In big beer’s latest quest to get an upper hand on the little guys it seems they’ve further widened the gap in understanding what “flavor” in a beer even means. Ever since the snarky super bowl ads a few years back it’s been nauseatingly clear that big beer 1) doesn’t get craft beer and 2) thinks grade school name calling is how you shame us into seeing the error of our ways. Of course, there’s always the very slim chance that their latest venture, fruit flavored light lagers, is simply just a dump pass to the field’s easiest target…newly minted 21-year olds.
MillerCoors’ press release is pretty transparent about their target demo (21 to 24 years olds) and they even go so far as to pander by calling these new trainwrecks more affordable than craft beer–without explicitly using the words craft beer. At $6.99 a pop for a six pack of 16 oz tall boy cans it’s hard to argue in terms of ounces, but I for one will never choose to sacrifice a few ounces here and there for something that’s not offensive to my taste buds.
I’m jumping ahead of myself here. Having not described what exactly we’re dealing with here I’ve gone and spoiled my impressions of a lazy cash crab exploiting a 20-something’s eagerness for an inexpensive buzz. Let’s face it though, I’m not much better since I willingly made a trip to purchase these due to a disease I like to call “morbid curiosity”. Then again, as a consumer that clearly justifies each and every unflattering word that calls this post home–and MillerCoors could just as easily be using my hard earned cash to clean themselves up after their shameful bathroom deeds.
There’s no point in dragging out the explanation of either of these beers. Supposedly “brewed” by Plank Road Brewery these unholy beverages clock in at 4.2% ABV which I’ve appropriate dumped into my party cup pint glass to replicate the full macro beer experience. In all aspects relating to appearance, aroma and taste these are an unremarkable duo all the way around. One dimensional drinking experiences with nothing to offer even the least discerning beer drinkers. The flavors might change but both beers pour crystal clear and golden, which will be a welcome bit of deja vu for the Bud Light purists cracking one of these open following their latest shotgun session. Following suit with every American adjunct you’ve ever regrettably swigged at a sweaty frat house, Super Bowl party, or Applebee’s there’s very little head–and what little there is dissipates rapidly like soda bubbles.
The pineapple and lime flavors are interchangeable, but the drinking experience is the same–with the one exception that the lime is more dominant in terms of flavor. Yet, if you’ve ever had a Bud Light Lime, it’s pretty much the same beer. These are meant to be crushed and not tasted, because if you let them sit long enough the regret you’ll feel trying to finish one off is soul crushing. Essentially, when ice cold the best you get here is pineapple/lime flavored water. There’s nothing in the way of mouthfeel, lingering pleasantries, or evolving flavor profiles. Plus–and this is important–the fruit flavors here are as artificial as it gets…so there’s no admirable craft in how the guns for hire have accomplished their “flavor profiles”.
To go on much further in describing these in detail is fruitless (zing!). Ninety-six ounces of alcoholic flavored water that, with any luck, will never even accidentally find it’s way back into my home or fridge. Wishful thinking for someone who buys 40’s and massive cans of malt liquor to chug as a joke for people coming over for bottle shares.
The only takeaway you need out of this is that you absolutely should not feel compelled to buy this stuff. If you’re a newly legal beer drinker looking for guidance please hear this: you can do better, you deserve better and there are overwhelming amounts of superior choices when it comes to beer. If you find yourself shopping for beer and you say to yourself, “How bad can it really be?” put that beer down immediately. Big beer does not care about quality and they most certainly don’t care about the craft of REAL beer. Big beer is stuck in an outdated state of mind that sees $$$ when they look at their customers and rather than adapt they simply throw their money around, poisoning the perception established once respected brands in an attempt to capitalize on what they feel is a trend. I’m not one to hate, business is business, but this kind of blatant disregard to a consumer’s palate is more than enough to get this craft beer drinker’s blood to boil.
Even if you’re on the fence about drinking craft beer do not let this poor excuse for marketing trick you into thinking you’re better off strapping on training wheels and using these as a stepping stone. Grab a bag of Jolly Ranchers, a case of Bud Light and you’ve got an array of flavored beer that mimics whatever is going on here and it kills me to even put that idea out into the world.