Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Beer: Only three all-natural ingredients.

Netherlands-based international beer company Heineken is globally airing a series of advertisements — “There’s more behind the star”— starring actor Benicio Del Toro.

Why do I mention this?

Because, in one of the series, Mr. Del Toro, incredulous about the simplicity of Heineken's recipe for its beer, quizzes Heineken's brewmaster, Willem van Waesberghe, and because of how Mr. Waesberghe —definitely a macro-brewery tribune— answers the question ... even if his response is scripted.

Del Toro:
An original recipe brewed from only three all-natural ingredients. Only three ingredients? Come on; that's a typo.

van Waesberghe:
No, it's not a typo. Just water, barley, and hops.

Del Toro:
Come on, Willie. Water doesn't count as an ingredient. Water is water.

van Waesberghe:
No, no. Ninety-three percent of beer is water, so you'd better make it as pure as possible.

Del Toro:
How about you throw in a dash of, uh, lemon zest.

van Waesberghe:

Del Toro:
Ginger root?

van Waesberghe:
No way.

Del Toro:
How about wasabi?

van Waesberghe:
No f*cking way.

Del Toro:
Willem! Willie!

Just water, barley, and hops.

Yep. What Willie said. "Just water, barley [malt], and hops." *

Anything else is a condiment.

  • Read more about the "There’s more behind the star" campaign: at Brewbound.
  • See "Just Water, Barley, and Hops": at YouTube.
  • See more of the ads: at YouTube.
  • YFGF doesn't watch many Heineken commercials as a matter of course, so a thank you is due to Dan Fox, a past beer ad-man, who wrote about this campaign at his blog, Hey Beer Dan.
  • * 23 April, 2016, marked the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot, the German beer 'purity law, still in force, modified, today.
    In all our towns, marketplaces and the whole of the countryside, beer shall have no other ingredients than barley, hops, and water.
    Wilhelm IV, Duke of Bavaria, who knew about yeast, did not include yeast as an ingredient of beer in his decree of 1516. Beer writer, Jeff Alworth, explains why: at All About Beer.

  • For more from YFGF:


  1. And I have to echo the sentiment of Ron Pattinson--the Reinheitsgebot is a load of nonsense (http://www.europeanbeerguide.net/reinheit.htm) and its widespread adoption in Germany homogenized a wild and varied beer scene. Death to the Reinheitsgebot, I say! Let's bring back the Goses and Grodziskies and Broyhens rather than the interchangable Pilsners and pale lagers.

  2. How do they ferment it without yeast?

    1. Thanks for your comment. "They" don't "ferment without yeast" (as explained in the post and in the under-post) as well as being an implied irony of the post.


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