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(Some Beer Drinker)   New book claims everything you know about American beer history is wrong   (powells.com) divider line 61
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7815 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Oct 2006 at 7:41 AM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-10-12 07:43:29 AM
I'm more concerned with my next beer, as opposed to beers that have occured in the past.
 
2006-10-12 07:44:11 AM
Death to laugh track knob!
 
2006-10-12 07:46:44 AM
I blame president Woodrow Wilson
 
2006-10-12 07:48:39 AM
I don't know that I necessarily buy the argument that American mega-brewers started using adjuncts because it was impossible to make good pilsner with American 6-row barley.

I mean, the obvious solution would be to use the same kind of barley found in Czechoslovakia, right? Import it or grow it here.

Rice or corn does NOT make better beer. Get yourself a bottle of Pilsner Urquell or any other traditional pilsner from the Old World. Take the Pepsi challenge with it and any American-style pilsner.

It's no contest.
 
2006-10-12 07:51:46 AM
Instead of

images.barnesandnoble.com

I'll take:

www.execulink.com


Travels with Barley
/I LOL'd at the title.....
 
2006-10-12 07:53:00 AM
Wow. That was really pretty interesting for such a short article. That book might make a pretty decent holiday gift for more than a few people.

I drink bud light more than anything else, will drink just about any beer though. I certainly enjoy microbrews accross the whole variety from Lagers to Doublebocks and Barleywine Style Ales. It does kinda make sense. The light flavor in an American light beer is really refreshing on a hot day. Seems like a climate thing vs germany and England.

/nvr been to Europe.
/Paulaner is delicious.
 
2006-10-12 08:01:21 AM
The whole premise is flawed - they use the words "American" "lager" "pilsner" and "flavor" in the same context.

\cue "American beer is like making love in a canoe" jokes
\\I water my lawn with Budweiser
 
2006-10-12 08:04:39 AM
King_of_the_Cows

I don't know that I necessarily buy the argument that American mega-brewers started using adjuncts because it was impossible to make good pilsner with American 6-row barley.

I mean, the obvious solution would be to use the same kind of barley found in Czechoslovakia, right? Import it or grow it here.


I think you just won the thread.
 
2006-10-12 08:05:41 AM
Beer snob thread in 3...2...

www.lab1663.net
 
2006-10-12 08:09:28 AM
Uh, let's see :
British style Ales across the colonies - then out of favour after the war, then Whiskey, then the Germans come and make lager locally, then they pasteurize it in Milwaukee - Then beer goes away for a while, local breweries close... then 18th Amendment goes away - which creates the empires of Pabst/Schlitz/Hamms/Miller/Bud - Bud wins = domination until the 80's when someone said 'hey this tastes like p**s!' and makes microbrews.

/More of a pamphlet or a run-on sentence than a book, no?
 
2006-10-12 08:10:15 AM
Yes, better production techniques got them to where they are. But this guy is looking at the current megabreweries through serious rose coloured glasses.

High dextrine malt, large % of adjunct, ferment it right out, water it down, add isomerised hop extract, serve with a large dash of marketing.

This is not how craft brewers make beer. It is not the romance you think it is.

/makes his own craft brews
//good ones
///won prizes and everything
 
2006-10-12 08:18:04 AM
Just because Henry Ford knew how to make the same car in mass quantities at a good price does not mean it's the best car, just the best car at the price.

I honestly think that at $0.30 per 12 oz bottle, Budweiser (regular) is an okay beer. But once you push the $1/bottle mark, the good stuff really comes out. It's all about whether you think it's worth 3x the price or more. If you need enough beer to get you through a race/game, it's often not worth it. If you want a beer or two after work, it definitely is.
 
hlx
2006-10-12 08:18:50 AM
Total BS. Pilsners and budvars never needed rice when brewed in Czech so this story is total crap. Also the author uses a little sleight of hand- it was 2 or 4 row barley used prior to prohibition not 6. Rice may be more expensive than 4 row barley but it was definetly cheaper than 6 row.

What the author needs is a good slap in the head and a pointing at something called the 'Reinsheitsgebot"
 
2006-10-12 08:20:17 AM
That's a bunch of shiate. During prohibition sweet drinks became more popular, people simply lost their taste for traditional beers and ales because soda pop and the like were heavily marketed to the American public.
After 13 years people were dying to get a beer, but their tastes had changed. The big breweries had to 'sweeten' their product. Thus the high dextrine malt and rice.

Guiness, please.
 
hlx
2006-10-12 08:22:39 AM
Here subby, I fixed it for you:

New book proves everything the writer knows about American beer history is wrong
 
2006-10-12 08:36:20 AM
www.beermania.be

www.ratebeer.com

www.ratebeer.com

/gettin' thirsty
 
2006-10-12 08:40:25 AM
In summary...

You get what you pay for.
 
2006-10-12 08:42:08 AM
NikolaiFarkoffIt's all about whether you think it's worth 3x the price or more. If you need enough beer to get you through a race/game, it's often not worth it. If you want a beer or two after work, it definitely is.

I could not have said it better myself. So I didn't.
 
2006-10-12 08:49:38 AM
img.epinions.com



static.flickr.com



www.cranberryliquors.com

/is it too early for Beer?
//nope
 
2006-10-12 08:51:24 AM
Here's some beer advice - stay away from the Root Beer Brew in the Sam Adams Brewer Patriot Collection.
Worst beer in recorded history.
Seriously.
Worse than watery megabrewery stuff. Worse than the beer with the chili pepper floating in it. Worse than the beer with the dead mouse in the bottle. Oh man, it's bad.
 
2006-10-12 08:52:56 AM
It's never too early for beer.

Has anyone else tried Yeungling's Porter? We just got it here in Eastern NC. For Yuengling, it's not bad and very reasonably priced.
 
2006-10-12 08:53:27 AM
Only 2 American beers I can stomach, Sam Adams Porter and Shiner Boch. Fat Tire isn't so bad. We had a Celis Brewery in Austin that made a few good beers, but i haven't seen it around lately. Any suggestions for Texas brews?

Spaten, Franziskaner, Pauliner... they all taste relatively the same, but goddamn they're good. Young's Oatmeal is a all time favorite. Taste just as good at room temp as it does chilled.

/use to be a beer snob.
 
hlx
2006-10-12 09:03:53 AM
Oh well, seeing the "pictures of bottles of beer" have started appearing I guess we can forget about any decent discussion regarding american brewing techniques in the early 1900s. Pity, could have been a good discussion too.
 
2006-10-12 09:14:04 AM
hlx,

Do you have a source for your argument that the author is wrong regarding rice being more expensive than 6 row barley in the mid-late 1800's?
 
2006-10-12 09:17:53 AM
Some obvious mistakes in the short article:

1. Anchor Steam wasnt a new kind of beer. Steam beer was very popular in SF in the 19th century. Maytag just brought it back.

2. It failed to cover the (admittedly very localized) trend of early 20th century beer in Louisville. KY Common, basically a dark cream ale, was by far the most common pre-prohibition beer in Louisville. The estimate from Falls City Brewing Co for one year (either 1910 or 1912) was that 85% of the beer sold in Louisville was Ky Common. Pseudo-pilseners didnt take over until after prohibition ended.

/The adjunct with 6 row thing is real. Ky Commons used corn to go with the 6 row also.
 
2006-10-12 09:27:47 AM
THEY STOLE THE RECIPE!

img216.imageshack.us

Not Impressed.
 
2006-10-12 09:29:50 AM
This guy is wrong.
Comparing today's bud with the likes of Pilsner Urquell and German style-lagers is like comparing apples to oranges. What would be a close comparison would be to compare the bud of the 1860 to pilsner Urquell and German style-lagers. That would be fair. The bud of today as has been so watered down it's gross. The bud (and other beers of that time) had flavor, bitterness and body and was a very good beer. Take a look here
http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue3.5/renner.html

On the issue of 6 row vs., 2 row malted barley, again he is wrong. You can (and I have) made great beers with American 6 row barley. You also NEED 6 row barley to make beer that contains rice and or corn. 2 row barley doesn't have the high enzymes need to convert the rice and corn starch into sugars they yeast can convert to etoh and co2/beer

I often wonder why the mega swill producers don't look back into its past and pull out its 1860 era recipes and brew THAT beer again. It would be great and have an instant following with real beer drinkers. (Miller 1864 is the same crap in a different bottle)

I think this guy needs to study a bit more beer FACTS
 
2006-10-12 09:39:34 AM
Thus, the fact that these cities didn't have large local markets ironically became the reason most of the major brewers were located there

Uh, no, the fact that pasteurization (sp) had not been invented/discovered yet made transporting beer long distances or storing for long periods became the reason most cities had their own local breweries
 
2006-10-12 09:46:27 AM
So... why should I buy this book? The review covered everything in it!

BTW, ahabtrudge, what is that magestic brew in that top picture?
 
2006-10-12 09:51:34 AM
Someone needs to clue in the author. Snobery has nothing to do with beer or how it's made. It's a product of weak personalities desparately trying to feel superior.
 
2006-10-12 09:53:36 AM
Well there is less hops today in Budweiser and the company quietly admitted that in a WSJ article a few months back. Secondly Budweiser today does not use Saaz as a main hop in their beer, which is a defining characteristic of the Czech Pilsner style. There are many other way in which the beer has been cheapened but I do not have the knowledge to properly describe them. Id recommoend Sierra Nevada Summerfest as a good example of an American Czech Pilsner, but the season for it has already passed.
 
2006-10-12 10:12:45 AM
Since we are pointing out errors...

The answer was found in Bohemia (today's Czechoslovakia)

Czechoslovakia was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1918 until early 1993

Unless today is 1993...in which case I'm still married. Oy vey.
 
2006-10-12 10:25:07 AM
UNC_Samurai
It's never too early for beer.

Has anyone else tried Yeungling's Porter? We just got it here in Eastern NC. For Yuengling, it's not bad and very reasonably priced.


Yuengling Black and Tan is pretty good too.

PenguinTheRed

BTW, ahabtrudge, what is that magestic brew in that top picture?

That my friend would be Corsendonk Abbey Brown Ale, and it is one of the finest ales that I have ever tasted.
 
2006-10-12 10:27:42 AM
That wasn't a review it was a detailed summary. Now I don't need to buy the book.
 
2006-10-12 10:51:54 AM
King_of_the_Cows: Rice or corn does NOT make better beer. Get yourself a bottle of Pilsner Urquell or any other traditional pilsner from the Old World. Take the Pepsi challenge with it and any American-style pilsner.

Pilsner Urquell is awesome. Also good "light" (as in taste, not calories) beers: IPA (esp. Red Hook) and Hefeweizen (esp. Shiner).

/beer snob
//spent four years in college drinking cheap beer, and that's more than enough
 
2006-10-12 10:53:26 AM
h3lx wrote: Only 2 American beers I can stomach, Sam Adams Porter and Shiner Boch. Fat Tire isn't so bad. We had a Celis Brewery in Austin that made a few good beers, but i haven't seen it around lately. Any suggestions for Texas brews?

Celis was bought by Miller and they killed it. It was competing for shelf space with their fake microbrews (Pete's Leinenkugels's). As is the case w/ the big malt beverage corporations, they killed their competition. Damn shame.

Mr. Celis is brewing again though. He has two Belgian beers that are now available in Texas, and he will be brewing w/ Real Ale soon. He's doing a couple of specialty brews in their brewery. Look for them.

If you want a good Texas beer, try Real Ale. It may not be in too many places in Dallas yet, but I'll bet the Flying Saucer and Whole Foods have it. Their Brewhouse Brown is a great dark beer, more like a porter than a traditional American brown ale. Give it a try.

As for the article, it's total crap. He states that the first brewers were German. False!

The first brewers were English settlers. Almost all of the founding fathers of this nation brewed beer. Most made cider, and they all loved rum, but there was a healthy homebrewing movement. Fruit beers (such as pumpkin and cranberry) were popular as were porters and dark beers.

He also hints that Americans are somehow lesser for liking light-flavored beers ("The majority of American beer drinkers really do like the light flavor. Go figure"). What an ignorant statement. Light beers are more difficult to make as the brewer has to be really careful not to let any one flavor overpower the brew. A well-made pils is heavenly. Balanced and light, yet full of subtile, delicate flavor. Try the great Victory Prima Pils if you want a light beer that is anything but boring.

 
2006-10-12 10:54:56 AM
South Carolina BigFish: This guy is wrong.

it was written by I chick I think... She was at the WBF in Durham last weekend pimping the book and I dare say she knows a lot more about beer than some of you'se. Less than some others tho.
 
2006-10-12 11:02:35 AM
MasterThief: /beer snob

not if you're drinking that crap.... If you want a good IPA try a Dogfish Head or one of the Victory brand IPAs. I had a Flying Dog IPA that was super tasty too. For Wheat I like Blue Star Wheat a lot. I think it's made by Left Hand or Left Coast or Left something. I generally don't drink a hefeweizen unless it's German. Haven't really found one made in the US that I like, and shiner is shiate.

/not a beer snob
 
2006-10-12 11:02:42 AM
She sounds like a shill for the big brewers. I'm not going to dismiss her claims out of hand just because they contradict what I've come to understand from my casual studies; but she'd better have lots of good references and footnotes to back her up. That said, color me a skeptic.

/Relax,
//Don't worry,
///Have a homebrew!
 
2006-10-12 11:07:44 AM
Howard Zinn wrote a beer book?
 
2006-10-12 11:29:28 AM
I don't care what that guy thinks, rice has never and will never improve a beer. Barley malt, hops, yeast, water. That's it. I'll make special exceptions for wheat beers and seasonal fruity things (pumpkin beer, yum). Never rice, it's for sake, and never corn, it's for bourbon.
 
2006-10-12 11:41:25 AM
For Wheat I like Blue Star Wheat a lot. I think it's made by Left Hand or Left Coast or Left something.

North Coast out of Fort Bragg, California. Good wheat brew.

and shiner is shiate.

Correct.

Shiner used to be a true lager. It was 100% barley and aged for weeks under cold temps. Gambrinus (the mega corporation that brings us that piss water, Corona) bought the brewery in the early '90s and changed how they brew the beer. Now it's a corn brew that is aged for a week and is pumped full of caramel coloring to give it that amber color. It's really nothing more than Papst w/ dark coloring added.

But hey, they're saving money now, so the price should come down right?

Ha! The price of that swill has increased from $2.99 a sixer in 1991 to $6.99 in 2006. Far more than the average increase in beer prices in central Texas. Guess where the money has gone? Advertising.

/homebrewer

//beer salesman for 10 years.

 
2006-10-12 12:00:09 PM
Um. The author never said that rice improved the taste of the beer. He merely said that it prevented the beer from turning into a soupy mess when brewed with 6-row barley.

That said, I'll take my Arrogant Bastard.
 
2006-10-12 12:06:29 PM
www.falstaffbrewing.com

/Duff Man is thrusting in your direction
 
2006-10-12 12:14:03 PM
Good call PortWineBoy... we nitpickers have got to keep the internet at least a little tidy. Especially our beloved Fark.com
 
2006-10-12 12:17:39 PM
RagingLeonard: Shiner used to be a true lager. It was 100% barley and aged for weeks under cold temps. Gambrinus (the mega corporation that brings us that piss water, Corona) bought the brewery in the early '90s and changed how they brew the beer. Now it's a corn brew that is aged for a week and is pumped full of caramel coloring to give it that amber color. It's really nothing more than Papst w/ dark coloring added.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!? What's your source on this? If this is true, all of my relatives in Texas are going to be very, very angry. (It was my dad who first introduced me to Shiner Bock...)

/All mexican beer is watery. That's why it's so cheap.
 
2006-10-12 12:54:13 PM
The article fails to mention that most people don't actually like beer. That's why the majors do so little hopping, use flavourless starches, and imply their product is "best" when it's 1 degree above freezing.

It's possible to mass-produce any beer [style], but the market dictates that all people want is fizzy, yellow, and cold.
 
2006-10-12 01:28:04 PM
Thanks, submitter. I'd never heard of Powell's until now, and it's another used-book site I can shop from. Hooray.
 
2006-10-12 01:45:50 PM
interesting... i might actually pick up that book. maybe a couple. its Q4 and all, might as well get a head start.

and sorry, breadpuddingwithoutraisins... Rogue is terrible. the ones i've had, anyway.

it really is sort of strange how drastically different beers taste, even within the same make and model.

for instance, Fullers ESB, cask drawn in a small british-style pub in Florida, the first one off the cask the guy just replaced... best beer I've ever had.

i tried a bottle of the stuff, and it really wasn't that good.

Sam Adams Octoberfest (now available in retail locations nationwide) is one of my favorites. Bottled, that is. Every time I've ever had it on draft, it's tasted sort of skunky.

If any of you farkers live in or near north-central MA and know where Gardner is, you should check out the Gardner Ale House. It hasn't been open for very long, and a good friend of mine is the brewer there. They have most of their own beers on tap now.. I highly recommend the Opus Alt (which i'm sure i spelled wrong). Something about an old grandfather?
 
2006-10-12 02:10:56 PM
www.funnyfarmonline.org
 
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