Not much of one, anyway. However for some pretty obvious reasons I’ve always preferred the European imports. They just seem to have more body by comparison to the often watered down domestic brands.
For starters a Beck’s, Heineken or St. Pauli Girl generally taste better when consumed in Germany or, for that matter, Mexico, Canada or even on a cruise ship.
Because U.S. import laws dictate that brewers must include preservatives when exporting their brands into the United States. Hence a Beck’s tastes better in its home country and/or aforementioned locations.
But hold it right there.
Has Germany’s top selling export beer taken a taste hit of late? Some seem to think it has and point fingers on Facebook to the aquasition of the German brand by the mega conglomerate InBev.
Bremen, Germany? Sure. But no longer for consumption in the U.S.
Try St. Louis, Missouri on for size.
That’s right InBev has consolidated the brewing operations of the legendary German brand into its Anheuser-Busch operation which it aquired a few years back.
And about that German purity law as it pertains to beers?
The bottles state “Beck’s quality brewed under the German purity law of 1516.”
And the label which used to prominently feature Bremen, Germany now states “Brauerei Beck & Co originated in Bremen, Germany.”
Now the dead give away.
The silver lining around the label on the bottles states “Product of USA. Brauerei Beck & Co, St. Louis, Mo.”
But you have to look close since that last statement is printed in white lettering on the silver backround. In other words, it’s very hard to read.
Guess you can’t blame InBev for the transatlantic move of Germany’s top selling export.
It’s got to be cheaper than transporting the product here. Hardly any spoilage to speak of either and there’s got to be some sort of a tax advantage or incentive somewhere.
Furthermore the nagging Euro to weak Dollar conversion is now out of the equation.
But have we seen a price reduction since InBev has moved the operation stateside?
So is Beck’s still a true German import bier today? I’ll leave the answer to your imagination—and taste buds.
Just like Australian Foster’s is now made in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Even domestic beers these days fudge when it comes to branding. Like batches of Boston Lager coming to us from Pennsylvania and Cincinnati. Even Coors Light which for years has hung its hat on the Rocky Mountains has added brewing facilities in Ohio and Virginia.
It’s just like everything else in our integrated society today. Like your Alabama built Honda. Kentucky constructed Toyota. Or South Carolina created BMW.
St. Pauli Girl remains pure.
So does BitBurger, which I highly recommend. But all around you can’t beat Heineken which to this day comes to us from the land of the dykes.