Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Topic of the Week: Mainstream light beer...what would you choose?

It all started in a recent post when Mike said...
ok, here's a topic for you: what if you have to drink a mainstream light beer -- which would you choose? I typically will choose bud light -- It just goes down smoothest for me (as opposed to miller lite which seems to have a nasty aftertaste and give me a headache). Smoothness is paramount b/c when I am drinking this type of beer it typically means I am drinking all day long. I also had heineken light the other day and it was palatable. Went down quite easily
We've all heard it right? Blind taste tests, tastes great...less filling, all the taste without all the calories, a light beer that doesn't fill you up...etcetera etcetera. Well Mike brings up a good point. What would you choose? Me, what would I choose? I really doubt that I can tell the difference between many of the light beers. I remember Michelob Ultra as being about as close to dirty water as you can get. I would rank it at the bottom. I don't think I ever really had a favorite light beer. So, if I'm having a beer with family and friends, it's probably some type of party and I would just randomly pick something. I guess the alcohol is the main attraction in that case. If I'm out to dinner with my wife, I would probably just pass on the beer and find something else to drink. BTW I've heard that 12 oz. of Guinness has about 125 calories. Depending on your choice of light beer you may be consuming between 95 and 135 calories per 12 oz. serving. Check out this chart of calories, carbs and alcohol at RealBeer.com. Hmmm...is Guinness Draught really a light beer?! Are any beers "light"? Heck after all that I think I would choose Guinness. What would you choose if you were choosing a "light" beer?


Anonymous said...

Guinness is cheating...

I didn't mention this before, but I'd have to go with Natty Light in a bottle, for two reasons:

1. Nostalgia -- it may taste bad, but it still reminds me of college.

2. It comes in a BOTTLE? Seriously? A beer this bad should never be in a bottle. The irony is too good to resist.

Adam said...

Ahhh...yes where the cheapest keg party was how I chose my beer. Those were the days!

Anonymous said...

I would go with amstel light, and I always do when I am faced with the macro options. Sam light just doesn't do it for me. Amstel has some malt profile and a touch of hopiness, which makes it pallet-able.

I really like their new ad compaign as well, mixing food taste with beer taste.

Jeremy said...

Amstel Light all the way! If they don't have that I would go with Miller Light.

Eli said...

wow, um... geez. Does Yuengling count as light?

Anonymous said...

New Belgium's Skinny Dip a.k.a. Loft. 120 calories if memory serves.

If that doesn't count then Amstel Light's not horrible.

Of course, I think the calorie counts are skewed by the average number of calories burnt as the body attempts to expel the copious amounts of CO2 in lite beers.

Anonymous said...

Would love to try New Belgium's Skinny Dip - hurry up already and distribute to the east coast!

Adam said...

Hmmm...I haven't really thought about how amstel light tastes. Now, I'm gonna check it out again.

Bryan Kolesar said...

Well, let's see...how to answer without getting trapped ;-)

Any beer up until late college was sufficient. Then, Michelob Light was the choice of lights late in college. Then, in my twenties, Amstel Light become a favorite light beer partly because of cachet and partly because of the crisp and lightly hopped flavor. Geez, if you forced to me choose from the "big 3 macros", ugh, I suppose I'd go with Miller Lite, only because I've probably drank more of that than any of the other two put together. And, while it's not all that good, it's not repulsive either and for some reason any Bud product has had more negative effects on me than the others.

I guess what I'm saying is that if someone bought a beer and handed it to me, out of courtesy I wouldn't turn it down. But, if I was ordering at the bar and the choice was between any of the "mainstream lights", I'd switch over to any other beverage more appealing, even if it was non-alcoholic, and wait until I got home to drink a beer that I preferred.

Snobbish, I don't think so. It just goes back to consuming what you like. I've definitely grown into a beer drinker who drinks what he likes. I won't drink a beer simply because it's called "beer."

I kind of equate it to ordering dinner at a restaurant. If none of the three ways that they prepare pasta appeals to you, you'll probably order chicken or pasta, right? Have you ever said, "I really want pasta, no matter what...no matter how it's prepared or the ingredients, toppings, etc.?"

p.s. Chris is right that there are certainly some craft brewers out there doing some decent light beers (and without rice!)

p.p.s. I see a Light Beer tasting about to commence at The Brew Lounge!

Adam said...

LIGHT beer tasting! What! Oh no you di'nt. Just in time for MNF @ Bryan's. Do we bring our own funnel ;-)?

Adam said...

Hmmm...as of today at 7:00 PM here's some interesting info from BA and Realbeer.com.

Name - BA Rating - Calories

Miller Lite - 68 (Avoid) - 96 cal
Amstel Light - 71 (Not Recommended) - 95 cal
Sam Adams Light - 79 (Not Recommended) - 124 Cal
Nat Light - 65 (Avoid) - ?
Yuengling Trad Lager - 81 (Worth a Try) - 135-140 cal
Yuengling Light Lager - 77 (Not Recommended) - 98 cal
New Belguim Skinny Dip 82 - (Worth a Try) - ?
Michelob Ultra - 62 (avoid) - 95 cal
Corona Extra - 66 (Avoid) - 148 cal
Corona Light - 65 (Avoid) - 109 cal
Michelob Light - 71 (Not Recommended) - 134 cal

Bryan Kolesar said...

Uh, and this surprises you?! ;-)

Adam said...

Not so much. I guess I'm more interested in what a "light" beer really is. Sam Adams Light is lighter than their lager or ale, but, it isn't nearly as "light" as some of the others. Same for Michelob Light.

So make a beer however you want and call it whatever you want. If you're a consumer, just don't believe that has anything to do with the taste or calories.

Eli said...

damn, Yuengling really is almost a light beer.

J said...

I would have to choose Amstel Light - best tasting mainstream light beer out there for my money.

Anonymous said...

Forget the "Lights". Any difference in calories or ABV is really negligible and look what you are sacrificing in taste and pleasure. Better to take an extra walk around the block or lose the remote and get up to turn the channel. One of my favorite regulars - Tetley English Ale 3.8 ABV