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Beer Wars - The Movie Now Available On Netflix!!!

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Beer Wars is a great documentary about the beer industry. I highly recommend it to all of my fellow beer drinkers. It is available in both DVD and streaming form via netflix on 2/2/10.

Enjoy and please post your reviews here!

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Thanks for the heads up on this. Im getting ready to watch this on netflix right now. I'll let you know how it is.

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wtached a downloaded version of this last week, very entertaining, and informative.

another good one is American Beer.

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crazybrody wrote:

Thanks for the heads up on this. Im getting ready to watch this on netflix right now. I'll let you know how it is.

Ok so I watched this. Im a little torn, its a GIANT anti Anheuser-Busch commerical. On the other hand I was kinda sucked into it. It makes you realize how hard it is to get your beer distributed and then when you do A-B is there to smack you back down. The perfect example was the suit against Dogfish that said the names Punkin Ale and Chicory Stout were to generic of names.

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Watching this right now... I now have hydrometer envy after seeing the big-ass hydrometers they were using at Dogfish Head... ;)

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its a great movie. its cool to see how hard it is to get a beer into market, and how AB basically has a monopoly on the market.

Not to sure if that moonshot beer will ever make it.

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gokorn1 wrote:

its a great movie. its cool to see how hard it is to get a beer into market, and how AB basically has a monopoly on the market.

Not to sure if that moonshot beer will ever make it.

I agree, good movie though!

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Guest System Admin

Thanks for the heads up. I just placed it in Net Flix. queue. TonyK

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i only wish it was easier to turn this hobby into a full time job and make money at it. Like dog fish.

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Watched...Interesting...

Had my first Dogfish after watching this doco...90 min IPA....Awesome..
Good luck Moonshot...Caffine and beer :X
Sam Adams...Still the good guys...for now...
Chick doing doco...great attitude...but Mikes Lemonade :throwup:

All in All well worth watching... :)

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gokorn1 wrote:


Not to sure if that moonshot beer will ever make it.

I'm sure many have seen this, but Moonshot was effectively shot down by the FDA in the alcohol and caffeine brew-ha-ha in December. Here's information on their website, including a petition if you are so inclined. Caffeinated beer never interested me, but it kinda stinks that they got shut down...

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Great movie I watched in about 6 months back very informative

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I saw this movie about a month ago and it really opened my eyes on how a company gets their beer distributed. Seems like the big get bigger.

I find it interesting that AB when they find a niche that they can't fulfill, they just go out and buy the product.

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Metzger Brewing wrote:

I find it interesting that AB when they find a niche that they can't fulfill, they just go out and buy the product.

Damn capitalists!

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watched this a few months back. very interesting. You HAVE TO drink a home brew while watching. It's mandatory. If you don't, you'll get thirsty quickly.

I never realized how difficult the process is of getting your beer on the shelf. Kinda crushes ones dreams of opening a brewery.

Although this doc may have a slanted view of things to some respect. What you do see is the energy, drive and commitment of the little guy to deliver a quality beer while AB, Coors, Miller are all about the dollar. Makes me proud that i brew my own and when i buy, i buy from breweries who put heart into there brew

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BrewHaHa78 wrote:

Although this doc may have a slanted view of things to some respect.

Oh, you think?

What you do see is the energy, drive and commitment of the little guy to deliver a quality beer while AB, Coors, Miller are all about the dollar.

I wonder if any of the thousands of men and women who go to work every day at Anheuser Busch are committed to quality at all. When I've heard it presented from their point of view, it seems they are. I suppose that's just clever marketing though. We won't let ourselves be fooled by that, now will we?

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bigdave3124 wrote:

BrewHaHa78 wrote:

Although this doc may have a slanted view of things to some respect.

Oh, you think?

What you do see is the energy, drive and commitment of the little guy to deliver a quality beer while AB, Coors, Miller are all about the dollar.

I wonder if any of the thousands of men and women who go to work every day at Anheuser Busch are committed to quality at all. When I've heard it presented from their point of view, it seems they are. I suppose that's just clever marketing though. We won't let ourselves be fooled by that, now will we?

I take it you like Bud.... i drink water from time to time as well

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bigdave3124 wrote:

BrewHaHa78 wrote:

Although this doc may have a slanted view of things to some respect.

Oh, you think?

What you do see is the energy, drive and commitment of the little guy to deliver a quality beer while AB, Coors, Miller are all about the dollar.

I wonder if any of the thousands of men and women who go to work every day at Anheuser Busch are committed to quality at all. When I've heard it presented from their point of view, it seems they are. I suppose that's just clever marketing though. We won't let ourselves be fooled by that, now will we?

Well, they are surely out to make a quality product... for what it is. meaning, it's not at all close to being the worlds greatest beer (or "The King").. atleast in a lot of peoples eyes... but for what it is, it is aquality product so I am sure the workers take pride in it. :)

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BrewHaHa78 wrote:


I take it you like Bud.... i drink water from time to time as well

It's not really necessary to to criticize somebody for their taste in beer is it? To each their own.

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kedogn wrote:

bigdave3124 wrote:

BrewHaHa78 wrote:

Although this doc may have a slanted view of things to some respect.

Oh, you think?

What you do see is the energy, drive and commitment of the little guy to deliver a quality beer while AB, Coors, Miller are all about the dollar.

I wonder if any of the thousands of men and women who go to work every day at Anheuser Busch are committed to quality at all. When I've heard it presented from their point of view, it seems they are. I suppose that's just clever marketing though. We won't let ourselves be fooled by that, now will we?

Well, they are surely out to make a quality product... for what it is. meaning, it's not at all close to being the worlds greatest beer (or "The King").. atleast in a lot of peoples eyes... but for what it is, it is aquality product so I am sure the workers take pride in it. :)

exactly... listen, I've had a lot of Bud Lights in my day. I'm not saying it's garbage or it's employees don't care about quality, but honestly, it's just not good tasting. It's a cheap easy drinking way to get hammered.

The more I home brew, the more friends and family try it and discover that beer can have flavor and body and they are now open to buying/trying new beers of different styles. I recently converted a friend who's #1 beer choice was Mich Ultra. He showed up at my house last week with a 6 of Blue Moon and a 6 of Killiams Irish Red.

Americans have been raised with advertisement after advertisement for Bud, Miller, Coors etc. So, that is all they know of beer. A lot of people need to be shown the light is all. As i've been shown.

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One thing to consider regarding quality and the typical American light lagers is that it's actually a lot harder to brew something light in color and flavor and have it turn out well. With a more complex beer, it's a lot easier to hide small mistakes because there's a lot more going on and there's a lot more flavor to cover up any slight mishaps. With a thin bodied beer that doesn't have a lot of flavor, a very small mistake becomes very noticeable. So in a way, I guess those guys are doing some really good things in terms of quality control and so forth.

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Just bumping this, as I watched it last night and thought it was pretty good. Worth watching, for sure...

It's kind of depressing how much InBev (A/B) owns - Grolsch, Stella, yadda, yadda, yadda, and how they can make their stuff "look like" a craft beer to fool the public who may lean towards those things, but I guess that's business.

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It's funny how many people get fooled thinking Blue Moon is a Micro-Brew. Blue Moon is made by Coors, (figures, no head at all), Rickards is made by Molson, Killians Irish Red is made by Coors, and there's more. It's just another ploy by the big Macro breweries to squeeze out the little guy, AGAIN! :angry:

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Ikaika wrote:

It's funny how many people get fooled thinking Blue Moon is a Micro-Brew. Blue Moon is made by Coors, (figures, no head at all), Rickards is made by Molson, Killians Irish Red is made by Coors, and there's more. It's just another ploy by the big Macro breweries to squeeze out the little guy, AGAIN! :angry:

Damn Capitalists! When will these big Macro breweries finally learn that it isn't nice to make beer that people want to drink?

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bigdave3124 wrote:

Damn Capitalists! When will these big Macro breweries finally learn that it isn't nice to make beer that people want to drink?

You have to admit, it's pretty funny how far out of their way they go sometimes to hide the fact that they brew some of the beers they brew. To the extent of literally creating new "breweries" inside their breweries with a completely different name. :laugh:

That said, the Three-Tier Distribution model has got to go. I understand the reason it was put in place, but quite frankly, it doesn't work. The way it's operating now is completely antithetical to the values of a free market system. That was my biggest takeaway from the movie "Beer Wars."

That, and knowing what I know now about Dogfish Head, and seeing where he "started" it was great to see how, at the end of the day, making great beer will triumph over all no matter how badly the deck is stacked against the "little guy."

Oh, that and the frivolous lawsuits that the "big guys" would bring to try to lawyer him out of business. I couldn't tell whether to laugh, cry, or get angry at that crap.

I say all this as someone who has no problem drinking BMC products.

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bigdave3124 wrote:

Ikaika wrote:

It's funny how many people get fooled thinking Blue Moon is a Micro-Brew. Blue Moon is made by Coors, (figures, no head at all), Rickards is made by Molson, Killians Irish Red is made by Coors, and there's more. It's just another ploy by the big Macro breweries to squeeze out the little guy, AGAIN! :angry:

Damn Capitalists! When will these big Macro breweries finally learn that it isn't nice to make beer that people want to drink?

Like? Or forced to drink? Pay big bucks to get prime real estate in grocery and liquor stores knowing the small beer makers can't compete so people can't try something new and better? Sure it's business but it doesn't mean it's ethical. If some people like to drink pale watered down sugar pee then by all means, enjoy. I'll stick to the wonderful craft beers that small companies produce, that actually care and are passionate about what they make. Their the ones who get my money and the macro-breweries get one less sheep!

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VTGroff wrote:

You have to admit, it's pretty funny how far out of their way they go sometimes to hide the fact that they brew some of the beers they brew. To the extent of literally creating new "breweries" inside their breweries with a completely different name. :laugh:

What I will gladly admit is that I know almost nothing about "marketing"! Still, I'm not sure I would call the practice you mention here to be going "out of their way." It's incredibly easy to find out which breweries own which brands, and everyone who cares about such trivia (I'll admit, I'm one such person) seems to know it rather well. Marketing is rather a dense subject to my mind and I don't pretend to know why different products are branded the way they are, but I doubt that it's a conspiracy to get craft brew drinkers to support the evil empire. We're far too smart for that anyway.

Beer Wars is a well-made documentary that is intended to cause the reactions it does. It mostly deals with things like 3-tier distribution systems, politics, lawsuits, and business – none of which I know (or care) the first thing about. I do know (and care about) the fact that I can walk into every grocery store in my little hometown in the upper Ohio valley and find a tremendous variety of beers from all sorts of breweries - large, small and in-between. The American beer drinker has never had it better. And I do love being an American beer drinker.

I also know something about brewing beer, the use of corn and rice adjuncts, and related things. On those things, Beer Wars spouts a bunch of BS. I suspect (but don’t know) that there are distortions in the other parts of the documentary as well.

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bigdave3124 wrote:

VTGroff wrote:

You have to admit, it's pretty funny how far out of their way they go sometimes to hide the fact that they brew some of the beers they brew. To the extent of literally creating new "breweries" inside their breweries with a completely different name. :laugh:

but I doubt that it's a conspiracy to get craft brew drinkers to support the evil empire. We're far too smart for that anyway.

Really, you doubt this? I'd argue that it's literally the entire point.

Beer Wars is a well-made documentary that is intended to cause the reactions it does. It mostly deals with things like 3-tier distribution systems, politics, lawsuits, and business – none of which I know (or care) the first thing about. I do know (and care about) the fact that I can walk into every grocery store in my little hometown in the upper Ohio valley and find a tremendous variety of beers from all sorts of breweries - large, small and in-between. The American beer drinker has never had it better. And I do love being an American beer drinker.

I'm just saying that the notion that brewers need to sell their product to a distributor who then sells their beer to retailers is outdated and unnecessary. All its doing at this point is creating an unnecessary barrier to market entry for small breweries, and thus reducing competition. Things for the American beer drinker have never been better, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to make them *even better*. Complacency is the enemy of a free people.

I also know something about brewing beer, the use of corn and rice adjuncts, and related things. On those things, Beer Wars spouts a bunch of BS. I suspect (but don’t know) that there are distortions in the other parts of the documentary as well.

What BS about Corn and Rice adjuncts to they spew? I'm not doubting you, I'm generally interested, I didn't catch any of that when I watched the movie.

SEMI-TANGENT: For people who like documentaries, "King of Pong: A fistful of Quarters" is a very good and entertaining watch and available on Netflix Instant.

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VTGroff wrote:

bigdave3124 wrote:

VTGroff wrote:

You have to admit, it's pretty funny how far out of their way they go sometimes to hide the fact that they brew some of the beers they brew. To the extent of literally creating new "breweries" inside their breweries with a completely different name. :laugh:

but I doubt that it's a conspiracy to get craft brew drinkers to support the evil empire. We're far too smart for that anyway.

Really, you doubt this? I'd argue that it's literally the entire point.
Actually I thought I was just being funny to call it a "conspiracy" and all that. And maybe you're just pulling my leg in return, I don't know. But the tiny little bit I've ever heard about marketing tells me that companies are forever creating and protecting the "image" of their "brands." My guess is that this is just more "marketing" and it has almost nothing to do with trying to fool anybody (unless, of course, all marketing is just fooling people - and there might just be some truth to that.)

Beer Wars is a well-made documentary that is intended to cause the reactions it does. It mostly deals with things like 3-tier distribution systems, politics, lawsuits, and business – none of which I know (or care) the first thing about. I do know (and care about) the fact that I can walk into every grocery store in my little hometown in the upper Ohio valley and find a tremendous variety of beers from all sorts of breweries - large, small and in-between. The American beer drinker has never had it better. And I do love being an American beer drinker.


I'm just saying that the notion that brewers need to sell their product to a distributor who then sells their beer to retailers is outdated and unnecessary. All its doing at this point is creating an unnecessary barrier to market entry for small breweries, and thus reducing competition. Things for the American beer drinker have never been better, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to make them *even better*. Complacency is the enemy of a free people.
Oh, I suppose you're right. And after I've figured out a way to solve one or two more important problems, I'm going to be sure to get right to work on getting more beer choices into my local Kroger. (It's right after world peace and a cure for AIDS, I think.) Meanwhile I'm not completely sure I'll even be able to try all the craft brews and imports that are in there now (not to mention the mass-produced "swill" that I'm still so fond of drinking.)

I also know something about brewing beer, the use of corn and rice adjuncts, and related things. On those things, Beer Wars spouts a bunch of BS. I suspect (but don’t know) that there are distortions in the other parts of the documentary as well.

What BS about Corn and Rice adjuncts to they spew? I'm not doubting you, I'm generally interested, I didn't catch any of that when I watched the movie.

Well, it has been a while for me (and no, I'm not planning to go and rent it again) but I do recall a short bit about the superiority of "all-malt beer" to beer containing "corn and rice". It's the craft brewers' own marketing mule that they drag out as often as necessary to kick the big brewers. I'm sensitive to it because I rather like using corn and rice in my homebrews (as does Charlie Papazian, I might add!) Of course, when a craft brewer "breaks ranks", they censor him (as Patrick Rue, owner of the Bruery in Orange County, was in one of their marketing videos. .) Putting corn or rice in beer doesn't make beer "inferior" any more than brewing with pumpkins, green raisins, or human spit (a la Caligione). It's all a matter of taste.

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bigdave3124 wrote:

Actually I thought I was just being funny to call it a "conspiracy" and all that. And maybe you're just pulling my leg in return, I don't know. But the tiny little bit I've ever heard about marketing tells me that companies are forever creating and protecting the "image" of their "brands." My guess is that this is just more "marketing" and it has almost nothing to do with trying to fool anybody (unless, of course, all marketing is just fooling people - and there might just be some truth to that.)

I dunno, it seems to go beyond marketing. It seems intentionally deceptive. There is a case to be made taht all marketing is intentionally deceptive, but to get to the point where you're literally creating entire new shell companies to disguise the source of your beer, I dunno. Just seems weird to me.

Oh, I suppose you're right. And after I've figured out a way to solve one or two more important problems, I'm going to be sure to get right to work on getting more beer choices into my local Kroger. (It's right after world peace and a cure for AIDS, I think.) Meanwhile I'm not completely sure I'll even be able to try all the craft brews and imports that are in there now (not to mention the mass-produced "swill" that I'm still so fond of drinking.)

Please don't use quotes around words that I never said. I never called BMC beer "swill." I drink BMC products all the time with no problem. I have to be honest, you seem needlessly defensive in this conversation. I don't care what you drink, and I don't care what you like.

I *do* care when big companies engage in anti-competitive practices, though. Because I beleive in the value of a free market, and I believe that competition will only be better for the consumer in the long run. I don't like it when the "big guys" intentionally try to keep the "little guys" out of the ballgame, I think we all lose in that situation.

That's not to say there's not bigger problems in the world, but there will *always* be bigger problems in the world. And if you don't care, that's fine, you don't care. But, the distributor lobby and the BMCs of the world are fighting very hard and spending a lot of money to maintain the status quo. Complacency on the part of us the consumer will only make sure that nothing ever changes. I don't agree that you ever have to focus on one thing at a time. There's no reason why we can't address poverty, AIDS, *and* an outdated and easily abused distribution system for alcohol in this country all at the same time.

Well, it has been a while for me (and no, I'm not planning to go and rent it again) but I do recall a short bit about the superiority of "all-malt beer" to beer containing "corn and rice". It's the craft brewers' own marketing mule that they drag out as often as necessary to kick the big brewers. I'm sensitive to it because I rather like using corn and rice in my homebrews (as does Charlie Papazian, I might add!) Of course, when a craft brewer "breaks ranks", they censor him (as Patrick Rue, owner of the Bruery in Orange County, was in one of their marketing videos. .) Putting corn or rice in beer doesn't make beer "inferior" any more than brewing with pumpkins, green raisins, or human spit (a la Caligione). It's all a matter of taste.

So, they didn't really "BS" anything, they just have a different opinion on corn and rice as adjuncts in their beer. I dunno, I can't but feel the need to pull out the world's smallest violin when I hear about the "little guys" picking on the "big guys." I mean, come on. I agree with you that it's a stupid attitude to have, but in the grand scheme of things it seems eye-rollingly small. Especially compared to when A-B was trying to sue DFH for using the names "Punkin" and "Chicory" in their beer.

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VTGroff wrote:

Please don't use quotes around words that I never said. I never called BMC beer "swill." I drink BMC products all the time with no problem. I have to be honest, you seem needlessly defensive in this conversation. I don't care what you drink, and I don't care what you like.

Yikes, that hurts. I was aware that you said you drank "BMC products" and, of course, knew that you never used the word "swill". It never occured to me that using quotes around the word would imply that you personally had said it. But I can see how you might think that. Sorry to have offended.

Otherwise, I did enjoy the conversation, really!

Cheers!

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VTGroff wrote:

Especially compared to when A-B was trying to sue DFH for using the names "Punkin" and "Chicory" in their beer.

Ironic that this lawsuit came from a company that sells a beer called 'Natural Light'... If Punkin and Chicory aren't copyright-able (is that a word?) because the names are too common or generic, I can't for the life of me figure out how 'Natural Light' is...

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VTGroff wrote:


SEMI-TANGENT: For people who like documentaries, "King of Pong: A fistful of Quarters" is a very good and entertaining watch and available on Netflix Instant.

King of Kong is frickin' awesome!

billy-mitchell.jpg

Theres-A-Potential-Donkey-Kong-Kill-Scre

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Just watched it for the first time. Wonderful and sad. How the big beer guys have a vice grip on the industry. The lawsuit against Dogfish is a perfect example. Hopefully that suit doesn't go far. Only really SKANK companies do business that way.

AB you should be ashamed !

I just don't get bud and the likes. I mean why wouldn't you want sediment in the bottom of your bottle? :S

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bigdave3124 wrote:

Yikes, that hurts. I was aware that you said you drank "BMC products" and, of course, knew that you never used the word "swill". It never occured to me that using quotes around the word would imply that you personally had said it. But I can see how you might think that. Sorry to have offended.

Otherwise, I did enjoy the conversation, really!

Cheers!

Dave,

Now that I read the part of my post that you quoted I can totally see how it came off much harsher than was intended. That was never my intent, and I apologize. It just seemed like you were trying to unfairly lump me in with Beer Snobs, and if there's one thing I hate almost as much as large corporations engaging in anti-competitive practices, it's Beer Snobs :laugh:

I was just really trying to drive the point home that I don't judge people by the beer they drink. B)

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swenocha wrote:


Ironic that this lawsuit came from a company that sells a beer called 'Natural Light'... If Punkin and Chicory aren't copyright-able (is that a word?) because the names are too common or generic, I can't for the life of me figure out how 'Natural Light' is...

I was actually thinking about this on my way home from work, They audacity required for a company that has brews called "Budweiser American Ale," "Bud Light Golden Wheat," and "Bud Light Lime" to sue someone *else* for using generic names is just astounding.

Editors Note: I'm a fan of the American Ale. I'm pretty sure it's a recipe they "stole" (They didn't steal it) from Dominion when they bought it and re-labeled under the Bud label.


King of Kong is frickin' awesome!

Of all the lessons I took away from "King of Kong," it was that Nerds can be just as evil, clique-ie, and dickish as the jockiest of jocks. I'd argue that nerds can even take it to a more extreme, scarier next level.

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I agree that this is a well done, thought provoking film. After seeing the anticompetitive practices of InBev and the other big boys, I have resolved not to support them any further with my money. There are now plenty of craft brews out there by independent brewers, so I don't see the need to buy any BMC products. I can't affect their behavior by myself, but it makes me feel better to boycott them.

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VTGroff wrote:

swenocha wrote:


Ironic that this lawsuit came from a company that sells a beer called 'Natural Light'... If Punkin and Chicory aren't copyright-able (is that a word?) because the names are too common or generic, I can't for the life of me figure out how 'Natural Light' is...

I was actually thinking about this on my way home from work, They audacity required for a company that has brews called "Budweiser American Ale," "Bud Light Golden Wheat," and "Bud Light Lime" to sue someone *else* for using generic names is just astounding.

Editors Note: I'm a fan of the American Ale. I'm pretty sure it's a recipe they "stole" (They didn't steal it) from Dominion when they bought it and re-labeled under the Bud label.


King of Kong is frickin' awesome!

Of all the lessons I took away from "King of Kong," it was that Nerds can be just as evil, clique-ie, and dickish as the jockiest of jocks. I'd argue that nerds can even take it to a more extreme, scarier next level.

What's really ironic is that Budweiser was a Czech/German beer before it was made in the US and when they first made it here, they were making it in the style of Budweiser (with which many German and Czech immigrants were familiar) and trying to copy the original (I don't think it's close anymore). After prohibition, they were able to get the beer out faster. In Europe, I think the Budweiser trademark belongs to the original, and I think both are sold as Budweiser in England (but I could be wrong).

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It's sad that Budweiser (and other brands) is brewed at the Guinness brewery in Ireland.

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VTGroff wrote:

Dave,

Now that I read the part of my post that you quoted I can totally see how it came off much harsher than was intended. That was never my intent, and I apologize. It just seemed like you were trying to unfairly lump me in with Beer Snobs, and if there's one thing I hate almost as much as large corporations engaging in anti-competitive practices, it's Beer Snobs :laugh:

I was just really trying to drive the point home that I don't judge people by the beer they drink. B)

Okay, I think I get it now. In any case no offense intended and none taken.

I can see better all the time where you're coming from on this. Pretty close to where I stand, I think. I'm pretty sure most people find snobbery in general to be ugly (not to mention tiring!) I certainly do. I should say, however, that the term "Beer Snob" apparently means something a bit different to some people. For some, apparently, it goes something like this: "I don't seem to like the sort of beers that most folks like, so I'm sure they'll think that makes me a snob. Well, alright then, I guess I'm a snob. A beer snob. So be it." When that's the attitude, it sounds like it's more of a joke (on the person calling himself that) than anything serious. I get that.

But now and again, you really run across someone who (as you put it) would actually "judge people by the beer they drink" - or at least judge their tastebuds in that way. Pitying me (or their other friends and neighbors), perhaps, for not being "fortunate" enough to have the same taste buds as they have. That's just snobbery of the ugly, tiring, anything-but-funny sort - particularly (of course) when it's directed against me and the beers I brew. (And, really, I'm as much of a "little guy" as there is when it comes to brewing beer!) And if I have any real objection to Beer Wars, it's just that it tends to reinforce and encourage that sort of snobbery.

Cheers!

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