Friday, May 22, 2009

A BIG Brewer Goes Small...

Anheuser-Busch (A-B) seems to have learned from the local, premium, craft brewers. And the company has, at least in part, adopted the philosophy that if you can't beat them, join them. Which explains why although Redhook Ale Brewery of Seattle, Washington remains independent, its products are distributed far and wide by Anheuser-Busch, Incorporated. It is perhaps the lessons learned from this type of cooperation that has prompted A-B, under the Michelob label, to come out with some new premium-type (small label) beers. We'll look at two of them here...

Amber Bock

Dark like a rich, bold, coffee; makes promises... "This dark mahogany lager has a rich, nutty, aroma. An American Bock-style lager brewed with three unique malts including roasted and caramel specialty malts." Ah, but the promises are not kept, as this dark beer is pretty much tasteless.

Summary: Looks good, tastes like nothing. 5.2% ABV. Not a challenge to Gordon Biersch's fine Marzen lager.

Original Lager

"First brewed in 1896 as the beer for beer connoisseurs. It was available only in draught form and only at select locations, including The Michelob Tavern in St. Louis. ...(an) exceptional Munich-style lager." Multiple hops combined with two-row barley malt.

On first taste, I thought of a great lager that was only sold nationally (or at least on the west coast) for a short period of time, Coors Extra Gold lager.

Summary: This is simply a very good lager - light, snappy, tart and almost Heineken-lemony. A perfect beer for a summer barbeque whether on Memorial Day or any other sunny day. 5.0% ABV

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