The Race To Zero Has Been Called On Account Of Skunks

First there was Budweiser. Then Miller Lite. Then Bud Light. Then Michelob Ultra. Then Bud Select (which happens to be my weak-ass mass-market American piss-water of choice, when I'm in the mood to drink weak-ass mass-market American piss-water). I'm sure my chronology is wrong, but you get the idea - the mass-market low-cal beers are going lower and lower.

Then Miller upped the ante, so to speak, by cutting 30-some calories below Select with its MGD64. Bud, not to be outdone, said "Oh, yeah? We'll see your 30-some and raise, err, lower you 9" and introduced Select 55.

I wondered how it was possible to have anything resembling a flavor in a 55-calorie beer (and here's where the crunchy beer snobs interject that 'there isn't any flavor at all in Bud et. al., and all the light variants actually have negative flavor'), especially since alcohol is 7-calories per gram and that leaves you almost no calories available for flavor. I finally got around to trying Select 55, and here's my conclusion as to how they did it:

  1. It's a 3.2 beer (yeah, really), rather than the 4.5-5 that even regular light beers have. More headroom for flavor components. I think that's the minor contributor.
  2. The major contributor? After they brew it, they let it sit around until it's good and spoiled, THEN slap a Born-On Date on it and send it out.

Maybe I'm overreacting based on a small sample size, but when you buy a six-pack that claims to be less than 60 days old, and you're fairly certain that it's been stored cold since it got to the store, and every single one tastes like you sucked on the business end of a skunk, that's the easiest conclusion to draw.

I'll try Select 55 again from a different store just to make sure it wasn't an aberration, but if it tastes the same (and yeah, I'll remember. There's no un-ringing THAT bell), I'll recategorize this entry under Corporate Stupidity.


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This page contains a single entry by Chris published on January 23, 2010 12:06 PM.

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