Author Topic: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth  (Read 9188 times)

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #45 on: December 14, 2012, 12:45:51 PM »
I think it might be worthwhile to examine this idea that the macros make cheap, fizzy yellow water because that's what the consumer really wants. I disagree with that idea as well. It's not how market forces work. Yes if they made a beer that actually tasted like piss that would be one thing. But as was pointed out in an article that I think was posted on here at some point, since the 1970's budweiser has reduced the amount of hops in it's beer by 2/3. It's not because the consumer demanded a less hoppy brew it's just that AB found that if they reduced the hop presence bit by bit they could trick their consumers into drinking less hoppy beer AND reduce the cost of production and thus increase profits.

Humans are alarmingly susceptable to suggestion and the macros maintain their dominance of the market by hammering their brands into our heads all the time not by maintaining the very best quality product in their segment. Quality can't drop below a certain point where the product becomes actually disgusting to the majority of it's consumers but beyond that profit margins rule.

Can you explain why the German Pilsners have lost a lot of IBUs over the same period?

many of them have been purchased by the big conglomerates haven't they? Cost of hops has gone up, focus groups show that 'most' consumers can't tell the difference or don't mind?

Has it been done as a gradual reduction as AB did? or all at once with associated marekting to tell us how the beer is now better and less bitter?

The Oxford Companion has some statistics for the industry. The min, average and max for the large samples tested over the years has gone down across the board. I think the brewers are chasing the customer's taste. If you are an old fart like me you can remember that bitter things had a larger part in life, even in thing like Horehound candy. Cheaper sugar now is used to make almost everything sweet.

I can post the data later. Busy with starters now.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #46 on: December 14, 2012, 02:07:38 PM »
I believe I read somewhere that they have cut the bitterness down to reach a wider market.  More women drink beer now than in the past and I know around my house, bitter beer does not cut it with the ladies.  More for me, I guess. 8)
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #47 on: December 14, 2012, 02:34:08 PM »
August Schell responds
http://beerpulse.com/2012/12/august-schell-brewing-to-ba-in-response-to-craft-vs-crafty-shame-on-you/

Kinda interesting that they once brewed Three Floyds Alpha King at AS. I guess back then TF wasn't craft? ;)
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Offline nateo

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #48 on: December 14, 2012, 02:40:45 PM »
August Schell responds
http://beerpulse.com/2012/12/august-schell-brewing-to-ba-in-response-to-craft-vs-crafty-shame-on-you/

Kinda interesting that they once brewed Three Floyds Alpha King at AS. I guess back then TF wasn't craft? ;)

My favorite line: "For you to say that the three oldest, family-owned breweries in America are “not traditional” is downright disrespectful, rude and quite frankly, embarrassing."

I didn't realize they put out a poster blacklisting so many "adjunct" brewers like that. WTF is the BA thinking, saying that adjuncts are not 'traditional' in a light American lager?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 02:45:07 PM by nateo »
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #50 on: December 14, 2012, 03:26:58 PM »
I use a lot of corn in various homebrews, and started playing with rice. Just saying.

As for the IBU's in German Pilsners. data from OCB, page 388, anaylsis by the VLB of hundred tested yearly.

year Min Avg Max IBUs
1973 16, 34, 50
1995 no entry, 30, no entry
2005 no entry, 27, no entry
2008 13, 26, 37

For comparison World Beer Cup 30 to 40 IBUs
BJCP 25 to 45 IBU

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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #51 on: December 14, 2012, 03:37:33 PM »
See it's gradual. You make gradual changes you your recipe when you DON'T want your consumers to notice. If you are doing it to pull in new customers you make the keystone "bitter beer face" ad campaign. I stick by my hypothesis that these changes are driven exclusivly by profit margins and not by quality concerns.

I am not saying that small artisinal brewers are doing it purely for the love of the thing but I am saying that the standards a company chooses to hold itself to has a lot to do with the end quality of their products. And the big boys in the industry choose to hold themselves to standards that seem more driven by profit motive than by taste.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #52 on: December 14, 2012, 03:55:04 PM »
yeah, i gots to find some of their beer. i agree that it is somewhat off that corn and rice are adjuncts and that wheat and rye, oatmeal, etc get a pass.  i also believe that just because a beer hasn't had the hell hopped out of it (that sounds kind of naughty) that it isn't a good beer.
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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #53 on: December 14, 2012, 03:57:49 PM »
yeah, i gots to find some of their beer. i agree that it is somewhat off that corn and rice are adjuncts and that wheat and rye, oatmeal, etc get a pass.  i also believe that just because a beer hasn't had the hell hopped out of it (that sounds kind of naughty) that it isn't a good beer.

+1. nothing wrong with corn and rice in their place. I kind of like the hitacho nest red rice ale. and there are lots of low hop beers I like.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #54 on: December 14, 2012, 04:22:54 PM »
just checked schell's web site. does not appear to be in illinois, oddly though i have a neighbor that had brought home some of the grain belt premium which is actually pretty good.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #55 on: December 14, 2012, 04:43:37 PM »
See it's gradual. You make gradual changes you your recipe when you DON'T want your consumers to notice. If you are doing it to pull in new customers you make the keystone "bitter beer face" ad campaign. I stick by my hypothesis that these changes are driven exclusivly by profit margins and not by quality concerns.

I am not saying that small artisinal brewers are doing it purely for the love of the thing but I am saying that the standards a company chooses to hold itself to has a lot to do with the end quality of their products. And the big boys in the industry choose to hold themselves to standards that seem more driven by profit motive than by taste.
Yes it is gradual, but remember that at the same time higher alpha hops were being grown in the Hallertau, which is a savings when you use a 10+AA hop vs a 4 to 5 AA hop. Some of the dumbing down may be the bohnen counters, but some is due to the mass market wanting less taste.

If you speak German you can find this interesting. The "Fernsehbiere" i.e. Beer advertised on TV, are all indistinguishable. The hops and malt have been lost. They do decry hop extract and Sinimar. Interesting that this was done by a TV station after Sierra Nevada got the 2010 WBC Gold, a real watershed moment for Germans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4mhuxXHD2M
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Offline marty

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #56 on: December 14, 2012, 07:24:52 PM »
good for Schells, what an asinine list from the BA

Offline udubdawg

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #57 on: December 14, 2012, 08:31:33 PM »
good for Schells, what an asinine list from the BA

yeah nice job by Schells.

I expect BA to know the history of adjunct lagers.  Then they list their definitions of craft and "small" and then on the same page say numerous <6M breweries are not small.  C'mon.

"Drink local beer from the little guy" - I could get behind that message.  "Be aware that some of what looks like craft beer is owned by the big guys." - I already knew but hey thanks for the heads-up.
But they didn't stop there, and this whole clumsy attempt by the BA was embarrassing.

Offline joeysmokedporter

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #58 on: December 15, 2012, 05:50:39 AM »
I'm worried that if BMC makes better beer, I won't be able to sneer derisively at their customers for their lack of "proper" taste. I can keep judging people by their taste in music and clothes, though, right?

This made me laugh. Beer snobbery does nothing good to advance the cause of craft brewing, and I don't think it's my business to tell people what to drink or not.

I don't think beer snobbery was the point of the BA's release--I read it as more trying to advance the causes of the breweries BA advocates--but excluding brewers like Yuengling and Schells won't do anything to dispel the perception that there is underlying snobbery particularly related to anything using adjuncts. Which is silly when you consider, as August Schell pointed out, the extensive use of adjuncts in Belgians and double IPAs.

Edit: should have been "snobbery particularly related to light lager styles using adjuncts", not anything using adjuncts. Conveniently Belgians and double IPAs using adjuncts fit the "what is craft beer law".
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 05:59:50 AM by joeysmokedporter »
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Offline joeysmokedporter

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #59 on: December 15, 2012, 05:57:36 AM »
See it's gradual. You make gradual changes you your recipe when you DON'T want your consumers to notice. If you are doing it to pull in new customers you make the keystone "bitter beer face" ad campaign. I stick by my hypothesis that these changes are driven exclusivly by profit margins and not by quality concerns.

I am not saying that small artisinal brewers are doing it purely for the love of the thing but I am saying that the standards a company chooses to hold itself to has a lot to do with the end quality of their products. And the big boys in the industry choose to hold themselves to standards that seem more driven by profit motive than by taste.

I understand the point that customers don't necessarily ask for something, but if the products of the large conglomerates didn't meet a need, then people wouldn't buy them. No one asked for an iPod, but did Apple manipulate people into thinking they wanted one, or did they provide a product that met a need? It seems like you're saying that the big brewers are manipulating drinkers into drinking less flavorful beer (or did I misinterpret?), but I don't think they would have as much of the market as they do without meeting some kind of need.

The price of rice and corn are higher than malt, as pointed out by both August Schell and Stone Brewing's Mitch Steele in a recent interview on Basic Brewing Radio. That shoots a gaping hole through the "profit motive".

Companies (including brewers, regardless of their size) have a right to look for ways to make more money. You and I and everyone else have the right and the ability to choose or not choose their products.
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