Friday, December 30, 2005
I hate to end the year on a sad note but there is a man who should be remembered by anyone who has sipped a Miller Light, funneled a Bud Light, or drank a tasty micro-brew. Joseph L. Owades, who invented light beer and ushered in the age of the micro-brewery in America and is also known as the "godfather of the brewing industry," was laid to rest last week.
Owades, originally a biochemist, stumbled into beer making when he couldn't find a job researching his specialty of cholesterol. He developed a process to remove the starch from beer, making it lower in carbohydrates and calories and us beer snobs will also say taste. The new beer was called Gablinger's, which became a product of Meister Brau, all of which was eventually purchased by the Miller Brewing Co. Miller Lite was made famous by the company's "tastes great, less filling" advertising campaign, but it was exactly the same product that Owades had invented in his laboratory years before. Shamefully, Bud Light, Coors Light and every other light beer manufacturer eventually copied this formula.
Those of us who enjoy a slightly higher quality beer then Miller Lite, you should appreciate Owades contribution to the micro-brewing industry. A nationally known brewmaster, he trained virtually every brewer of note in the country, and developed the formulas for many of the nation's leading beers, including Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Tuborg, New Amsterdam Beer, Foggy Bottom Beer, and one of my personal favorites, (and not just because I'm enjoying one right now) Pete's Wicked Ale.
Even though he was the reason for the mistake that we call light beer, I celebrate Joseph Owades craft-brewing accomplishments. I can't think of a better way to ring in the New Year, then enjoying one of the delicious creations of my main man Joseph L. Owades as you rock out with Dick Clark. Please put down that nasty Miller Light and enjoy a real beer.
So Mr. Owades, if you are reading this (Heaven has the Internet right?) I say to you 'Thanks, and bottoms up'. Beerping #2