1001 Beers: Budweiser And The Beginning Of Craft Beer

This is going to be hard to do. I am going to try and take myself back to a time where all of the outrageous, insane beers we have today did not exist. I am going to try and live in a world where there is only one beer and it is The King! I am going to try and see what it would be like for a new, obscure, random company that claims to be offering something better and more flavorful would effect my outlook on beer. If I were around, would I make the change? Or would I stay with the familiar…

Beer Number 33: Budweiser

We all know the story about Budweiser and all have our opinions on the company. That is a whole different issue though. So, what I am doing here? This review is taking the classic beer of the time and putting it up against New Albion. The brand new brewery on the block offering a beer that is different from the rest. Beers from overseas that offer more to the consumer. Will it sell or is it just a waste of time? Might as well get this started… without BIAS… as much as I can.

Surely there are more challenging, rewarding beers? Yes, but Bud never pretends to be something that it isn’t: this is a beer about refreshment and drinkability, not for sipping out of a china teacup with a pinkie extended.

Budweiser stands for what all beers of this time were like. I mean, they call themselves “The King Of Beer”, right? There had to be something to that. They were better than the rest? They actually took the quality of their product to heart. Did whatever they could to maintain freshness and the appeal to their market. This can I have in front of me today was born on 12.12.12… That is kind of funny for me to think of. One brewery was having a major release party and another was doing the same old mundane taste of packaging beer. Interesting.

When I cracked the tab on my can… maybe I should have gotten a bottle, but this was all that the store had in a single… I noticed the this beer was really clear and had a small short lived white head. There is a signature scent to Budweiser. That caramel, green apple scent. A lot of it carries on into the flavor as well. Smooth, a bit of caramel sweetness that fades and green apples comes into the finish. There is a fairly big level of carbonation but nothing you would not expect. Crisp, Clean… dare I say it? Flawless… and you thought I was going to say Refreshing. Though, maybe it is.

Then one day, this guy rolls around. A new beer that promises to be better. Nothing like the beers that are available. Ones inspired from across the pond that actually have… Flavor.

New Albion was the pioneer for the craft breweries of today. People say that Jack McAuliffe literally started the revolution. Back in 1976, Jack opened the doors to this place just five years after he finished college and about 10 years after he fell in love with the beers he had in Scotland. Jack was a man that truly cared about what he tasted when he drank a beer.

I do not know what he liked to drink before he entered the Navy but once he got back, he really wanted to make a difference. While being very vital to the beginning of the movement, he may have came just a little too soon. In 1982 he closed his doors due to a lack of financing and economic trouble. Breweries that are around today, such as Sierra Nevada, give credit to Jack for their success and the start of their breweries in the ’80s.

This beer looks like the same that one should be used to drinking. A small white head that dies rather quickly, a very clean straw like color. Though the first noticeable difference is what you smell. Yeasty on the nose and a faint scent of grassy hops. When you drink this beer, you do get a more aggressive ale. The carbonation is high on it as well but there is a sharper bitterness in the finish and not the normal sweet, green apple taste you are accustomed to. It is grassy and piney. Has a noticeable heaviness to it too, comparatively.

I can see how different and aggressive this beer is tasting them side by side. When I had my first bottle of New Albion, while still trying to put myself back in time, I wondered…

What is the big deal? Did this beer just fail because of the price point? Because beer drinkers were not willing to branch out? This is almost the same beer they were drinking.

This has let me see there is more to it than that. Now we are just all washed away with beers that have 739 Thousand IBUs, 10.3% ABV, and Oak Aged with all the colors of the rainbow. New Albion is a truly great Pale Ale. The world of Craft Beer is far different today than it was back then/there was not one, but Jack took the stand and today there has been a lot done in his honor.

968 Bottle Of Beer To Go!

Cheers!

1001 Beers: Budweiser And The Beginning Of Craft Beer

2 thoughts on “1001 Beers: Budweiser And The Beginning Of Craft Beer

  1. Interesting post. I do remember the days when we bought Bud and thought of it as \”the good stuff,\” mostly because we were used to drinking Milwaukee's Best, or some other cheap stuff. And if we wanted something different, something with, gasp! flavor, we were shopping the import aisle. I remember when some smaller regional craft brewers started to get a little bit of market share. Now I am in awe of the tidal wave of craft beers, and seeing guys like Abita, Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams achieve the kind of sucess they have. What's more interesting to me is seeing how young many of the craft beer fans are; when i was their age I was interested in quantity and not quality. I bought a bomber of Bud a few nights ago on the way home from work at the gas station, because I haven't had one in YEARS. I was surprised at how sweet it tasted, I could reslly notice the rice adjuncts.

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  2. I partially think ages of quality beer drinkers today are younger because \”hipsters\” are cool. In an upcoming post, cough cough, I mention how a ton of people seek rare beers and they know nothing about the beer, the company, or the style of beer they are getting… Though, I will get more into that tomorrow.

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