Who gets to decide what is bad beer?

MONDAY BEER LINKS, MUSING 04.21.14

The Corona Coup: How Constellation Sells So Much Bad Beer. Just a thought. It would be interesting to see the results of a blind tasting where the same people who give other Mexican beers a higher rating and rip Corona to shreds compare the two. Could they tell the difference? [Via Businessweek]

Passion for beer pales in Belgium and Glass half empty for Germany’s proud beer industry. Guess there’s no beery reasons to visit those places any more. [Via Associated Press and Reuters]

For Masochists, Here’s Some Hops-Flavored Soda. “It’s a frustrating beverage designed for frustrated people.” Quite an endorsement, don’t you think? [Via The Atlantic Cities]

New Beer, Old Cans: Why Investors Should Pay Attention to Miller Lite. So why did it take so long for somebody at Miller to think, “This retro thing that worked for Pabst – why don’t we try that?” [Via the Motley Fool]

Beer spills into history books. The story states the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives is the first of its kind in the country. From my perspective, it is a good thing that and agricultural historian at New Mexico State University is an unofficial adviser to the Oregon State University project. [Via Register-Guard]

8 Responses to Who gets to decide what is bad beer?

  1. Gary Gillman April 21, 2014 at 5:30 am #

    The pair of stories on Belgium and Germany are very interesting. Interesting too when you compare them to Ron’s comments about the rapid growth of brewpubs in Amsterdam making wheat beers and IPA.

    Here is my take on what is happening: around the world and now in the traditional brewing countries, the trend is that mass market styles, i.e., bland lager and/or pasteurized, often nitrogenated ales or stout, will increasingly become the norm. However, niche markets will exist for American craft-style beers, extending to wheat beers and traditional forms of porter and stout. And these niche markets will increasingly resemble each other no matter where located. The mass market will be increasingly dominated by big international groups. Therefore, it will soon, and may now be, impossible to write a book like Michael Jackson’s 1978 The World Guide To Beer because style will be have become de-coupled from the nation. England and Germany will partially resist this world trend due to the great number of breweries still making traditional types of beer but even there I see the surviving family brewery, the “old-established” regional, merging in function with more recently established craft breweries.

    Gary

    • Stan Hieronymus April 21, 2014 at 7:02 am #

      Gary – Only as a guess, I’d say that style will become less unique to a particular nation, but not totally decoupled. History still matters.

      • Gray Gillman April 21, 2014 at 8:12 am #

        Good point. Maybe it will be like the international pilsner style, where most consumers won’t identify it with place but people with more knowledge will still know where it came from and (hopefully) great local exemplars still exist.

        In fact, pilsner really is the prototype for the internationalization of IPA and wheat beer.

        Gary

      • SteveH April 22, 2014 at 5:35 am #

        “History still matters.”

        I hope you’re right about this Stan, because at BeerAdvocate I see the overwhelming opinions and attitude that many could care less about history or tradition. The new generation doesn’t seem to care about roots.

  2. Pivní Filosof April 21, 2014 at 5:47 am #

    Who gets to decide what is bad beer?

    The consumer does. And given how well it is selling in the US at least, it seems that there are many people out there who believe Corona is good enough to pay for, more than once.

  3. Jeff Alworth April 21, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    I’m not ready to give up on national tradition yet, either. For one thing, beer geeks always vastly overstate the significance of niche brewing. They notice that you can find IPA in Prague and Berlin and over a extrapolate about what that means about Hermann and Czech markets. But the existence of a small brewpub making exotic styles in itself is not evidence of the loss of national tradition. Its a small brewpub able to find a customer base from among the millions to stay in business–success that is amplified by the Internet’s long reach.

    Things may change eventually, but I don’t see evidence that Germans are giving up light lagers end masse anytime soon.

    • Stan Hieronymus April 21, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      Jeff – Can we use the term pale lager rather than light lager? Given the ebb and flow of popularity of weiss beer in Bavaria it should be clear that things can change and that there is still room for original favorites (pale lagers).

      • Jeff Alworth April 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

        Uggh–did I write that? Yes, pale lagers.