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August 16, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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Pure bullshit

Every day on the way to work I walk past a building-sized billboard for a certain ‘pure’ beer. It says: “No additives, no preservatives, no compromise”. It should just read “No flavour”.

Large commercial breweries brand their products like this as if to say flavour can only be given to a beer by using unnatural ingredients. I think they need to learn from the little guys.

Almost every craft beer is created using just four ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast. Therefore, almost every craft beer qualifies for the ‘pure’ status which is given to so many bland mega-brewed lagers. Only craft beers have character, a flavour profile, something more rewarding than just cold fizziness going down your throat as a means to get drunk.

The way those four ingredients are utilised is what gives beer its character. Small breweries are run by brewers who know all the ins and outs of how to use the ingredients to create a flavoursome and balanced beer. Mega-breweries are run by accountants, who know how to pinch pennies. The easiest ways to do this is to use fewer hops (less flavour), cheaper malt (less flavour) and to shorten the condi-tioning time (worse flavour). Sure, your beer is ‘pure’. But it tastes insipid.

The phrase which always appears next to the pure moniker is ‘naturally brewed’. Huh? Naturally brewed? So there’s artificially brewed beer? No. This is another meaningless piece of marketing bullshit. If something was artificially brewed (how you would do that I’m not sure) it wouldn’t qualify as beer. Beer is created via the natural process of fermentation, carried out by yeast. All things fermented are ‘brewed naturally’. My farts are brewed naturally, but you don’t see me advertising the fact. “Smell that? No additives, no preservatives and brewed naturally!”

The point of this rant: don’t believe the billboards, believe your taste buds.

If you have any questions about this week’s beers or any comments, please contact me at

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  1. Simon says:

    Nice one

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