Brewer's Blog

Sometimes, I really feel sorry for their brewers...

Friday, March 4, 2011

What does it say about a company's beer when the best the marketing department can come up with is some bs about the carbonation?

Think I'm biased?

Click here or here.

Suffice to say, pulling full page ads in the FP isn't going to make public sentiment any better for these guys.  People aren't stupid when it comes to beer anymore.  They know when an ad man is trying to stick his hands into their pockets while offering nothing but snake oil in return.

Here's the long and short of it:
No matter how you add co2 to a beer, it will normalize at a specific volume in a beer in relation to temperature and pressure.  Breweries test for co2 absorption all the time.  We spec our beer at 2.4 - 2.7 volumes.  Your standard macrobrewery beer like Molbatt's will usually have a co2 level of 3 to 4 volumes of co2 in solution.  Soda pop clocks in at around 4 to 5.  So for years, big breweries have been skating the hairy edge of soda pop territory.

Obviously, carbonating a beer less is going to give you less of that gassy full feeling that everyone knows is a classic character of mega brewery beer.  It's possible that their taste panels at the brewery are becoming more educated in regards to what real beer tastes like and having a gassy, bloated feeling after too many beers at the hockey game is finally unacceptable.

So, while the geniuses at this company were trying to sell their fizzy yellow water, along comes someone who screws up carbonating the beer one day.

"Hey, try the beer in that tank, it's our regular beer, but less carbonated"

"That's not bad, and it's not as gassy so lets have six more"

And so the marketing department jumps all over it like white on rice and the rest of us are left shaking our heads because now they're pumping millions into an ad campaign to sell yellow water.

The real interesting thing is this:
Given leftover sugars and bottled or filled into a cask, those amazing yeast cells in beer will gobble up the sugar and produce co2 on a molecular level, thereby microcarbonating a beer.  But of course, that's how beer has been made for five thousand years, so there was no need to patent it as an industrial process.

The unfortunate thing is that yeast can't do anything if you've clairified the beer with gelatin or isinglass, filtered with diatomaceous earthmicro/sterile filtered, added chemical yeast inhibitors like sulfites, and finally pasteurized the beer for an extended shelf life.  All or some of these methods are what's used by large breweries to "help" their beer through the process.

If you ask me, the ancient sumerians have a case on their hands.  This young, upstart company based in the USA is trying to profit from centuries old technology.

Imagine how ridiculous it would look if your local baker came up to you and said "Hey, I've got this new bread that I used less flour in than yesterday's bread.  Pay me like you would for my regular bread because I've got ads running in all the local papers today."