Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rant: "Triple-Hops Brewed" Miller Lite

For this post, I'm taking a page out of a fellow beer blogger's proverbial book. Each week, Bill, author of www.pittsburghbeersnob.com, posts the "Monday Rant" and discusses his various and sundry pet peeves in the world of beer.

I don't like the advertisement that says "Miller Lite: The beer that's triple hops brewed." Why? Well, there are two main reasons:

First, I have a problem with the word "the" in that statement. It implies that there are no other beers out there that can compete. Um, ever heard of an IPA? I guarantee you'll get more hops out of the weakest IPA on the market than you will from a Miller Lite.

Second, what does it even mean? The Hoosier Beer Geek wondered the same thing. Let's consider some possibilities:

a) It means that three types of hops are added.
b) It means that hops are added three times during the brewing process.
c) It means absolutely nothing.

I vote "c". (Isn't that always the right answer in a multiple-choice question anyway?) I think that the Miller marketing team was feeling particularly cheeky that day and decided to try and make their beer seem unique.

Besides, plenty of beers use more than one type of hops. And as for adding more hops during the brewing process, well that's an extremely common practice. There's "dry hopping" (adding unboiled, dried hops to the beer, often in a keg or cask) and "wet hopping" (adding fresh, undried hops to the beer, typically within 24 hours of harvesting). And then there's "continuous hopping", a process developed by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head (see their 90 Minute IPA webpage). Continuous hopping is pretty much what it sounds like: it involves adding hops to the beer all throughout the brewing process. Practically speaking, one might add hops every minute, as Dogfish Head does for their 60, 90, and 120 Minute IPAs (each one brewed and continuously hopped for the duration suggested by its name).

So basically, there's nothing unique about Miller Lite's brewing process. The only reason you won't see anyone competing with Miller Lite's claim to "triple hops brewed" is because of Miller's trademark on the phrase.

That's my $0.02 anyway.