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Jeff and I try the Budweiser American Ale


Much has been said and written about the Budweiser American Ale, especially in craft beer circles. For awhile I didn’t have the heart to try it, mostly because I have a real problem paying for a Budweiser product. But since they were serving it at the Decatur Beer Fest, it was essentially free. So Jeff and I strolled down to the American Ale booth, trying to make sure we weren’t seen by anyone of import.

We both asked for about a third of a glassful, and in typical domestic light beer fashion, received much more than was necessary. And then we sniffed it. And then we drank. And then we looked at each other and sort of smirked. And then we drank some more.

We both came to the realization that this was a solid beer. I enjoyed it. Technically it’s a sound session ale. Some nice hop aroma, but it’s also balanced really well in the malts. I wish I had hated it, but Budweiser is the king of making inoffensive beers, so I guess I knew what to expect. What’s interesting is that many craft beer junkies are coming to similar realizations. The Beer Philosopher (AKA Shawn Connelly) sums my feelings up perfectly in this great post:

Match it against a “middle of the road” craft amber (Fat Tire anyone?) and all of a sudden you’ve got a player. Bud American Ale is one of those evil corporate beers I’d like to bottle in some obscure craft brewer’s bottle and label it something weird and wild and watch the beer snobs lavish praise on this great new session beer. “Wow, you can taste the dry-hopped cascade right up front and the finish is really clean…”

And a discussion forum over at Aleuminati tells a similar tale. It’s a good beer. Sure, I’m not going to go out of my way to order it. But if I’m choosing between macros at some sorry excuse for a bar, American Ale has a great shot of ending up in my belly. Because, as The Beer Philosopher says, “My objection to this beer is an ideological one, not a technical one.”

11 thoughts on “Jeff and I try the Budweiser American Ale

  1. Nice review! All the feedback about this beer has been interesting.

    If I ever cross paths with this ale, I may give it a taste. But one thing is for sure, I will not spend my hard earned money on it. (For the same reasons I refuse to shop at Walmart & McDonalds. Not a fan of corporations that are globalizing the world’s economy … destroying jobs and livelihoods just to make money.) But if, like you, I get to sample it for free – I just might have to, especially with its interesting reviews.


  2. I’ve only had it once but I feel the same way. I would love to have this be on tap or in bottles at bars that only serve the typical Bud and Miller fare. This is way better than that Shock Top crap that seems all too common in bars these days.

  3. When I tried the American Ale I was also upset I couldn’t hate it, but it’s a solid beer… Not something I’ll pick out much, but every once in a while I imagine I’ll order the AA. And I hope it becomes an option at ballparks – it’s significantly better than the lager that Budweiser is known for, IMO.

  4. I agree it isn’t offensive. When I tried it, I thought the beer just “was”. It wasn’t special, it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t flavorful, and it wasn’t tasteless or foul. It just was.

    I’d order it over the lagers too, but it isn’t my first (second, third, fourth or fifth…etc) choice at the beer store.

  5. I agree with all of the above. It’s a middle of the road ‘meh’ beer…very similar reaction to the whole collection of MNB catalog

  6. Travis, you are a scoundrel and a knave. No one cares about your opinion. On anything. Consider yourself banned from the greatest homebrewing blog of all time.

  7. I tried this beer at the GABF of all places. I talked for several minutes to the Bud rep there and he told me they wanted to put out a drink that was more than just a Bud. They pumped up the hops quite a bit with Cascade being the predominent hop here. It was a nice change of pace beer, still seemed rather light but the flavor and aroma weren’t bad. Would I ever go out and buy one? Well if the choice at a restaurant was only regular Bud and this, I’d probably choose the Ale but I’d probably not stock up for my own home enjoyment.

  8. You’re willing to cut your traffic in half by cutting me off? I think not. Cheers to salty ball sweat pirate beer.

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  10. At first, I was a little upset that you actually tried it. Then I read, it was free. So I get it. It might be an ok representation of an ale, but I will still refuse to ever buy it. To me, AB is nothing more than a corporate monster looking to wedge themselves into the ever growing microbrew scene, for nothing more than making a profit, and shoving the little guy out of business. With that said, I’m sure there are a few rednecks who really want to think they are above the average beer drinker and will buy it for a specail occasion (like grandpa finally getting his GED). But it the long run, it is just an other average beer. Thanks, but no thanks.

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