Beerman for March 7, 2013

For Weekly SurgeMarch 5, 2013 

You’d think the big guy could afford to do things the right way.

But Budweiser, the King of Beers, is facing a class-action lawsuit in California. The suit claims the mega-brewer waters-down its beer.

I’m just glad I live in a country where beer drinkers can file class-action lawsuits.

Nathan Berrong of CNN and Eatocracy recently explained that the suit began when former Anheuser-Busch employees contacted customers with the claim that water is added to the beers to improve profits.

Craft-beer snobs could riff jokes on that one for years.

Realistically, Budweiser will probably survive this suit, and not because it’s a big company. CNN hired an independent lab to run tests on Budweiser’s best-known lager, Bud Light, and two other Bud products.

The indie lab found that Budweiser’s lager, advertised at 5 percent alcohol by volume, was actually 4.94 percent.

Bud Light, labeled with 4.2 percent, was actually 4.14 percent.

In other words, pretty darn close. Lower than advertised, but a negligible difference, and not enough to violate federal regulations. Of course, the lab’s tests weren’t run on every batch, just on bottle beers, but it’s hard to imagine this suit sticking.

Meanwhile, a new lager, Budweiser Black Crown, has hit the nation with a saturating ad campaign. I bought a 24-ounce bottle for $1.99 at a local convenience store.

Black Crown has potential for mass appeal, but I suspect most craft-beer snobs will be disappointed that the brewing giant cannot come up with something more flavorful.

Unfortunately, Black Crown is basically like Bud’s regular lager with a smoother feel and a little more booze: 6 percent. The smooth drinking just doesn’t deliver an interesting flavor. The beechwood flavor is about as mellow as it can get – too mellow.

Even so, Budweiser must be onto something in popular tastes. The company isn’t hurting for sales.

Big Eddy’s Wee Heavy

A new installment of the Big Eddy series, from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. in Wisconsin, recently made it into the Grand Strand market, courtesy of The Yahnis Co., a local beer distributer.

The critically acclaimed Big Eddy Wee Heavy Scotch Ale should be available at several craft-beer joints around the Grand Strand, said Scott Green, on-premise sales manager for Yahnis.

Find it on tap at Handley’s Pub in Carolina Forest, Crafty Rooster in Conway, Bully’s in North Myrtle Beach, Good Time Charlie’s in Myrtle Beach, and Tilted Kilt in Myrtle Beach.

You can also find it in bottles at Coastal Ale House in Conway, Mellow Mushroom in Myrtle Beach, Buffalo Wild Wings in Carolina Forest, and Wild Wing Café in North Myrtle Beach.

Leinekugel’s spring seasonal, the kölsch-style Canoe Paddler, should also be appearing soon, if not already, with wider distribution than Big Eddy Wee Heavy.

Son of a Peach!

Better Brands, Inc., a local distributer, recently added Son of a Peach to its just-arrived or coming-soon list.

Son of a Peach is brewed at RJ Rockers Brewing Co. in Spartanburg, so it’s a South Carolina product. It also delivers a nice peach flavor while avoiding a syrupy sweetness.

If you haven’t tried it yet, rest assured that it sells very well during spring and summer months.

Volunteer at Beer Fest

The 5th annual Myrtle Beach Beer Fest at takes place later this month at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach.

Fest organizers are looking for volunteers.

Of course, the organizers sweetened the pot: If you volunteer at a session, you will receive a complimentary pass to attend one of the other sessions. That’s a deal, considering the regular price is $35, and the VIP price is $70.

Here are the sessions:

Session 1: 5-9 p.m. Friday March 29

Session 2: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday March 30

Session 3: 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday March 30

If you can lend a hand to this noble, worthy cause, e-mail Derek McKnight at Derek@festivalpromos.com.

For more information about attending the beer fest, including the list of beers planned for the event, see www.myrtlebeachbeerfest.com .

Contact Colin Burch at beerpour@yahoo.com and visit his blog at http://maltyhops.blogspot.com.

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