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This Bud's For You

May 14, 2007

Tags Production Theory

[Cross posted at Organizations and Markets]

Most of my academic colleagues are anti-American food snobs. Why, those poor Yanks, they think Parmesan cheese is a white, powdery stuff in plastic cylinders rather than an expensive, thick, wedge with its maker's mark on the skin. (Note the section "Other cheeses erroneously named Parmesan" in the Wikipedia entry on Parmigiano Reggiano.) Americans even think Budweiser comes from St. Louis, not ÄŒeské BudÄ›jovice!

Well, I myself am a bit of an anti-American food snob but I do insist on getting the facts right. In Bud's case, as pointed out in this brilliant piece by Daniel Davies, the original, and better, Budweiser is Adolphus Busch's American brew, not the Czech pretender. Davies explains:

  • Anheuser-Busch has been selling Budweiser since 1876, 20 years before the Budvar brewery was even built. Its brew is the original Bud.
  • Bud is all natural, failing to comply with German "purity" standards only because it contains rice (as do Kiran, Bintang, and Efes).
  • More generally, and most importantly, the beer we know and love today — even the fanciest, premium beer — is a product of capitalism, not some romanticized, pre-industrial "craft brewing" era. Beer brewed before the Industrial Revolution was probably horrible and until recently couldn't be produced in small batches with any acceptable level of quality. Three cheers for the Factory System!

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