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(NPR)   The secret to good beer? Good water. That explains the success of Budweiser and failure of Keystone   (npr.org) divider line 170
    More: PSA, Brewers Association, beer brewing, The Salts, Brooklyn Brewery  
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9634 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jun 2012 at 1:13 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-10 08:00:40 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: jbc: Real beer snobs wouldn't touch Flat Tire.

Flat Tire isn't New Belgium's best beer, but it's certainly drinkable and sometimes the best option available at a bar.


This.
 
2012-06-10 08:15:37 AM  
Are you a hipster who is looking for a craft beer that help you maintain your air of douchitude, without looking like all the posers who jumped on the PBR bandwagon?

This craft beer is for you...
c745.r45.cf2.rackcdn.com
 
2012-06-10 08:17:20 AM  
Came here to see Iceberg Beer, leaving very dissapointed... so...

www.quidividibrewery.ca

Yes, they actually harvest water from actual icebergs.
 
2012-06-10 08:20:50 AM  

Kwai Lo: In my city, my water is fine to brew with, but I need to add gypsum in small amounts to get the hops to pop in the linger. One of my brew partners, who is about 4.5 miles away, has terrible water to brew with. We had about 2 years of mediocre beer before we sorted it out.


Too many people seem to have issues that come down to city water. I'm better off, in a way- our well has so much iron and calcium dissolved in the water I just use the RO (reverse osmosis) stuff from the machine in the grocery store. I then build from there with calcium chloride and/or calcium sulfate (gypsum). Relatively cheap and easy.
 
2012-06-10 08:30:25 AM  

DingleberryMoose: Buffet: Seems like a lotta fuss just for beer?

There are probably a couple hundred "native" beers. By native, I mean beer that uses the grain/grain combination, water, and yeast native to an area. Many of those aren't readily available outside their original areas of production. Homebrew or specialty beers are the only practical ways to come close to the taste, so people do it. It's enjoyable to try different beers.

/Personally, I can't believe people knit. There's a lotta fuss for something small.


Thanks for the insight. I'm not a big beer drinker, but I can appreciate the process from a cultural standpoint. Competition to produce the best _____, (fill in the blank) can bring out both the artist and the mad scientist in us all.
 
2012-06-10 08:34:12 AM  

Buffet: Thanks for the insight. I'm not a big beer drinker, but I can appreciate the process from a cultural standpoint. Competition to produce the best _____, (fill in the blank) can bring out both the artist and the mad scientist in us all.


Don't forget the art/movie critic.
 
2012-06-10 08:39:23 AM  

Ackbar_GastricFluid: Beer thread!!!1! Any homebrewers out there? Recipes?


I just brewed a Cream Ale yesterday. The recipe was not mine, but here it is:

13 lb 2-row (recipe called for 12 but I upped it a little)
4 lb flaked corn
1 lb flaked rice

1 oz Crystal hops at 60 (I used Liberty instead)
1 oz Willamette hops at 60

Mash in at 152. Mash for 90 minutes

Boil for 90 minutes. 11.5 gallon batch.

2 packets of Safale US-05 yeast put in a 2,000ml starter

OG 1.043
FG 1.009

ABV 4.4%

Special thanks to Biermuncher over at homebrewtalk.com for the recipe.
 
2012-06-10 08:41:58 AM  

cheap_thoughts: So I wonder how many beer snobs out there won't touch city water, but will only drink filtered water, and then down 20 Fat Tires. Do they know it's unfiltered city water?


That's because our unfiltered city water is better than damn near any water on the planet, genius.

Be sure to talk more shiat about Fat Tire. 5 years ago it was the best thing since electricity. Now it's just old news.

Get off my granite bedrock lawn, hipsterds.
 
2012-06-10 08:43:42 AM  

Tracibub: Ackbar_GastricFluid: Beer thread!!!1! Any homebrewers out there? Recipes?

Hubby's favorite so far:

http://brewersconnection.com/recipes/ downunderIPA.htm

Besides 20 or so beer recipies, we've done mead, black cherry melomel, sparkling apple wine (champagne yeast...only ones we ever had explode!), and tried hard pear cider. Fun times. Maybe we'll give the old tap water a go next time.


How do you make CAP water palatable?
/Or do you have a well?
 
2012-06-10 08:44:26 AM  

Marubozo: I've been brewing for years so I'm getting a kick...

Actually, making the jump to building water specifically for the beer was one of the best decisions I've made. My water isn't suitable for drinking, let alone brewing, so I might as well replicate known water profiles that are good for beer even if it costs a couple bucks more a batch.


img513.imageshack.us
 
2012-06-10 08:55:02 AM  

macsenwledig: Does that Budweiser shiat actually qualify as beer? I'm fairly convinced it's actually horse piss.


A Clydesdale walks into a bar.
Bartender says "Bottle of Bud?"
Clydesdale says "Neigh. I'm a draft horse."

/Try the veal
 
2012-06-10 09:04:16 AM  
When I was out in the Midwest years ago, we picked up a six of Olympia, a beer you can't get on the East Coast for some reason. Not that I'm complaining about that: After trying it, I suspect it might be banned out here, and with good reason. It was just awful, worse than any beer I'd ever had. (And remember, we make Narragansett and Cottrell here, among other bearable but unflattering stinkers.) I wondered aloud what could possibly be the reason it was so bad, then noticed their motto printed on the can: "It's the Water." Oh. Well, I guess I can't hold that against them, can I? Walters, an equally awful swill from Pueblo (according to my father), apparently has the same excuse on their label.

This also reminds me of my father's story about an early alcohol-free beer named Near Beer. He said who ever named it had no sense of distance.
 
2012-06-10 09:16:10 AM  
B b but rocky mountain freshness. Cold filtered. Refrigerated silver bullet train playing hippie music.
 
2012-06-10 09:41:13 AM  
Not every brewery is lucky enough to sit on top of underground water deposits that are secretly perfect for a certain style of beer.

Maybe specific kinds of water deposits gave rise to certain styles of beer? I'm not a beer expert by any means (although I drink a fair bit of beer), but it seems to me this statement gets the chicken and the egg mixed up.
 
2012-06-10 09:43:33 AM  

Lando Lincoln: Ackbar_GastricFluid: Beer thread!!!1! Any homebrewers out there? Recipes?

I just brewed a Cream Ale yesterday. The recipe was not mine, but here it is:

13 lb 2-row (recipe called for 12 but I upped it a little)
4 lb flaked corn
1 lb flaked rice

1 oz Crystal hops at 60 (I used Liberty instead)
1 oz Willamette hops at 60

Mash in at 152. Mash for 90 minutes

Boil for 90 minutes. 11.5 gallon batch.

2 packets of Safale US-05 yeast put in a 2,000ml starter

OG 1.043
FG 1.009

ABV 4.4%

Special thanks to Biermuncher over at homebrewtalk.com for the recipe.


Biermuncher's recipes have never let me down. No doubt in my mind that this stuff tastes good.
 
2012-06-10 09:48:39 AM  

cheap_thoughts: So I wonder how many beer snobs out there won't touch city water, but will only drink filtered water, and then down 20 Fat Tires. Do they know it's unfiltered city water?


City water makes shiatty beer. There's a reason most of these breweries are in small towns up in the mountains.
 
2012-06-10 09:52:27 AM  

whidbey: Sabyen91: Phooey, I was thinking beer+cream soda. I think that would be spectacular.

I'm not sure why they call it cream ale or cream stout.

I'm guessing it has something to do with the carbonation, that when you pour it the bubbles make the beer seem as if it were like a heavy cream for a couple of minutes.

Maybe some Fark brewing expert could set us straight.


Cream or milk stouts have an addition lactose sugar.
 
2012-06-10 09:52:32 AM  
Years back, someone told me the Budweiser from the VA brewery was a large part of why Bud got a bad rap, b/c the water from the James River sucked. Too much brown tree 'stuff' dissolved in it or something. The water here in CBus is just fine for making Bud and Bud Light, so I doubt A/B treats it at all here. That's surface water, vs the groundwater based supply that MillerCoors uses over in Trenton OH, which has god-knows-what in it after 100 years of heavy industry in the Miami Valley.

So yeah, the water matters.

/Bud and Bud Light, Miller Lite, etc. Snark away. Whatever. I drink Bell's and Founders mostly.
 
2012-06-10 09:55:36 AM  

orangehat: I suggest you serious beer drinkers attend the Great American Beer Festival next fall in Denver. That's always a good time...I suggest if you are from sea level to drink a lot of water and be nice to the locals but it's a good time and it is always fun to see a lot of people come in to town for the sole purpose of drinking beer.


The GABF isn't that great. $55+ for an all you can drink in 4 hours, 3 ounce tasters at time. While spending half your time running line to line. IMO, the OBF is more fun because you can hangout all day, admission is free, and it is outdoors.

Having said that, the GABF is worth going to once.
 
2012-06-10 10:09:25 AM  

universebetween: this stuff made me want to throw up. I didnt but its on my no-drink list now.


I recently tried that too, and ended up on the same list. Not sure if it was just a terrible flavor or the 8% ABV.
 
2012-06-10 10:16:16 AM  

Marubozo: I've been brewing for years so I'm getting a kick...

Actually, making the jump to building water specifically for the beer was one of the best decisions I've made. My water isn't suitable for drinking, let alone brewing, so I might as well replicate known water profiles that are good for beer even if it costs a couple bucks more a batch.


I never really understood trying to replicate a water profile for a given region. This whole idea is predicated on the belief that breweries don't change their own water profile from the local municipality. I know at least some of them do.
 
2012-06-10 10:17:12 AM  
this is Clear Creek just before it is sucked into the Coors plant in Golden
www.sangres.com

this is Clear Creek just after it leaves the Coors plant - their canned swill is similar
waterstse.files.wordpress.com

/discarded tire is rather fat
 
2012-06-10 10:19:30 AM  

jnoel: Welcome to Coors marketing department in the late 80's.


I served in the Navy with a dude from Colorado during the 80s. He and his friends liked to get drunk and piss into the source of Coors' spring water. Mmmmm.

farm3.static.flickr.com
 
zez
2012-06-10 10:25:01 AM  
About that yummy Budweiser water, for years and years radioactive waste was going into the Missouri river from the Weldon Springs area just upstream from the brewery along the Mississippi.

/drink up!
 
2012-06-10 10:42:55 AM  

CognaciousThunk: Years back, someone told me the Budweiser from the VA brewery was a large part of why Bud got a bad rap, b/c the water from the James River sucked. Too much brown tree 'stuff' dissolved in it or something. The water here in CBus is just fine for making Bud and Bud Light, so I doubt A/B treats it at all here. That's surface water, vs the groundwater based supply that MillerCoors uses over in Trenton OH, which has god-knows-what in it after 100 years of heavy industry in the Miami Valley.

So yeah, the water matters.

/Bud and Bud Light, Miller Lite, etc. Snark away. Whatever. I drink Bell's and Founders mostly.


What actually happens in a large brewery, especially satalite plants like the Williamsburg bud plant is that water, once pumped in, is completly stripped and nuetralized, then the chemists come in and add minerals back to the water so that it matches exactly the water at the home plant.
Samples from all the water points are analyzed all the way down to taste.
Samples are then sent back to the home plants labs for verification.
This is done for all the water contact points, from the brewing liquer, the fopping jetters, the package rinse, etc.

All spill water is collected in its own cistern under the brewery and ran through a colomn distilation plant and all ethonal is extracted. All remaining water is passed through compresion plate filters and tested before its releasd back to the water shed.

I know several of the guys at the Williamsburg AB plant and have visited several times.
 
2012-06-10 10:49:07 AM  

Ackbar_GastricFluid: Beer thread!!!1! Any homebrewers out there? Recipes?


This Irish Red style one seemed to go over well (partial mash):

5 gal water

Grain bag of:
4 oz flaked barley
8 oz Vienna
12 oz Carapils
16 oz Crystal 60L
16 oz torrified wheat

Steep grain bag for 30 min @150F, remove. Bring to boil, turn off heat, add:

6lb pale LME

Boil to hot break. Add hops as:

1.25 oz Fuggles (4.2 AA) for 45 min
2 tsp Irish moss for 10 min
1 oz Kent Goldings (7.2 AA) and 8 oz brown sugar for 5 min

Cool to room temp. Add extra water to make 5 gal. Sprinkle on top:

1 pkg Safale S-04

Wait 30 min, airiate. Ferment in primary 11 days.
 
2012-06-10 11:01:00 AM  
Link


I'm not fond of the title, though I do know the source.

Very good book at explaining, among other things, how AB's brewmasters are actually geniuses for making Budweiser so consistent over so many breweries.

Utterly fascinating book.
 
2012-06-10 11:06:51 AM  

Ackbar_GastricFluid: Beer thread!!!1! Any homebrewers out there? Recipes?


Homebrewer threads always remind me of the classic On the Buses "Brew it Yourself." :)

Creamy ale is one of my favorites (it's a chick thing, I suspect), and local brewery Hales has one that makes my mouth water as I type this at 8am. Only available on tap, however. And Newcastle Brown Ale, ahhh..... There's a British football pub, the George and Dragon, just down from Hales Brewery, that has Newcastle on tap. I put down a lot of that on Tuesday night Trivia at the George years ago. Good times......
 
2012-06-10 11:09:00 AM  
Blue Moon used to be brewed in Memphis, out at the Coors Belle brewery. And believe it or not, Memphis has awesome water, due to the aquifer, which is full of several thousand year old water. I mean the water is great. But a few years back Coors moved the brewery, and I swear it doesn't taste as good as it did when brewed in Memphis.
 
2012-06-10 11:23:47 AM  
Having drunk Keystone for most of my college years, I can tell you that water is the least of their problems.
 
2012-06-10 11:25:41 AM  

blackartemis: For years I never liked beers, until I started trying various wheat beers. So after I finally developed a taste for it, I moved back to Thailand where I have about 8, affordable, choices. On top of that, ice in your beer to prevent it from going code to piss warm in 2 minutes...


My father got used to drinking ice in his beer when in Australia. The Marine Corps had sent him and some of his flying buddies down to that part of the world to smooth over some hurt feelings with the Japanese.
 
2012-06-10 11:26:19 AM  

Sabyen91: Britney Spear's Speculum: Two Women ain't bad.

I saw that in the cooler last week. Is it hoppy?


More like "yeasty".

/bah duh boom!
 
2012-06-10 11:45:10 AM  

Miss Stein: Ackbar_GastricFluid: Beer thread!!!1! Any homebrewers out there? Recipes?

Homebrewer threads always remind me of the classic On the Buses "Brew it Yourself." :)

Creamy ale is one of my favorites (it's a chick thing, I suspect), and local brewery Hales has one that makes my mouth water as I type this at 8am. Only available on tap, however. And Newcastle Brown Ale, ahhh..... There's a British football pub, the George and Dragon, just down from Hales Brewery, that has Newcastle on tap. I put down a lot of that on Tuesday night Trivia at the George years ago. Good times......


I've had to pretty much quit drinking Newcastle. I find it delicious, so I drink it too fast and end up sloppy. It's good mixed with a bit of Strongbow as well.
 
2012-06-10 11:51:22 AM  

Torion!: // and cracking another coors light
/// thinking I could have saved two bucks and gone with the keystone


I was recently told by an expert in such things* that Keystone Light IS Coors Light. Just rebranded for the down-market crowd.

* - 'such things' defined as drinking ultra-cheap beers

/he insists Natty Light is better
 
2012-06-10 11:59:36 AM  

gojirast: AB's brewmasters are actually geniuses for making Budweiser so consistent over so many breweries.


demotivators.despair.com
 
2012-06-10 12:06:11 PM  

BishopHatto: Budweiser is crap. When you grow up to be a real man/woman, you'll stay away from that poser beer.


Agreed. Budweiser is "piss water".
 
2012-06-10 12:07:28 PM  

Tracibub: Ackbar_GastricFluid: Beer thread!!!1! Any homebrewers out there? Recipes?

Hubby's favorite so far:

http://brewersconnection.com/recipes/ downunderIPA.htm

Besides 20 or so beer recipies, we've done mead, black cherry melomel, sparkling apple wine (champagne yeast...only ones we ever had explode!), and tried hard pear cider. Fun times. Maybe we'll give the old tap water a go next time.


I've made Brewers Connection's Down Under IPA many times and it is one of the best recipes out there for home brews.

The best beers don't have a label on the bottle!
 
2012-06-10 12:24:11 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: ^This.

Unemployed + alcoholic = Steel Reserve Vodka.

Or so they tell me.


If you have zero money, you're looking for the cheapest drunk you can find. You're not drinking beer. If you're looking to get drunk, *any* beer is far more expensive by volume than something like vodka.
 
2012-06-10 12:47:40 PM  
Bud is good when it's warmer. It's usually served way too cold.

From a production point of view, Budweiser is truly amazing - their consistency is unmatched. If you brew beer, you have to find and watch the show about the Anheuser-Busch.
 
2012-06-10 01:29:14 PM  

StoneColdAtheist: Torion!: // and cracking another coors light
/// thinking I could have saved two bucks and gone with the keystone

I was recently told by an expert in such things* that Keystone Light IS Coors Light. Just rebranded for the down-market crowd.

* - 'such things' defined as drinking ultra-cheap beers

/he insists Natty Light is better


As a former college student, I can attest that they taste different. Keystone sucks worse. Something I do find amusing is that both Coors Light and Keystone Light have the same ABV as Guinness. So the whole "close to water" joke really apply.

/currently on a Victoria Beer kick
//really good stuff, flavor and not too heavy
 
2012-06-10 01:32:34 PM  
Any of the newer American craft beers come close to the great Belgian beers. Like a Rochefort or Chouffe equivalent in terms of taste and booze content?

To this day, my night in Moeder Lambic in Brussels with my two good friends is the greatest night of drinking I've ever had. Don't think it can possibly be topped...
 
2012-06-10 01:33:10 PM  

Patterson: Any of the newer American craft beers come close to the great Belgian beers? Like a Rochefort or Chouffe equivalent in terms of taste and booze content?

To this day, my night in Moeder Lambic in Brussels with my two good friends is the greatest night of drinking I've ever had. Don't think it can possibly be topped...


ftfm, missed the question mark
 
2012-06-10 01:45:23 PM  
I grew up in Olympia, so Miss Stein wins the thread as far as I'm concerned.

Olympia's water quality is actually very good, or was back when I lived there (and the brewery was still running). The problem, methinks, is that it's basically natural mineral water. The source is the Cascades, so the water is naturally filtered through miles of gravel -- but it picks up a lot of minerals along the way. Not nearly as bad as well water -- it was quite soft -- but it has a distinct flavor. It tastes great and is healthy to drink, but I'm guessing it has way too many impurities to brew with.
 
2012-06-10 01:46:16 PM  
I just started home brewing but I have to say I am pretty happy with what I have brewed so far. It is much easier than I would have thought. I am definitely going to try the down under recipe, IPA's are my favorite. (a good wheat beer is nice on a hot summer day though)
 
2012-06-10 01:48:54 PM  

rwfan: I just started home brewing but I have to say I am pretty happy with what I have brewed so far. It is much easier than I would have thought.


It's a 10,000-year-old hobby. If you can't figure this out you are literally stupider than a caveman.

Making good beer is an art, though.
 
2012-06-10 01:52:06 PM  
Comparing Keystone to Budweiser is like comparing piss to urine.
 
2012-06-10 01:56:53 PM  
cdn.biruwananbai.com
If you can see your fingers through the glass you're drinking pee.
 
2012-06-10 02:02:39 PM  

wumpus: [cdn.biruwananbai.com image 300x225]
If you can see your fingers through the glass you're drinking pee.


Sincerely, a beer with a very low alcohol content
 
2012-06-10 02:20:30 PM  

downstairs: ArcadianRefugee: ^This.

Unemployed + alcoholic = Steel Reserve Vodka.

Or so they tell me.

If you have zero money, you're looking for the cheapest drunk you can find. You're not drinking beer. If you're looking to get drunk, *any* beer is far more expensive by volume than something like vodka.


Cheap vodka seems to be a favorite among the homeless, to be sure. But so are Steel Reserve and Thunderbird.
 
2012-06-10 02:44:11 PM  

jbc: cheap_thoughts: So I wonder how many beer snobs out there won't touch city water, but will only drink filtered water, and then down 20 Fat Tires. Do they know it's unfiltered city water?

Real beer snobs wouldn't touch Flat Tire.


It's definitely not one of the top 10 beers brewed here in Fort Collins.

/barely makes that at New Belgium
 
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