Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Budweiser American Ale

After a Sunday chock a block full with Budweiser American Ale commercials I felt powerless against purchasing anything else tonight at the liquor store. Actually, that's not true, I picked up a sixer of Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale.

I felt dirty, cheap (the Budweiser Ale was only $6.49), and lost a little respect for myself. But I do this for you, the dear reader. I honestly can't remember the last Anheuser Busch product I purchased, probably some Michelob Amber Bocks when one of my college roommates got back from his first Afghanistan tour (Amber Bock was his favorite beer, we had Lunar Ale after his second tour). And, yes, I do have a set of vintage Budweiser pint glasses.

The American Ale is a nicely packaged product, simple, elegant, denoting the departure from classic Budweiser style yet still having the Budweiser name on the bottle. It's as if to say, hey, this beer is still Budweiser, no need to be afraid, we're just giving you a little something different. We want you to enjoy all styles of beer knowing the Budweiser family is behind you*.

*This is my best Don Draper summation of the product. I find myself doing this with all kinds of products as I watch their commercials.

The American Ale poured a nice amber color with very little head and small carbonation bubbles. The head was just barely an off white color. The smell was quite nice, a little grainy smelling but some good Cascade hop smell. The taste was very good, a bit more malty than I want with a pale ale but a hint of hops makes it much more palatable. Pretty well balanced but finishes with a malty sweetness that I would guess comes from Budweiser's yeast (which supposedly has a green apple flavor).

Liking this beer is a little like liking the Yankees. But I have a fondness for the late 90's era Yankees. Paul O'Neil, Derek Jeter, David Cone, Scott Brosius and Tino Martinez was a nice core of players that I think most people would get behind if they were wearing a less polarizing jersey. Yet because they were Yankees, people didn't like them. Well I did, and not because they won all the time, but because they did things right, they played hard and with passion. I think liking the Budweiser American Ale is much the same thing.

It's a good beer, and if it came from any other brewery most people would champion it as a go-to beer. But because it has that Budweiser name on it, people want to hate it (I sure did). Give it a shot, I think in a blind taste test with 5 other amber ales, you would have a tough time picking it out as a Budweiser. It doesn't stand out as a great beer, but for $6.49 (at Tipsy's in Mission) it doesn't have to stand out. I would say that it's a great beer for the price, but not a great beer if that makes sense. Go out and try it with an open mind, I don't think you'll be disappointed.


  1. as the conspiracy theorist, do you think there was a calculated plan to bring this beer out around the same time of the InBev thing? "american" pale ale. pull some new customers on board while the die-hard bud lighters cry into their watery beer yet still buy the product?

  2. Nice execution of a Don Draper pitch.

  3. Mar, knowing what I know of Budweiser (keep in mind I have an MBA from Budweiser U err Rockhurst), American Ale was named and in the works long before the InBev buyout, so I would guess that the name and label have nothing to do with InBev.

  4. Thanks for a fair and thorough review of a product I was on the fence about. I entered manhood fueled by Bud and it's siblings, but have given them a pass in recent years in favor of more interesting beverages.

    I will put it on the "t0 try" list.

  5. It was ok. It smelled good, looked good, and the first taste was ok. The taste just disapeared. No after taste, no hops lingering on the tongue. It just lacked the taste of a Blvd or Schlafly.

  6. I thought it was pretty damn good......for a Budweiser. What I want to know: Is it available on tap yet?