LO

    Retail1LO Initiate (0) May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    What else do we judge them by? Taste=quality. Therefore both are subjective. That said...I don't like the way any BMC beers taste outside of the ones they've gone out of their way to buy out. I think their beer is junk. Yes...they're awesome at making metric fucktons of the stuff with incredible consistency. It's still shit.
  33. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Disciple (363) Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I think what Tom means by "quality" is actually reproduce-ability, and they reproduce crappy beer very well time and time again, and for God's sake please take the words "Triple Hopped" off of miller lites label, its offensive.
  34. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (596) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Not that you probably don't know this already, but beer isn't the only thing on store shelves fighting for space against corporate giants...I'm sure Little Debbie is dancing a freaking jig now that Hostess is a memory. I'll never disagree that the big guys have shady business practices, in fact I find it pretty funny that when you're a beast in sales that you even consider the little guy. That's when you show you're hand and the lack of confidence in what you produce.
  35. mark14580

    mark14580 Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2011 New York

    I don't doubt that's true. I just haven't seen the CEO of hostess come out recently asking us to judge his brownies against some artisanal brownie. And this isn't
  36. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (596) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Lol point taken.
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