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What brand of beer is made with the best water?

Looking for pure, mountain spring water.

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  1. If I recall correctly Coors commercials say they are. So does Rolling Rock.

    I'm sure the beer board here would have more info.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Midlife

      Neither Coors or Rolling Rock would even be close. Take a drive through Golden or Latrobe and you'll see why.

      1. re: Strangewine

        Rolling Rock hasn't been made in Latrobe, PA since 2006.

        It's currently brewed in Newark, NJ at the Anheuser Busch plant there. Probably using city water from Pequannock and Wanaque systems (I don't recall ever hearing of a well there).

        Most Coors products (save for the former flagship Coors Banquet Beer, which remains only brewed at Golden), are brewed across the country at various other MillerCoors plants, so the water source varies.

        Like most brewers, they both no doubt further purify, filter and/or treat the water to meet the mineral and other specs required for the particular beer.

        1. re: JessKidden

          That's true. while Rolling Rock was still in Latrobe when I grew up nearby, they're down the road now. I'm pretty sure the quality of the water in New Jersey at the AB plant isn't an improvement.

          Same goes with the changes at Coors. Still brewed with industrial water.

          1. re: Strangewine

            I'm not. the odds of benzene in the water is far higher in Latrobe than New Jersey.

            1. re: Chowrin

              Sure, everyone flocks to New Jersey for the quality of the water...

              1. re: Strangewine

                if you want good water, you want Lancaster County, PA -- at least for making pretzels, dunno about beer.

    2. Interesting question. Any particular reason you are looking for this?

      I'd probably look for breweries situated at high elevations, I guess. Anderson Valley, Rogue, and Avery are probably good candidates.

      1. try mexico (mexican cokacola is bottled with cleaner water than USA) or new york city, which doesn't need to treat their water.

        1. Olympia Beer, of course!
          Oh, that stuff was not good, though I seem to remember it not mattering after a few.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cachetes

            Miller closed the Olympia brewery on July 1, 2003 citing the unprofitability of such a small brewery. However, beer marketed under the Olympia Beer name continues to be manufactured by SABMiller at a plant in Irwindale, California.

          2. I have read a couple of times, New York City has the best tasting water in the United States. So, perhaps a brewery from that area.

            Anheuser Busch in Northern California treats local well water.

            Olympia's slogan was "Its the Water"

            1. I'm not sure this answers your question but trumer of austria selected berkeley, calif., as its american brew site specifically because the water was the closest to that of salzburg. I think american trumer is right up there at the top of american pilsners.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chuckl

                I heartily agree with chuckl. Trumer makes some of the best beer of its type in the U.S. Worth seeking out, for sure.

              2. These days, breweries treat their water with filtration and mineral adjustments, so it really hardly matters.
                The actual source of the water mattered a lot more in days gone by. Today, you can take just about any water, strip everything out of it if necessary and just add back the components needed to make specific types of beer .

                1. Beer is mostly water and the quality of the water does matter. Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, VA uses well water from an aquifer fed by the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is great beer. And yes, their tap water is crisp and delicious too. Www.bluemountainbrewery.com

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mojoeater

                    Blue Mountain indeed makes great beer, but I expect it's due much more to Taylor Smack than the water. I wonder what water source the highly successful Jason Oliver uses a few miles down the road at Devils Backbone. Again, I credit Jason for the great beer, not the water.

                    The Professor is spot on with his comments.

                    1. re: Jim Dorsch

                      Actually, Taylor gives a lot of credit to the quality of their water. He and Mandi did a lot of work setting up their system and he talks about I often.

                  2. I would have to agree with the Professor here. Great water is not a prerequisite to making great beer in modern times. 100's of breweries and brewpubs around the country make great beer that most likely do little besides filtering out chlorine and chloramines. Although some beer styles may require mineral adjustments to get the taste profile they are looking for.

                    Quality of water probably matters more for marketing purposes these days.

                    Multinational corporate breweries and soft drink companies spend good money to continually test and adjust their water to produce consistent results around the world.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: LStaff

                      Some beer styles are dependent on certain mineral profiles, which is why a lot of breweries will use RO water, then create the appropriate mineral profile for the style they're brewing.

                      1. re: LStaff

                        Read "Beer is Proof God Loves Us" (by Charles Bamforth) for an in-depth discussion of this topic. According to the author, it's possible to create any water profile in any part of the world these days.

                      2. The evolution of beer (and beer styles) was guided in Europe in large part by the local water source. As others have already mentioned, we now have the technology to chemically adjust H2O according to our needs but if you want the best example of brewing great beer with ideally suited natural water I would take a trip to Europe where youll find the soft waters of northern Germany allow for some very nice hoppy pilsners (Jever in Friesland comes to mind). The same is true for the village of Pilzen where (not) coincidently Pilsners were born using the areas soft water and unique mineral balance for maximum effect. Meanwhile in Dublin where the water is hard stouts became popular as they are better suited for being brewed with the local hard water. Here in the US you may want to check out Victory's newest flagship beer Headwaters Pale Ale which supposedly is all about the local water source they use. And good for Victory for bragging about a standard pale ale when every other big brewer spends most of their time thumping their chest about their rare extreme brews or some witty collaboration (not that Victory doesnt do this either).

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: Insidious Rex

                          >And good for Victory for bragging about a standard pale ale when every other big brewer spends most of their time thumping their chest about their rare extreme brews or some witty collaboration (not that Victory doesnt do this either).

                          I applaud Victory for putting out a well developed recipe - instead of the usual "what's throw these ingredients in and see what happens" style of craft brewing that seems to be popular with the tickers. And its something you can drink a few of before your palate grows tired of it. Fresh citra beers are a wonderful thing - but will be interesting to see what ends up in the bottle after a month or two. I have brewed many citra influenced ipa's in the last two years and find that the aroma and flavor disappear very fast.

                          1. re: LStaff

                            I drink a lot of craft beer. Maybe it's a regional thing, but I rarely see examples of "throw it in and see what happens" in my neck of the woods. Is that an east coast thing?

                            1. re: LStaff

                              I'm not sure which craft beers youre referring to, but none of the craft beer i drink follows your description. Home brewing maybe, but professional brewers have a pretty good idea of what theyre doing. You might not like the result or style, but youre insulting craft brewers by describing their process as haphazard.

                              1. re: chuckl

                                Maybe the word "usual" was the wrong choice, but I am talking mostly of one-off specials - or brewed once-a-year segment of "high end" craft beer that garners much attention and praise from relatively new beer fans. Many are un- or under-devloped recipes that just come off as throwing darts at a dartboard of flavor profiles and/or non-traditional ingredients used mostly to market to inexperienced beer geeks at overinflated prices due to its "uniqueness" and/or rarity that exploits the "I'll try anything once, but only once" approach to buying and drinking beer. #1 most widely known offender imo (and other long time beer geeks that I know) is Dogfish Head. One only needs to watch a couple episodes of Brewmasters to see that there isn't much recipe development of their specials beyond...idea, taste ingredients in a glass of beer, brew a test batch, then maybe make one tweak before a production batch is brewed and packaged. Used to be a time in microbrewery/craft beer history when brewers would hammer out recipes in their basements and/or pilot systems until they got the exact taste profile, balance, and drinkability they were looking for before unleashing it to the public. But that seems to have gone by the wayside due to recent increases in demand of craft beer and how easy it is to sell beer that is high in abv, and big on flavor, sweetness, and mouthfeel but lacks in depth, nuance, and drinkability. Many of these beers seemed to be designed and meant to grab people's attention in cold, small sample sized measures for marketing purposes at beer fests and tastings, but are nearly undrinkable beyond a few ozs -especially when your pint warms up. I'm kind of glad my statement is insulting to the craft brewers who do this, because they have insulted me by corrupting the term "craft".

                                1. re: LStaff

                                  I think we're going through a phase where brewers and consumers are reacting, and maybe in some cases overreacting to the insipid brews that for so many decades following Prohibition dominated the American beer market. All of those industrial beers tasted mostly the same and any semblance of differentiation or, for that matter, flavor, was systematically eliminated. It's an impressive feat of chemical engineering. Making beer taste like nothing is hard to do. So along comes craft beer in the 1980s and afterward and brewers start pushing the flavor envelope. It's a strategy that works to some extent because people's minds and palates are open to trying something different and we Americans don't have much of a beer culture to compare the new brews with, like England, Germany and Belgium do. I'm willing to put up with some beers that go over the top because the spirit of innovation that fuels extreme beers also results in some really stunning ales. Dogfish Head might not be your cup of Sahtea, but they do make some really good beers, like Dogfish 60, 90 and 120, Midas Touch and Festina Peche, a Berlinerweisse style beer that was almost unknown outside of a few places in Germany. Calagione seems to be taking an almost archeological approach to beer, and while I don't like all of them, some are quite good. In the quite good category, I would place Bitches Brew, a really nice imperial stout, which was featured as one of their weird beers in Brewmasters. Given a choice between going back to flavorless beers only or taking a chance that some American brewers might go a little over the top, I'd always pick the latter. It's not that difficult to find outstanding American craft brews, and the hits greatly outnumber the misses, in my opinion.

                                  1. re: chuckl

                                    From a business standpoint, scan data shows that the highest growth is in the uber-expensive specialty beers, albeit on a small base.

                                    1. re: chuckl

                                      >Dogfish Head might not be your cup of Sahtea, but they do make some really good beers, like Dogfish 60

                                      And that's my reason for hating all this experimentation for experimentation sakes - what should be drinkable beer that you should be able to sit down and have a couple aren't being developed to their potential or aren't getting the QC attention that they desperately need due what seems to be a focus on satisfying the ticker market since it garners the most attention from the beer press, beer websites, and at fests and tastings.

                                      DFH 60 is one of the most wildly inconsistent craft beers I have experienced over the years-and I'm not talking small batch to batch variation that one could expect with craft beer. One time its decently hoppy, crisp, drinkable, and fault free, the next -diacetyl laden, or just a cloying caramel malt bomb with no hop flavor (and I'm talking on tap, so this should mitigate age issues - especially in the Boston area, where DFH flies out of tap handles.). And freshness issue that plague flagship beers are an entirely differenct issue that also needs to adressed but are ignored by many breweries who for one reason or another won't date their bottles or keep their beer local enough and/or do quality ensurance testing on beers on store shelves. DFH is but one example, there are hundreds of others around the country of varying sizes - as well as breweries that seem to do it right most of the time (SN, Deschutes, Full Sail, Victory). I've given up on my local/regional brewery Smuttynose flagship type beers that used to be staple in my fridge due to inconsistency and QC problems. Yet they have a bbl. aging program - and try to make sour beers, and have beers made with belgian yeasts that they don't seem to understand how to get the balance of phenols and esters that the belgians do - what about investing in a solid QC program instead, and concentrating on making consistent beers people can rely on - agian, just another example, there are more.

                                      Brewers are getting away with producing crappy beers because of the recent increase in demand - they don't seem to really care about repeat sales because there is a large demand for craft beer - for every customer like me that walks away, there are two more that will replace me with more disposable income than I have to waste their money on a roll of the dice. At this point I am hoping for another 90's style shakeout - hopefully a little contraction will get them to concentrate of making consistent, drinkable beer again.

                                      >Given a choice between going back to flavorless beers only or taking a chance that some American brewers might go a little over the top, I'd always pick the latter.

                                      I consider this to be a straw man argument similar to what CAMRA has been using for years. To them it seems there are two kinds of beer - beautiful, naturally conditioned, non-Co2 dispensed beer, and ice cold, yellow, over carbonated, dead adjunct lager pushed by unnatural Co2. There is actually something in between that is flavorful, interesting, drinkable, and unique - pale ales, ipa's, porters, ambers, stouts, non-adjunct lagers, altbier, golden ales, barleywine, et al, that when done well, and reasonably priced, are worth pruchasing and drinking again and again. I would rather have that than some cartoony experimental bbl aged beer aged on elderberries and conditioned with Brettonmyces that I can't afford to drink -or even able to drink more than a few ozs.

                                      1. re: LStaff

                                        If you're talking about draft beer, why impugn the brewery when so many pubs are terrible about keeping their tap lines clean? We have pubs in San Diego that are notorious for not taking care of their taps, and it's not uncommon to find normally delicious beers tasting like diacetyl bombs from their handles. It's bad enough at one particular establishment that I simply avoid drinking there.

                                        It's also not clear to me how a brewery is to be faulted for incompetent handling of their product by distributors or vendors. It seems to me that the brewery's responsibility ends at the point where they hand their bottles/kegs to the next person in the supply chain.

                                        At this point, allow me to state that I *do* agree with many of your points, lest it appear that I'm getting on your case. I've had many terrible allegedly Belgian-style beers from breweries that make other styles quite competently, and agree that this is an area where breweries should get their products in better condition before releasing them to the public. While it's encouraging that there are American breweries making excellent Belgian-style beers like Allagash, Russian River, and Ommegang, there are a large number of other breweries that turn out undrinkable phenolic messes.

                                        That said, it bothers me to see an unqualified comment like "brewers are getting away with producing crappy beers", especially coming after you mention two things that breweries have no control over: dirty lines, and mishandled bottles.

                                        I do agree that there are some notable Rate Beer/BA favorites that turn out sub-par product, seemingly on name recognition or misplaced brewer worship, but I've had far too many great craft beers to agree with your argument, which seems to be that there's an abundance of bad beer on the market right now. I think there are some, but not the majority.

                                    2. re: LStaff

                                      I've tried most of Dogfish Head's beers, and while I think some miss the mark, most are good, and even the misses are often interesting. Dogfish Head does do further development of some of their experimental beers, too. I tried an early version of Red & White that was completely awful, but had it again a few years later and found it much improved. It seems a little weird to ding a guy for experimenting when part of the work done to make some of those beers involves serious background research (Midas Touch, Chateau Jihau).

                                      And not to continue beating the dead horse, here, but OK - you named one example. Where are all of these other breweries that aren't taste-testing their recipes, hammering out recipes, etc? Are we talking inconsequential brewpubs with inexperienced brewers? Or large-scale production breweries?

                                      When you see big numbers of these American craft brewers taking home gold medals from GABF and World Beer Cup, is that because those judges are bamboozled?

                                      The vast majority of beer I drink is craft beer, and I find the comments I see on here from certain posters on this topic to smack of hyperbole. It may be true that there are some breweries that have a lot of unwarranted accolades (I can think of a few I'd put in that category), but it's not the majority by any stretch.

                                      1. re: Josh

                                        >When you see big numbers of these American craft brewers taking home gold medals from GABF and World Beer Cup, is that because those judges are bamboozled?

                                        I would counter that argument by asking - how many breweries are winning or placing in the same category year after year? There are some, but not as many as there should be imo. I am impressed by a brewery like Alaskan that either places or wins every year in the smoked beer category - tells me that they are making delicious beer on a consistent basis.

                                        My statements may be somewhat hyperbolic due to my single experience - and my locale. But when I see 60% of shelf space of what seems like 100 different brands of overpriced, high abv, experimental, wierd ingredient beer, from far away, offered in bombers/750's gradually crowding out six packs, 12 packs, and cases of local/regional, drinkable, reasonably priced flagship type beers at my local store, I get concerned about the future of the type of beer I prefer to buy and drink. When I converse with experienced craft beer fans around the country that lived through bad beer in the early 90's, and then experienced good quality beers for years after the shakeout, they are starting to see parallels with today's craft beer. Instead of money men jumping on the bandwagon with no brewing experience, its brewers (with varying experience) jumping on the bandwagon to capitalize on high abv, experimental beer that they think they can profit greatly on. I have no problems with brewers who want to make a profit, but I do have problems with the beers that seemed to have been taken for granted in the wake of trying to gain marketing attention by appealing to non-repeat customers.

                                        1. re: LStaff

                                          I would counter your argument by asking how many breweries win or place in any category year after year. OK, so Alaska has a lock on the smoked beer category - their smoked porter is fantastic, and there's not exactly a cornucopia of smoked beer on the market.

                                          But where else do you see dominance of a category by the same brewery year-in, year-out?

                                          If you are seeing 60% of shelf space taken up as you describe, then I certainly understand your frustration. I guess I'm luckier than I thought that I don't have to deal with that problem.

                                          What I would say about the future is that you shouldn't worry - there are still a lot of great, drinkable, non-experimental craft beers being made, even if your local retailers aren't stocking their shelves with it.

                                          1. re: Josh

                                            It doesn't surprise me in the least that not a lot of breweries place consistently. If you have 100 pale ales, there are probably quite a few that are pretty good, and the vagaries of judging, handling before the judging, etc, are going to make it difficult for breweries to place year after year.

                                            By the way, it might be time to start a new thread if this conversation is going to continue, as it's certainly veered off the original topic.

                              2. Could you explain why you care?

                                  1. Abita, from Abita Springs in Louisiana. Their entire range of beers is excellent.

                                    1. Balashi, although the beer kinda sucks, Aruba has some of the best drinking water in the world.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: phatchris

                                        I drank quite a bit of Balashi last time in Aruba. Not a great beer as you say. IIRC it's made from desalinated ocean water and they advertise themselves as the only beer in the world made this way.

                                      2. Springs, mountain streams, NY reservoirs, land of sky blue waters...it really doesn't make any difference. It is all filtered and treated. Usually water by big brewers is obtained from deep wells into aquifers with water thousands of years old underground. My hometown water comes from deep wells like that and is still filtered and treated. In the overall equation of brewing I don't think the water is a factor unless some small craft brewer is pulling it from a tap. I would suspect if they were smart they would still be filtering at minimum.

                                        1. There is no "best water" so to speak. Different beers and recipes require different water. Different breweries filter their water to a varying degree, so the source can definitely make a difference. Even large breweries here in the US have to take into consideration their water, and where it comes from.

                                          This is a big part of how certain beer styles evolved in specific parts of the world. Pale ale in England, pils beer in the czech republic, etc...


                                          1. Schaefer, I've seen their ads on TV. Sorry, that was me i nthe time warp of 1975. I think the water thing is overrated. Or as some big beer exec said when Coors went nationwide and talked about their Mounmtain waters, the only differenc ein their water from ours is that bears piss in it...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: MOREKASHA

                                              I find the whole question puzzling to begin with. It is easy to adjust the water to be as hard or as soft was you want it to be. If I am making a pils in the style of Czechvar, I want one water profile, like a Burton on Trent ale another. Water is almost irrelevant because it is easy to adjust and all brewers do when necessary.

                                            2. Back in the 90s when St Arnold's was starting up they used to say that Houston water right out of th etap was perfect for their ales. BTW Bud brews Rolling Rock out of Jacksonville Fl too. That brewery/plant filters it's own water, or so says the tour girl.

                                              1. I thought "Hamms" was brewed "from the land of Sky Blue Waters" .... LOL

                                                1. whenever i drink sierra nevada pale ale, for some reason it reminds me of the clean fresh water i used to drink fresh from the springs of the appalachian mountains as a kid. (yes, im well aware sierra nevada is made very very far away from my childhood home.)

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: charles_sills

                                                    When Sierra Nevada's new eastern US brewery is up and running, they may be treating the local water source (whatever it is) to match the profile of the water used at the Chico brewery.
                                                    These days, the "local water" simply doesn't have to dictate the type or quality of beer made, not to the extent that it did 100 years ago.
                                                    Any water can be treated to match any mineral profile.

                                                  2. Most professional breweries use RO filtration to clean the water, then add in "water salts" to adjust the pH depending on the style of beer they are shooting for. So its a moot point. I brew in central texas using a well spring, and it's supposedly one of the cleanest aquifers in the US (balcones aquifer) and even I don't trust it. I soften and RO filter it. Too many possibilities to contaminate ground water.
                                                    Any commercial brewery telling you they use all natural water is spinning marketing fluff to the save the whales crowd. All water is natural. RO filtration is just smart business.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: dashmatrix

                                                      President of Abita told Beer Marketer's Insights that they don't treat their water.

                                                      1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                        I don't doubt that one bit.
                                                        If there's access to a good water source, there's no need to treat it. It's possible to build excellent beers _around_ the available water with little or no treatment.

                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                          Every place I've visited in the Northeast and Northwest uses carbon filtered municipal water, with perhaps some salts added for certain styles. The water is suitable for brewing so that's what is used. Some brewers have even told me that they chose a certain municipality for their water, in large part.

                                                          I don't doubt that RO is used- it may even be a necessity in certain parts of the country. I just don't get the sense that it is that widespread.

                                                          1. re: TongoRad

                                                            my water filter at home isn't reverse osmosis, and it was designed to work in 3rd world countries... (NOT so much removing biohazards, mind)

                                                        2. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                          Well I hope they actually use the water from this Abita Springs source and not Lake Pontchartrain water...

                                                          1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                            You mean to tell me that you've never heard of Abita Springs Brackish Brown?

                                                      2. I think the real question here which nobody has addressed so far is; what toxic contaminants that are in the source water actually ends up in the finished product? Toxins such as Fluoride, radionuclides and heavy metals, that R.O. does not reduce nor remove, only a process such as distillation will. The question I would love answered as a beer drinker and not a brewer, is, can beer be made starting with distilled water, alone... or by adding minerals, (are they really needed), for say yeast growth? I don't drink any beer brewed in the U.S. since fluoridation is nationwide, so I drink beer made in countries that have banned the practice such as virtually all of Europe. Spring water would be worse if left untreated due to the potential organic chemical contamination. By definition the best water would be H2O, or without contaminants, which is basically what distilled water is, now if what with minerals is absolutely required for beer making then you want to start with pure distilled water and add the mineral, since you cannot separate the good from the bad (radionuclides, heavy metals) minerals with any technology.

                                                        "Looking for pure, mountain spring water." is basically an oxy-moron since by definition it does not exist, exchange the word "pure" with "entirely" mountain spring water, yes, it is that, but, it isn't pure water, or H2O. It is H2O that is contaminated by the components that make up a mountain, which include both the good and the bad minerals. I will not get into the discussion of good minerals, since there is no device that can separate the good from the bad at the atomic level, contrary to the years of deceptive advertizing from uninformed R.O. and filter salesmen, that their products, leave in "all the good minerals". Let's suffice it to say that plants are the only device that will do this through osmosis, and even this is not a perfect way, since plants will absorb certain heavy metals, they are still the best source of minerals, not via water.

                                                        If someone who brews can answer my questions, we will truly have answered the question above and now we can have beer that can be devoid of any contaminants that are from the water source. Which would leave us to the final conclusion of where would other toxins come from, if it wasn't in the water? Well what is the quality of the added minerals, hops and whether they are organically grown and tested for their lack of toxins.

                                                        One final point, if I had a choice between using spring water and municipal water and processing both with R.O. and carbon, the better choice is spring or well water, since the chlorination process produces carcinogenic THMs which are virtuall impossible to remove from municipal water even with distillation and pre and post carbon filtration, ozone, UV, never the less R.O. with carbon etc.

                                                        Is alcohol a toxin? Damn!

                                                        We only want one specific toxin, I do believe...

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: FedUpNow

                                                          <dons tinfoil hat, checks overhead for black helicopters>

                                                          Yes, minerals are important and necessary for yeast to function properly. Most brewers I suppose would deem it unecessary to distill their brewing liquor as filtration (or no filtration) accomplishes their goals without being cost/time prohibitive. And I suppose most brewers/beer drinkers/humans don't have the... ummm.... stringent requirements as you seem to have.

                                                          1. re: LStaff

                                                            Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

                                                            1. re: LStaff

                                                              No need for the tin foil hat... but if you drink American brewed beer or soda in aluminum cans, you can basically expect to be a victim of a higher incidence of Alzheimer's disease... and a higher cancer rate (per the EPA) from the THM's (over 70 years, required notices sent out for 5 years) not including potential cancers from Fluoride. Which are produced from the by-products of aluminum manufacturing and fertilizer manufacturing, do we still need our hat? No conspiracy there... the facts are everywhere on the net to see. I would think that beer "connoisseurs" would want their beer to be as unadulterated as possible and pressure manufacturers in that direction, I guess that is where I going with this.

                                                              That reminds me of the old TV commercial from the 60's with the Indian with a tear coming down his cheek looking at the litter and the polluted lake, I think his name was Chief Ten Beers, and he visits me on occasion...

                                                            2. re: FedUpNow

                                                              This makes me thing back to my college days working in a packie, when A-B listed its cities on the label with the name of the brewing city listed first. In New England, the Budweiser brand slumped in the 1970s, in a tale that begins when Jos. Schlitz made plans to open a plant on the Merrimack River in N.H. The Merrimack had a terrible environmental reputation. It was polluted further south, as it passed the decaying industrial cities of N.H. and Mass. Took billions in federal money to end the practice of sending raw sewage into that river.

                                                              But due to monumentally stupid corporate decisions, Schlitz never needed the capacity at Merrimack and never built the plant, owing to the brilliant decision to chemically age its product for three days. A-B bought the site and permits. Once Merrimack Bud began to flow, people would check and buy just about anything else if the only thing on the shelves was Merrimack Bud -- Miller High Life in bottles was popular at the time but they'd grab off-price brands such as Tuborg or even Falstaff after learning the Budweiser was Merrimack-brewed. They'd come in an ask "are them St. Louie Buds" and when some shipping glitch brought in a supply they flew off the shelves. Kind of like the first shipment of cold-delivered Coor's which sold at Heineken prices (then people tried it and that, as we say, was that). Funny, though, nobody cared where Michelob was brewed, but A-B's "weekends are made" campaign really worked, percentage wise, Mich saw the biggest spike in sales for the weekend.

                                                              Eventually A-B's marketing carried the day, along with discarding the method of listing cities on the label, while Schlitz sales crashed and burned around 1977, to be joined by the realization that Miller Time wasn't what you wanted to have after tearing down a building or roping a steer or doing any other other stuff that it was presumed you were doing when Philip Morris Marlboroized the brand, turning a ladies product into something for manly men.

                                                              In the manufacture and sale of corporate beer, the water source is important as a marketing tool, nothing else. Nothing like clear, fresh, goose-poop-infected mountain water.