Keep the general population drunk and happy, esp. the alpha males. Happy 4th to all, don't throw up on yourself! ~Peta
Budweiser Formula Evolved to Encourage Greater Consumption
April 27, 2006
Anheuser-Busch has tinkered with its products over the past half-century, decreasing the bitterness of its beers in a step that encourages consumers to drink more than one or two, the Wall Street Journal reported April 26.
Efforts to improve the "drinkability" of brands like Budweiser and Bud Light have centered on bitterness because research shows that a beer drinker's palate will become "fatigued" as they consume brews with a more bitter taste. Anheuser-Busch tests the drinkability of its beers by giving free, unlimited beer to test subjects at bars, then driving them home.
Company chairman August Busch III defines the essence of drinkability as, "'I want the next beer!'"
"You stop drinking because you know it's time to stop but you don't want to: That's drinkability," he said.
Busch tests his product daily to ensure that the drinkability standard is being met. "We've been tasting these beers for 50 years," he said. "If we can't sit down and drink three or four of them, then it's not right."
American brewers also have gradually reduced the amount of hops used in lagers to increase their "Everyman" appeal. Recently, however, brewers like Anheuser-Busch have been losing market share to fuller-bodied import and "craft" beers. Miller, whose beers have a somewhat stronger flavor than Budweiser, hammered its rival with commercials where panicked drinkers screamed, "I can't taste my beer!"
Anheuser-Busch recently increased the hops content of its flagship brands to make them stronger. "I told the growers of our desire to use more hops in our brewing for the purpose of delivering more amplitude and hop flavor in Budweiser," said Busch. The company also has been introducing its own specialty brews.
"I think you're seeing an increased consumer acceptance that bitter is a positive characteristic in beer," said Keith Lemke, vice president of the Siebel Institute of Technology, a brewing education center.
"Almost every brewer is constantly changing their beer," said Henry von Eichel, president and CEO of hops producer John I. Haas Inc. "But no one likes to talk about it."