Which beer is not like the others? 11.28.11

The goal is to identify the outlier and explain why it doesn’t belong on the list. There may be more than one answer, although I happen to have a specific one in mind. In this case, it doesn’t matter if the beer is still brewed or what country it is (or was) brewed in.

a) Lone Star Light
b) Bud Light
d) Brewhouse Light (Great Western Brewing)
d) Coors Light
e) Pabst Genuine Draft Light

In case you’ve forgotten: Round one ~ Round two ~ Round three ~ Round four ~ Round five ~ Round six.

40 thoughts on “Which beer is not like the others? 11.28.11”

  1. I’d say C. Great Western is the only one not started by a German? I would argue that Pabst was started by an American…

  2. “There’s a ‘Pabst Genuine Draft Light’?”

    That’s what I was wondering. I thought Miller had a lock on Genuine Draft.

  3. a) I too was surpised to see Pabst Genuine Draft Light ever existed (but no more)

    b) The correct answer is Bud Light, but not for any reason given so far.

  4. The analogy isn’t perfect, but the four beers not Bud Light share something in common with these three: Blue Ridge Sublimator, H.C. Berger Doppelbock and New Glarus Symposium Eisbock.

  5. If not process, my guess is gone. I’ve been told that Coors Light was brewed to a high level of alcohol, then watered down, and I assume that with all the A-B breweries, Bud Light is brewed to its actual abv… so my guess would have been that the others were brewed to a higher abv, approaching that of the three “beers in common” Stan gave. But now I guess not!

  6. “Are they all GABF medalists…”

    Wouldn’t they all be in the same category? I ask because I think there are only Gold, Silver, and Bronze — right?

  7. All the ones that aren’t Bud Light have won multiple awards at the World Beer Cup in some sort of bock category! Or they, plus the three bocks have won multiple awards at the WBC in the pilsener category! Or they all claimed to have won awards at the WBC in odd years!

    Also, none of us know the connection. If someone gets it, the rest of us will figure you e-mailed the correct answer to them.

  8. OK, Bill. Since about half the comments here are my hints, the answer:

    The four beers not Bud Light were the silver medal winners the four times Miller Lite won gold at the World Beer Cup (American-style Light Lager).

    The three doppelbocks were the runnersup when Mountain Sun Hogsback won gold three straight years at GABF (1998-2000).

  9. “Miller Lite has won the World Beer Cup three times?”

    Mike — you have to factor in the context. Miller Lite one 3 times in the category of Light Beer.

    American-Style Lager
    A. Subcategory: American-Style Light (Low Calorie) Lager
    These beers are extremely light colored, light in body, and high in carbonation. Calorie level should not exceed 125 per 12 ounce serving. Corn, rice, or other grain or sugar adjuncts are often used. Flavor is mild, and hop bitterness and aroma is negligible to very low. Light fruity esters are acceptable. Chill haze and diacetyl should be absent.

    I hardly imagine it would bring down any sort of award if competing against “true Pilsners.”

  10. Steve, can we agree that that category was specifically created to award medals to the industrial brewers? And wouldn’t you also assume that since the Brewers Association is offering this “accommodation” that there was something given back in return? The industrial brewers, after all, are given the opportunity to make commercials like the one Stan linked to, which, while it may mean little to the kids who hang out at the beer fan sites, might actually impress some of those millions standing in the middle looking for something tasty to drink that won’t strip the enamel off their teeth. So, not exactly a huge windfall for the industrials, but perhaps what they might consider nice pocket change.

    My conclusion: if the BA is “selling” awards, this invalidates the entire event since that practice is the antithesis of a contest.

  11. There are always built in inequities and head scratching rules in any contest.

    In the Miss America contest, Wyoming gets the same number of finalists as California.

    The Grammy’s used to have this category. Seems rather specific: Best Performance by an Orchestra or Instrumentalist with Orchestra – Primarily Not Jazz or for Dancing

    The College Football Bowl System: ???!!!

    Boxing Titles? Does anyone know the difference between the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO?

    You’d have to ask someone familiar with the BA’s history, but I imagine the invitation of larger breweries like Coors, Falstaff ans FX Matt to the first GABF wasn’t a nefarious plot. My understanding is that figures at these breweries gave considerable help to micros in the 80’s.

    1982 GABF Program

    If the “Industrial Categories” weren’t created by BA/WBC back then, does anyone think there wouldn’t be another body created to give out awards for light lager and Premium American-style lager?

    Might this other body also give out awards that are more traditionally European and Crafty.

    We’d be left with at least 2 sets of awards and it might resemble boxing.

  12. Let me offer you my History of the World:

    1. Everything is handmade.
    2. Machines are invented and the Industrial Revolution is born.
    3. Many/most industrial companies recognise they can make more money by producing the product cheaper, coincidentally of lesser quality.
    4. Industrial companies recognise they can make even more money with less competition, so they start merging and buying each other off.
    5. With large industrial companies dominating most product groups, in some cases, small companies are started that offer a product that combines both the old handmade production techniques as well as some form of the industrial technique.
    6. In some industries, there is now an abundance of product (sometimes from both industrial and non-industrial sources) and the producers need mechanisms to improve their sales and make money. Contests are one way, reviews are another way, promotional activity is another way, etc.
    7. Rat race ensues.

    Hopefully, things will get better some day.

  13. “And wouldn’t you also assume that since the Brewers Association is offering this “accommodation” that there was something given back in return?”

    Mike, I never assume anything. And no, I am not a party to conspiracy theories of any kind, besides — I have met Charlie Papazian of the Brewers Association and do not believe him to be the type to take bribo “just because.”

    The category is in place because the beer, and styles like it, are on shelves. As I said, they pit them against beers of their own rank and file, so there’s no need to think they’re getting some high status in the beer world.

  14. Steve, we obviously have different views of the BA. When they decided to redefine “small” brewery so that Samuel Adams could remain within the fold and thus be counted as a “craft” brewer (http://is.gd/xZMBQ3), it demonstrated to me a lack of integrity. No, I would not call that a conspiracy theory, but, it is nevertheless fact and demonstrates, as I said, a lack of integrity.

    An organisation that is willing to modify its bylaws in pursuit of business aims is an organisation I cannot trust.

  15. Mike, sincerely, it would be great if you started a blog. I bet you could write well-thought-out pieces that articulate your opinions and arguments clearly. Things likely would come across so much more clearly than they do when you simply comment on what others say, because the cumulative effect of your comments is to suggest you don’t think much of U.S. beers, or those of us who enjoy them. If that actually is your argument, you’ve made the point repeatedly, and I’m not sure why continuing to make it adds to anything. But I don’t think it is — I think you are trying to celebrate a sense of locality and tradition and quality, and perhaps the way to do that effectively isn’t in comments on someone else’s blog.

    The fact is that many of the readers here enjoy the beers that are coming from all these small, US breweries that are for the most part less than 35 years old. They don’t have centuries of tradition and they don’t scream a sense of being from a certain place, but they are of high quality and generally express the designs of the folks who created them. That’s different from what it seems you celebrate, but it’s still good. You might not intend it, but your comments praising the European tradition often do so in a way that denigrates what’s been going on the in US, which doesn’t do much to get folks interested in your position.

    Again, if your purpose IS to denigrate what’s been happening in the States, you’ve eloquently made the point, and continuing to make it isn’t really adding to anything. But again, I don’t think you’re purposefully trying to be negative, and I think you would benefit by getting your thoughts out on a place you can call your own. I know a bunch of us who read Stan’s work would read yours as well, and I think we’d have a better appreciation from where you’re coming from than we do from your comments.

  16. Bill, what you have written is, without a doubt, the kindest, most eloquent “get lost” message I have ever seen.

    If you feel that I’ve been singling out the US and the beer scene there, then I should say that I don’t like unbalanced beers regardless of where they are made (and there certainly are some being made in Europe as well).

    I’d like to discuss some of your other points, but don’t think we need to have what amounts to a discussion between two people taking place on someone else’s blog. If you’re interested (and I certainly hope you are), please ask Stan for my email address and let’s continue this off-site. Or, Stan, if Bill is OK with it, please send me his email address. Thanks.

  17. Hey Mike,

    For the record, and I suspect that even those who might disagree with you from time to time to would say the same, on the whole your comments make for a richer dialogue here.

    But not every thread here needs to return to the topic of what’s wrong with American Beer.

  18. Mike, I am in no way trying to say “get lost,” and it wouldn’t be my place to say it if I were. I reiterate that I think you’d do a good blog, and that being able to control content and direction would do great things for what you’re trying to say. I do think that, as Stan said, much of the time your comments “return to the topic of what’s wrong with American beer,” often I think (or hope) unintentionally. I bet what you believe goes much deeper than that flat-out statement, and think that longer writing would give folks a better sense of things. You’re obviously not obligated to do that, but I hope down the line, your name in these comments appears as a hyperlink to a site of your own.

  19. Bill, I had suggested we continue the discussion by email in deference to Stan and the other readers here. I am very disappointed that you chose not to go that route.

    Secondly, you wrote “Again, if your purpose IS to denigrate what’s been happening in the States, you’ve eloquently made the point, and _continuing to make it isn’t really adding to anything_.” You also suggested that I start my own blog. Well, if you put those two lines together, what you get is: why not write your own blog instead of posting here. Maybe the phrase “get lost” strikes you as somewhat harsh, but the intent is clearly there.

  20. Mike – That’s not the way I read it. Not that Bill and I always agree (see discussions of terroir).

  21. Lordy. I limit myself to three comments on a subject, so this will be the last time you here from me here. Mike, you don’t seem to want to take a compliment. You don’t seem to understand that I would like to see more of your writing. You don’t seem to understand that I think you have more to say other than “U.S. beer sucks” and ARE trying to say more than that, yet that that seems to be the overriding theme of your comments, a theme I thought was unintentional — until maybe five minutes ago. If that truly IS 99% of what you have to say, then, no, I guess I don’t actually want to read more of your writing. But, and I’m saying this for at least the fourth time, if your comments here give an unfair, flattened impression of what you believe and like, I would love to read what you have to say — in-depth, in a format where you are the primary author, what-have-you. I’d love to find out what you like about balance and tradition and place, and presumably other things as well. I explicitly stated that I hope you eventually link to your blog in your comments here. That surely contradicts your assertion that I don’t want you here.

    That being said, since you seem so eager to doubt my sincerity in this, there’s no way in hell that I’d want you to have my e-mail address, and I hope in the future that I never piss off Stan to the point where he gives it to you.

  22. This many comments into the thread – crazily enough into the thread titled “Which beer is not like the others” (I had to scroll up to be sure – I suspect there are only 3 of us reading this. Other than spammers who are just waiting for the post to get a little older so they can hide some gem for search engines (I guess).

    Mike – I just grabbed the first example scrolling up, and you can argue the point. But when you choose to state that the organization that represents small brewers (the BA) lacks integrity that’s denigrating US beer, at least by association.

  23. Lordy. Stan, he wrote: “you don’t think much of U.S. beers, or those of us who enjoy them.” Is he talking about the liquid or an organisation?

    “Beers,” at least to me, means that liquidy stuff in a glass. If you want to talk about the US beer SCENE, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish. One, I should point out, he failed to mention.

    Sort of like his “continuing to make it isn’t really adding to anything” doesn’t actually mean: stop making it.

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