Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beer Review, Bud Select 55

On Saturday, I had a beer I haven't had before. Bud Select 55. Well, I'm not sure you can actually call it a beer.

I didn't really sit down to review it, I didn't write anything down, but I did remember a lot about it.

The beer is light yellow. It seemed somewhat flat. There wasn't much head. (Look at the picture, it looks flat in the bottle). It had absolutely no smell. Nothing, I couldn't pick up a hint of anything in it. At one point I thought I smelled something, but I still had some soap on my hands from when I returned from the bathroom. A hint of soap on my hands had more smell than this.

It tasted like it smelled... in other words, it had no taste. There was no evident malt, there was no evident hops, there was no evidence of yeast. Anheuser-Busch has managed to make a product that has less flavor than water. It really didn't have much of a mouthfeel either. There may have been some slight bubbles giving it an acidic feel, but that's about it.

Beer reviewing is normally a five step process. You'll notice that my reviews tend to follow that five step process. I don't know an acronym for that process, or even if there is one. I just know there are five steps and I follow them.

1. Appearance. How does the beer look? This was covered above.
2. Aroma/smell. How does the beer smell? This was covered above.
3. Mouthfeel. How does it feel (bubbly/thick/thin/coaty... that kind of thing)? This was covered above.
4. Taste. We finally get to taste it, how is it? This was covered above.
5. Overall impression. Did you like it? Did this beer get it done for you? This hasn't been covered yet.

This beer, sucked. It wound up giving me an upset stomach, and the next day gave me the shits.

Now that that's out of the way. I'm very impressed by this beverage. I am (surprisingly) impressed by AB. How they can produce the same beer all across the country in their 12 breweries is an extremely impressive fact. You can go anywhere in the U.S. and have a Bud, it was produced relatively locally, and it will taste the exact same.

Pepsi can't even do that. Go for a 300 mile road trip, and get a Mountain Dew and a Bud every 100 miles. When you get there, have a tasting of those 4 (get one before you leave) see how much of a difference in flavor you get in the soda. See how much difference there is in the beer.

If you go from Illinois to Atlanta, Georgia, you can pass through 3 Bud brewing areas. Illinois is in the St. Louis region, go east to 75 in Ohio, and you'll be in the Columbus region. Go south to Georgia, and you'll be in the Cartersville, Georgia region. Beers from those 3 areas will taste the same.

The Mountain Dew in Tennessee has a flavor that Kridz and I refer to as "skittledew". Skittledew tastes like Skittles. You can taste the rainbow in the dew. Some other places have dew that tastes like starburst candy. The bud doesn't have that change. That's really impressive.

At Seven Saints beer class (Thursday nights at 9:30, $10) Andy often mentions brewing heritage. He says that there are 4 countries that are the main brewing places. I agree with him and have a few changes to his theory. The four countries are Germany, England, Belgium, and the U.S.

Andy says Germany brought us seasonal drinking. I say Germany brought us Lagers.

England brings us stylistic changes. I say England brought us Ales.

Belgium brought adjuncts. I agree. They are also more of a yeast flavor driven beer (if that makes sense).

Andy says that what we Americans bring to the beer table is... we do everything BIGGER. England makes an IPA, we'll make an IMPERIAL IPA. You make a Russian Imperial Stout, We'll make it have twice the malt, twice the alcohol; your original (Brittish) RIS's will be more like our porters (look at Gonzo, or Founders Porter). Making things bigger is an art-form in America.

Equally as impressive, we make everything smaller too. Bud Select 55 is a prime example of that. Most American Light Lagers are good examples of that.

MGD 64 has 64 calories. Miller Lite had 96, Bud Select 55 has 55, Coors Light has 102, Bud Select has 99.

That's amazing. No other country produces that kind of product. (No one really wants to, but that's different.) We've got people drinking this stuff, thinking it's awesome. They are watching their calories and carbohydrates, and thinking they are having a beer.

How do they make it? Do they just take a beer that's already light and add more water... kinda. It's either watered down at the boil, or it's watered down after the fermentation. I'd have to assume it would be watered down directly after the boil. Additions of water after fermentation are more noticeable.

That they can consistently make this product is really impressive.

It's a shitty beer that gave me the shits, but it's a feat of American ingenuity!

I will never drink it again.

Now where can I get a Bud Light Golden Wheat? So I can try that and then complain about the beer, while praising AB some more?

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