Specialized ProfessionBrewing Bud Light is harder than you think. I should know, I’m Dave Taylor, Head Brewer for Bud Light. AMA
Sep 18th 2017 by IamDaveTaylor • 32 Questions • 354 Points
Hi Reddit, we are the Cody Firearms Museum here to answer questions. We are a museum in NW Wyoming near Yellowstone and we have over 7,000 firearms and 28,000+ related artifacts in our collection. We interpret the history of firearms from the 1400s to the present. Our oldest firearm dates to at least the fifteenth century and our newest was made last year. We are the repository for the Winchester Factory Collection & Corporate Archive, the Eli Whitney Jr. Collection, the Benjamin Butler Collection, and the Edwin Pugsley Collection. We also have the archives of Schuyler, Hartley, & Graham, Marlin, L.C. Smith, and Ithaca.
We are part of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which includes the Whitney Western Art Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Buffalo Bill Museum, Draper Natural History Museum, and McCracken Research Library. The Center is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and we currently planning a major renovation of our museum. If you want to search our collection go here for objects, or here for archival material, or just check our post history. Our Curator, Ashley, and Assistant Curator, Danny, are here to answer your questions for the next couple of hours. Ask us about firearms history, museums, or whatever.
Update: Thanks for the questions everyone! We had fun. We have to run to meetings, but if you have more ask and we'll check back.
What is the fuddiest thing you have heard from museum patrons?
No. Brewing Bud Light is about discipline and a strong routine. We have an amazing group of brewers and technicians than take great pride in the attention to detail that is required each day.
Bud Light isn’t the only brand we brew. We are constantly working with new brands and innovation. We are also work with new packages, like our aluminum bottle.
I get excited about new ideas every day.
We heard a great story yesterday about how John Browning invented semi-autos by putting a spoon on the end of a barrel. We also heard a good story about how someone's Model 1886 Winchester took part in the Battle of Little Bighorn, which happened in 1876.
Two different kinds of genius; inventing a thing, and adapting it to mass production.
I think there is a beer for every occasion. I drink a wide variety of beers. My favorite beer for a hot day at the pool, is different than the beer I’ll drink watching football with my friends. Bud Light is the beer I drink the most often. I’m sure I’m slightly biased, because I understand all the work and steps that go into brewing it. We often say, those who know Bud Light, drink Bud Light.
We have the Winchester's drawing collection, two-thirds of it is how to make the tools to make the guns.
Are you skilled enough to be able to copy beers from other brewers? Say I challenge you to drink a mystery beer and you have to make it without knowing what ingredients were in it. Are you able to do It?
Why not an actual shooting range with some less rare guns?
I love this question! I don’t really try to copy other beers, but it is really fun to take an idea and try to perfect the taste. For example, did you try Shock Top Twisted Pretzel? Very cool trying to make a beer taste like a pretzel. I can’t always take personal credit, but I have an amazing group of Brewmasters on the team. Just last week I was looking at some experimental hops with great peach notes. We constantly have innovations in the pipeline that start with challenges just like yours.
We have talked about starting a collection of non-accessioned firearms for the purpose of shooting, but it would be difficult, we don't really have the staff or facility to make that happen. The range in town does a really good job already giving people a chance to shoot reproductions.
On a scale of 1 to Houston how wet were you when Based Gun Jesus Ian was shooting at your museum?
I grew up in rural Missouri. Beer was an important part of any celebration, and Bud Light was the brand of choice. Everyone loves A-B.
I got my Chemical Engineering degree from Mizzou, and jumped at the chance to join the A-B Engineering team. I fell in love with brewing - everything about it, from the equipment to the final product.
I lead the design of brewery expansions in Columbus and Los Angeles for a few years, then I moved over the Brewing department. I’ve been having fun brewing great beer ever since.
Florida? He also brought me whiskey so that was nice. I drank it all, so he should come back - Ashley
What is your preferred way of drinking a Bud Light? Is there anything that you add to it or any special way of serving/drinking it?
Nice. Do you know if that made Karl jealous?
I get to pour it straight from the tank, so I guess technically that’s draft.
Not sure, but Karl should come sometime.
Hi Dave, thanks for doing this.
I toured the Coors brewery in Golden, CO and the beer on tap at the brewery tasted so much better than any Coors I have bought in the store.
Was this my mind playing tricks on me or is the beer really better right at the brewery? Do people tell you the same about AB products?
Why did you find it important to mention that you are millenials in your title post?
That is a great observation. It is true that fresh beer tastes better. Route to market is critical. We have a strong distribution network. We can get our beer into the market quickly. We know our beer is best when consumed within 110 days.
You should join us for a tour here in St. Louis. Our Brewmaster tour includes a sample directly from a filtered beer tank.
Because it seems to not be what people expect when they hear "Arms Curator" - Danny
Because it's better than saying I'm a girl - Ashley
How do you maintain quality/consistency for such a widespread and popular beer?
What is the biggest misconception younger people have regarding firearms?
Consistency is absolutely critical. We perform hundreds of quality checks between our raw material, brewing, and packaging operations. Brewing alone has over 100 quality checks. We use a combination of field checks, laboratory analysis, sensory analysis, and inline instrumentation. At the end of it all, every brew gets tasted before it is released. There is no substitute for the tasting expertise of a good brewer.
There's so many misconceptions about guns, I could go on for days. But I think many younger people don't realize the diversity in the types of firearms that have been developed since the 1200s and also how integral firearms have been to so many different facets of history
I think there's also a common misconception too that there's a lack of younger people interested in firearms history. Bustle just did an article on millennials and firearms the other day.
Don't you know, you should only drink one beer, no matter what.
which of the oldest firearms require the least amount of maintenance and care (humidity, etc...)? which are the most fragile relative to their age?
Most of the firearms have pretty similar care requirements. So we maintain temperature and humidity. The most fragile gun we had was probably the Great Basin Winchester that went viral a few years ago. The park brought it to us to stabilize before it went on display back at Great Basin.
Hey Dave! Thanks for stopping by!
I am allergic to wheat and was told you guys use rice in Bud Light. But I am also allergic to corn and cannot find anything definitive about that online.
It would be a big deal for me to be able to drink Bud Light again...can you clear up the "corn mystery" for me?
I think the reason alcohol doesn't require ingredient labels is to help keep recipes a secret, so if you can't answer this one I understand.
Great Basin Winchester
TIL the Winchester got X-rayed.
Bud Light is brewed with four essential ingredients - barley, rice, water and hops. It does not contain wheat or corn.
You can always check information for all of our brands on www.TapIntoYourBeer.com
Hopefully, this means you will enjoy a Bud Light soon!
The X-ray was how we found the cartridge in the stock.
Given the variation in crops from year to year, how much does the BL recipe change from year to year? Is it different at different breweries because of ingredient availability?
Haha that's like saying "You said most of your collections were Hondas. I instantly thought of my Toyota."
This is a great question. We take this very seriously and you're right, the raw materials do vary slightly from year-to-year due to exactly what you're mentioning.
Take a look at this answer for more information.
We've failed you, if it was Firefly or X-Files we might have been there.
How many bbl is each brew and do y'all recycle spent grains?
What's the oldest gun you have there?
The brew size varies by brewery. Our largest kettle full volume is about 1000 bbls. Most of our spent grain goes to cattle feed.
We have a barrel of a hand cannon that might be 13th century, and a breechblock from a cannon that dates to the 15th century.
Dude that's so cool
What's an aspect of creating Bud Lite that's super interesting but people might not be aware of?
This may be sorta off topic, but is there a lot of interest in firearms history in the academic arena? Do you ever see PhD candidates doing their dissertations in firearms history going through your doors?
Great question. One thing that people don't always think about when brewing beer is the impact on the environment. A great thing about brewing Bud Light is our commitment to our Better World goals. Over the last 10 years we've reduced water usage by 50%, reduced energy usage by 30% and we recently made a commitment to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
We occasionally get some form of academic research in firearms, but it's limited. It's something we want to encourage since we think we have some great primary resources for it, but it is pretty niche in the academic world.
That's unfortunate :(. It's been my dream to one day quit my job and get a PhD in history researching something I'm actually passionate about.
It's not impossible, but it is a narrow track.
What is a process that you do at Bud Light that is done better than at other breweries?
Other than visiting the museum, how can the public help support the museum, make donations, etc.
Are there any programs or workshops offered to patrons where they can get hands on experience with replicas?
Our processes are perfect for Bud Light and the other beers that we brew, and I'm sure that other brewers would say the same about their breweries. I don't want to say that we're better than other brewers, but we take great pride in what we brew.
What makes a great brewer is an uncompromising commitment to quality, great people, and the best raw materials. In an earlier question, I talked about some of the unique processes like beechwood aging. These processes were designed to make Bud Light clean and crisp.
We are currently fundraising an $8million dollar renovation. So if anyone wants to help with that give us a shout!
We offer educational programs all summer where visitors can get hands on with replicas. We will have more educational and hands on opportunities when the renovated museum opens in 2019. But by next summer we would like to do a joint venture with the local gun range where you get a tour of the museum in the morning and then head over to the gun range and shoot reproductions of the historic guns you saw
Would your collection happen to include any shotguns from Japan in the late 1800s [Meiji Restoration-era]?
I know pistols and rifles were most common in that time period for Japan, but I haven't found much about shotguns.
Unfortunately not, our collection is weaker when it comes to Asian firearms.