Sounds like Dr. Seuss

The Dirty Secret – What the Big (M)ass Brewers Don’t Want You to Know

I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I can tell you there is a serious threat to our craft beer.  This threat is created when a brewer decides to drive profits at the expense of quality.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a capitalist.  I just don’t think brewers need to deceive their loyal customers to increase their margins.

Years ago I used to really enjoy Oberon from Bell’s Brewery.  It had a beautiful orange color and a relatively high abv.  It was seasonal and its annual release signaled that spring was finally here.  I really liked it. In fact it was the only wheat beer that I really enjoyed (sorry wheat fans).  I bought it by the case at Costco.  My empty cardboard cases  were stacked 4’ high by the end of summer.

A couple of years passed and I found myself suffering another miserable Michigan winter.  Oberon was released and I raced to Costco to buy my cherished Oberon.  I ceremoniously removed the cap from a bottle that had been carefully retrieved from that proud blue and yellow cardboard container.  I brought the sweet nectar to my lips.  Something was wrong.  The beer tasted weak.  The color was light and I could almost detect the smell of corn! Corn in my Oberon!  I suffered through that case and didn’t buy any more until the next year when I tried that year’s batch.  It was worse than the year before!  The brewery had enjoyed a significant expansion and when they increased sales volume, they cheapened the recipe.  Bells Brewing had become just another Big (M)ass brewer.

Bell's Oberon full of Fruit -  What a nightmare
Violation of Beer Rule #1 Bell’s Oberon full of Fruit – What a nightmare

Bell’s is not alone in the pursuit to deceive.  I remember when Sam Adams beer was rich and powerful stuff.  They grew and ruined their beer too.  Now it’s only a degree better than a Bud (ouch).  Don’t blame contract brewing for this one, blame InBev.                                       

Sounds like Dr. Seuss
Sam in a Can

Sam Adams

As I see craft beer take off (at the expense of the big guys) I hope dearly that my favs stick to their principles and keep making real beer.  New Belgium, Founders – hey I’m rooting for you but I’ll drop you like a bad Oberon if cheapen it up.

Seems Business Week agrees with my world view on this one

The plot to ruin America’s Beer

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David
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David

Founder at Sommbeer
Host of Sommbeer
Faith, Family and Beer always in that order.
"We don't take serious beer too seriously"
"I encourage you to accept my opinions as fact."
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David
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