Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Cheap Mass-Produced American Light Beer

Those silly rules for beer consumption that I came up with a couple of years ago? Yeah...I kind of forgot those existed. Suffice to say, my 1-3 drink per week average has been working out just fine over the last year-plus.

Now, I'm going to opine in defense of a particular kind of beer: cheap, mass-produced, American light beer. Specifically, the Bud Light/Miller Lite/Coors Light category. Not to be confused with the even cheaper "Natty Light" category. I don't hate myself that much.

(And yes, I do recognize that both Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors are currently owned by non-American entities. When I say "American", I mean some combination of "traditionally American" and "American-style", I guess.)

"Craft beer", "home brews", and so forth, are trendy these days. It's much more "hip" to order one of those than a Miller Lite. On top of that, people who drink Bud Light are a) uncivilized, and b) just falling victim to the billions of dollars that Anheuser-Busch spends on advertising every year. They don't know any better, and they don't know what they're missing. Fact is, there are so many other great beers out there, some of which are brewed right in our own backyard. Why should anyone waste their time with the mainstream garbage? Nobody drinks Coors Light because it's better, they drink it because they don't know any better, right?

That's the conventional wisdom, anyway. My opinion on this is actually similar to my opinion on restaurants. When we go on the road, wherever we go, there are always plenty of local food options. But you know, we usually just end up going to a familiar place like Cracker Barrel. (Except when I'm craving local barbecue, that is. That's one thing the national chains just can't compete with.)

Well...now that I think about this some more, it's not the same. The reason we go to Cracker Barrel is because of familiarity. We know what we're going to get. Amber and I are hardly adventurous eaters, so when it comes to dinner, we prefer the known quantity over the wild card. But with beer, the thing is I'm familiar with all those "craft" beers. And you know what, I don't really like most of them. Especially the dark ones. So there. I've even turned against beers like Yuengling.

(Side comment: Pennsylvania's own Yuengling was, naturally, very popular at Penn State. So, I grew to like it. But in hindsight, I don't think it was ever really one of my favorites. I just drank it because that's what everyone else was drinking. There, I said it.)

Going to a local brewery-type place and trying something different can be fun every now and then, and I do still think standard Canadian beer is generally better than standard American beer, for instance. But lately, I've been moving more away from "regular" beer and more towards light beer, because it's less likely to give me those immediate headaches, and has a (slightly) lower calorie count. And, I think the massive American conglomerates do light beer the best. (Perhaps that's because the United States is a bigger market for light beer than other countries.) Just about anyone can make a decent regular beer, but making a decent light beer is very difficult. And based on my tasting experience - which is somewhat limited, mind you - light beer is best left to the conglomerates.

Maybe I am falling victim to the billions of dollars in marketing, I don't know. But hopefully this explains why I've been opting for Miller Lite (my favorite of the three Big American Light Beers) instead of a more "complete", "fulfilling", or "socially accepted" beer as of late. And if you think any less of me for it, then, well, that's your problem.

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