It appears that AB In-Bev (or whatever they are calling themselves after they swallow up the rest of Modelo) is being sued for defrauding their customers out of alcohol content and watering down their product. You can read about it here.
If true, this is pretty sad. I recently read the book "Bitter Brew" by William Knoedelseder that chronicoled the history of Anheuser-Busch and the Busch family exploits from about the end of prohibition to the end of the family running the business. Their forefathers were very concerned with quality and tradition while expanding to the biggest and most outlandish beer company ever. Gussie Busch is rolling in his grave.
I do wonder, however, if the common practice for modern industrialized breweries of brewing at a higher gravity and then diluting down to package strength is being highlighted. It is just a way to get more final capacity out of your ferementers.
Too bad. I was kind of a fan of regular Bud when there isn't any other decent choice (or it is extremely hot). I try to stay away from any of the big breweries big name brands just on principle however....but I do cop to an occasional PBR.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is trouble brewing at the American Homebrewer's Association as well. For the 4th or 5th consecutive event in the last year, they have had public relations problems associated with their on-line registrations. Today it was the registration for the National Homebrew Competition. I tried at 1:05pm to register, and got as far as entering my info, before it kicked me out. I had to do it on my smart phone because my work's computer isn't upgraded to the latest version of Internet Explorer that the AHA required to register (strike 1 for my employer, my crappy work computer, and shame on the AHA). It wouldn't have mattered anyway, because my work blocked my access to the site anyway (strike 2 for work). The registration site wasn't optimized for mobile so I had to zoom in and out to read what I was trying to do (strike 2 for AHA), and then I couldn't register my beers (I intended to put in 3 beers....strike 3.
I guess they had to shut the whole thing down, but I am told most of the competition is sold out. If true, I have been shut out of the NH Comp, didn't get a discounted room for the 2012 NH Conference, shut out of the member's only session of the GABF, and was shut out of the 2011 NH Conference in Seattle. Apparently, they are victems of their own success.
I am trying to be part of the solutions....I am trying to become a qualified beer judge, I have volunteered at the 2011 and 2012 GABF and National Homebrew Competition Qualifier as a steward, and intend to do it again in 2013 (maybe as a judge if they want me). All I ask for is a hassle free experience. I still think they need to restrict entry to one beer per person (the limit this year was set at 15), eliminate the Ninkaski Award (to the most medaled homebrewer in the comp), bump up the cost per beer entry, and/or institute a lottery system for entries.
Furthermore, perhaps they need 2 members only sessions at the GABF (while adding a fourth day overall). I guess next step is to try to get on the AHA governing committee.