A Reader Replied! Awesome!

A few days ago, a reader of my blog replied to one of my more recent posts, the one with the provocative title.  The reader sent me a link to an article that discussed how people in the beer world (and other arenas) are appropriating the phrase “black lives matter.”  The reader also explained that while they routinely enjoy my content, they felt uneasy about my choice of titles.  It gave me pause, and I understand and acknowledge their opinion.  This is why I’m a little slow in posting.  However, I will not be changing the title of my blog post.  What I will do however, is explain my views of the preciousness of life, briefly.

It’s not often that I delve into political issues on this blog.  Afterall, it’s about beer.  But, I do want to go on the record and detail my stance on a few things.

All lives matter:  regardless of color, creed, religion, race, age, and lifestyle preference- unless that preference happens to be in the pursuit of causing carnage, fear, and mass casualty.  At that point, I feel your life is forfeit.  On the flip-side of the spectrum, I wholeheartedly believe that unborn lives matter.  My belief that unborn life matters is so strong that this first determines whom I vote for in races for public office.

So, why exactly would I title what most people consider a trivial subject (beer) with such a lightning-rod of a phrase?

Actual black lagers, properly named schwarzbiers, are a German style that receives little consideration outside the world of craft aficionados (and inside the world of craft aficionados for that matter).  They’re not usually brewed with weird ingredients, barrel-aged, or possess double-digit abv.  But, when properly executed, they are flavorful, sessionable, unique beers that show a) dark doesn’t have to mean heavy AND b) all lagers aren’t boring, pale, rice/corn laden cans of swill.  For this reason, I wanted people to sit up and take notice of one of my favorite styles.

Perhaps this attitude is changing, albeit slowly.  A week ago I got an email message that Barley Creek Brewing took first place for their Angler in the black lager category at the United States Beer Tasting Championship.  For those of you lucky enough to have tasted it, you understand why.

The attitude toward black lagers may also be changing in the macro-beer world as well.  Not long ago Sapporo put out a black lager to add to their lighter lager options.  Pleasantly surprised this happened, I bought can consumed a few can just satisfy my curiosity.  Smooth, crisp, and easy to drink, I must say.

Appreciate lagers and share my belief that all life matters?  Let me know.  Your comments will be moderated to keep things friendly.

Is MillerCoors Bullet Proof?: Misleading Ads from Golden, CO

I’m not usually prone to producing op-ed pieces, but upon initially reading the title of this article, my knee-jerk reaction was “good, a macro beer producer is taking flak for false advertising.”  I’ve always been of the idea that you should live your life via a moral and ethical standard (mine stemming from my faith as a Christian).  Therefore, tell the truth.  Deception gets complicated and messy.  I also believe consumers have the right to know the truth, or at least access to it.  Maybe the majority of Americans want to be spoon-fed, not me.  I don’t mind doing a little digging.

That said, someone trying to take MillerCoors to court because they felt mislead about the production of their calorie-friendly lager needs to grow up.  We live in the most sue-friendly society to date, and I find it low-brow to try and receive remuneration in this fashion (isn’t that usually the case?).  I also believe that any judge giving serious thought to hearing this case is a few cans short of a six pack.  In the age of voice-activated Siri searches on smartphones and “google” being an accepted verb in common vernacular, information is at one’s fingertips.  If someone has ever wondered where their favorite products come from, all one has to do is search.  People, the Guinness we’ll drink in a few weeks doesn’t even come from Ireland!  It’s from Canada.  That search took me roughly 3 seconds.

I’m curious about the motivations of the lawyer taking this case—and offhandedly—whether they drink MillerCoors products (or if they even drink beer… or humorously enough… craft beer).  Are they just trying to make a point about company practices and misleading ads, or rather trying to brew up some publicity for the firm?

I blame each party for a different reason.

Some might raise the point that it’s time consuming and very difficult to be aware of the nature of all our favorite products.  Yes, I agree with you.  But, it would make me pause when seeing a sale sign for a 24-pack of Coors Lite for ~$15 in a Florida Walmart if that beer is really, exclusively produced in Golden.

And besides, that’s ~63 cents a can, whereas craft six packs are anywhere from ~$1.50-$2.00 a can/bottle, and often, much more.  And guess what, we pay it (more often than not) and know where it comes from, who owns it, and whether or not they’ve been bought out by AB Inbev, SABMiller, remain independent, or have joined forces with another craft brewery.  Some continue to drink it when they learn the truth, others like me, do not.

It’s your decision, but if you feel the need to know where your cherished brands come from, don’t be surprised when you learn the truth.

The silver lining to all this?  Companies might take a proactive approach to being honest with their customer base, in the hopes that the disclosure and transparency will garner the respect of consumers.