Who brews it anyway?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by NeroFiddled, Nov 3, 2014.

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  1. JFrankParnell

    JFrankParnell Initiate (0) Apr 19, 2009 Washington

    With all of the buyouts that are happening and going to happen, this will happen more and more. Anheuser Busch Inbev, just bought 10 Barrel. The already own Leffe, Goose Island, and others. Miller Coors, has also been doing the same. Both of these companies already purchased the small American Style Light Lager companies many years ago, and as their market shrinks in that style, they will be using their weight and money to buy up more and more craft breweries. Welcome to the age of megacorp brewing.
  2. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (532) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Hands down my favorite form of Guinness. The Draught tastes like muddy water, though a perfectly poured pint, over spoon & left to set is hard to pass up. Visually it still looks amazing despite the bland taste on my palate.
  3. FFFjunkie

    FFFjunkie Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2014 Illinois

    Anyone in this thread know why it says "brewed for us" on the Founders' labels?
  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,488) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    The Big Three Two bought very few "small American Style Light Lager companies" in the post-Repeal era. Coors never bought any other brewers, Miller bought Gettleman, the Meister Brau brands and Leinenkugel, and AB bought the Rolling Rock brand (from InBev) and, in the late 1950s, the American Brewing Co. of Miami and it's Regal brand.

    In the last case, the anti-trust Feds made AB sell off the brewery and the brand and prohibited them from buying any other brewing company without prior DoJ approval.

    That set the stage for AB to expand only by building new, modern, highly efficient breweries. Miller, in most cases, also did the same (they did buy Lucky's old Azuza brewery and the Ft. Worth brewery of Carling), and Coors continually expanded their Golden, CO brewery until it became the largest single brewery in the the country and eventually built a new brewery in Virginia after briefly running the old 60's-era Schlitz brewery in Memphis.

    OTOH, the national companies that DID expand by buying other breweries and their brands - Heileman, Falstaff/General, Carling, Stroh, Associated, International, and for all intents - Pabst, etc., all failed, in part, because they were trying to compete by underpricing AB, Miller and Coors yet were running what were in many cases older, more labor-intensive and less-efficient facilities (some that dated back to the 19th century).
    Retroman40 likes this.
  5. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,901) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    When they just about went bankrupt they decided to change and brew the beers they wanted to be drinking. Bolder more flavorful beers. I think it worked . That should explain it.
    PapaGoose03, FFFjunkie and frazbri like this.
  6. frazbri

    frazbri Initiate (0) Oct 29, 2003 Ohio

    You're reading a little too much into that slogan. It's a statement that they brew the kind of beer they like, as opposed to brewing beer they think the market will like.
    FFFjunkie likes this.
  7. TurkeyFeathers

    TurkeyFeathers Initiate (0) Jun 22, 2014 New York

    Could someone explain colaborations to me ?! Who actually does the brewing ?
  8. richobrien

    richobrien Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2013 California

    It would seem that these are often brewers of like mind that want to work with other folks in the industry they respect. I also think its a really good marketing vehicle.

    Some of the collaborations I have seen lately (e.g. Lawson's and Treehouse, Half Acre and MBC) are brewed in one of their facilities.
  9. FFFjunkie

    FFFjunkie Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2014 Illinois

    Thank you for the responses. I knew they have a brewery in Michigan , I just wasn't sure if the slogan was meant literally or figuratively.
  10. Givemebeer

    Givemebeer Zealot (543) Apr 6, 2013 Vermont

    I still feel like despite the technology to alter the PH easily, water does make a difference. Maybe it's the yeast strain, but some Brewers like Lawsons and Hill Farmstead have so many home runs as beers that are unique, it has to be the water.

    I know Rochefort is getting worried they might lose their current source of water. Maybe just because its inconvenient. Just throwing this all out there.
  11. Droopy487

    Droopy487 Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2013 Tennessee

    When I visited Schlafly a little over a month ago I was talking to some employees there and was telling them where I live in Tennessee. They were very open to tell me that all Schlafly beer that we drink in Tennessee is brewed at Blackstone Brewery in Nashville, TN. The web link announcing that is broken, but here is another link that mentions that. It also mentions another brewery that brews their beer for them.

  12. LehighAce06

    LehighAce06 Champion (828) Jul 31, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I don't know if it's the water necessarily... presumably the hops and grain are for all intents and purposes commodity, but the recipes devised to combine them certainly vary. Lots of breweries like those (I don't know about those two in particular) also have "house" strains of yeast that go a long way in defining their beer (you do allude to this, however I'm taking it further that it's not just 'which' yeast, but that it's their yeast). There's also of course the skill of the brewer themselves.

    Water, however, is unlikely to be the culprit. Yes, some locations have distinct water profiles, and may brewers use the water as it comes out of the faucet, which will shape the beer somewhat; however reverse osmosis and chemical additives allow brewers to "build" a water profile in any way they choose, should they bother to take this step. It is much more than just pH.

    Regarding Rochefort: I don't know a ton about it (maybe @jesskidden knows more?), but I know at least in the case of Westvleteren, the water used is from within the walls of the monastery, and while science could theoretically reproduce it, there is something to be said for the 'traditional' source. It's very possible that this is Rochefort's concern. My comments dismissing the impact of a water's source apply much more to American brewers where the source is almost exclusively going to be municipal supply, and treatment is much more likely.
    Givemebeer likes this.
  13. misternebbie

    misternebbie Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Iron City makes Blockhouse, not a true craft but a nice offering, I'm really enjoying the double chocolate bock
  14. Bshaw22

    Bshaw22 Champion (889) Aug 29, 2013 Wisconsin

    Sam Adams had a lot of contract brewing until they built their new brewery. I know Latrobe was brewing a ton of it. The City Brewing Company does a ton of contract stuff: LaCross, WI (old Old Style), Latrobe (Old Rolling Rock), and Memphis (Old Coors Brewery).
  15. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,488) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Boston Beer Co. hasn't depended on their contract brewers since they bought (not "built") the multi-million barrel capacity brewery outside Allentown PA built by Schaefer in the 1970s from Diageo in 2008. Before that, they were brewing about 1/3 or more of their total yearly barrelage at the former Schoenling brewery in Cincinnati they bought in the late 1990s.
    The actual Latrobe Brewing Co., brewers of Rolling Rock? Don't recall them ever doing any contracting for BBC. After City bought the old Latrobe brewery in 2006, BBC did some contracting with them but that soon ended when BBC bought what they call the Samuel Adams Pennsylvania Brewery in Breinigsville, PA noted above a couple of years later.

    BBC's Samuel Adams' contractor breweries have been, more or less in chronological order:
    Pittsburgh Brewing Company
    Heileman (Blitz-Weinhard subsidiary)
    Stroh (Allentown, PA and above after they purchased Heileman)
    Genesee/High Falls
    F X Matt
    City (Latrobe, PA and La Crosse, WI)
    Miller (Tumwater, WA, Eden, NC)​

    Well, they own and market the brand, but it is brewed in City's Latrobe brewery, just as the other Iron City brands are and have been since they closed the Pittsburgh brewery back in 2009.
    Why isn't it? According to the new Brewers Association definition that drops the old percentage limit on adjunct beers and changes the definition of "traditional" to allow adjuncts, Iron City Brewing Co., even as a "marketing company", qualifies as a "craft brewer".
    steveh likes this.
  16. Bshaw22

    Bshaw22 Champion (889) Aug 29, 2013 Wisconsin

    You quoted only a portion of my post. I went on to say that City Brewer owned Latrobe. The Latrobe Brewery that used to brew Rolling Rock is the same brewery the City owns. So yes, per your list below they were brewing Sam Adams for a period of time.
  17. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,488) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    The name of company that previously owned the brewery in Latrobe, PA was Latrobe Brewing Co. - when Anheuser-Busch bought the brand name "Rolling Rock" they also bought the corporate name "Latrobe Brewing Co. (as noted above)"

    So, it is confusing (if not simply incorrect) to say that "...Latrobe (< meaning the company) was brewing a ton of it." As you note, City Brewing Co.'s brewery in Latrobe did contract brew for BBC. That was my only point, but I should have been more specific.

    (It would be a lot less confusing on everyone if City gave their brewery in Latrobe a name, as they did for their Memphis brewery - "Blues City Brewery" :wink: ).
    #97 jesskidden, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  18. Dachs

    Dachs Initiate (0) Oct 17, 2014 Ohio

    I always loved Leinenkugel's and even though its now owned by SAB, I still drink it (partly because its the only Wisconsin beer that I can get here in Ohio). The day that they stop making it in Wisconsin though, Im out.
  19. ahq514

    ahq514 Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2010 Illinois

    Cahoots is a separate brewery just using 10/90's equipment for now. They will be opening a brewery in Oak Park sometime soon.
  20. evianIPA

    evianIPA Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2011 Australia

    In Australia, it's quite common for emerging breweries to 'contract brew', but AFAIK some brewers just supply recipes to breweries such as Southern Bay who then take it from there.
    Other breweries, such as Mountain Goat, produce their own kegged and special release beer, and outsource their year round brewing and bottling to another brewery.
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