The following video was sent to me by a Bulletin reader and fellow blogger (thanks Dave). He writes at Deadpan, Inc., where he creates and produces lots of videos like this one on a variety of topics. It’s pretty funny, I imagine especially so for brewers Will and Greg at Goose Island Brewing.
I spoke to a friend I know on the inside at A-B who told me it’s actually only weekly that these tastings are done. It’s known as the “Corporate Taste Panel” and is apparently a huge deal for the individual breweries who are essentially pitted against one another. How well a specific location’s beer does effects employee promotions and raises. He told me it can’t be overstated how important these tastings are. Each quarter one brewery is awarded the “Brewmaster’s Cup” based primarily on how well their Bud and Bud Light did in these taste panels. The scores are tabulated using only the group known as the “Key Tasters,” which consists of the VP of Brewing and roughly another half dozen members of the Brewing Senior Management Group. Brands other than the two flagships are tasted by a different group on “Junior Panels.” It is so important that after the “weekly standard package” tasting, brewery employees usually stay well past quitting time to learn the results of the tastings.
That’s an interesting peek into the corporate culture at Anheuser-Busch. Given that their goal is to produce products that taste the same regardless of where they’re made, it certainly seems like this would be an effective way to do that. Still, that video made me laugh out loud.