NYT Op-Ed: Don't Fear Big Beer

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by moga, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. moga

    moga New Member

    As a pretty passionate beer enthusiast, I am glad to learn that the tide is changing for the better in the arena of craft beers and that microbrewing has begun to leave its mark on the industry in America. Personally, I would rather drink recycled motor oil than ingest a pint of Bud, Coors, Miller, or any other mass produced USA beer to which I use the moniker "water" to refer. Yuk. Although I still have a soft spot for Lowenbrau. Just a timeless recipe I suppose, mixed in with a lil bit of nostalgia.

    I don't get super exotic in my choices in toddie, but I prefer a Red Hook IPA, or Newcastle, Sierra Nevada, or Sam Winter any ole day. Hell, I'm even known to wink at a Blue Moon on tap now and again. While I'm on the subject, I sure am glad I "discovered" Sweet Water upon arriving in GA. 420 is now enjoyed regularly 'round here, especially on weekends while next to the grill (BBQ is my "other" passion). Gotta support the local economy, you know?


    Cheers, Moga

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/19/opini ... ei=5087%0A

    Don’t Fear Big Beer

    October 19, 2007
    Op-Ed Contributor


    JUST 10 years ago, the proposed merger of SABMiller and Molson Coors into MillerCoors would have worried craft brewers. Back then, “American beer†was thought of as a cheap product with very little beer flavor. But today the United States has by far the most exciting beer culture in the world, and America’s 1,500 craft brewers are undaunted by the prospect of a juggernaut that would have 30 percent of the domestic market. The age of American industrial brewing is over.

    Craft brewers used to be called “microbreweries,†but many of us are not so micro anymore. And the people who once thought the craft brewing movement was a fad can now see it for what it really is — a welcome return to normality.

    In the 19th century, there were more than 4,000 breweries in the United States, brewing almost every sort of beer made in Europe and a few indigenous American varieties besides. By 1870, Brooklyn was one of the great brewing capitals of the world, with 48 breweries. People bought meat from the butcher, bread from the baker, coffee from the roaster and beer from the local brewer.

    But by 1970, almost everyone shopped at the supermarket, frozen food and “TV dinners†were godsends, and we had about 40 breweries left in the entire country, all making the same bland beer.

    Now Americans are moving away from spongy industrial bread, watery coffee, plasticized “cheese†and other wonders of modern food science. The top maker of white supermarket bread went bankrupt a few years ago.

    Industrial beer is still the vast majority of the American market, and it’s not going away tomorrow, but there is no future in it. While industrial beers suffer flat or declining sales, craft brewers are experiencing double-digit growth. The big brewers now try to copy craft beers. European brewers, who once laughed at watery American beer, now look to the United States for inspiration.

    MillerCoors is not a threat to craft brewers but a warning: we should not walk the road of overexpansion or be tempted by the lowest common denominator of the mass market. Miller, Coors and Anheuser-Busch were once small breweries making fine local beer, too.

    If we truly want to restore the vibrant beer culture that flourished in this country before Prohibition, craft brewers need to retain the values and goals — creating beers that are flavorful, interesting to drink and made from proper beer ingredients — that put us on the map in the first place. Let’s not undo American beer again.

    Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery, is the author of âœThe Brewmaster’s Table.â€
  2. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    While I'm not a big fan of Sweetwater's beers (the IPA and Blue are pretty good), the tour/tasting is definitely worth $8.

    EDIT: They also need volunteers to help bottle. They don't pay you, but word on the street is that you don't go thirsty.

  3. merlock

    merlock Active Member

    When I drink beer, it's just Sierra Nevada. 8)
  4. AeroShooter

    AeroShooter Active Member

    As a home brewer, I for one welcome our new hop & malt bearing overlords.
  5. asbrand

    asbrand Active Member

    If you want some truly interesting, and tasty beer...try the brand "Baltika" from Russia.


    I had this both times I visited Russia, and I *LOVE* them. I swear, Baltika #6 tastes like pumpernickle bread in a bottle. 8)

    Found a place up in NY that will ship beer (and other Russian foods) down here:


    Not bad prices either...
  6. RepeatDefender

    RepeatDefender New Member

    Nice! Another Newcastle fan! Great stuff, but 'tis Ale...not beer! :D
  7. M249

    M249 New Member

    Great Post!

    I'm not a Sweetwater fan, but I love Sweetwater Summer Hummer. I've always been St. Pauli Girl, Guiness, and Smithwicks kind of guy, but recently, I have decided that I have no problem with an ice cold draft Bud Light on a hot day.
  8. pyromaster

    pyromaster Member

    Good article. I think the law allowing us to have high gravity beers here definately helps weaken the imperial stranglehold of the big American beers. Any other Belgian fans here? Here are some of my favorites
    Chimay Blue
    Koenig's Hoven (aka La Trappe) Quadruple
    Rochefort 10

    Have any of you tried any smoked beer? Now that's an interesting tasteSchlenkerla Rauchbier is something I enjoy 1 bottle of every now and then.
  9. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    Oh, I do like Chimay Blue. One of my favorites ever is the Maredsous 10. I like tripels in general, and this one is excellent.
  10. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

    Delirium Tremens is rather good.

    Only place I've ever found it was at the new Whole Foods on State Bridge.
  11. Thorsen

    Thorsen New Member

    Yay! A beer thread!

    Man, do I love my beer (for those of you who have met me and seen my ginormous beer belly, you will have to agree that I do love my beer).

    I can't really name a favorite though. A real pilsner (not that crap the big beer companies call pilsner) is nice. But I also enjoy ales, porter, stouts and lagers.

    When I can find someone who serves it at the right temperature with the right amount of gas I like Guiness on tap. In Atlanta, I would have to say that Fado's Irish Pub serves the best Guiness I have ever tasted. They follow the instructions of the brewery and make sure that they keep and serve their Guiness at the right temperature and in the correct manner.

    For supermarket variety stuff, I tend to buy either Harp, Newcastle or Sam Adams, but I will occasionally buy a Warsteinner if I can find it. While I haven't found it lately, I also like McEwens or Tennants beer.

    Life is too short to drink crappy beer.
  12. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    I haven't looked here, but I could find it at every liquor store in Houston. I wonder if this is a distribution thing.
  13. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

    Fado does serve a proper Guinness.

    Kevin Barry's in Savannah does as well.
  14. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

    Yea, I'd rather waste money on gun stuff.
  15. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

    I always go for the Guiness, only from the tap though. As for as the supermarket beer, Sam Adams, specially the cream stout and cherry wheat.
  16. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

    I'm rather fond of Abita, as well.

    The Purple Haze is the best flavored beer I've ever had.
  17. Macktee

    Macktee New Member

    I have never really developed a taste for beer. I've tried. God knows, I've tried, but I just don't like it.

    Bourbon? Oh yeah! I love bourbon. Really I do!!! Not Scotch or Canadian, although I can just barely tolerate some Irish whiskey and most Cognac. Bourbon, however, is the nectar of the gods. I love the stuff.

    Hey! I am an authentic, genuine, for real, signed by the governor Kentucky Colonel! So, Ah haz to wuv bourbon!

    Fortunately, Ah duz!

    Ah abb-soo-wute-wee wuvs id!!!

    I wanted to be a bourbon taster until I discovered my palette isn't that discerning and they spit rather than swallow. Really! What's with that??? Wasteful! That's what it is...

    But beer? Dey shoudda left it inside da horse!

    Someone sent me a couple of really cute Russian beer commercial videos. They're neat, cool, funny, clever and showcase two of the hottest babes I've seen in quite a while. Quite a loooooong while in fact! Actually, I do believe my monitor is still smoking, just ever so slightly...

    Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to post them here. If there is, could someone please tell me how. Until that happens, if anyone would like to view them, send me an e-mail at mmctighe at comcast dot net and I'll send them to youse. I liked them and think most guys also will. Like them, that is......... Actually, I think, most gals probably will too, just for different reasons.

    Cheers! :cheers:
  18. moga

    moga New Member

    I tried Tap Room Brewery out of WI recently. Pale Ale, Amber Lager, and something else. I think plain-vanilla Lager.

    Yummy, and economical! Especially the Pale Ale (one of my favs).
  19. tace

    tace New Member

    It was all good until you wrote these.

    Couple of months ago, my wife got a six pack of Bud Light or Coors Light (whatever they are all the same crap) to make Beer Chicken. She used up only 2 bottles. Then one day as I was thirsty and out of regular beer, I opened up an ice cold bottle of this stuff. After the 3rd sip, the rest went down the drain.

    :sick: na'ah never again!!!

    Did I mention that daddy used to be an exec with the holding company that bottled Lowenbrau? Lot's of free cases of that stuff before I even turned 16 :D

    Best beer I ever had? Fresh Heinei Dark on tap at Amsterdam while I was jet lagged (probably 17 yrs old).
  20. Opus X

    Opus X Member

    I like mine loaded with hops,

    like Tupper's Hop Pocket from Old Dominion Brewery in VA, and Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin in Athens.