If Flaccid Had a Taste, This Would Be It
A Review of Budweiser by Anheuser-Busch
Posted on 6/14/2011 by Chops
                   
Repulsive
I have been looking forward to writing this particular review for a very long time. My goal was to develop a broad array of craft beer reviews before tackling the ''King of Beers''. It's no secret that craft beers are higher quality products and it's no secret that big beer companies churn out terrible beers. We all understand that. But why are beers like Budweiser are so unbelievably bad? What drives this huge discrepancy in quality? It's time to answer that question and discuss in detail why Budweiser, and all beers like it, are such remarkably terrible products.

Before I begin, I should take a moment to address a common misconception. It is easy to label someone a snob when they refuse to drink beers like Budweiser. Beer snobs are an unfortunate nuisance in the craft beer world and we despise them just as much as everyone else does. But, please realize that the snobbery conversation is only valid under an umbrella of quality. Refusing garbage has nothing to do with misplaced pride or elitism. Crap is crap, no matter how you dress it up. Sometimes passing is the only viable option. To quote Eddie Izzard, ''I'll have the chicken.'' So with that in mind, let's start by dismantling all of the common rebuttals.

I know Budweiser is cheap. However, I beg you to understand that you can obtain an infinitely better product for the exact same price and often cheaper. The majority of craft breweries struggle under the crushing weight of big beer companies and they would greatly relish the opportunity to provide you with a superior product at comparable pricing. Growlers (half gallon refillable bottles) are especially brilliant alternatives to those suitcases of piss water. You can actually get stronger, tastier, fuller bodied, higher quality beer for LESS than the cost of canned Budweiser. Seriously. Look into it. You'll be glad you did.

I know Budweiser is convenient. You can find it in any grocery store or service station. Thankfully, the more robust craft brews are steadily making their way into most grocery store chains, but unfortunately service stations remain dumping grounds for garbage beer. I honestly do not understand the convenience logic because people travel to specific places to obtain specific products all the time, often at a high level of inconvenience. This isn't lunch meat or toilet paper, this is your relaxation and socialization beverage. You would think that beer would warrant some level of special consideration. Beer stores and local breweries can be found all over the place these days. Plus, with such a huge variety to choose from (many of which are cheaper and higher quality), why would you not capitalize on that?

Budweiser is not patriotic. It's actually the opposite of patriotic. Budweiser is owned by the massive Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev. Their products are mercilessly distributed for worldwide consumption. On the other hand, the vast majority of craft brews are produced by small, often struggling local businesses. They craft their beers with a passion that you can literally taste. Supporting these companies is very patriotic because you contribute to the growth of American small business, plus you get a far superior product. And even if those brews cost a few extra bucks, isn't it worth supporting your local community?

Budweiser is consistent, but that's not a good thing. We're talking about beer, not cars. Anheuser-Busch spends a ton of money to make sure that every bottle tastes the same no matter where you are in the world. A Bud is a Bud. And you know what? You can taste that lack of character. Beer is a living and breathing thing. Blindfolded consistency is not a quality that real brewers strive to achieve. Some batches are better than others. Some years are better than others. Beers gain quality and character over their lifetimes. This is part of the appeal of better beer: an ever changing landscape. Much like with wine, beer should never be boring and predictable.

''Budweiser is an everyman beer.'' So how exactly does that make it good? If your sole reason for drinking Budweiser is because everyone else does, then I feel sorry for you. You have just branded yourself as a mindless follower without any sense of personal taste. This brings us to a very important take-home point: when companies develop products for the masses, one of their core goals is to reach the widest possible consumer base. They do this by catering to the lowest common denominator. Beer was never meant to be mass-produced by a huge international corporation. Just look at places like Germany and Belgium where every local town has their own brewery. You can literally taste that town's culture in every beer. This isn't to say that beers can't have reach. Cultural traits are very common in popular beer styles: India Pale Ales, Russian Stouts, Irish Reds, German Pils, etc. What culture do you taste in Budweiser? Besides the salty tea-bagging of fat rich corporate executives.

''Budweiser is a quality pilsner.'' No, it's not. Not even close. Not even in the same ballpark. Not even playing the same sport in the same town. I can say with great clarity that anyone who lets that nugget escape their mouth knows absolutely nothing about beer, let alone pilsners. It's difficult to even consider Budweiser a beer. At best, it resembles beer-flavored tap water. If you actually think that Budweiser is a quality representation of the pilsner style, then I highly recommend you further explore the style. A single sip from brews like Victory's Prima Pils, Stoudt's Pils, North Coast's Scrimshaw, or Mama's Little Yella Pils from Oskar Blues will teach you one very valuable lesson: you've never actually tasted a pilsner.

By the way, all of those pilsners are world-class, crafted by American breweries, easily affordable, and readily available at your local beer store.

As an educational aside, the brewing world recognizes Budweiser and all other mass-produced swill as adjunct lagers. What's an adjunct lager? It's a ''beer'' made with non-beer ingredients, like rice or corn. Why use rice or corn? Because it costs more money to make real beer with barley. Rice and corn are cheap alternatives used to scale production. It's a cost cutting strategy that significantly impacts taste and quality.

It still amazes me to find people who tout the quality of Budweiser, which usually denotes an impressive level of gullibility. In other words, they have fallen victim to big budget advertising. ''Hot blonde with big boobs says beer is good, so beer must be good.'' It's the same people that get distracted by shiny things. ''Hey look, I can scratch my name on the bottle! Hey look, the can tells me when it's cold! Hey look, the bottle is swirly! Hey look, the case has a window! All these neat gimmicks must mean the beer is good! Right?'' (facepalm)

''But I don't like dark beers.'' This defense really irks me. Please understand that the opposite of Budweiser is not dark beer. The opposite of Budweiser is... beer. There are countless high quality lighter beers out there in every category you can think of: lagers, pilsners, blondes, pales, creams, wheats, maibocks, Kolsch, saisons, you name it. All of them are light, easy drinking and utterly refreshing. The choice is not between light and dark. It's between good and bad. ''Light'' is not synonymous with low quality. ''Budweiser'' is.

''But I can drink a lot of Budweiser.'' I have absolutely no idea why people use this idiotic justification. It's amazingly dumb. It's college freshmen dumb. It's Paris Hilton dumb. 5% ABV is a very common strength among lighter beers. You can find them everywhere. The vast majority of craft breweries offer some version of lighter brew, often with a unique personality. And besides, wouldn't it be nice to actually taste the 20 beers you feel compelled to power through? If you are solely concerned with quantity of liquid and pissing every five minutes, then why not take a few shots of whiskey and drink water all night? It's much cheaper and you get the same effect.

''But I'm a raging alcoholic and am only concerned with feeding my addiction through convenience, quantity, blandness and grocery store specials.'' Fine, you can drink Budweiser.

So without further ado, here is my review of Budweiser. Appearance? Diluted sudsy urine. Aroma? Stagnant, rusty tap water. Flavor? See appearance and aroma. Mouthfeel? Inanimate, sterile, absolutely devoid of any discernible character. Overall? Budweiser is a lifeless, insipid, and pathetic excuse for a beer-like beverage. This dreadful liquid is only fit for alcoholics, naive college students and sink drains.

In closing, you might be wondering why I included a lamp in my helpful pic. This is to help illustrate my closing point: I would rather shove that lamp up my ass than ever drink another Budweiser.

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Budweiser by Anheuser-Busch
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