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Blind taste test: macrolagers vs craft lagers | The Craft Beer Channel & My Virgin Kitchen

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We think macrolager tastes like s***. Every one of them. So we've put our beer money where our mouth is and done a blind taste test of macrolager vs microlager. Can Jonny tell the difference? Find out as he and the Brad host the one and only My Virgin kitchen to test whether it's all been bulls*** all along. Check out our partners at http://www.beermerchants.com Twitter – @beerchannel Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/thecraftbeerchannel Instagram – @jonnygarrett @mrbradevans Watch Barry's channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/myvirginkitchen Remember to drink responsibly(ish) and not be that guy...
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Text Comments (80)
Ryan Walsh (5 months ago)
You should do this with pales and bitters, great idea!
The Craft Beer Channel (5 months ago)
Nice idea, we'll see what kind of line-up we'd get to!
Ben Warner (10 months ago)
Shouldn't see what the beers are before.
Greg Curling (1 year ago)
I enjoy these types of tests. Three suggestions. 1) reveal the results at the end, not after each round. 2) don't simply alternate micro/macro for the most part. And most importantly 3) don't let them see the beers in the test before you start. Because as they progress to the end, they know what beers remain.
+Greg Curling this is all true. Sadly with only two of us on the team it's tricky! But the next one will be more advanced.
Alex Judge (1 year ago)
Would be a little more difficult if you didn't go micro, macro in that pattern every time
MKRM27 (1 year ago)
It's easy to spot what most people would think of as a "craft beer"... overly hopped and high ABV. Simple.
...and what about the lambics? Or the gruits? Or the imperial stouts? Beers with almost no (and in some cases literally none at all) hoppiness? Or session IPAs lower in ABV than a macro lager. Life is rarely so black and white.
Beer Healer (1 year ago)
Did a similar thing with my fellow beer sales team members a few years ago. We thought we were experts but couldn't even tell the difference between the 4 mainstream lagers we peddled...was it our poor palates, or the fact that our macro lagers were all made from the same wort streams and nearly indistinguishable?
Definitely that these beers are almost indistinguishable! Blame the bad beer!
Michele Berto (1 year ago)
What's your three favourite lagers you've ever tried?
Oof! Hard question, but definitely Kout Pivo 12 is the best one. One of the best beers we've ever tried, in fact. After that we love Hacker-Pschorr Kellerbier and Pilsner Urquell if fresh/unpasteurised. Camden Town IHL gets a special mention too.
Conor Dunne (1 year ago)
Would be better if they got the results at the very end rather than each step of the way. Good vid though
Tales Of Froth (1 year ago)
Know it has been said before but the taster should not have known what they were tasting. Quite a few pilsners on the craft side but none on the marcro side. Is Lagunitas considered micro or macro considering Heinken owns 50% of them? Just curious.
Tales Of Froth (1 year ago)
Will do! :)
Always happy to chat and stop being SO FAMOUS. Drop us an email - it's on our about us page.
Tales Of Froth (1 year ago)
Haha :) All good. Giving you a virtual hug. Let me know. I'm launching India's first Beer magazine..so maybe if you aren't getting too famous and want to talk about all the good you are doing, I'll save some space in the magazine for you. London - defo! Would love to do that crips and Beer pairing with you lot! haha :)
+Tales Of Froth Heya man. Sorry maybe took you too seriously! The video ain't perfect so a bit defensive maybe! next one will be awesome. if we're ever in India we'll let you know, or if you're London bound let us know!
Tales Of Froth (1 year ago)
Johnnie - I love what you guys do. Only pulling you leg and being a complete jack ass. Keep doing what you're doing mate and please come down to India sometime. 60+ brewpubs with the scene starting to explode. Or I tell you what, I have a feeling I will be meeting you guys soon where you are. Cheers!
Reece Hugill (1 year ago)
hacker-pschorr gold definately isnt a pilsner haha.
Reece Hugill (1 year ago)
Or a "hells" if you cant decide like camden haha
did we say it was!? I hope not. we they were either helles or pilsner.
Beardman (1 year ago)
And sadly in this selection only Howling Hops is still an independent brewery...
Beardman (1 year ago)
So now you need to make a new one. I think it'd be interesting to do the same with IPA.
+Beardman indeed...we timed this badly.
+Beardman indeed...we timed this badly.
Lagrade (1 year ago)
The macro lagers where I live are actually quite good. I think there is only one of them that uses adjuncts instead of malt. Some has more exciting hops in them like mosaic, cascade, centennial etc and are dry hopped. For me, the size of the brewery doesn't matter. For example, Brooklyn Brewery are way much bigger than some of our macro breweries. And by the way, at what production capacity is the threshold between macro- and microbreweries? No one knows :)
if only that were the case around the world!
MKRM27 (1 year ago)
Lagrade Of course they are good. They are produced consistently, to high volume. Nothing wrong with them, whatsoever.
Lagrade (1 year ago)
+The Craft Beer Channel I'm Swedish. Swedish brewing history pretty much consists of low ABV smoked brown ales, but since the industrial revolution brewers began brewing german styles of lager beers. While most breweries brew all malt export lagers they usually have 1 or 2 more exiting beers.
+Lagrade haha. Well in the US the rule from the BA is 6 million barrels. Which means they can be massive. We don't think size should be a factor either unless it's part of a system to help the smaller guys. Here we used size as the measure though to avoid the craft argument around the likes of lagunitas and Camden. Where abouts are you from? Rare to find all malt macro beers outside Germany/Czech/Belgium.
Brad Jordan (1 year ago)
well. they did look at the beers on the table before being blindfolded. But still a good test nonetheless.
Brad Jordan (1 year ago)
also, you never guessed on the Lagunitas Pils.. and it is now indeed a macro beer. ;) cheers
We might steal this idea for an episode. Hope you guys see it as respect for how fun yours was.
+The Craft Beer Channel awesome. We'll give credit to you guys for the idea :)
give it a go man!
Malty water, 😂😂😂😂
sofakingdrunk66 (2 years ago)
Test like this are fun to do with your mates.. But also worth remembering that craft and macro will taste a lot similar after quite a few of them are consumed and when one starts to get suitably refreshed..
MoosicDude (2 years ago)
I can see why they said macro for Camdem Helles. It's fucking awful.
MoosicDude (1 year ago)
+The Craft Beer Channel *and brewed in smaller batches by people who actually care ;)
Makes sense! Pilsner Urquell take great pride in never brewing anywhere except their brewery so it won't be that - it's that the pasteurised keg PU around the world is a shadow of the unlfiltered, unpasteurised stuff they drink in Pilsen and Prague! That beer is proof that the best beers are left unadulterated and drunk fresh!
MoosicDude (1 year ago)
The Craft Beer Channel I've had a few of these. Pilsner Urquel was lovely when I drank it in Prague, but when I've tried it here, not so much. I'm unsure whether it was the bar I was in or if it had been brewed under license elsewhere, but it wasn't what I remembered.
Almost. There are still some great macro beers, almost exlusively from Bavaria and Czech, where the traditions have slowed down the march of profit margins. Fresh Augustiner (1.2m barrels), Paulaner (3m barrels) and of course Pilsner Urquell Tankovna are still stunners. Outside that, quality falls off a cliff!
MoosicDude (1 year ago)
+MKRM27 It's all subjective and not deserving of such a condescending tone. Macro Beers here in the UK are universally awful piss water and even decent stuff from abroad pales in comparison to a decent independent brewery. Brewing on such scales forces compromise, it's as simple as that.
Adam Long (2 years ago)
Lagunitas micro...?
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
+Adam Long to some extent sure. Flavour matters most but it's sad when businesses feel they need the help of the companies responsible for the proliferation of aggressively marketed bad product. It can make it harder for the small guys staying independent. We still love lagunitas but we think there are better ways to grow.
Adam Long (2 years ago)
+The Craft Beer Channel surely it doesn't matter, the size of the brewer, or who owns them, but that the beer they make is good!
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
shot this a long time ago...Maybe independent was a better word. back then. Nowadays it's just...sadness with regard to that.
umyline aldis (2 years ago)
You guys should be guessing the name of the beer at this point!
Marius Wolf (2 years ago)
Lager. Meh.
Marius Wolf (2 years ago)
IPL is a pretty modern experimental style IMO so I left that out for now. But I thought kolsch is an ale or am I wrong? Steam is quite atypical but I haven't had ebough to give an elaborate opinion on that and the same goes for sours. With Dunkle and Bock it's that they are usually quite malt forward, which I do find enjoyable especially for Dunkel but it often lacks the complexity that would make it really exciting (except maybe the magnificent Doppel-Hirsch by Höss). Plus I don't really concidere Bock a lager but a seperate thing. Maybe a bit ignorant on my part but yeah well what can I do. The classic pale lager in my opinion is just nice to have but nothing great or: meh. While we're at it: great channel! entertaining, informative and down to earth. I wish we had any strange flavoured crisps here that I could send you. Cheers!
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
It's def true that the differences between helles/pils are subtle but that doesn't cover all lagers. Dunkels, bocks, IPLs, steams, kolsch etc are all completely different – also some sours are made with lager yeasts so you could even include them. I agree there is more variation in ales because they yeast adds an extra dimension, but lager has many different faces too.
Marius Wolf (2 years ago)
+The Craft Beer Channel I know that. Where I'm from we know our Lagers. But I find a good lager like ayinger or augustiner is tasty, refreshing etc. but just not very exciting. They move in comparably restricted parameters. A Lager is Lager, some are better than others but in the end they are still Lagers. Differences between ales are like day and night.
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
+John Zoidberg certainly in the case of 5 of these but a great helles or pilsner is just as flavourful and exciting as any ale. The only difference between them is yeast and temperature. Everything else is down to the brewer.
Nathan Trout (2 years ago)
I've yet to have a craft pale lager where the difference in quality from a macro justifies the price.
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
+Nathan Trout i think very few countries can do it well but thwy are impeoving.the howling hops one definitely does, and the hacker is a big brewery but still a world away from the shitty macro stuff. If youre ever in the Czech Republic find some kout 12. One of the best beers in the world, let alone lagers.
Joël Edelmann (2 years ago)
Cool video ! But you could have given two micros/macros in a row to make it harder ;)
The Beer Padawan (2 years ago)
Awesome! Would do this soon with my beer buds as well. Cheers!
Nevets t. Smith (2 years ago)
I haven`t done blind tasting before, but I have picked up a glass of milk in the morning when I meant to reach for orange juice. The fact that I was expecting OJ made it taste more like really weird orange flavour, even though it`s an entirely different liquid.
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
Interesting! Expectation definitely affects flavour.
Porker Americanism (2 years ago)
Awesome been looking at schools for craft beer this is such cool stuff
rhoihessegold (2 years ago)
Like that "malty water" insert at Bud! Cheers guys!
Darin Mohr (2 years ago)
Awesome idea, only weak point in the execution in my opinion is the tasters knowing the beers in advance, making it easier towards the end using process of elimination.
OttoStrawanzinger (2 years ago)
+The Craft Beer Channel blind tastings of lagers can be fun. I did one with German lagers, both from large breweries and small, traditional, independent ones, with some modern German craft lagers inbetween. The result was wuite surprising, because the cheapest beer with the worst reputation was rated well above the average, and some of the traditional ones had some major technical flaws. Blind tastings made me realize how much bias there usually is in rating beers.
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
very true. We realised too late! Lesson learnt for the next one.
greenronin (2 years ago)
Micro lager is great, but no way near accessible enough. It's expensive and mostly only available online (unless you live near the brewery). I wish more would be done to get it out to the masses. I like the idea of being able to go out and get a beer when the feeling comes, and not having to buy online and wait. What do you think it would take to make that possible?
Leonard Schumann (2 years ago)
I live in germany, so we have a lot of macro lager (pilsner), but their is a craft beer store in the nearest big city and some beers from Brooklyn Brewery are available in 4 packs for 5€ , considering their quality quite cheap.
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
Well depending on where you live it's getting more prevalent. It's just gonna take time, as people learnt how much better it is they will ask for it more in pubs and pubs will have to adapt to that demand. In cities in the UK it's easy to find, out in towns and villages much harder. We'll get there - it's part of what our channel is about! Cheers for commenting.
Matt Colledge (2 years ago)
Great video chaps!
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
Thanks, it was one of the less pleasant because we had to drink Foster's.
Beer By The Numbers (2 years ago)
Seems like a fun tasting experiment! I'll have to try this sometime! Great collab
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
cheers!
Adam G. Manning (2 years ago)
I've waited so long!
Adam G. Manning (2 years ago)
+The Craft Beer Channel It's cool man, good work. I just think it will be funny when the inevitable happens and someone waxes lyrical in their tasting notes "there's a subtle softness and sweetness to the malt profile, I'd say this is a small German Lager" Then Brad makes the big reveal, "Wrong, Dickhead; iiiit's Carlsberg!!"
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
yeah that would have been better...an oversight there for us!
Adam G. Manning (2 years ago)
+The Craft Beer Channel Oh yeah, I understand this has to be for entertainment. I'm not complaining we are not getting lab coats and such, don't worry. What about, the beers are revealed to the participants and the audience after each round?
The Craft Beer Channel (2 years ago)
Totally agree with the feedback, but to make this a video that's entertaining/works on Youtube we had to spread the results rather than put them at the end. We'll be doing more scientific ones in future, this was for fun with Barry and we converted him at least!
Adam G. Manning (2 years ago)
Okay, okay; feedback. In the surface, this is a pretty brave thing to do. Especially potentially tripping Jonny up by putting Camden Hells in front of him (a beer that for years I have said is a macro lager disguised as a craft beer - not to say it's badly made, and I prefer the hoppy spritz of it to most every macro lager, but it's clearly designed with macro drinkers in mind) But I will say I don't think it's a fair test to show the tasters what they will be tasting before hand. I think that anyone with an ounce of beer knowledge will be able to pick them out from memory alone, just like in the Gluten Free Video where the tasters knew they had Punk IPA on the table. In this case, you know you've got a 5.5 and 6% beer etc. Overall, thanks for making the video, but I wondered if you could bear this in mind for future.

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