And thus I have failed.

BrewDog, if you’re not familiar with them, are a Scottish brewery that, according to lore, are busy modeling their public image after Stone in their reverse psychology, “You’re not cool enough to be drinking this beer.” type of message. It’s all very cute and apparently incredibly effective.

The reason that I’ve been trying not to comment on them is because they’re punks. By punks, I think that it’s important that you realize that I don’t mean the sort of punk that rocks the Kasbah or the sort that promotes anarchy in the kingdom. They are the sort of punks with really consistent and compelling graphic design that have just recently had a public offering of their stock (EU residents only). They are punks in a sort of MTV “Punk’d” kind of way, which I don’t really mean as a compliment, but a sad statement of fact.

They also make, honestly, some really great beer. In a way, it’s too bad, because their beer is really overshadowed by their actions. Pretty much anytime I read about BrewDog I read about the company and the fact that the beer exists, not about what the beer actually tastes like. That I’ve had to find out on my own.

Without casting too much judgment (I’ll leave that to others) here are a few pieces that have caught my eye:

Earlier this year, BrewDog’s Tokyo* Imperial Stout was banned by The Portman Group, which is an organization in the UK which essentially acts as a watchdog group to promote responsible drinking in the UK. In and of itself, this isn’t really awful except that it was apparently banned due to a complaint by Brew Dog’s co-founder James Watt, which is just weird.

In response to the fairly ridiculous response that Tokyo* got by the media in the UK, the brewery released an “Imperial Mild” called Nanny State. They say it best in their own words:

Nanny State is our quiet and dignified response to the ongoing controversy surrounding Britain’s strongest ever beer, Tokyo*. Nanny State is a 1.1% ale. We have gone from making Britain’s strongest beer to a brew so low in alcohol it is below the legal classification of beer and not strong enough to be subject to beer duty.

Nanny State is an extraordinary little beer. It contains more hops than any other beer we have ever brewed. There is over 60 kilos used in our tiny 20HL batch. It contains more hops than any other beer ever brewed in the UK. It has a theoretical IBU of 225.

It hasn’t been very well received, but I haven’t tried it, myself. It would seem, to me, to be a bit out of balance.

This past week, they released what they say is the strongest beer in the world: Tactical Nuclear Penguin (which I think is an awesome name), an imperial stout weighing in at 32% alcohol on the same day that Scottish Parliament was debating a bill setting a minimum price for alcohol sales and raising age at which people may buy alcohol. It’s been posited, rather angrily, that the timing was intentional. Normally, I’d think that was a stretch, but after watching BrewDog operate its releases as social statements previous to this hard to think it’s anything but planned.

(Note: Apparently, it’s only going to be the world’s strongest for a little while. A small German brewery is releasing a 40% alcohol Eisbock. Yikes!)

As for me, I can’t decide if these guys are marketing geniuses or just making shit up as they go along. They seem to be operating under the aphorism by Oscar Wilde, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” I’m not sure I really agree with that. Statements from neo-Prohibitionists with words like “childlike attention-seeking” are the kind of things that get picked up by people who don’t know what you’re all about. That’s the backwards way to publicity. You want the Prohibitionists to be the ones defending their stance against the incredulous media, not you defending yours. You want to convince people in general that the crazies are railing against nothing, not give the crazies ammunition.

I’ve also read suggestions that this is just the wacky Scottish sense of humor coming through. I have to say: I do find some of the things that they’ve been doing funny. There’s amusement to be had. On the other hand, if I had laid down £230 per share on this company for any significant amount of shares I don’t think I’d be laughing. I think I’d be wanting them to stop fucking around with my £230 and get back to what they do best: Making good beer. The UK beer market isn’t that wild and out there. I’m sure there are plenty of boundaries that can be pushed in the UK without stirring up quite as much shit as they have. But I guess then they wouldn’t be punks.

Maybe they’re just being the wrong kind of punks. Myself, I’d shoot for Joe Strummer over Ashton Kutcher. I’m old school, like that.

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Categories: brewery, industry, marketing, news
Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 30 Nov 2009 @ 04 59 PM

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 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:36 PM 

“With great beer, comes great responsibility.”

So says Uncle Ben on his death sidewalk to MillerCoors, the secret identity of Spiderbrau before he whisks off into the night, swinging from hop bine to hop bine to avenge the death of his only father figure, now dead…. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

And thus I have labeled myself as a comic book geek, as well.

Recently, MillerCoors launched a new website: and it is glorious. I don’t want to badmouth this for its focus on ecology and good environmental responsibility, and I’m glad they’re going through this contrived marketing exercise to let us know that they’re doing their part.

I want to badmouth it for so many other reasons.

For one thing, nobody should ever make anything that autoplays noise – especially talking – when you first go to a website. Let me walk you through my first experience with this website:

Erik clicks on a link from a news article announcing this website.

Swarthy and Attractive Multicultural Man pops up on the screen.

“Hi!” says Swarthy and Attractive Multicultural Man with a little wave.

Erik closes browser quickly. Erik’s cube-mate looks over at him.

“What was that?” asks Erik’s cube mate.

“Uhh.. nothing.” he replies slyly.

Erik mutes his computer, re-opens website. Fake Redhead pops up on the screen and starts talking animatedly with her hands clenched tightly together with some message that I will never hear.

And thus, your welcome script has been lost. Well-done MillerCoors.

Okay, so aside from irking me by trying to be over-awesome with their technology and co-opting a phrase from a movie made about my favorite childhood superhero, the thing that amuses me about the site is that it seems so hellbent on getting people to pledge to do stuff with them but… who’s going to use this site? Why would you? What do you get in return – self-satisfaction? I suppose that’s what the internet is all about.

Here are my favorite three parts of the website:

Alcohol Responsibility

Here, we see a graphic narrated by Attractive Latina of how many MillerCoors customers have pledged to never drive drunk.

111. Now, even if this number was 1, and that was really one more person who really was never going to drive drunk again, that’d be awesome, but I’m not convinced that clicking a link on a website saying that you’re not going to do it means that you’re really not going to do it. Part of me thinks that you want to give people some sort of incentive for not making this pledge, but then people would just pledge to get whatever you’re incentivizing them with, but it would at least give you a more impressive looking number than 111.

And y’know? Sit back for a moment and think about how many people work for MillerCoors worldwide. Don’t you think that they could have passed something around even one of their offices saying, “Please go pledge to not drive drunk, or you’re fired.” to pop that number up a little bit for release?

Environmental Sustainability

On this slide, Fake Redhead shows us how much water MillerCoors is saving compared to the rest of us. Please note, the number of gallons of water MillerCoors has saved so far YTD is not the actual number. It is an estimate based on projection of water savings from 2009 – 2015. So, essentially, they made it up.
And the rest of us lousy bastards have pledged to save only 2797 gallons of water, by doing one of 5 things that you can promise them that you’ll do:

– Take shorter showers
– Don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth
– Don’t let the water run while you do the dishes
– Don’t let the water run while you wash your car
– Only do full loads of laundry

While they don’t explicitly say this, I’m pretty sure that if you pledge to do one of these things and do not fulfill your promise, you are no longer allowed to purchase MillerCoors products.

Really the thing that amuses me about this is the enormous juxtaposition between two-thousand gallons and fourteen-million. See my previous argument about passing this around the office.

Here’s something that you can do to save an enormous amount of energy and do very good for the environment: Drink local beer, not beer that was shipped halfway across the country or halfway across the world before it got on your grocer’s shelf.

What Will You Do?

This is my favorite part of the WHOLE website. This little scrolly bar shows all of the things that people have pledged to do in order to make a difference. You can click on it and make your own pledge.
These people are JUST LIKE YOU.
There are currently 20 in total. So that you don’t have to go to the website and watch them scroll yourself, here they are:

Water my lawn less. – Pam, LA
Use less plastic. – Peggy, LA
Turn the lights off when I leave the room. – Allie, IL
I will never drive drunk. – Bryan, IL
Wash my clothes in cold water instead of hot. – Katie, CO
Practice energy consevation programs,learned at work,in our homes. -Joel G., CA
Get a designated driver each and every time I go out. – Josh, IL
Use a rain barrel to collect water for plants. AnnMarie, CA
Visit to know more about alcohol and health. – Amit, AL
Don’t let the water run when brushing my teeth. – Kim, WI
Don’t leave the water running when brushing teeth and washing dishes. – Lisa, CO
Purchase wind energy from the local utility to power my house. – Lisa, WI
Turn off the water when I brush my teeth. – Beth, WI
Turn off the lights when I leave a room. No exceptions. – Jim, CO
Encourage recycling in my office – paper, cans, boxes – anything possible! – Deb, IL
Take shorter showers. – Sandra, WI
Talked to my daughter about alcohol and what to do if it shows up at high school parties. – Diane, WI
Volunteer my time in my community on a regular basis. – Ryan, WI
Take a shorter shower and encourage my friends to do the same. – Brennan, WI
Start talking to my kids about drinking early so they make responsible choices. – Alicia, ME

I don’t know about you, but my first impression is that these are not real people. Nevermind that most of these statements look like they’re cut and pasted from the rest of the site. Nevermind that most of them are from the same 3 states. Nevermind that Amit from Alabama actually plugged another MillerCoors site. Real people are going to be putting things in like,

I will drink beer insted of watur LOLOL!!11

What I’d really like to see is a mass write in campaign on this site with all of the comments saying something like:

I will save fossil fuels by drinking locally-made craft beer.

(Go ahead, Go make your pledge now.)

So, I’m having a lot of fun with this, but I feel like this is a website that strictly exists as a PR campaign, or some way for MillerCoors to say: No! We care about the environment and we encourage people to drink responsibly… LOOK! We have a website! We’re excellent corporate citizens! (investors applaud)

And if that’s what it takes to keep the neo-Prohibitionists at bay, then so be it. That is a cause I can get behind.

On the other hand, if this is a dead serious campaign to get MillerCoors customers to be more responsible and environmentally friendly, I’d like to point out that it’s already been psychographically proven that craft beer drinkers “are 153% more likely to always buy organic” and I think that suggests that they’re probably overall pretty environmentally friendly. If that’s the case, we’ve already won, Spiderbrau or no.

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Categories: industry, marketing, op-ed
Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 23 Nov 2009 @ 03 54 PM

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Storytime. Flashback to my anniversary. My wife and I went out to dinner at our favorite local fancy-pants restaurant (fancy-pants because it’s fancy enough for me to feel like I should wear pants). It’s wonderful. Fantastic food, local ingredients, menu changes daily based on what’s available. It’s downright brilliant food.
A totally stolen picture of beer and food.
I knew ahead of time that they didn’t serve beer there (though they also do not sell local wine – only fancy French wine listed by vineyard), so it wasn’t a surprise to not see any on the menu, and while I enjoyed whatever syrah it was that the server told me would go excellently with the dishes that were served to me, I couldn’t help but pair each course with a beer in my head. It was easy, and it would have far outshone the wine in a couple of cases. It’s French food, it’s all heavy, creamy, fatty, brilliant dishes that would have balanced wonderfully with a number of excellent beers. For the most part, I even could pair every dish with a locally-made beer. It would have been a great addition to the menu.

But if you’re a fancy French restaurant, and it’s your M.O. to serve only French wines, I can’t argue… much… while I’m physically in the restaurant.

Would a Biere de Garde or Saison hurt, though? They’re in your oeuvre, and everything.

Flashback even further, in-laws are visiting. (They’re pretty much strictly wine people, but nobody’s perfect.) We are at a fancy-pants french restaurant in another part of town. They’ve got a wine list as long as my arm. And for beer?

Bud, Bud Light, Miller, Miller Light, Blue Moon, and an IPA. I forget which one. It’s not the point. I’ll come back to this.

Flashback to when I’m age 15. I used to be waitstaff at a crappy roadside restaurant in Northern Maine. At dinner, we had a wine list on the table. 6 or 8 whites and 6 or 8 reds, and then a handful of roses: the pink wine. We sold wine by the glass no matter what.

In the walk-in-freezer, we had two boxes of wine. A white and a red. They were some hopelessly generic wine. If somebody ordered a white – no matter which one – it came from the white box. If somebody ordered a red, it came from the red box. If somebody ordered a rose – I wish I was making this up – we put in 3/4 white wine and then filled the glass with red. Bam. Rose. It always amazed me how people would take a sip of their wine and say things like, “Oh, I love this one. We have it at home, it’s our favorite.” When nothing that was on the wine list was what we were advertising it was.

The beer selection at that place? Bud, Bud Light, Miller, Miller Light, PBR.

You see, that’s the kind of place that serves macrobrew. The owners are not discerning and clearly don’t care how the beverages that they’re selling compare with the food that they’re selling (which also wasn’t very great – mmm.. deep fried everything), and the patrons don’t care either. They’re looking for a cheap beer (it has its place), not for a dining experience.

If you’re an upscale restaurant, and you’ve put care into your wine list and your food selection and preparation, you should be embarrassed to be selling anything less than excellent beer.

Dear Fancy Restaurant That I Am Paying Through the Nose to Eat At,

I do not see Boon’s Farm, Night Train, Mad Dog or any Bartles and James on your drinks list. However, I do see beers that I would consider comparable. I presume that this is because of one of two reasons:

1) You don’t know better. But that’s kind of embarrassing. Presumably, you have a sommelier or somebody with enough wine knowledge to be able to pick out a decent enough wine list to serve with your food. In a pinch, that person should be skilled enough with flavors to be able to pick out comparable beers. If they really don’t, why not take the time to find somebody who does know? It shouldn’t be that hard to find somebody in your area to make recommendations. I might suggest starting with the roster of Certified Cicerones, but even a good chunk of the Certified Beer Servers out there would probably be able to help you.

2) You don’t care. But that’s beyond embarrassing. You care about your food, you care about your wine, you care about your dining atmosphere and your waitstaff, but you don’t care about the beer? You treat it like it’s some concession that you’re making rather than part of your experience. “Oh.. we have it because inevitably someone will ask for beer, but we don’t want to carry those pedestrian beverages.” It’s an insult. An insult to your customer base and even an insult to your own establishment that you can’t be bothered to care consistently about your image across everything that you serve.

Please follow through on the commitment that you’re making to the rest of your restaurant and serve excellent beer to go with your excellent food and excellent wine. It only makes sense.


This article is written with all due respect to my buddy Brian who brought this topic up to me earlier in the week. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. So here it is, sir, my complete and utter commiseration and compassion for your business-travel-plight.

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Categories: beer-food pairing, marketing, media
Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 20 Nov 2009 @ 03 09 PM

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 16 Nov 2009 @ 12:10 PM 

In case you didn’t catch the news a little while back, Pabst Blue Ribbon is for sale. Why is kind of amusing. It is currently owned by the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation which has recently been given a deadline by the IRS to sell Pabst, because it is unlawful for charitable foundations to own for-profit companies.

Paul Kalmanovitz, who the Foundation is named after, was the former owner of Pabst, as well as Falstaff Brewing, Lone Star, and Pearl, Stroh’s, and Olympia. When he died, he left most of his estate to the creation of a charitable foundation for universities and hospitals. Oh, and also making bank with PBR.

Let me throw you one quote from the Wikipedia article about how Kalmanovitz made breweries profitable and I’ll move on:

Kalmanovitz acquired an ailing brewery, fired the corporate personnel, reduced budgets, sold off equipment, stopped plant maintenance, and eliminated product quality control.

Truly, it was the golden age of brewing.

Of course, Pabst – at this point – isn’t really a beer company. It’s a marketing organization. They contract the brewing of a dozen-or-so brands. I’m not clear on exactly who does the brewing for them, but I’m pretty sure it’s MillerCoors. Don’t quote me on that.

Regardless of where the beer is actually made, Pabst, and by extension, hipster-badge Pabst Blue Ribbon, is available for the low, low price of $300,000,000.

It seems like a paltry amount, especially if you look at the recent AB-InBev merger price tag of what.. $52 billion? But, considering this economy $300 million is probably as much as they can expect. And maybe rent in Milwaukee is a little lower than St. Louis.

Rather than wait for the announcement of the next giant corporation/richer-than-rich-private-entity snapping up Pabst, an enterprising set of individuals have put together a little website to crowdsource the purchase of Pabst:

Why this isn’t dragging in hipsters by the boatload, I’m not sure. Probably because if you’re drinking PBR, then the following sentence on the website is a deal-killer:

The asking price is $300 Million, not a small number, but through crowdsourcing pledges of as little as $5.00, the cost of a bottle of beer, this can be achieved based on the largest crowdsourced audience assembled, ever.

$5.00? For a bottle of beer? Man, that’s like a sixer of PBR.

(Hey hipsters! That’s like a 12-pack of Genny Cream Ale! You fools!)

It’s a cool concept. If you’re interested, you pledge for a certain amount. You don’t need to send in any money. Your money isn’t needed until they receive $300 million in pledges.

Never mind that at $5.00/pledge you need 60 million pledges. Or to look at that another way, you need $5 from every drinking American.

So, sure. We might all put down $300 million, collectively, on a Friday night. But try to organize us like this over the internet. I bet that most of those drinkers don’t even know what an internet looks like.

If an enterprising set of investors were interested, however, this would be an interesting way of buying Pabst without paying full price. Of course, then you’d have to share with all the douchebags like me who have pledged $25 for the opportunity to someday (maybe) own .00000008% of Pabst.

Who knows where that kind of investment could lead?

As of when I wrote this post, they already have $500,000 in pledges. Only $299,500,000 to go.

Come on, everyone. Pony up!

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Categories: industry, news
Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 16 Nov 2009 @ 12 10 PM

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(Catch up with Part 2 – IBUs, here.)

I want to start by making a note on my use of the BJCP guidelines for this exercise. The purpose is not to necessarily categorize the BJCP guidelines themselves, so much as use the existing guidelines as a list of statistics for “typical beers” to represent what should be pretty much every beer in existence. Basically, I’d like to create a final formula/set of statistical guidelines that can describe any beer. In the absence of an enormous amount of data about existing beers in the marketplace (which would be really preferable), I’m using this as an example set of what the typical range of beers would be if every single beer style were represented evenly in the market. In this case, one of each.

In this post, I’m looking at the average Original Gravity (OG) and Final Gravity (FG) for each style and here’s why:

OG is a measure of how much sugar is present in wort pre-fermentation and FG is a measure of how much sugar is present in wort post-fermentation. Using the two together, you can calculate the amount of alcohol in a beer, which is always a useful statistic. In theory, with these, we can get an accurate sense of how sweet or dry a beer will be. This is, of course, exactly what we need to play against IBUs to attempt to predict what a beer will taste like. Sweeter beers should balance against high IBU beers to create more balance. Dry beers should accentuate hops to give an impression of a more bitter beer.

For the purposes of this I translated OG and FG to “Gravity Units” (GU) by starting with the OG, subtracting 1 and multiplying by 1000. Or, in other words, I just took the last 2 digits of the OG:

1.054 – 1 = .054 * 1000 = 54

Playing with all these numbers has been a little funny. I keep on playing with almost arbitrary math to try to play with these numbers in a way that makes sense to me, and here’s been my stumbling block:

For years, I’ve been using the system laid out in Designing Great Beer by Ray Daniels. It’s somewhat of a biblical text in my house. Sometimes I just read it for fun. In this book, Ray uses a ratio of BU:GU to figure out balance in beer. It’s a good system, but the more I’ve been looking at it while playing with these numbers, the more I think it might be a little – not a lot, but a little – off base.

I sorted my style list by GU – just to get a quick gander of what it looked like. In theory, if the BU:GU ratio is correct, then the beers with the highest GU should be the sweetest and the beers with the lowest should be the driest. And while it’s close, it doesn’t quite work out.

Here’s the list, in order of lowest original gravity to highest.

Berliner Weisse, Scottish Light 60/-, Lite Lager, Mild, Ordinary Bitter, Southern English Brown, Scottish Heavy 70/-, Dry Stout, Special Bitter, Standard American Lager, Blond Ale, Northern English Brown, Brown Porter, Lambic, Scottish Export 90/-, Kolsch, German Pilsner, American Wheat, Weissbier, Witbier, Munich Helles, Cream Ale, Vienna Lager, Schwarzbier, Guezue, Dark American Lager, Dunkelweizen, North German Alt, Bohemian Pilsner, Dusseldorf Alt, Roggenbier, Premium American Lager, Belgian Pale Ale, California Common, Irish Red, Munich Dunkel, Dortmunder Export, Sweet Stout, Classic American Pilsner, Flanders Red, American Brown Ale, American Amber Ale, American Pale Ale, Oktoberfest, Extra Special Bitter, Saison, Oatmeal Stout, Robust Porter, Flanders Brown, English IPA, American Stout, Foreign Extra Stout, American IPA, Traditional Bock, Maibock/Helles Bock, Belgian Dubbel, Belgian Blond Ale, Biere de Garde, Baltic Porter, Old Ale, Weizenbock, Belgian Trippel, Imperial IPA, Belgian Golden Strong Ale, Doppelbock, Belgian Dark Strong Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, Eisbock, Strong Scotch Ale, English Barleywine, American Barleywine

It’s close, but to have things like Lambic, Scottish Export 90/-, and Kolsch all right next to each other doesn’t seem quite right. Same goes for having Southern English Brown, and Scottish Heavy 70/- down on the “dry” end.

If you were sorting in order of alcoholic strength, this would be pretty close.

Just to make sure I wasn’t misrepresenting the stat by taking BU out of it, I also sorted by BU:GU ratio. It’s *also* really close, but you still get things like Strong Scotch Ale (BU:GU of 0.26) and Standard American Lager (BU:GU of 0.256) being directly next to each other. Certainly, the ratio of hops to malt in them are very similar, but the flavor profile of these beers is staggeringly different. On the other end of the scale, I can come up with Ordinary Bitter (BU:GU of .834) and AIPA (BU:GU of .84) right next to each other. Again – ratio similar, flavor profile vastly different.

I keep on doing weird crap to these numbers to try to get something closer. I calculated apparent attenuation (how much sugar has fermented out of the solution) to see if that made sense and that was all over the map. I really wanted to apply attenuation back to the original gravity to see if I could get the high gravity beers with low attenuation to just fall out naturally, but since attenuation is based off of OG and FG I kept coming back to the final gravity. And then I thought something that sounded in my head like, “Duh.”

So I sorted by Final Gravity to see what the list looked like. Here it is from lowest FG to highest FG:

Lite Lager, Guezue, Berliner Weisse, Lambic, Standard American Lager, Flanders Red, Saison, Ordinary Bitter, Dry Stout, Kolsch, Cream Ale, Special Bitter, Witbier, Munich Helles, Dark American Lager, Premium American Lager, Flanders Brown, Mild, Blond Ale, Northern English Brown, German Pilsner, American Wheat, Belgian Golden Strong Ale, Brown Porter, Belgian Trippel, Scottish Light 60/-, Weissbier, Vienna Lager, Dunkelweizen, Roggenbier, Belgian Pale Ale, Irish Red, Biere de Garde, Southern English Brown, Scottish Heavy 70/-, Dusseldorf Alt, North German Alt, California Common, Classic American Pilsner, Dortmunder Export, American Pale Ale,
American Amber Ale, Scottish Export 90/-, Schwarzbier, Munich Dunkel, American Brown Ale, Extra Special Bitter, Belgian Dubbel, Belgian Blond Ale, Oktoberfest, Oatmeal Stout, Robust Porter, English IPA, Foreign Extra Stout, American IPA, Maibock/Helles Bock, Bohemian Pilsner, Imperial IPA, American Stout, Traditional Bock, Belgian Dark Strong Ale, Sweet Stout, Old Ale, Weizenbock, Baltic Porter, Doppelbock, American Barleywine, Russian Imperial Stout, English Barleywine, Eisbock, Strong Scotch Ale

If you were looking for a list of beers, dry-to-sweet, this is pretty damn close. Of course, it makes a lot of sense. The lower the FG is the less sugar is in it. What’s more, because of the limitations of what yeast can actually digest, the higher OG beers will pretty much never ferment out as low as the lower OG beers, with the possible exception of that wacky Saison yeast, so high FG beers will always be sweet, and low FG beers will always be dry, OG be damned.

My next step was, logically, a BU:FU ratio and, again, it’s super close. In order of low-to-high ratio, this would be – in theory – malty-to-hoppy. Clearly, I’m not accounting for pH here, so any sour beers are going to land in the malty end.

Strong Scotch Ale, Lambic, Weissbier, Doppelbock, Eisbock, Dunkelweizen, Weizenbock, Berliner Weisse, Roggenbier, Southern English Brown, Scottish Light 60/-, Dark American Lager, Scottish Heavy 70/-, Traditional Bock, Baltic Porter, Witbier, Belgian Dubbel, Belgian Dark Strong Ale, Standard American Lager, Guezue, Mild, Sweet Stout, Oktoberfest, Belgian Blond Ale, Scottish Export 90/-, Munich Dunkel, Irish Red, Munich Helles, Biere de Garde, Cream Ale, Maibock/Helles Bock, Premium American Lager, Vienna Lager, Blond Ale, Schwarzbier, Belgian Pale Ale, Dortmunder Export, American Wheat, English Barleywine, Flanders Brown, American Brown Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Northern English Brown, Brown Porter, Old Ale, Flanders Red, American Amber Ale, Classic American Pilsner, North German Alt, Bohemian Pilsner, Robust Porter, Belgian Golden Strong Ale, Belgian Trippel, Kolsch, Russian Imperial Stout, American Pale Ale, California Common, Extra Special Bitter, Special Bitter, Lite Lager, German Pilsner, Ordinary Bitter, Dusseldorf Alt, American Stout, English IPA, Foreign Extra Stout, American Barleywine, Saison, American IPA, Dry Stout, Imperial IPA

Nice list! The only real problem is that, in terms of creating a statistic, our numbers start at .702703 (Strong Scotch Ale) and end at 6 (IIPA). It’s a really weird metric – it’s good for making this list, but not for saying something like, “This beer is a 35? Woooo! Hoppy!” Which is, essentially, my end goal here.

So next up? Making these numbers into a form that’s easier to digest than .702703. With any luck, this should be pretty quick.

In the meantime, homebrewers (or hey.. commercial brewers if you guys are reading this with baited breath), can you do me a favor?

Go do a BU:FU calculation on some of the beers you have logged into your brewing journal. Get the end number, (like .702703), multiply by 20 (it’s an adjustment), then tell me the style of beer, the number you came up with, and if YOU think the beer was malty, hoppy, or balanced.

It goes like this:

Let’s say you made a Vienna Lager, FG of 1.012, 24 IBUs.

24/12 = 2
2 * 20 = 40

“Erik, I made a Vienna Lager, the number is 40, I thought it was quite well balanced.”

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Categories: appreciation, industry, marketing, op-ed
Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 13 Nov 2009 @ 03 12 PM

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