Friday, January 13, 2012

Eric Shepard and the King of Beers

This morning, a co-worker sent out a link to this Denver Post article: Disagreement between Denver, Boston mayors comes to a head. Apparently, the Boston mayor called Colorado beers "weak".

He told a Boston Globe reporter, "We have the best. . . . Colorado Rocky beer? Uck."

I was asked if what the Boston mayor said offended me. The answer is No, not really. I can't be angry at someone who is as obviously completely beer-ignorant as the Boston mayor. If the mayor had talked to Jim Koch of Boston Beer company (who actually knows a little about good beer), he would know that Denver, Colorado is one of the (if not THE) craft beer centers of the world. People who know good beer consider the Denver area "the Napa Valley of Beer".

All the Boston mayor did was communicate his lack of knowledge about beer. If I lived in Boston, what the mayor said would offend me more because it portrays Boston as an unsophisticated, uninformed beer town. Lots of the beer-related pages I "like" on face-book picked up on the mayor's comments and lots of the comments did seem angry at the mayor. I can't even bring myself to be offended. I just feel sorry for the poor guy's uninformed pitiful ignorance.

The original Denver Thibault (image from denverpost online)

Actually, it offends me more that part of the Denver's mayor response was, "the moment Sam Adams sells more beer than Coors, then he can come talk to me."

Anyway ... speaking of weak beers ...

Image from The Beer Sessions
Have you heard the news? Apparently, Coors Light overtook Budweiser as the #2 selling beer in the United States.

I've seen the news on several internet news sources, but I first saw it when Google Alerts emailed me a link to an article in called "The King of Beers slips another notch". And why did Google Alerts email me this link? It is not because I am interested in Budweiser or in Coors Light. It is because my name appears in the article. Yes, I have a Google Alert configured to email me when my name appears on the internet. Perhaps this is a bit vain, but seeing where my name showed up was one of the things that interested me when I decided to start setting up Google Alerts.

Apparently, Eric Shepard (not related to me in any way that I know) is some big-shot beer industry expert that writes for "Beer Marketer's Insights". As you can tell from this blog, I am far from a big-shot expert in anything, let alone the beer industry.

By the way ... how many of you readers realized I actually had a name other than ESheppy or Sheppy or Shep or the SheppyBrew Beer Master?

Of course, Eric may be this big-shot beer expert, but if you google "eric shepard" beer, the first page of results has a lot more hits that have to do with me than ones that have to do with him.

Image from The Beer Sessions
So, anyway, not as many people are drinking the King of Beers or maybe the same number of people are just drinking less. This doesn't surprise me. It certainly doesn't bother me. Personally, even before I was a craft beer snob, I never was a fan of Bud. I did like their Super Bowl commercials (still do for the most part); I mean who doesn't like the Bud-Wise-ER frogs (ok, bad example. Man those frogs got annoying ... didn't they)? But, drinking even one Budweiser gave me a headache. I don't like headaches so I stayed away from Bud even while drinking some pretty nasty fizzy yellow stuff. I am not sure why I had that reaction to Bud when other similar beers didn't do that to me.

Obviously, Bud is still a popular beer. Anheuser-Busch InBev sold 17.7 million barrels of it in the U.S. That is a lot of beer. Even the largest craft brewer in the country (Boston Beer Company) only sells a little over 2 million barrels of beer a year. That is over all the types of beer they make. In fact, according to the Brewers Association, all U.S. craft brewers sold less than 10 million barrels of beer in 2010. Across all its brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev sells over 100 million barrels of beer a year in the U.S. (I got this information from the AB - InBev website, but had to do some math to convert hectoliters to barrels). 17.7 million is a lot of beer; 100 million barrels of beer is a ridiculous amount. It sure makes my pitiful 3 barrels in 2011 seem pathetically small.

I suppose Miller-Coors is happy that their Coors Light overtook Bud in the #2 spot. Of course Bud Light is still #1, so maybe not. And there is that little issue that the big breweries keep losing market share in the united states to smaller craft breweries.

Well, I guess that's enough talk about the (former?) King of Beers. I'm going to go drink a finely crafted home-brew.

Oh ... another piece of beer news that my buddy Eric Shepard commented upon: Yuengling becomes largest US-owned brewery. Good for them. I don't drink much Yuengling ... they don't distribute to Colorado, and I only had it a couple times while visiting family "back east". It is good to know, though, that there are some still some big American breweries. Maybe we should start calling the Yuengling Lager "The King of Beers".

Go Broncos!

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