Free as in Beer

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Free as in Beer

Postby PeterM » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:27 pm

I've just read Andrew's 'Free as in Beer' piece. Had to read it a few times to grasp it. It's probably just me but the vision of Portland that is portrayed sounds fantastic. This place cannot be in a country that brews and sells beers like Coors and Miller, can it? Beers that could probably act as bile replacement and always seemed to be served so cold that the tongue just gives up on trying to taste it. Actually it's probably better that it's not tasted. To be fair, I'm not a lager drinker and like my beer warm and flat. To quote a rather fine band - "you are what you drink, and I'm a bitter man.'
I think it may have been a better idea to go with Germany than America where they like the beer to be pure, so no matter how big a success the beer company is, it cannot start brewing any old muck and the same rules apply to little beer companies or monasteries. I assume this is still the case, though I've got a nagging feeling that the purity law may have disappeared now; it's was many years ago that I last went to Germany.
I guess I was mixing up outlets with beers when I first read it through. I'm blaming the beer.
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Postby Bruno » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:59 pm

It's the same problem in the UK, big multinational brewers who produce general purpose beer, brand it and market the hell out of it, dominate. They get all the attention and "mind-share", and have all the sales and field teams to make sure their product is in pubs up and down the land.

There are smaller breweries here and in the US, the craft and artisanal brewers, and they make fine beers. They just aren't well-known. Also worth a shout out are the micro breweries, where enthusiasts can produce their own batches, both here and in the US. I can't speak for the US, but if UK governments past and present didn't think things like Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée were silly European ideas, our artisanal food and beverage producers would be a lot more visible.

The German law to which you refer is called the Reinheitsgebot and there is a page on Wikipedia about it. Before I get completely OT, there are a few free software projects for the home brewer. I dabbled with QBrew a few years ago, but haven't used it recently.
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