Saturday, July 4, 2009

American Ale Revisited

My first official revisit and it's a Budweiser beer. I'm working in the American of industries (the Oil Industry) which sometimes means you'll be in a place with no alcohol on July 4th. Such is how I find myself now. In honor of the country we call home, let's revisit my review of Budweiser American Ale on September 30, 2008.

For the record, I like it a lot better now than I did back then, and actually would drink it instead of Abita Amber and most Shiner beers. Amazing how things evolve. Enjoy...

I'm sitting here wondering what the people of Atlanta and the Carolinas think about offshore drilling as they push their car into the gas station. I came back from offshore yesterday and made a stop at Marcello's, a wine store next to University of Louisiana-Lafayette (Ooh La La). Go Cajuns. This place is fantastic, as they have a killer beer selection. And what's better, they had their Oktoberfest and Fall Beer RIGHT UP FRONT in a display. And being that Louisiana has some cool laws, I could buy beer by the bottle.

I noticed something we had been waiting for for a while now, and I'm going for it right away even though Cascade hops and I are on the outs. Bud is pouring a lot of marketing into their Am Ale. And the title seems appropriate as it has great alliteration and everyone knows they are now owned by the Belgians. This is America Baby (see video below).

Budweiser American Ale

I can smell that malt in the bottle. Pouring into a pilsner glass with a slight cup at the top. Skrong orangish white head on a amber colored beer. Smells of malt and citrusy hops. I am digging this smell. I first notice a light maltiness and emptiness (like their light beers), then the low cascade hops and some citrus, and the finish is rather bready. Medium bodied beer. Not bad man. Go you. That emptiness gets me about 2/3 toward the back of the palette. When I say empty, I'm talking about nothing but water. The more I drink it, the more I'm getting those hops in there, almost like a slightly strong blonde pale ale or just a slightly hopped amber, which it probably is. Another drink and "English muffin" pops into my head like the Craft Beer Podcast guys. I don't see myself ordering it over anything like my other basic 3 Star beers but it is light years ahead of 2 Starers like Bud Light, Bud, MGD, etc. 3 Stars. Just to have a mega beer on the list, I may put this one on my Tailgating beers, if the Texans would ever have a home game.

The mental game can get me though. You pour this beer in a bottle that says "Northcoast" or "Shiner", and I'll admit I would probably think more of it.

I can really appreciate that Budweiser is putting some money in a craft beer. But I think the megas are digging their own graves with putting such a push behind craft beer (even light versions). The evolution of a beerman is starting with basic swill, trying a craft beer on a whim (everyone else is drinking it at a random happy hour), getting curious about what else is out there, and then going on a Craft Beer sampling tour. Once you hit that last stage, you'll rarely ever drink megaswill again. You ain't gonna be drinking a Brother Thelonius and then picking up a Keystone Light. Even with these lighter craft beers, how long before someone drinking this Amber Ale picks up an Abita Amber. Or someone slugging down a Miller Chill grabs a Negra Modelo. All it takes is a couple good ones, and Miller/Bud lose another loyal customer. Maybe it's just me. Go America!!!

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