It looks like “US beer sales fell slightly last year.” So what’s domestic beer manufacturer’s like Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) to do? How about make an organic pale ale and lager. Some of you may be asking why make more beer when sales are dropping? Well, beer sales certainly didn’t fall solely because people aren’t drinking as much. What’s the real reason for introducing an alternative to their nasty fermented rice/corn syrup concoction? “Organic beer sales increased 40 percent in 2005, tying it with organic coffee as the fastest-growing organic beverage.” In other words, micro-breweries, and imports have made a significant dent in Anheuser-Busch’s market.

Wild Hop Lager and Stone Mill Pale Ale aren’t yet available in Michigan but when they finally arrive I’ll make sure to pass by that cooler and pick up a 6 of Bell’s. Local support equates to less resources and better community.

Anheuser-Busch Introduces Two Organic Beers

Wild Hop Lager: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Scorers rule Wild Hop an error

Brewing behemoth sneaks into organics

EDIT: After I wrote this post I became curious as to the “real” brewing process A-B undertakes to supply the world with their famous Budweiser. I already knew about their practice of supplementing rice for “some” barley and the rumors about corn syrup, etc… Actually one criticism I wished to research further was their beechwood “aging” technique. It’s common practice for old-style European brewers to age and/or flavor their brew with oak or other types of wood. Beechwood is favored for the maturation of lagers because it “smoothes” the flavor. Some Bud critics accuse A-B of misleading the public to believe their “beechwood aging” is done in barrels when it’s actually done with chips.

With a few Google searches I turned up this letter written by A-B in offence to a column by Fred Eckhardt on A-B didn’t agree with some of the “false” information Eckhardt included in his article. The A-B letter goes on to state something very interesting against Jim Koch (Sam Adam’s)…

We (Anheuser-Busch) don’t take issue with contract brewing-we just think beer drinkers have the right to know who really brews their beer. We, along with many other traditional brewers and beer enthusiasts, object to those who mislead consumers by marketing their beers as “craft brewed,” when in fact their beers are made in large breweries.

Really? If everyone had a chance to read the articles I cited above, you undoubtedly ran across Wild Hop Lager: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. Where the author notes that “there’s a web address on the carrier (of Wild Hop Lager), but there’s no brewery information on the label. No address, apart from Fairfield, California.” According to the labeling Wild Hop is brewed by Green Valley Brewing Company. Hmmm, what’s this all about A-B? You’re releasing a “craft brew” without any notification to the consumer that A-B is the brewer? Wouldn’t this be in complete opposition to your objection to “those who mislead consumers?”