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Can Americans make good beer?

[We've split this from this discussion on the General Topics board, specifically Gary Soup's comment at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...


It's not because the industry is large that it produces good products. Please don't attempt to state that American beer trumps the fine breweries of Europe. I can guarantee that a village pilsner in Czechoslovakia is much better than Dave's Honky Tonk Missouri Brew..

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  1. I'm in California, not Missouri (home of Budweiser). We have beers with a little more cachet than Dave's. And some of us believe that Pils is just code for Piss, regardless of where it comes from.

    1. It would help if you read Gary's comment before setting up a straw man in the form of Bud Light. He said "we probably have as big a variety of high-quality small brewery products as any country in the world..."

      American Budweiser is not a small brewery product.

      If you've never taken a tour through the wonderful world of American craft beers, I invite you to the Beer board here at Chowhound, where you will definitely learn plenty.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Actually, if you read my post properly, you would note that I never mentionned Budweiser... I made up the name Dave's...

        1. re: swissfoodie

          So you're comparing a village beer in the Czech Republic to a fictional beer in America?

          What am I missing here?

      2. Having recently tried Victory Prima Pils, i would say it compares very favourably to the best Pilseners in the Czech Republic. I lived in Prague for a year and have to say drinking Pilseners all the etime got to be quite boring, thank god for U Flecku and side trips to Bavaria. Having lived in California now for about two years i would say the Russian River Brewery and their vast assortment of beers are much better than anything I had in the Czech republic. The west coast as a whole produces so many wonderful styles of beer that you could spend years trying and being pleasantly surprised by the product they can crank out.

        To call American craft brews "Dave's Honky Tonk missouri Brew" really shows your ignorance of the brewing scene here in the US. Also when comparing Czech Pilseners to American beer you have to remember that the Pilsener style is perfectly suited to the level of mineral content in the Central European water. So it would be unfair to compare their Pilseners to American pilseners(though Prima gets it right). Different styles of beer work better in different parts of the world. Oh and not to get too snarky but Czechoslovakia hasn't existed since the Velvet Divorce of over a decade ago.

        7 Replies
        1. re: MVNYC

          Here's a link to my tasting note on Russian River Brewing company's "Erudition", a Belgian-style farmhouse saison ale (and pizza) -

          1. re: MVNYC

            Victory Prima Pils is actually a German style pilsener.

            1. re: Chinon00

              The differences between Czech and German pilseners are really quite arbitrary.

              1. re: MVNYC

                In my experience they vary quite a bit.

                1. re: MVNYC

                  We can agree to disagree but from my experience (and I love Pils) there is a tendency for German Pils to be leaner or less malty than Czech Pils. Having said that it isn't an axiomatic statement.

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    Also, Germans typically use different hops, with noticeable difference in flavor.

                    1. re: Chinon00

                      Actually i would agree for the most part, I was basically pointing out that they tend to blur into one another due to the fact that the two countries boarder one another. Voctory to me tasted more like beers i had in the Czech republic, but beer advocate classifies it as a German style. Pilseners in the Czech republic vary so much it is hard for me to differentiate between the Czech and German styles as i personally find enough variation across both styles for them to intemingle as it may.

              2. Nice flame bait.

                "Please don't attempt to state that American beer trumps the fine breweries of Europe."

                Such generalized statements are worthless. Some people actually think Stella Artois is good European beer, so unless you're more clear about which "fine breweries" you're talking about your comment is meaningless.

                To answer the question posited in your subject line, can Americans make good beer, the answer is a resounding yes.

                In fact, American breweries have defeated several European brewers in international competitions over the years. My favorite example is Brooklyn Brewery's "Blanche de Brooklyn" beating out Hoegaarden in its category.

                American craft brewers have been making fantastic beers for the past decade, and are improving all the time.

                If you're really in Switzerland, then I am not sure if you get any good American beers out there, but if you come to Southern California I am sure you will be quite impressed at the quality of the beer made here.

                1. some pretty darn nice beer from Missouri:
                  Why should we look to Europe as the standard?
                  Because it's always been so?

                  1. "It's not because the industry is large that it produces good products. Please don't attempt to state that American beer trumps the fine breweries of Europe. I can guarantee that a village pilsner in Czechoslovakia is much better than Dave's Honky Tonk Missouri Brew.."

                    posted by swissfoodie 1 day ago

                    Wow. That is a special kind of ignorance you are parading about. Ignoring your made up brewery I'll put some "village" American beers against any beer made in the world today and if I pick right they will stand their ground no matter who is judging.

                    1. I think good beer is more up to the brewmaster and the quality of his ingredients, not the location. Nowadays, you can import hops, grain, water and yeast from anywhere.

                      Compare Guiness brewed in Ireland to tha import we get in the US from Canada. What's the difference in brewmethods/water/whatever that leads to the discrepancy? I don't know.

                      Ther are plenty of amazing brewmasters!

                      1. Making great beer for the masses (even micros) is a matter of creativity, quality process and consistency. I second Diana's statement, but I would also add that available technology & funding is important as well...and that is where American beer (just like California Cabernet) can compete with anyone. I've never judged beer with any consious regard for Nation of Origin...just taste, appearance & mouthfeel.

                        1. Here's evidence that the US can hold it own in an international beer competition. US entered 65% of the beers and won 64% of the medals in the 2006 World Beer Cup. Some of the winners are quite surprising - like Trumer as best German Pils and Gordon Biersch taking the Schwartzbier catagory.


                          6 Replies
                          1. re: LStaff

                            Don't let anyone think this is disagreement to the general tone, but the World Beer Cup 2006 was held in Seattle with all the home-field advantages implied. (Largely local or at least west-coast judges, fresher beer from the U.S. etc.)

                            I've had plenty of Trumer and if it were possible to put a week-old Trumer up against a week-old Spaten (mass-produced and pretty ordinary in its home country) I'd drink the Spaten. Give me a week-old U Flecku and I'd consider Trumer to be only worth rinsing out my glass.

                            The WBC has been held in Vail, Rio De Janeiro, Milwaukee, Aspen, San Diego and Seattle. If they ever get around to hosting in Europe, I would expect the Europeans would fare WAY better than Americans in the "best when fresh" beer categories like Pilsner and Schwartz.

                            1. re: Kevin B

                              What makes you think the European beers were not fresh? They submit them directly to the competition, its not like they are being picked off a shelf somewhere.

                              Also I don't believe the bias you are suggesting is taking place. The judges weren't all from the US and if you look at the results, they were not skewed towards US beers. Also competitions like this are judged blindly so the judge has no idea what the origins of the beer are. You might have a better argument if you said the majority of beers entered were from the US, therefore won a majority of the awards.

                              And I believe U Flecku is a bohemian pilsner - which is not the catagory that Trumer won.

                              My point here was not to say hey, we won most of the awards, so were better brewers, but it shows that US brewers can go toe to toe with other brewers from countries where certain styles originated and have been "perfected".

                              1. re: LStaff

                                I went to the World Beer Cup when it was held here a couple of years ago. The highlight for me was before the dinner announcing the winners, all the submitted beers were out for sampling. Karl Strauss actually submitted a Belgian dubbel. It was pretty lame, really, but I give them credit for trying.

                                1. re: LStaff

                                  U Fleku is hard to categorize as well. Sort of like a black/dark lager. It was a refreshing change from all the pilseners even though it was possibly the most expensive place for a beer in Prague. I am more of a dark beer guy and was happy to have it despite the prices.

                                  Side note, does anyone know where mainland/eastern European guiness is brewed? I drank alot of this in the Irish Pubs in Prague and it was better than the stuff in the states

                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                    Don't know if this is relevant, but I was with an Irishman in an Irish pub in Koln, (we were coming from London, where he worked at that time). He was quaffing the stuff down like water (well... more than I'd seen him do before, in London), and he said that this was imported from Ireland, and thus significantly better than anything he could get in London.

                                  2. re: LStaff

                                    Even if you were to FedEx beer directly to the competition organizers (which few breweries would pay for) the product will sit at elevated temperatures for an extended period of time. The beers, at the very least, sat baking in a FedEx truck somewhere along the line. This is death to a lighter lager.

                                    It's also worth considering that Trumer, the brewery, is built to be an exact copy of Trumer Salzburg Austria and the original brewer had a decade of experience at the home brewery. The only thing really "American" about it is the location. Kind of like saying Ommegang makes great belgian-style beers in New York when you're actually drinking something produced at Mortgaat.

                                    And it's not really an intentional bias on the part of the judges but certain beers are really easy to pick out during a blind tasting. I saw that 3 Philosophers took a 3rd place. I can almost assure you that the judges knew exactly what beer they were drinking while judging. I can tell you that sometimes you sit at a panel and a beer is handed to you that you've sampled at a home-brew club meeting the night before. And that can influence my objectivity no matter how hard I try not to let it. I'm going to talk to this brewer after he reads my comments...

                              2. Budweiser isn't as good as a craft made Czech Pil? I sir am shocked!

                                This Canadian happens to think that Americans not only make good beer, all in all, it's the best beer country on earth.

                                1. Can the Swiss make good food? (Besides chocolate, I mean.)

                                  Your question is equally as ridiculous. Not all American-made beer is Budweiser . . . or Coors . . . or Miller (which is, in fact, now owned by SAB of South Africa). For every relatively tasteless brew made by "The Big Three" are dozens if not hundred of regional- and micro-brews made across the States. Is each and every one outstanding? No, of course not. Some are downright awful, but the overwhelming majority of these craft brews range from "Good," through "Very Good," all the way to "Outstanding."

                                  Yes, Budweiser is THE major beer on the American market -- accounting for 50 percent of all beer sold in the U.S. (that's Budweiser, the beer, not Anheiser-Busch, the company) -- but let's face it: the major brews of every country are rarely the best beer produced in that country. I mean, does anyone seriously think that Heineken is the best beer made in The Netherlands? or that Beck's the the best Germany has to offer? (Guinness has to be the most notable exception to this rule-of-thumb.)

                                  The better question to ask is not whether Americans can make good beer, but why -- with all these great beers available -- does Budweiser still account for 50% of the beer consumed???

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: zin1953

                                    Why Budweiser??

                                    As somone who just downed a Goose Island IPA, I'd respond that man can't live on one beer alone. I buy Bud because I like it well enough and any less adventerous guests I might have will like it as well (other more 'daring' beers are available to those so inclined).

                                    Bottom line: it;s reasonably priced and it doesn't suck.

                                    1. re: chris in illinois

                                      We each have our own tastes. personally, I've only found one good time/excuse for drinking a Bud (i.e.: when I've found it satisfying), and that was when I'd have to pull a double shift during crush -- from 8-5 in 104 degree heat, slam a 16-ounce can of Bud, and you're good until midnight! (When you get to go home, and do it all again the next day.)

                                    2. re: zin1953

                                      "Budweiser is THE major beer on the American market -- accounting for 50 percent of all beer sold in the U.S. (that's Budweiser, the beer, not Anheiser-Busch, the company)"

                                      Anheuser-Busch has a bit less than 50% of the US market, and since Bud Light has, in the recent past, actually outsold Budweiser, it's safe to assume that Budweiser sales in the US are not close to 50% of the market. Here's an article from a few years ago and Budweiser at that time had only 15% of the US market. http://www.beveragemarketing.com/news...
                                      And even if you lump Bud Light and Budweiser as one "brand", that's still only 35%.

                                      1. re: JessKidden

                                        I'll confess to using old numbers -- the numbers I cited above are roughly 15 years old, and come from the last time I was a beer buyer for a major company and had access to all the Nielsen and Scan-Trak data. Thanks for the link to updated figures.

                                        But, from the article you cite ( http://www.beveragemarketing.com/news... ), let me quote the following important points:

                                        1) "The three leading brewers – Anheuser-Busch (A-B), Miller and Coors – accounted for nearly 81% of the U.S. market in 2004. A-B alone brewed about half the beer consumed in the United States. A-B’s output surpassed the 100 million-barrel mark in 2002 and continued to grow. However, its 0.4% growth in 2004 was slower than the overall market."

                                        2) "Light beers have emerged as the powerhouse for the big three brewers. In 2001, Bud Light surpassed Budweiser to become A-B’s biggest brand, and thus the number-one beer label in the U.S. In 1999, Bud Light made up 30.3% of company volume in the United States, compared to 36.9% for Budweiser. By 2004, Light’s company share reached 39.0%, while Bud’s portion had been reduced to 28.5%"

                                        It's very much like wine. The people who are truly "into" beer, and seek out the various craft brews from small producers around the U.S. are only the tiniest fraction of the market. Eighty-one percent of all the beer in the U.S. is produced by the "big boys."

                                        1. re: zin1953

                                          Oh, I'm no fan of Anheuser-Busch, their beers or business practices- my point wasn't that the US beer market is more diverse than your "Bud is 50% of US sales" statement, only that A-B's current dominance of the market isn't based on one brand anymore.

                                          They've been the #1 US brewer for over 50 years, but where once that might have meant one shelf of Bud in a retail setting, now it means several doors of Bud, Busch, Michelob reg/light/dry/ice/draft, etc. (Read somewhere recently that A-B's 50% of the market also translates to 75% of US beer profits).

                                          And it's actually worse than the 81% of US beer sales being from the Big 3- 3.5% are from the few other traditional US breweries left, another 12.5% is imports, close to half of which is from Mexico, and most of the rest Dutch & Canadian (i.e., international light lagers all).

                                          Craft beers are only 3% or so of the market.

                                          1. re: JessKidden

                                            Both AB and Miller used to have, back when I was the beer buyer for Liquor Barn (and I'm sure they still do), computer programs to design your cold box layout based on linear feet of shelf space, linear feet of cold box space, sales percentage of brands, sales percentage of beer (vs. liquor and wine) in your establishment, etc., etc., etc. -- all offered to you free of charge . . . .

                                    3. I don't hate Bud (although I rarely drink it). Bud Light et al is the true abomination.

                                      1. Wow, this is the angriest beer post on the net! I love it!

                                        Anyone with webskills want to start chowhoundextreme.com? It'll be angry!

                                        I'll be honest, the only absolutely undrinkable beer I've ever had was in Europe--it was a tall can of extra-strong swill from a street vendor in France. The flavor began with a strong bum-urine nose finishing with a backpack full of burnt molasses and spoiled fruit cocktail. It was bad.

                                        At least Budweiser can be shotgunned with a small amount of effort.

                                        1. I feel compelled to participate in this discussion as I have a sister who has worked for 10 years for Anheuser-Busch and I've learned quite a bit about their business and the kinds of quality controls they have in place. The company owns many other brews or has part ownership of many other brews that many would be surprised to know about (Grolsch, Corona, Kirin, Red Hook, etc.) It's a rather lengthy list.

                                          When AB has a sell by date on a bottle - they adhere to it. As the "victim" of my sister's periodic dumping of the beer in my house that is past it's prime, I can tell you the company stands by their claims of fresh beer. A lot of other companies can't say the same.

                                          I lived in Munich and although I wouldn't say I'm a big fan of AB products, there is nothing better when you want a thirst quencher with a spicy bowl of chili or a plate of steamed crabs with old bay. I absolutely adore Augustiner and many of the other fine beers I enjoyed in Europe, but then again, there weren't any Mexican restaurants in the vicinity requiring a refreshing beer.

                                          Bottom line - different tastes in this country, require a different type of beer and there is room for all products, but I don't think AB makes a bad product at all. Believe me, I'm close to my sister and I know all about what goes into it and they take their job very seriously in terms of catering to U.S. consumers and creating a good product.

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: isabellaflynn

                                            I think AB makes a bad product masquerading as beer. While their decision to not sell stale beer is an admirable one, the product in those cans and bottles still is awful. As for the thirst quencher you require with those spicy meals, i would rather have an American IPA.

                                            Those different tastes are simply people who do not know what beer should taste like. People have been drinking this mass produced piss brewed with things that have no business in beer like corn and rice for so long that they are confused when confronted with a real beer.

                                            I am very happy for your sister, Anaheuser Busch sounds like a wonderful comapny with only the consumers best interests at heart.

                                            1. re: MVNYC

                                              Perhaps the proportion of corn/rice is excessive in light American lagers, but there are certainly some fine beers produced with corn, Rodenbach for example.

                                              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                Never had Rodenbach, so i cant really comment. Can you taste the corn in the beer?

                                                1. re: MVNYC

                                                  I can't taste it. But my point isn't whether you taste it, but that adjuncts have a legitimate place in beer other than to cheapen it. Since we're veering off topic, I'm not going to comment further. However, we could start a separate thread if anyone wants to pursue it.

                                                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                    So what then is the point in adding cheaper materials, ie corn which doesnt contribute to a better tasting end product?

                                                    What is the legitimate place of adjuncts in beer? Every beer i have tasted that uses corn or rice has been swill. So naturally my opinion of the use of those materials is negative.

                                                    1. re: MVNYC

                                                      Rodenbach is a sour beer. As in balsamic sour. You'd never know it had corn in it; I've personally not heard that before.

                                                      Yes, for light, mass-produced domestics, adjuncts impart that "unique" taste or to improve the bottom line (it's debatable).

                                                      But sugar is an adjunct, no? Belgian beer is what it is because of adjunctions like corn, sugar, wheat, etc. It's not all bad.

                                                      1. re: peetoteeto

                                                        Not sure I'd agree about the sugar in Belgians. They contribute sweetness to the final product. Adjuncts are ingredients that do not add flavor to the finished product.

                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                          Actually sugar used by belgian brewers is almost totally fermentable which means, so it leaves behind almost no residual sweetness (much less than malt). For the most part it is added to increase alcohol content as well as making the beers lighter on the palate (since sugar is so fermentable, it lowers the terminal gravity of the beer)and very drinkable for beer with such a high starting gravity. In the case of dark belgians, the dark sugar does leave behind color and flavor.

                                                          1. re: LStaff

                                                            I knew sugar was completely fermentable, but it's never been clear to me if it always is fermented, or if it can be added at a point in the process where it won't ferment completely, thereby leaving residual sugar to add sweetness. I've seen it described in brewing supply literature as contributing both flavor and color, as well as boosting alcohol.

                                                            1. re: Josh

                                                              It can be used to add sweetness if the beer is pastuerized to the point where yeast is killed off before fermentation is complete. This would not work for bottle conditioned beers though.

                                              2. re: MVNYC

                                                It's kind of funny how people automatically think spicy food requires bland beer. Might as well drink water or soda, then.

                                                People don't realize that the citrusy notes in hops are a perfect foil for spicy cuisine. I only know of one Mexican place in SD that sells IPA, and it's really nice to have that option available.

                                                1. re: Josh

                                                  My assumption is that people assume something pairs well just because it is served in the same restaurant. So Mexican swill beers like Corona or Tecate go with spicy mexican food.

                                                  I agree with you 100%, nothing like a West Coast IPA with hot food..

                                                  Which mexican place are you referring to?

                                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                                    In Mission Hills there's a place called Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe. They serve Stone IPA, along with a few other micros. It's on Washington St., near the Lamplighter.

                                            2. The moderator of this post is sadly showing an ignorant European bias. I lived in Germany for 5 years and 4 other countries in Northern Europe. I am a certified beer judge and a professional brewer. In fact I went to brewing school in Germany. That being said, there are brewers in the US that consistently make better beer than 95% of European brewers. Respectively, there are brewers in Europe that make better beer than 95% of American brewers. As for comments about large brewers, the worlds largest brewer is actually InBev which is based in Europe. So, just because American consumers aren't as educated about quality beers as their European counterparts, it doesn't mean that the brewers here don't make great beers. Just becasue they don't garner as much market share doesn't mean that they aren't here and thriving.

                                              1. PS: There are a number of European beers that are shipped to the US in green bottles thus ruining them and making them some of the worst beers ever made. And these primarily are European brews. At least we Americans don't purposfully put ours in green bottles.

                                                12 Replies
                                                  1. re: LStaff

                                                    The signature cooked corn flavor (dimethyl sulfide) of Rolling Rock tends to dominate the light struck character (skunkiness, or as the Brits prefer, cattiness) you get with green glass.

                                                    I have had exactly two fresh tasting Czech pils, the first a Crystal from Samson brewery unaccoubtably delivered to a mom'n'pop liquor store in Raleigh NC called 7 Even. It is rumored that it was previously a 7-11 and the new owners removed two letters from the sign to rename it. The second was a Budvar Bud Strong, from a can a fellow homebrewer brought back with them from travel to Europe.

                                                    The worst Budvar I ever had was on draft at a very nice restaurant, it was so strongly reeking of diacetyl that it tasted like butterscotch syrup.

                                                    Malt and hops can be transported with neglibible impact on quality, pure yeast strains transported almost without limit. Water is prohibitively costly to ship over any appreciable distance, a big part of the reasons why major brewing centers grew up where water was suitable for brewing.

                                                    1. re: LStaff

                                                      I read that AB bought Rolling Rock and has since closed the brewery. Even though RR was swill, at least it was independent swill.

                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                        No, A-B bought only the Rolling Rock brand, not the brewery. The brewery was purchased by City Brewing of La Crosse, WI in a separate deal.

                                                        And Rolling Rock wasn't "independent"- they'd been bought by Labatt back in the 80's, so were part of InBev.

                                                        1. re: JessKidden

                                                          Oh OK. So it hadn't been independent swill for some time. Thanks for clarifying! >:D

                                                          1. re: Josh

                                                            Yeah, well, Rolling Rock was certainly InBev's bastard child- they never did much with it, so it's no surprise they dumped it (and, to rub it in, split the brand from it's home town brewery, to boot) because it didn't fit they business plan.

                                                            But, there's this myth in the new world of beer consumers that AB, Miller and Coors got to where they are by "buying up the little guys" but, of course, that's just what they DIDN'T do- they, for the most part, built spanking new efficient and automated breweries. The companies that tried to compete by buying up the old breweries and brands (Falstaff, Heileman, Stroh, etc.) all failed.

                                                            So, the characterization as AB buying up little Rolling Rock as "more of the same" isn't really the case. Not only is it the first time in recent history they've bought another brand and brewed it in-house, they didn't "gobble up" any little local- they merely bought a label from another multinational mega-brewer.

                                                            1. re: JessKidden

                                                              Antitrust legislation played a part in determining the winners and losers. Even when a brewery wanted to purchase a local competitor, the govt sometimes denied it because it might have caused a local monopoly. This slanted the playing field toward breweries that grew organically rather than by buying competitors.

                                                              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                Yup. When one looks back at some of those Antitrust court rulings, you have to think, "So, Pabst buys Blatz- what's the big deal?"

                                                                My favorite was, I guess, in the 80's, when Pabst first hit bottom and Heileman "bought" Pabst, peeled off a couple of good performing brands (Henry Weinhardt, Lone Star, maybe a few others), kept their southern brewery (in Pabst, GA. no less) and immediately spun off a "new" Pabst company before the Feds could complain about it. (A bit later S&P bought and assumed the identity of Pabst.)

                                                                Seems like I remember Heileman wanting to buy Schlitz around the same time but figured it would just mean more legal fees and then Stroh bought Schlitz without any problem and Heileman said, "Hey, WTF?"

                                                                1. re: JessKidden

                                                                  Henry Weinhardt? I thought that was a local Cali thing?

                                                                  This thread is the best ever.

                                                                  1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                    Henry Weinhard came out of the Blitz Weinhard Brewery in Portland, Oregon, which Pabst bought back in the late 70's IIRC (but I can't remember if HW beers were out then or not). They used to also make Acme(one of a number of brewers who've made the brand) and Blitz. When Heileman owned the label, they did start selling some of the various other Henry Weinhard beer styles (except the flagship regular Private Reserve- go figure, right?) outside it's West Coast home- I even saw it some (the Boar Ale) in the Northeast, Heileman's weakest market. I think they're contract brewed by a micro now, but owned by Miller.

                                                                    Seinfeld used to have it on the TV show once in awhile and that wasn't very NYC authentic.

                                                                    1. re: JessKidden

                                                                      I've drunk a bit of Weinhard and found it to be really good for the price.

                                                    2. Let's not be so quick to denounce American beers. I often do tend to favor international flavors, however there are a few domestic brands worth merit i.e. Saranac.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                        1. I also tend to favor European beers, but I will say a few things about American brews. There are a lot of good small breweries in American if you want to find them. I think of Bells in Michigan not to far from where I live. I like German Lagers and pils myself, but for a everyday beer that is made good(with hardly no taste), I still grab a Budweiser.

                                                          1. Honestly as much as I love a good debate I seem to be missing the purpose of this one. I mean good beer is good beer, but so many people have different opinions of what is a good beer that I just don't see how it's possible to say the US makes good beer or doesn't make good beer. It all depends on the personal tastes of the critic along with how they grew to enjoy beer and what it means to them.