Originally Posted by westofyou
Sam's is a good mass produced beer...
"Mass producued" really doesn't mean a whole lot. Prior to the advances made by Budweiser, Pabst, Schlitz and Miller in the 1800's many beers were quite inconsistent. The thing that made these four beers so popular (aside from the fact that they were appealing to the growing taste of americans for a much lighter product) was the fact that a Bud bought in New Orleans tasted exactly the same as one bought in St. Louis. What they brought to the industry was rigid adherence to the principles of brewing, consistency and cleanliness. And they did it on a very large scale.
Koch understands that same principle- beer doesn't have to be brewed in some tiny brewery to be high quality; it just has to be brewed by people who care about what they are doing with the best ingredients.
Incidently, the breakthrough that Budweiser made in the US was in discovering how to create a light "bohemian" style brew, similar to that brewed in south central Europe at the time, but without using the same kinds of barley, which were nearly impossible to import in sufficient quantities. American six row barley was very difficult to brew a lighter beer with. The breakthrough was in also using rice malt and although this was a departure from traditional brewing the beers were nonetheless heralded back in old Europe, and in 1878 "Budvar" (Busch's first Bohemian Lager) won a gold medal at the Paris Exposition.
This info all comes from:
Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer
By Maureen Ogle
Great read on the american brewing industry.