Corporations Going Way Too Far.... Now They're Watering Down Our BEER!!!

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I don't know about you, but I'm pissed...... what's wrong with this country if you can't get a good buzz on due to corporations lying?

Beer drinkers in the US have filed a $5m lawsuit accusing Anheuser-Busch of watering down its beer.

The lawsuits, filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states, claim consumers have been cheated out of the alcohol content stated on beer labels.

The suit involves 10 Anheuser-Busch beers including Budweiser and Michelob.

Anheuser-Busch InBev have called the claims "completely false", and said in a statement "our beers are in full compliance with labelling laws".

The lawsuits are based on information from former employees at breweries owned by the multinational.

"Our information comes from former employees at Anheuser-Busch, who have informed us that, as a matter of corporate practice, all of their products mentioned [in the lawsuit] are watered down," lead lawyer Josh Boxer said.

The complaint claimed that "Anheuser-Busch employs some of most sophisticated process control technology in the world to precisely monitor the alcohol content at the final stages of production, and then adds additional water to produce beers with significantly lower alcohol contents than is represented on the the labels".

The lawsuit alleged that the practice began after the American Anheuser-Busch merged with the Belgian-Brazilian InBev in 2008, to form the world's largest alcohol producer.

"Following the merger, [Anheuser-Busch] vigorously accelerated the deceptive practices, sacrificing the quality products once produced by Anheuser-Busch in order to reduce costs," the lawsuit said.

Peter Kraemer, vice president of brewing and supply at Anheuser-Busch said in a statement, "We proudly adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beer."

northlander
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Feb. 14, 2013 3:23 pm

Comments

I'm not surprised at all if this is true.

Makers Mark recently had to cancel its announced plans to water down their product.

This type of change is often the result of short term spikes in the cost of gasoline or other commodities used to make a product. Rather than increase the price for a short time or absorb the cost increase for the duration, they alter the product to preserve the profit margin.

For many years the corporate idiots have been downsizing the weight of their products in response to increases in the cost of materials but keeping the price the same to reserve profits. They then have some corporate-speak line like "But it's not a price increase", as if we are not smart enough to do the math and figure out the cost of the modified product is per ounce or pound or whatever.

A "pound" of coffee in most commercial products ceased being a pound years ago. The empty space in product packaging has grown to the point where sometimes there is as much empty space as product in the box. And the corporate-speak response is "Oh, that empty space is there to protect the product during shipping" or some b.s. like that.

I remember when products such as tomato sauce or tomato paste and other ingredients used in recipes received this downsizing treatment. People were mad about having to buy a second item of which they only needed to use two ounces to make up for the lost ounces in the first can.

The remaining portion of the second can or package sometimes was not still usable the next time that recipe was made. Others tried to make the recipe with the contents of the smaller downsized package, but were disappointed in the results.

Although that practice was and still is a pain in the butt and very annoying, one can learn to live with it.

But messing with my beer? ... Damn, grab the pitch forks and the torches, we're heading down the road to the brewing company CEO's house !

miksilvr
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Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm

How would anyone know if Bud Lite was watered? That the corporados are giving us less for more is always the metrics of their business plan, so why be surprised about that?

If you want to defend the integrity of beer, don't buy that factory spew in the first place.

The Beer Revolution in America has gone far enough that you can find taste where it was once elusive.

My favorite ad was the one where the brilliant young ad seller was given the crap beer account and turned its liabilities into an asset in true Karl Rove style. It was "bitter beer face" one needed to be concerned about, and his beer having no taste would not be "bitter." In other words, lacking any real beer flavor, it could not offend those who had not taste in the beer they drank either. A match made in adman's heaven or hell. You decide.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

Not sure I'd call what AB makes beer, but the big breweries have always watered down there beers. Fermenting space is at a premium... sometimes they just get caught watering it down a little too much. Interesting read is (Bitter Brew) By William Knoedelseder. A classic example of psychopathy unleashed, also known as capitalism US style....

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norske
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Damn it all... I'm not getting my 5.9% in Busch Ice? I should have saved all my empties so I could be part of the class action! LOL

Pierpont's picture
Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

Either a German joke or Scandinavian, but why is AB like sex in a canoe? They are both f---ing close to water. We have Brooklyn lager on the shelves, along with Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam, and of course the Trappist ales from Belgium. Our label laws are fairly strict, the price reflects the %, partly because of taxes. American products and fraud are beginning to be recognised and acknowledged.

Makers Mark says they aren't going to water it, but I think they concocted a way to sell the watered stuff to some tea party libertarian states that don't believe in standards.It is one of the highest priced premium brands in Japan.

http://www.thebalvenie.com/ is good, both Double wood and Port wood. They won't defraud you, it's a cultural thing. btw it's a Speyside single malt, not a Bourbon.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Once you brew your own, hard to go back to store bought...

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norske
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

How would they know the Bud light was watered down? It tastes more like Coors light.

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm
Quote norske:

Once you brew your own, hard to go back to store bought...

One of my sons brews his own, and —wow!— is that tasty.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

But what does this have to do with beer?

lladutke's picture
lladutke
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Apr. 11, 2011 11:05 am

Now that we have Distillery Row along with Beervana here in Portlandia, the idea of "factory" or "corporate" anything has a real "eeeeeuuuwww" quality to it. PBR continues to be a symbol of Proletariat refusal to pay more for an alcohol delivery system than necessary.

But what I love in our revolutionary foretaste of the world to come is the steady creep of artisanal and indigenous. Old distribution monopolies continue to stock grocery shelves with corporate swill, and even at Trader Joe's, cases and cases of Two Buck UpChuck are sold daily to people who never watch NASCAR. But, at all ends of the beer drinking world, one can find the return of flavor and not just gimmicks with fruit flavorings.

Local breweries have local supply chains and clientele. They employ people in far more personal and team culture jobs than corporate can ever contemplate. Corporate is fatally top-down and disconnected from the ground even when it plants its plastic franchises run by local "corporate engineers." The people they employ are "lucky to have a job" or "paying for school." They are "the help."

Local breweries also bring taste to where it had been banned from the corporate shelves or priced for elite consumption. While there are snotty beer critics, it is a lot harder to be stuffy about beer than about wine. Conversation in a tap room is different from what you get in a wine bar. Although I would have no problem with a real French "wine bar" for the working class, it is harder to get Americans who don't want to deal with snobs to enjoy wine than it is to suggest having a beer together.

We don't talk about Presidents we would like to have a glass of wine with.

Making your own is great too, and while it takes a lot of the swill of the table, serious home brewers get interested in what is out there for them to try. So they buy as well as make. Brew Supply stores can become centers of a brewing community which means that it is a part of the interactive larger community too. Some have attempted to come up with an excellent American Lager. Back in the day in the Midwest, Grain Belt had a malt character.

All of this undercuts corporate and the established alcohol distribution networks. I think it is a sign of things to come as supermarkets become part of the Petro Age Museum and we get back to what really works in the real world.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

We lived in Forest Grove (outside of Portland) for a while. There was a great pub right next to the college. One Christmas we bought 12 different kinds of beers/ales and had a hell of a Christmas celebration!

Great buzz and Great Beers/Ales!

northlander
Joined:
Feb. 14, 2013 3:23 pm

I suspect there's also a lot of beer snobbery. Back in college days my friends thought it was hip to drink Heineken. I always thought it tasted like skunk water. I liked a local brew called Hampden from a few towns over.... 35c a quart. They were bought out by Peils in '75. I got so sick of being ranked out I got some Heineken, put it in a Miller bottle because it had a screw cap... and when we were hanging out, smoking weed, drinking beer, and being snobby about music... I passed it around. The fools could not even recognize the beer they claimed they liked. No one said... hey... WTF is Heineken doing in a Miller bottle? I doubt they learned anything. One got pissed... oh well.

I still have pedestrian beer tastes and don't find many microbrews appealing. What I wouldn't do to have a Hampden again!

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

Sigh! I have a compromised liver, and can't drink alcohol. Sigh! :-(

micahjr34
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Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

You can actually find some honest American Lagers being made. Try Trader Joe's for Simple Times. Old German is around.

What you did not like was the taste of hops. Way too many of the new craft brews have been playing the hop dance and, of course, the most intense had a certain allure. Tastes terrible. Most one note tastes do. I got to the point of asking whether I was supposed to drink it or smoke it.

I like the grains and the malts, and the Belgians are full of surprises including the Hoegarten type of White that is real. If you want bubbles and a small amount of malt, you can find a number of "blondes" that qualify. I have always thought that Widmer's Heffe was for people weaned on Bud. It is not anything like the Germans.

But, if you can help get rid of the glut of factory beer without feeling bad, thank you for your service.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Quote micahjr34:

Sigh! I have a compromised liver, and can't drink alcohol. Sigh! :-(

Standardized milk thistle... and perhaps NAC. Both are sources of glutathione which the liver uses in great abundance.

A friend of mine had Hep C... and used both. Kept him stable for years. He just finished interferon treatments. He might have wanted to die... but it worked!

Pierpont's picture
Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

Guinness is my favorite, then Kiltlifter from local brewery, then any stout or ale, then any thing called beer without strawberry/ melon/ fruity flavors. Then at the bottom of the list is toxic waste. And not on the list is Coors products.

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm

micahjr34, I am sorry about your liver because I do enjoy good beers and wines. But, there are other good things in the NA line which have not been around for some time. Avoid soft drinks with sugar including what is marketed as "fruit juice." Drink water and lots of real things and you will have a lot of pleasure not being hooked on corporate.

You often get involved in discussions where I think you can be a bit gullible about the way the bait question is presented. I want to respect your innocence and actual inquiry and to encourage you not to worry about what you don't know, just ask. But be a bit wary about what sounds good when it puts you on the debating turf of the other person. An honest debate can be framed with you in mutuality rather than with leading questions.

I am not saying that those who come here to debate and pose trick questions or troll come in one size. I hope some of them are paid because one wonders why they would waste so much time and crapola for free. And some are like the image of the 'sophomore' who knows a little bit about enough to be certain of everything. College dorm room debates with performance debilitating drugs often required endurance and recognition that this was practice for real life.

Long intellectual debates about abstruse questions can be part of sorting out your own thinking and learning how to deal with various styles. All I want to do is encourage your own heart and conscience in the process. I think you have a moral compass working very well. Your moral intuition will be a good guide, and if you find arguments that are working in congruence, great. If you are being asked to settle for less or to buy an abstract principle that does not meet the ethical reality of the real world, give it a pass. You are ok just as you are.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

Well.. in the past week I brewed a 7 gal IPA with 22 oz of 6 different hops at 10.5% ABV and over 120 IBUs which has won virtually every contest it has entered, a 7 gal Belgian Tripel at 10%, a 7 gal Belgian Wit with a hint of corriander, bitter and sweet orange at 6.5%, a 14 gal Raspberry Wit at 6.5% ABV for a friends wedding and a 7 gal Pale 31 clone with 4 hops at 6% ABV... Next week comes a Black Rye Stout with 4 different hops at 8.5 ABV and 62 IBUs and a Belgian Amber at 9% ABV. Different strokes for different folks... Lots of snobbery among certain beer cliques, as long as it isn't BMC beer I'm good to go... though I enjoy brewing more than drinking. We grow our own hops and some of our own Barley. Slowly getting back into making wine after a 12 year absence from the wine scene...

norske's picture
norske
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

New Zealand has a few varieties of hops I used to use. Green Bullet and Super Alpha were extra bitter, but I always included Cascade anyhow. Are you using a champagne yeast for the triple and Belgian styles? They sound almost like barley wines. Most of my brews died out at 7% with brewer's yeast.

The Scottish ales will satisy the malt palates that don't appreciate the pale ales.

If you're so inclined a little sasparilla root can offer a root beer at about 4% alc.

Another experiment I didn't get around to trying was loading my stout into a soda spritzer with a nitrous charge [whippits] instead of the CO2. Guinness is flat and their pour system runs on nitrogen or nitrous tanks. They have a patented flow system that restricts the pressure to create the milky foam that then changes to their stout.

Mead or honey wine, is another ancient beer style concoction. I think there is a recipe retrieved from Egyptian Pyramids or tombs.

Claude Lévi-Strauss makes a case for the invention of mead as a marker of the passage "from nature to culture."[9] Mead has played an important role in the beliefs and mythology of some peoples. One such example is the Mead of Poetry, a mead of Norse mythology crafted from the blood of the wise being Kvasir which turns the drinker into a poet or scholar.
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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Drc2,

This thread is about beer, so I will keep it short.

While I admit that I need to think through some more about what I say before I say it, and to consider what I am truly asking before I ask a question, it is just that I dislike dismissing a point of view with out questioning its presence in my own life. As a economic and political communitarian, I believe that dismissing ideas outright with out any intense dialectical thesis, antithesis, and synthesis is harmful to any community, not just the individuals that comprise it.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm
Quote douglaslee:

New Zealand has a few varieties of hops I used to use. Green Bullet and Super Alpha were extra bitter, but I always included Cascade anyhow. Are you using a champagne yeast for the triple and Belgian styles? They sound almost like barley wines. Most of my brews died out at 7% with brewer's yeast.

I stick with the original Belgian yeasts for my Belgian's... either the Chimay or the Rochefort strains depending on the style. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to Belgian's and always bottle them. Got into brewing Belgian's when I noticed the quality of Chimay began to slip. The trick for making Belgian's... or any beer really is watching your fermentation temps like a hawk and manipulating them precisly... for the style. Not controlling fermentation temp is the number one reason where homebrewers can go wrong...

I'm not a big fan of Barleywines myself. They are more like a liquer than a beer. Even my big 12% beers taste like beer. Barleywines are all about the malt, which can be a good thing. My thing is all about the complexity and making a big beer which doesn't taste like alcohol. Or making a IPA with north of a 100 IBU's which doesn't taste like drinking grass clippings from mowing the yard...

In the old days some people used Champaign yeast for big beers, now the only time I hear someone use it is for a stuck fermentation. A good Belgian can be almost like a really good wine. Almost all of the flavors derive from the yeast since the malt bill and sugar additions are very simple. We did a tour of most of the Belgian breweries and picked up some great tips from the monks and brew masters on site...

Cascade is a great go to hop. That and the other C's, Centennial, Columbus, Chinook... and these days Citra. For my big Ipa (which is a takeoff of Firestones Double Jack) I use Warrior at 90 min. then add some Columbus, Cascade and Centennial. Then dry hop with 1.5 oz of each Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade and Centennial every 2 days times 4....

I'm not a fan of fruit beers myself but my friends son really likes the Shocktop Raspberry Wheat. Couldn't see cloning anything from Shocktop so made my regular Wit (50% Belgium Pilsner Malt and 50% Torrified Wheat) and added 4 lbs of Raspberries once fermentation was complete. Came out better than I thought it would, albeit a reddish purple which turned out to be a good thing since the brides favorite color is purple...

norske's picture
norske
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Pierpont:
Quote micahjr34:

Sigh! I have a compromised liver, and can't drink alcohol. Sigh! :-(

Standardized milk thistle... and perhaps NAC. Both are sources of glutathione which the liver uses in great abundance.

A friend of mine had Hep C... and used both. Kept him stable for years. He just finished interferon treatments. He might have wanted to die... but it worked!

A place that might have some useful info is

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2013/mag2013_all.htm#magazine-menu

Click on the MAGAZINE link on the menu for a dropdown to other years.

Pierpont's picture
Pierpont
Joined:
Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

I don't drink Guiness anymore.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_American_Legislative...

The ALEC private enterprise board is composed of the following corporate leaders:

Kenneth LaneDiageoBoard MemberAlcoholic BeveragesActive

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diageo

Diageo's beverage brands include:[32]

I've sort of resigned myself to hairspray coladas. Or Boddingtons.

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Norske, have you visited the Great American Beer Festival in Denver? I remember picking some winners before the judges had posted their awards a few times. The Alaska smoked porter, and a St Luis Obisbo brew I had tried in St Luis Obisbo was one I got my brother, a fellow brewer to try.

I didn't have access to Belgian yeast back then. The abbeys were using the yeast wafting in on the wind with their shutters and windows open. Cobwebs covering the ceiling above the vats were good since they captured the yeast strains. I assume you have some good glassware to serve your different brews. I was in Amsterdam recently trying as many different draught Trappists as I could saving the stem coasters instead of buying the glasses. Each glass shape varied a bit but at home a snifter and some big red wine glasses with varying glass thicknesses make good substitutes.

A Christmas Kriek required to be served at 70 degress centigrade was a surprise this year at Systembolaget. Mulled wine I have had, but not mulled bubbly. Warm effervescense with fruity aroma tickling your tongue and a fire make a tiny pleasure a pleasant surprise.

I stick with the original Belgian yeasts for my Belgian's... either the Chimay or the Rochefort strains depending on the style - See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2013/02/corporations-going-way-too-far-now-theyre-watering-down-our-beer#newI stick with the original Belgian yeasts for my Belgian's... either the Chimay or the Rochefort strains depending on the style - See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2013/02/corporations-going-way-too-far-now-theyre-watering-down-our-beer#newI stick with the original Belgian yeasts for my Belgian's... either the Chimay or the Rochefort strains depending on the style - See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2013/02/corporations-going-way-too-far-now-theyre-watering-down-our-beer#new

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I try to hit the major beer festivals and the one in Denver is cool. (Get to check out my favorite Norton builder at the same time). Tickets already sold out for the local Firestone Walker Beer Festival which takes place on June 1st.

Some of the open fermenting beers are a gas to watch brewing. In the days prior to decent yeast being available, it was easy to harvest yeast from the bottles. The top Belgians have been using their particular strains for decades. (Just a skosh different from one another.)

I try not to get all wrapped up in the process and try to keep it simple. Started out with a cooler mash tun and turkey fryer set up, then progressed to a fancy RIMS 3 kettle system and temperature controlled conical fermenter and a small brew shed. Propagated yeast and got all into like crazy. Then I woke up and realized how stupid it was to be spending so much money on making beer while there are people starving and sleeping under bridges. Gave away or sold most of the fancy beer equipment along with other stupid hobby stuff.

Back to using a cheap ice chest for a mash tun with some decent 15 gal kettles and able to make the same great beer and even more fun as it is more hands on. Kept one of the conicals because it is so easy to dump trub, harvest yeast, and keep the temps steady. Still use 7 gal buckets with spigots for fermenting many batches and stick them in a temp controlled fridge to ferment.

Just obtained an old 7 cf freezer to turn into a 3 tap keezer for my friends wedding and as a present, since he drinks a lot of beer as opposed to my 2-3 a week.

Brewing beer and riding motorcycles takes my mind off of how criminal the US is and other problems. Giving the beer away to people who like beer is the best part.

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norske
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

watered-down beer is the most popular beer in the US! its called "Lite" beer! amazing. well, if americans will pay up to 6000x the price for a drink of toxic water 'cause 'cool' people do it on TV, we'll buy watered-down beer (for the same price as real beer). we just love to urinate!

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harry ashburn
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote harry ashburn:

watered-down beer is the most popular beer in the US! its called "Lite" beer! amazing. well, if americans will pay up to 6000x the price for a drink of toxic water 'cause 'cool' people do it on TV, we'll buy watered-down beer (for the same price as real beer). we just love to urinate!

As Archie Bunker once said... you don't buy beer, you only rent it.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

Just as a little side note on beer......

This last year the big beer makers in the US had to buy their hops from Canada due to glyphosate contamination in US grown hops.

When the liquid went to the fermentation phase, the glyphosate killed the yeast and prevented fermentation.

northlander
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Feb. 14, 2013 3:23 pm

Probably all the good beer is going to China because they have the money to pay more for it. I suspect this may be happening with food too.

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captbebops
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