I’ve arrived in Fort Collins and just finished my first week in the brewery working in the utilities department. In my last post I mentioned I would talk about the beer tastings I’ve done so as promised I’ll describe what we did and how it really helped put some of our beers into perspective. I’ve done probably 5+ beer tastings so far and each one focused on something different. Some were centered on how to pair beer with food, another was about understanding all the different styles (tasted probably 20+ styles), and the others were focused on developing your sense of taste to rate beers and pick out imperfections. I’ll focus on the beer styles and quality tastings, but I thought it would be cool just to post a list of some of the food recipes and beer pairings with our brands.
1. Pasta boiled in Budweiser (instead of water) with marinara
2. Vinaigrette dressing made with Shock Top
3. Stella Artois paired with stuffed green olive wrapped in bacon
4. Gorgonzola cheese made with our Wild Blue Blueberry Lager
I’d also like to talk about the beer styles tasting since it really put Budweiser in perspective for me. I come from an area that is extremely partial to microbrews and crafts. While I have the upmost respect for micro/craft brewers, I cannot respect people who believe that somehow large brewing companies who have been around for over 150 years do not know how to brew quality beer (AKA Beer Snobs). Go to beeradvocate.com and check out the review of Budweiser to see what I’m talking about.
It may surprise some people but Budweiser is actually a very high quality beer that I believe the American public has begun to take for granted. All of the ingredients (barley, hops, rice, yeast, water) are as high in quality if not more so than any microbrewery out there. It is in all honesty one of the best examples of an American Lager-Style beer in the world. You often hear people make comparisons and say things like Guinness or “insert random way too long brand name here” IPA is better than Budweiser. What I’ve learned from the beer styles tastings is this is like trying to compare apples to oranges. These are completely different beer styles so it is impossible to compare them and say which one is best. If you’re into beers that have so many hops in them that they are too bitter to even drink more than one glass then of course you will not like Budweiser and will complain its “watered down”. That doesn’t mean Budweiser is a bad beer or that people who drink it don’t know good beer. The American Lager style is made to be refreshing and is actually one of the hardest beers to make since its very difficult to cover up any of your mistakes. Most of those hoppy microbrews are actually much easier to make because the bitterness of the beer covers up all the mistakes the brewer made in the process. Jim Koch, the founder of Sam Adams, stated that Budweiser is the hardest beer in the world to brew (he doesn’t say this publicly).
The problem with Budweiser sales falling over the past 20 years is not that its a bad beer, its public perception. A surprising statistic is that even though everyone knows the brand, 40% of 21-30 year olds have not tried it. The key is to get these people to begin trying Budweiser with an open mind. I’ve seen screenings of commercials and previews of a new ad campaign for the brand that will begin sometime in the future that I think is very promising. So if you are one of those 40% I dare you to buy a Budweiser and tell me what you think keeping in mind its American Lager-styled beer. For those who have tried Budweiser, but either don’t like it or don’t buy it very often, I encourage you to comment on this post and describe why because I’m very interested in what you have to say.
I guess I kind of went on a rant with this post, but next time I’ll provide more details on the GMT program and why I think its no joke one of the best opportunities a recent college grad could get. If you found my blog from the Buschjobs site and are interested in applying to the company this year, feel free to send me an email if you have any questions. I’ll be visiting Purdue for recruiting next week.
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