Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Beer Marketing Terms and What They Mean Part Four: Frost Brewed and Brewed Longer

I thought today I would explore Coors' "Frost brewed" and Bud Select's "Brewed Longer." I put these terms together because they are both equally meaningless. Let's start with the most asinine "Brewed Longer"

Anheuser-Busch's Bud Select used the phrase "brewed longer" along with "a clean finish" and "a bold taste" in its marketing campaign. This statement begs the question, what part of the brewing process is longer? and longer than what? I did find out that Bud Select lets their mash (barley and water mix) sit in the brew kettle longer than normal Budweiser, the effect of this procedure is not discussed, but we can theorize. By leaving the mash sitting longer before taking off the wort, you might get a more complete enzymatic conversion of starches to fermentable sugars, thereby leaving less residual sweetness and body in the finished beer. This can explain the "clean finish" statement because the beer will certainly taste more watery and thin, but it doesn't really jibe with the "bold taste" assertion. Maybe it's the same concept as minimalist art, where a plain box painted on a canvas can be called "powerful." The same with Bud Select, we could say, "There is absolutely no flavor here...what a 'bold' concept."

Now on to Coors' "Frost Brewed" I thought long and hard what frost brewing could possibly mean. Was the beer brewed cold enough for frost to form? I doubt that would be the case since unfermented beer needs to be boiled before adding yeast and if you cooled fermenting beer to 32 degrees or below, yeast would stop their activity. Also, after fermentation all beer is cooled to "Frost" temperatures, so that's not really an attribute specific to Coors. I finally decided they must be talking about the water used in the whole brewing process. They did make a big deal about Rocky Mountain water years ago, so I guess they are saying they use melted snow or frost to brew their beer. We know that the composition of frost and the melted frost, also known as water, doesn't change, it's still just hydrogen and oxygen. And frankly throughout the history of the planet with ice ages and evaporation of water into the upper atmosphere where ice crystals form, and the billions of times that snow and ice have formed, my guess is that every molecule of water on earth has been frozen at some point in time, so aren't we all frost brewing. To take it a step farther, throughout the course of human history, man and animals have drank water and excreted waste through urine, which eventually makes it back to the water supply, so wouldn't it be just as accurate to label Coors "Urine Brewed." You know, after tasting Coors Light, maybe this would be a more descriptive term.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

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