7 Oct 2009

Two Questions

1) Why do some people critisise beers or breweries for being "Commercial"? What is wrong in being commercial? All breweries are commercial! After all, they make beers that at least enough people will want to drink/buy and then try to sell them for a profit (if they want to prosper, that is). Or is it that we should honour those who brew (perhaps even brilliant) beers that nobody is interested in drinking above those who are successful thanks to brewing "just" good beers?

2) Who was the dimwit, creatively handicapped who came out with the term "Gourmet Beer"? Is there anything more hollow than "Gourmet" to describe a beer? (Other than "Super Premium", that is). What is it that makes a beer a "Gourmet Beer"?

I'm not expecting any answers, but if you want to have a go at them, you'll be more than welcome.

Na Zdraví!

PS: I've come to the conclusion that I'm also getting tired of the term "Craft Beer" and I'm seriously thinking about stop using it when describing a beer. It has become rather vague and actually, it's no guarantee of quality; some of the worst beers I've had in my life were sold as "Craft Beer". I think that, from now on, a beer will be for me just "Beer", at most I will use words like regional, micro, small, independent, etc to describe a brewery. After all, if the beer is good, does it really matter how or how much of it was made?

Travel to the Czech Republic and stay at the best Prague Hotels

12 comments:

  1. I agree with you about the term "craft beer". There's no concrete definition of what constitutes "craft" and it seems to be becoming a vaguer concept by the minute. It's an American concept that fits poorly with the situation in Europe.

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  2. "Commercial" is just laziness but comes from the mindset that says beer can't sell to the mass market if it's any good. I've never agreed with this.

    "Gourmet" is a macro-brewers' marketing term meaning "more expensive, possibly with gold foil on the label".

    "Craft beer" is pretty stupid in the first place. As if beer were better if the mash is stirred by hand. It's accountants and marketers and incompetent brewers who ruin beer, not machinery. I look forward to beer brewed by robots.

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  3. Does German have a, perhaps 36 letter, word or term for Craft Beer?

    I'm actually kind of glad Czech doesn't. Beer is "Pivo", and that's the end of it.

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  4. Barm,

    Those are good answers, and it's almost to a word what I was thinking myself when I wrote the post.

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  5. "Commercial" in this context means that making money is the main priority, not the kind of beer.

    Consider commercial music as opposed to the various alternative forms. Many underground bands would love to make more money from their music, but that would require changing the music to something less complex, or challenging, to something easier to grasp, so that a wider audience would appreciate it. For these bands, that would mean having a lot less fun, and for their fans something special would be lost. As for music, so with beer: if selling loads of beer is the primary consideration, the special qualities of the beer will be the lesser consideration, and something will be lost.

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  6. Beer is beer is beer. End of story. You have either good beer or bad beer and most breweries make both, depending on your tastes. Perhaps the problem though is not with the breweries but with the beer geeks, ready to scream "sell out" to any smaller operation which gets bigger and then they claim "it isn't as good as it used to be" (which of course can be true, but I wonder how much of it is mob rule in effect?).

    In response to the anonymous poster above, if a person wants to make great beer and not a profit, then he or she should do homebrew, not start a business. Anyone who starts a business not to make money is an idiot.

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  7. I knew someone would come and make the beer-music comparison!

    Anonymous, you are wrong. Historically, music was considered and art form, brewing, on the other hand, has always been a business.

    The moment someone says "I'm going to make a living out of this", his or her beers will have to be commercial. He or she will have to make beers that people will want to drink, otherwise, what's the point?

    Bloody hell! Even the monks of Saint Sixtus sell you their beer for a profit!

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  8. commercial beer means tastless beer. You cannot dislike it, it has nothing to dislike.

    Ries

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  9. Ries,

    That's bollocks, and you know it.

    Let's say you fancy a Stone Ruination IPA. If there's anything that beer isn't is tasteless, you may or may not like it, but it sure packs some taste.

    Where can you find this beer? Well, unless you happen to be nearby the brewery, you will have to go to a shop, be that high street or e-shop. The beer will have a price, you are not very likely to get it for free.

    Now, haw has this price been set? Well, the owner of the shop wants to make a profit from his business, nothing wrong with that. But the shop didn't get the beer for free, either, they also had to pay a price set by the brewery (let's not consider middlemen here). How did the brewery set the price for that beer? You'll be surprised, they also wanted to make a profit out of it!

    But, wait a second! How is it possible that you are able to buy a bottle of Stone Ruination IPA in the first place? Well, there must be enough people buying it, otherwise I don't think the good folks of Stone Brewing Co. (Co. stands for Company) would keep on brewing it. And why wouldn't they keep on brewing it? Well, because they happen to be a business and their aim is to make money out of it.

    Now, you tell me, is there any of that that isn't "commercial"?

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  10. yep. you are right. But let me put it this way : very very commercial beer has no taste. I've never heard someone say "i do not like the the taste of Heineken Icecold".

    Ries

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  11. Aha!!!! That's something else.

    Now, what you mean, I think is "mass produced beer", and you may have a point there. Mass produced beers tend to be tasteless.

    However, it's all very relative. Take Erdinger Weisse and bottled Guinness Draught for example. If you give them to someone living in Latin America or Southern Europe, for example, they will find it full of taste.

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  12. If you sell your beer, it's commercial. If you give it away, it's not commercial. This has nothing to do with whether the beer is any good or not.

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