Beer brewed with corn?

I’ve never heard of Broken Bat Brewery, but I love baseball and my social media algorithms decided to show me their ad.

Is it at all possible to make a good beer with corn? I always thought of corn and rice as being as exclusively for very price conscious customers, college kids and hard core alcoholics.

As per this article, about corn, rice, and other “adjunct grains” being used in brewing (and, I admit, I always thought of rice being used in beers like Budweiser as a way to make the beer cheaper):

Basically beer has to be made with some proportion of malted barley for the proper flavor, but the remainder can be what are called “adjuncts”- corn, rice, maltose, sugar, etc… Basically anything fermentable.

Historically beer was 100% malted barley, and in Europe, two-row barley was most commonly used for brewing, as it had all the prerequisites for good beer- good flavor, clarity, etc…

Problem was, two-row barley wasn’t well adapted to the US Midwest. So six-row barley was grown instead, as it was better adapted. But it’s not great for brewing- its higher protein content means that it produces cloudy beers, and the greater proportion of husk-to-kernel means that it also gets some astringency from tannins in the husks.

Six row does have one ace in the hole however; it has tremendous diastatic power, meaning that there is considerably more enzymatic power available in six row barley than is needed to convert its own starches into sugars. So brewers took advantage of that and mashed adjunct grains like corn and rice with the six-row barley to essentially dilute the cloudiness and astringent flavors, giving us what are now called “Classic American Pilsners”.

These beers were essentially Pilsners in the European style, only using American ingredients- specifically six-row barley and corn or rice adjuncts. They were not today’s beers; they were every bit as hoppy and high gravity as your standard European pilsners.

Several things caused the decline of those beers into today’s pale shadows… Prohibition was one, and WWII was another. Both events caused drops in gravity and IBU, with the final end state being light lagers like Coors Banquet and Budweiser. I suspect a Budweiser brewed in St. Louis in 1905 would be a totally different animal than it’s great-great-grandson being brewed today, even if both are roughly 40% rice.

If you squeeze corn and all you get is beer, then you just ain’t squeezin’ it hard enough.

Corn adds more flavor than rice does. The flavor is typically interpreted as sweetness but it isn’t really sugar the oils in the corn also make the beer feel fuller and coat your mouth more but the decrease the amount of head on the beer.

It’s always fun to taste bourbon mashes since the perceived sweetness is off the charts even after fermentation.

Then there is Kelpie, a delicious Scottish beer brewed using bladderwrack seaweed.

My every day beer, Rolling Rock, has both corn and rice in its ingredients and its pretty light in color. It even says Extra Pale on the (formerly, painted on) label. I started drinking it when it was still made in Latrobe. When AB took over and started making it in Newark NJ, the taste changed a bit (and not for the better). Still, I prefer to to other beers in it’s price range.

Anyone remember those commercials a few years back where… I think it was Budweiser? was criticizing… I think it was Coors? for using corn? Kind of a glass-houses situation, there, when you’re using rice in your own product. I kept on thinking that the other brewer should have a counter-campaign about how they’re using good American corn, instead of that inferior rice stuff.

I live 1/2 hour drive from Latrobe. When RR left, folks like me stopped drinking it. It used to be if you were in a bar around Latrobe or Greensburg and you didn’t order a RR, you’d get stares. Now you get stares if you do order one.

I went to college at IUP and some of my friends worked there in the summer. Funny thing is, I never tried until after I graduated and was back home near Philly. We were too busy with Schmidts ($11 a quarter barrel), PBR, Miller in those long neck returnables, Stroh’s Bohemian, Mickey’s Malt (wide mouth), Iron City (the worst of a bad bunch) and god knows what else. Ahhhh, the good old days.

BTW, what does one drink in that area today, if not RR?

Gimme an Arhn! (Iron City, Iron City Light) but really anything cheap.

ETA: a few friends went to IUP. Parties in Wahr Hall back in the day were a thing.

Worst Mis-reading of a thread title, EVER! :grimacing:

It was Budweiser criticizing Miller for using corn syrup in their beer. Miller’s (IMO lame) counter was that they use it as a “fermentation aid” and there’s no corn syrup present in the beer when it’s packaged and sold.

Granted, Miller was likely using some sort of specific brewing corn syrup, and not HFCS like people probably believed. And in practice, there’s very, very little if any difference in the finished product between using rice and corn syrup- both ferment out virtually completely into alcohol.

I don’t know that they’d get much traction by harping on corn vs. rice; I’m certain that 100% of either brewery’s raw materials are likely domestically sourced, as they’re simple agricultural commodities and we grow lots of rice and corn.

New Glarus’ Spotted Cow (only available in Wisconsin) used to be made with corn but the recipe has since changed. But, dear lord, is it a good beer. Just about every place in Wisconsin that sells beer has it and they sell it for about $8-$10 for a 6 pack of bottles. However, due to it’s popularity, if you go to gas stations or stores right on the Illinois/Wisconsin boarder, you’ll find it priced at $15-$30 for a 6 pack. A lot of people drive up from IL to get it.
Looking online, the local big box grocery store has 24 pack cans for $28.49 and the place on the border has the same thing for $44.99.

Thread drift but Wahr Hall had nothing on Stewart Hall. IIRC, they were very close to each other. In my freshman year (1975) Stewart became the first co-ed dorm ever at IUP. Every other room was male or female - the great social experiment. It became known as Sin City. If only half the rumors were true… Sneaking the aforementioned cases and kegs of cheap stuff up to the rooms could be a bit of a challenge but we managed.

Oh… just to add a bit to my previous post.

The original Classic American Pilsners were NOT high-adjunct beers like their great-great grandchildren of today. Rather, they were European immigrant brewers’ (or maybe a generation removed) attempts to make something as close to the European Pilsners they were used to, but with the ingredients readily available in the US.

So this meant as little adjunct grain as necessary for the beer to be clear/light.

Between Prohibition and WWII, the hop levels decreased, and the adjunct level increased. Admittedly, this was in response to popular opinion- IIRC every time hop bitterness decreased and/or adjunct percentage rose, sales increased. So in a sense, we did this to ourselves.

Here are some articles about this style of beer (the forerunner of today’s American lagers):

The Bushwick Pilsners: A Look at Hoppier Days | MoreBeer

Explorations in Pre-Prohibition American Lagers | MoreBeer

Reviving the Classic American Pilsner | MoreBeer

Are you serious!? It’s been a couple years since COVID, but I would buy them usually for $8.99-$9.99 a sixer at the Kenosha Woodman’s or I don’t even think it was priced up at the Brat Stop. But up to thirty bucks? That’s crazy!

Spotted Cow is definitely a solid, crowd-pleasing beer. It’s a beer I like to have around for both the craft drinkers and mass market drinkers. Seems to satisfy both well enough.

Around here, the cheap beer that seems to be fine with the mass market people and still be somewhat respectable among the craft beer drinkers is Narragansett.

It’s not bad. It’s got more flavor than the usual mass market beer (Bud, Miller, PBR, Rolling Rock, whatever), but it’s not so hopped up that it’s undrinkable.

But that’s my judgment. And recently somebody brought a six-pack of Sierra Nevada Torpedo to an (outdoor, small) gathering. I had one. And I thought, people voluntarily drink this stuff? So I guess I’m a mass market drinker.

Woodman’s should be priced similarly to other mega marts. I’m not sure what Brat Stop charges, but the place that’s charging $45 for a 24 pack is Mars Cheese Castle. Which, albeit, is a bit of a tourist trap/destination and then just on the other side of the freeway from Mars is a Dairy Queen/BP/Cinnabon/Truckstop place. Half the store is cheese and they have a big display of overpriced New Glarus right inside the door. They, at least at the time of this picture I found online, have 6 pack bottles for $14.99. And, they must be selling it or they’d lower the price, that display takes up a ton of space. My (wholesale) cost on 6 pack bottles is $7.25. I don’t know what they’re selling 12 or 24 pack cans for, but I’m guessing they’re retail price on most of the stuff in their store is double their wholesale cost. I’ve seen other things in their store they I have and their prices are a lot higher. Not like c-store/gas station higher, like Disney Land higher.

It’s like, six decades later, Wisconsin has reversed the old “drive to Illinois to buy margarine” industry. :smiley: