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Texas Light disputes flavor claims from Sharp's and O'Doul's no-alcohols.

Texas Light disputes flavor claims from Sharp's and O'Doul's no-alcohols

J.B. & Associates, national distributor of Texas Light non-alcoholic beer since 1983, has taken exception to claims made by Miller and Anheuser-Busch for the non-alcoholic brands they have just launched with multi-million-dollar advertising and promotional campaigns.

Commenting on Miller's advertised assertion that its new entry, Sharp's, is "the first non-alcoholic brew with real beer taste (due to) a revolutionary new process," J.B. president Jacque Bobbe said, "Miller's so-called `revolutionary' process of removing the alcohol before brewing the beer is neither new nor does it improve the taste. When you abandon the traditional brewing process, you merely produce a brew that's the same as the non-alcoholic beers that most European brewers have been producing for years.

"Good-quality beer," Bobbe continued, "whether it's alcoholic or non-alcoholic, needs the alcohol to give it real body and real beer taste. That's why with Texas Light we wait until the end of the brewing process to remove the alcohol. This results in a product with the sensation and flavor of alcoholic beer, but with only 68 calories per 12-oz. serving and without the alcohol.

"Beers made like Sharp's might as well be called `kiddie beers,'" Bobbe asserted. "In fact, Sharp's is actually malta, which is a `soda pop' that has been around for many years in Europe. Moreover, the taste deteriorates faster in this style of beer. That's what happens to European beers brewed in this fashion."

With regard to claims by Anheuser-Busch that its non-alcoholic beer is a "new" product, Bobbe said that "O'Doul's started way back in 1986 as a low-alcohol to no-alcohol brew and rebaptized it `LAX.' In other words, they gave it a name signifying `regularity.' Later, they decided they didn't like this name, so they changed it to O'Doul's. Next, Anheuser-Busch decided they didn't like that formulation either, so they changed that, too, and came up with the O'Doul's that's being promoted to a fare-thee-well today."

G. Heileman Brewing Co.'s Kingsbury, another of Texas Light's major competitors, did not escape a barb or two from J.B.'s CEO. Asked if that non-alcoholic beer differed significantly from Texas Light, Bobbe observed, "Like A-B, Heilman uses a formulation similar to Texas Light in which the alcohol remains until the end of the brewing process in order to impart a real-beer flavor. However, the big difference is in the brewing ingredients.

"For one thing," Bobbe claimed, "our quality standards are much higher than Heileman's in terms of the raw materials we use, and also in the brewing process itself. We refuse to cut corners and produce a cheap product that is just a watered-down version of real beer," Bobbe concluded.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Feb 5, 1990
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