Monday, September 27, 2010

A Note on Adjunct Lager Reviews

After some serious consideration, prompted by Grant’s comment, I’m going to change my rating on Budweiser. I took pains to make it clear that my rating was based on the microcosm of beer that Budweiser falls into, but I don’t think my rating reflects what I was intending. So, I will go with a “B-”.  Although, my criticism of its price still stands.
I do like Budweiser. I would, and do, drink it, even when given other choices. I rarely, however, go out of my way to get it. It fills a niche. It’s decent and very drinkable. There are plenty of times when I’m not looking to drink a serious and, often times, filling beer. Such occasions are a time when a Budweiser seems appealing.
Let me be clear (channeling Barack Obama with that opening clause), I believe that Budweiser, along with many of the beers I’m going to be reviewing in the next (nearly) two weeks, represents the lowest common denominator, when it comes to beer. It strives for mass-market appeal, while sacrificing overall quality by adding cheaper grains to the mix.
Budweiser and other beers of its ilk shifted long ago from a focus on quality and tradition in brewing to marketing. What makes Budweiser better than Miller, or Miller better than Budweiser? Not very much, if anything. This, of course, is why Miller seeks to differentiate with its ‘Vortex Bottle’ and Coors has ‘Cold Activated Cans.’
It all comes down to personal preferences. This, I suppose, is part of the reason I’ve resisted assigning letter or number grades to the beers I try. 

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