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.”