Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm looking forward to trying a Bud

That's right. I'm genuinely interested in having a Budweiser. That Bud Light with Lime sounds fantastic.

Hah! Just kidding. It sounds disgusting, actually.

Of course, if you have a TV, that's probably the one that you've heard about. If you're a beer nerd like me, then you've heard of Budweiser American Ale. It's not out yet, but I'm going to be keeping my eye out for it, and I'm eager to try one.

Now, unlike a lot of other beer nerds, I don't really think that Bud, Miller, etc. are "bad" beers. I just don't happen to like them enough to ever buy them, but if somebody offered one, then I'd gladly drink it. (I do think that the "light" beers are certifiably bad though - at least, every one that I've tried. In all honesty, I might just stick to water the next time one is offered to me.) But why would I be so eager to try this American Ale that they're making?

For starters, I saw a little video (see below) on it, and it sounded appealing. While I enjoy many different styles of beer, if I were to be stranded on a deserted island yet I could have only one kind of beer every day there, then I'd probably go with a Pale Ale or an Amber (think Oktoberfest) style lager. Those are good every day beers for me, and this seems like the kind of thing that Budweiser is making.

Of course, there are probably some beer geeks out there who are automatically going to dismiss this beer. Some might even try it, and since it doesn't taste like a Belgian Dubbel or Imperial Stout (it's not trying to!) they'll say that it's bad. For me, I'm going to try it and I honestly expect that the worst-case scenario is that I'll say, "It's okay, but I probably won't buy it again." Personally, I can only see this as being a good thing - especially if it catches on.

I recently went to a restaurant on Catalina Island with my wife and in-laws, and there was a restaurant there that was serving Paulaner (some of the best German beer you can get in this country) on tap. I really hyped it up to my in-laws, and they both had a half pint each. (Me? A pint and a half...mmm...German beer...drool...) My mother-in-law is actually pretty adventurous when it comes to beer, as she's tried a lot of my homebrews, and while she doesn't like the really extreme ones, she's enjoyed all sorts of the ales that I've made. My father-in-law's brew of choice (although he rarely even drinks beer) is Pacifico. Personally, I don't care for it. I've had it once and like most macro-lagers, it got pretty gross at the last third.)

They both really liked the Paulaner, and my father-in-law even kept talking about how good it was the next day. The most interesting thing that I heard him say was how it still tasted good at the bottom. I told him that if it tastes bad when you get to the bottom, then you're not drinking a good beer! A good beer tastes great down to the very last drop!

The point of that story is that people will drink higher-quality beer if they only give it a chance. And with Budweiser American Ale, a lot of people who might not normally try a craft beer will give it a chance simply because it has a name that they're familiar with. This could very well get them to gravitate to the smaller, craft breweries and quality imports (no, not all imports - even from Germany - are quality).

Additionally, it's getting some pretty good early buzz. William Brand, who writes a column about beer in my local paper, gave it a good review. It's also getting some good reviews at BeerAdvocate. (Please note though, some of the people who leave reviews there are pretentious snobs who look down upon anything that isn't 8% and above.)

One thing that's interesting is that it seems as though their advertising on this one is a much more low-key approach. Perhaps they'll actually try and sell one of their beers based on how it tastes, rather than which good looking models drink it. Who'da thunk it?

So, perhaps this Bud's for me.


nonmagic said...

I really like Miller Genuine Draft.

::::ducks to avoid flying tomatoes:::

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I've enjoyed a few as well. I don't buy it, but I did get it over a Heineken at a Mexican restaurant one time.

Still...I could recommend something a bit more flavorful...

: )

nonmagic said...

Ok, I'm open to suggestion. No heavy beers, though. Do you know of any girly beers?

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Girly beers? Hmmm...a lot of women seem to like Hefeweizens, which are unfiltered (read: cloudy) wheat beers. There are two styles, German and American. Personally, I prefer the German, as it has somewhat of a banana-like scent to it (the yeast does that.) Both kinds are light and refreshing, yet flavorful.

Some brands that make them are Trader Joe's, Franziskaner, Paulaner, and Widmer (that's an American style one).

Also, there are Belgian Whitbeers, which are also usually unfiltered, and orange and coriander is used to flavor them. Some brands are Blue Moon, Hoegaarden, and Samuel Adams (their spring seasonal beer).

And speaking of refreshing yet flavorful beers, Samuel Adams summer beer is a really nice Belgian blonde, and you can probably still get some this month.

If you want something that's not too different though, there are a few good lagers made in Germany. Try Spaten or Paulaner Munich lager.

I also gave a bunch of suggestions for good Pilsners (most mainstream American beers are dumbed-down Pilsners) a while ago. Here's that list again:

Lagunitas Pilsner (my personal favorite)
Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager
Gordon Biersch Pilsner (actually, it's the same beer as the one above - just with a different label).
Spaten Pils
Czechvar (also known as Budweiser Budvar)
Pilsner Urquell

Okay, that's probably more than you ever wanted to know.

nonmagic said...

Maybe I'll try the Sam Adams. I just don't know about unfiltered.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Oh, don't be scared of unfiltered wheat beers. I know that word might not sound appealing, but all it means is that they've left the yeast in (which is the case for all of my homebrews.) All it does is give the beer a cloudy appearance, but it doesn't have a strange consistency when you drink it. With the wheat beers, the yeast is left in because it adds flavor, but there are ways of pouring it out of the bottle and keeping the yeast in.

nonmagic said...

Ok, that's good to know. When I think of unfiltered wheat I think of drinking oatmeal.

I heard from my college today !!! I know you have no idea what I'm talking about but I'm so happy !!!

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I don't think that I'd be very interested in drinking a chunky beer myself.

And you're right! I don't know! But if you're happy, then I'm happy for you!