Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Beer's Four Ingredients, Under Review by Stella

Every enthusiast knows that beer is traditionally made with four ingredients, but do you really know what they are? I was in London yesterday and saw this ad in the tube for Stella Artois:

Stella's brewers have accomplished something previously thought impossible: beer can now be produced without yeast! You simply have to substitute corn, what will they think of next?

Not all brewers are so innovative. Upon my return to Cambridge, I noticed a very similar ad at The Granta for Beck's Vier, which while not a great beer is apparently still brewed according to more traditional methods:

Is this the result of ignorance, or has Stella's advertising agency made a conscious decision that mentioning "yeast" conjures bad associations among their target consumers, and should therefore be avoided in advertising materials?

Anonymous posted an informative comment on this subject, pointing out that Beck's and Stella are both brewed by InBev, something I should have checked before posting. I recognize that the addition of yeast can be considered a "process" rather than an ingredient, like the addition of isinglass for fining, although I would personally consider it an ingredient (which my sarcasm in the post reflected). What I find interesting, however, is that the same company would have two different advertising campaigns emphasizing there are only "four ingredients" in their beer, with one recognizing yeast as an ingredient while the other implicitly calls it a "process" instead. Is this a conscious marketing decision, differentiating the two brands, focusing Beck's on consumers who would value "tradition" and Stella on those who would rather not think about the yeast that went into their beer?


Admiral said...

Well, it looks like an effective type of ad to me -- and mentioning yeast doesn't bring good images to *MY* mind.

Anonymous said...

Stella Artois uses yeast as a catalyst/process ingredient in the brewing process. As per the Food Standards Authority, yeast is not considered an ingredient because it does not exist in the final product. Hence Stella Artois only contains 4 ingredients: water, malted barley, maize and hops.

The Becks advert sticks to the brands imported roots by using the Reinheitsgebot classification.

FYI Stella Artois & Becks are both brewed by the same company – Inbev, which also brews Leffe & Hoegaarden amongst others.

Anonymous said...

Is sugar not in the ingredients?

Anonymous said...

Stella made since 1366
Maize brought to Europe late 1400's, 100 years later.
So how does that work then?!?!?!?

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Warren EDWARDES Hyde Park Wines said...

"not considered an ingredient because it does not exist in the final product" Anon

So on this logic are alcohol and carbon dioxide ingredients?