10 February 2013

Getting Crafty in Saint Louis, or Haters Gonna Hate

You know, I'm not sure where all the Big Two hate truly comes from. I suspect a lot of it comes from snobbery. "My tastes are more refined than yours," it seems to say. While I can understand not liking a particular beer (Dog Fish Head 120 Minute IPA, I'm looking at you.), I don't understand hating the whole company. I don't like Ed's Cave Creek Chili Beer, but I don't hate on Ed, after all.

So as I report this interesting story, I am expecting comments along the line of "That swill will never touch my lips!" or "Why are you repeating this?"

It's an interesting story, so I thought I'd share.  Please feel free to fill the comments with ABInBev hate.

Rebecca Reid is a chemical engineer that works at the Budweiser brewery in Saint Louis, Missouri. If you want to blame someone for Bud Platinum, she's the culprit. Currently she is the brewmaster of the 10 barrel pilot brewery at the plant. She brews 500 batches a year on that system. Well, she does have a team that works with her on it, so maybe she doesn't personally brewed 500 times a year.  I don't know. The article isn't that specific.

Here are some interesting quotes from the article:


For Platinum, she overhauled the mix of grains, settling on a combination that lent a caramel-like note. She also altered the time the malt sat in the mash cooker; the longer it sits, the lighter and smoother the beer becomes. [Emphasis mine. - Jeff] And she went low on the hops, which produce bitterness, to bring out more sweetness, among other things.
 Does anyone know if that's true? Mashing longer makes lighter, smoother beer? Doesn't sound right to me.

Next:
Ms. Reid is trying to stretch the boundaries of what typically ends up in a beer. Recently she mixed hibiscus flowers with wheat and lemon peels to approximate the taste of a "strawberry lemonade'' beer. That idea came from a baking recipe for chocolate chili-powder cupcakes with hibiscus frosting. She said the beer batch tasted pretty good, but not good enough, and she plans to keep tinkering.
Other botanicals that she wants to experiment with in the coming months include thyme and rosemary. "If they go well in food, they should be good in beer,'' she says.
Careful with those adjuncts there, Becky. You don't want to rile up Charlie P. Only craft breweries can use those adjuncts!
Ms. Reid and her dozen assistants also recently experimented with several Christmas beers, brewing a peppermint stout as well as gingerbread, raisin and apple-pie ales that might one day make their way to store shelves. 
So I will leave you with a question: If Budweiser were to make an exceptional Peppermint Stout, full of body and flavor, would you buy it? Or would you turn up your nose dismissively?

Discuss.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:00

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