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What is a Macrobrew?

Microbreweries are smaller-scale operations compared to large national macrobreweries.
Macrobrews produce popular, commercial beers.
Guinness sells 10 million pints of beer daily.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
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  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2014
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A macrobrew is a term used in contrast to microbrew. Microbreweries tend to produce and sell smaller amounts of alcohol per year, and may make smaller batches. Since the 1980s, the popularity of microbrews has been on the rise, with many small breweries creating brands that are really enjoyed by the public.

Macrobrews, on the other hand, refer to most commercial and popular beers like those made by Anheuser-Busch. Pilsners, Coors, Pabst, and Miller top lists of the macrobrew industry, producing well over 15,000 barrels of beer a year. Quantity of beer produced tends to make the beer a macrobrew or microbrew, though there are some microbrews that are now so popular, demand for them has created smaller companies to brew beer in excess of 15,000 barrels a year.

There is some disdain for American macrobrews by microbrew enthusiasts. Adjectives like “empty,” “tasteless” and the like can be applied. However popularity of these mass produced beers are exceptionally high, and many people are happy to sit down to a Bud, Coors, or a Corona. Cost may be a factor too, since mass production tends to correlate to lower prices for a six-pack or greater of macrobrew beer.

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There are some macrobrewing companies that receive quite a bit more praise by beer enthusiasts. A number of these companies are located outside the US and include brands like Guinness, Dos Equis, and a variety of German beers. Many favor macrobrews produced outside the US and contend that such beers are simply better than standard American fare. What may be a better taste value may also be reflected in cost. Typically, imported beers — especially from Europe — will cost more money than their macrobrew equals in the US.

Some beer enthusiasts confess they get a hankering for American made macrobrew beers from time to time. Their early drinking experiences harken back to having a cold bottle of Budweiser or a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Much as they might enjoy a fast food hamburger from time to time, they enjoy the unique taste of American macrobrews on occasion. Certainly these huge breweries suggest considerable popularity, and remain the best selling and highest advertised beers within the US.

It would be a mistake to assume all things made in large quantity are without quality. Guinness sells approximately 10 million pints of beer daily. Miller, Bud, and all the other American macrobrews are served or sold in millions per day too.

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burtabulous
Post 4

@Monika - But don't get me wrong. While I generally think that micro brews taste better, I'll drink an ice cold Pabst any day of the week!

burtabulous
Post 3

It seems to me that there is a sense of 'snobbery' that many beer enthusiasts hold against macro brews these days. I admit, I hold a similar point of view. But the fact is that many of the breweries that are producing some great 'micro brews' are really owned by companies such as Miller and Anheuser-Busch.

Monika
Post 2

@indemnifyme - Oh come on, macrobrews aren't that bad! I think there's definitely a time and a place for everything and sometimes the situation just calls for Bud in a can.

indemnifyme
Post 1

Although I am a red-blooded American I must admit I turn my nose up at macrobrews. I find Bud, Miller, and the rest to be pretty disgusting. In fact I only really developed a taste for beer when I tried a local microbrew! All I really knew about beer up until that point was what Bud light tasted like - and I knew I didn't like it!

Now I'm a confirmed microbrew enthusiast. If I'm going to drink alcohol I usually make it a nice microbrewed India Pale Ale. I'll leave those nasty canned beers for my neighbors!

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