Made by Whom?

It is no secret that I loathe most mass-produced American beers.  My reasons have been argued on several previous occasions.  One such offender is Coors, or more generally, the MillerCoors beverage conglomerate comprised of SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing.  This company’s products – Miller Lite, Coors, and Pabst, to name a few – perpetuate the stereotype of weak and watery American lagers and pilsners.

I recently found myself stunned in disbelief during a night out with friends: was it possible for this company to produce a decent, medium-bodied beer which I would not immediately complain about or refuse?  Apparently so, because it was only after I had enjoyed several pints that I realized I’d been drinking a Coors product all night long.  I shuddered at the thought.  How was this possible?

Batch 19, the brew in question, was a tasty, moderately complex beer that fit neatly between a lighter lager and a heavier ale.  It is brewed and marketed as a pre-prohibition style lager and based on a recipe from 1919 – hence, the name.  It was a beer you can drink all night and not feel full, a friend astutely observed.

A bit of research confirmed the Batch is, in fact, related to the infamous Silver Bullet.  But this confirmation only left me more puzzled.  If the Coors brewery is able to produce a decent beer, why would they continue making other inferior brews?  Unfortunately, sales of thin, bland beer must be stronger than I know.  While the capacity and ability to produce a fine throw-back beer exists, the will (or financial incentive) to do so must not.

Disappointingly the Batch is the exception to MillerCoors’ products, not the standard.  And a rare exception at that; the beer is only poured in selected locations in D.C., Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and San Jose.  Five cities – not what you would call widely available.

Hopefully Batch 19’s reputation will lead to its increased availability.  It would be a welcome substitution for any of MillerCoors’ undesirably ubiquitous brews.  One can only hope.

Published in: on December 27, 2010 at 11:06 pm  Comments (1)  
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One Comment

  1. Yo THF!

    Though Batch 19 sounds interesting and is definitely a step in the right direction, I can’t see turning my backs on craft brews and going back to the big three. That would be like trading in my Honda and going back to the Ford and Chrysler products that weren’t very kind to me in an earlier life.

    But then again… Ford is finally selling some interesting cars in the US, and Chrysler will soon be selling the Fiat 500, so maybe I’ll have to give the Batch 19 a try. 🙂


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