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General Category => Commercial Beer Reviews => Topic started by: flapjack on August 05, 2010, 02:09:14 AM

Title: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: flapjack on August 05, 2010, 02:09:14 AM
As I sit here drinking a can of Old Style it made me wonder...Why are there so many negative comments about these beers? Have we forgotten our roots? Or is it really crap beer? I know we weren't all drinking  Chimay Bleue right out of high school. I agree 100% that these beers don't touch a good micro or homebrew, but are they really that bad?
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: BrewArk on August 05, 2010, 02:18:51 AM
To a degree I agree with you.  On a hot summer's day when I come in from yard work or working on the car a lighter beer can be refreshing.  I've been known to have a 12 pack of Hamm's, Schafer, or Pabst on hand from time to time in the hot season.

But recently, after a party, when I had an extra case of Coors Light to dispose of, I noticed that no matter how many I drank, I was never satisfied by it.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: tygo on August 05, 2010, 03:29:57 AM
It's not that it's bad, just that it's fairly tasteless and without any sort of redeeming characteristics that make you want to have another to see if you missed anything.  It can be very refreshing after a hot day of mowing the lawn but so can Perrier.  I usually drink the mineral water to rehydrate and then have a quality brew to celebrate when I'm done.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: weithman5 on August 05, 2010, 03:35:45 AM
so can Perrier.

really?  i actually find budweiser to be a "quality brew"  just not the brew i want to drink often.  especially now that it is foreign owned.  but if i wanted something refreshing (and not having to drive 8)) i would take an american lager over a perrier.  it is like the old commercial of the guy crawling through the desert and comes up to the man who offers him water.  "no thanks, i really had my heart set on an ice cold Stroh's"
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: tygo on August 05, 2010, 03:58:54 AM
Really.  If I'm at a social event and Bud is the beer I'm not going to turn my nose up at it.  But it really doesn't do much for me.  I'm certainly not going to spend money on it.  So when I'm thirsty after the lawn mowing I'll drink the water.  After crawling through the desert I think I'd make the same choice.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: hopaddicted on August 07, 2010, 02:28:03 AM
+1 on walking past a Bud in the desert. Ole Mil and the Beast serve a purpose, as does PBR, Piels, Genny, etc. I drank more than my fair share of $6.99 cases of Ole Mil Ice, but the quantity you drink out of necessity doesn't make it any good. When I could afford to buy a decent beer I did.

Bud is piss, it isn't even their brands best beer. Busch is better. Both are WAY overpriced and a refreshing beer can be bought (or brewed) for the same price. I'm sure good beers can be brewed in the styles, and though there is a place for adjuncts, most macrobrewed commercial American lagers lack any malt, hop, yeast, or spice flavor. If you need some cheap beer to unwind after a long week, by all means go for it, fortunately I do not need to. I'll take a well drink before a bud any day of the week if no beer selection is available.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: euge on August 07, 2010, 06:54:42 AM
I prefer Icehouse to Bud etc and keep some in the fridge always. It is refreshing. However, I think American Light Lagers appeals to the power drinking crowd and the uninitiated more than craft beer.

If I could change things on a national scale my preference would be to beef up the hops and malt in standard America Lagers to produce something more like Czech Lagers. They are still refreshing and the bomb-diggity always.

Yes we have forgotten our roots. And Budweiser did the forgetting for us.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: The Professor on August 07, 2010, 09:55:43 AM
...Yes we have forgotten our roots. And Budweiser did the forgetting for us.


That statement sums it all up pretty well. 
Ironic too, since despite it's lower common denominator kind of appeal, I think that most of us here agree that it is probably one of the most skillfully made and utterly consistent commercial beers out there. 
Unfortunately, with all of that skill and the strict QC that goes into it's manufacture, the one thing missing is any distinctive flavor. 

 After years of burning out my tastebuds with hop bombs, I've found that I can truly sometimes enjoy beers whose flavors are on the lighter side of things if it's all in balance.  I consider Bud to be in a category of beers that lack balance (simply because there isn't really much of anything to balance to begin with).

I think that AB-InBev makes some good beers, but if I am in a situation where Bud is the only beer around, I almost always opt out. 
Even a glass of cheap red wine is far more satisfying to me.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: babalu87 on August 07, 2010, 11:38:12 AM
Yes we have forgotten our roots. And Budweiser did the forgetting for us.


+2
Well said!

Not that I dont like REAL American Lager as I call it

10 gallons

14lbs  Pils Malt
3lbs  2-row Malt
2lbs  Corn

Mash that puppy up @ 148

FWH with 22.5 IBU of "Noble" Hop (I used Vanguard)
.5 oz at 30 minutes
1.5 oz at 1 minute

Ferment it out with a pile of lager yeast.

I'm not against adjuncts, just against rice.
It brings nothing to the table



Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: majorvices on August 07, 2010, 12:47:03 PM
Meh, I'll drink a "BMC" from time to time. But I have to be really thirsty to actually enjoy one. I do not like Light beers and generally won't drink them unless I am offered one by a host. If Light Beers are our "roots" something went terribly wrong.

Lets also keep in mind that the Standard American lager is a direct result of the most unfortunate and terrible civil experiment in our nation's history. Really, not a lot to be proud there. Call it "quality" beer if you like, it is basically a "barley-pop" and is made with the same kind of "craft process" as American Cheese and White bread. IMO these types of bland, industrially-processed foods are not really something to be proud about. Food in general is much better tasting and is much better for you when it is locally produced.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: beerocd on August 07, 2010, 01:54:51 PM
one of the most skillfully made and utterly consistent commercial beers out there. 
Unfortunately, with all of that skill and the strict QC that goes into it's manufacture, the one thing missing is any distinctive flavor. 

The utter consistency is one of the things that bugs me. Sure there's a lot of science and research in it, but there has got to be more in that bottle than barley, hops, water, and yeast. The beers are not similar, they are exact: every beer is the same color, taste, smell, amount of head. And if they were pure or clean beers I would think they wouldn't give me headaches.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: dirk_mclargehuge on August 07, 2010, 04:24:20 PM
I'm not against adjuncts, just against rice.
It brings nothing to the table




So you wouldn't drink a Trade Winds from The Breuery because he uses rice? 
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: babalu87 on August 07, 2010, 04:35:55 PM
I'm not against adjuncts, just against rice.
It brings nothing to the table




So you wouldn't drink a Trade Winds from The Breuery because he uses rice? 

I dont think I said that did I?
I am just against the use of rice, if I want to do something similar to that I'd just use table sugar
Cheaper
Easier
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: dbeechum on August 07, 2010, 04:51:46 PM
I am just against the use of rice, if I want to do something similar to that I'd just use table sugar
Cheaper
Easier

Not quite the same though is it? Rice does have a distinct character in beers that don't over power it. The Bruery's TT just mentioned has a distinct glutenous sweetness that comes from the rice. Budweiser for all of it's maligning does actually pick up a crispness from the rice. (It's far more noticeable in the chip beer) And it's still ironic to me that the most expensive ingredient in Budweiser is the rice.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: babalu87 on August 07, 2010, 05:16:44 PM
Miller does have more of a sweet thing going on as opposed to Bud's being crisp but I always attributed that to Millers use of corn more than Buds use of rice.

To be fair I'd have to brew two recipes the same using rice in one and table sugar in the other to give it a fair shake

Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: theoman on August 07, 2010, 07:08:56 PM
It's all a matter of taste, I guess. To most of us, the standard American lagers just don't have much of it.

As for the roots of these beers, I think the use of corn, rice, etc. is interesting. From what I understand, these grains were never used to make the beer cheaper, but were used in the brewers' attempts to mimic the flavors of the early European lagers, before there was such an understanding of water chemistry in brewing.

A couple years ago I had a rice beer brewed by a brewpub for a nearby sushi restaurant. I thought it was pretty darn good.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: dbeechum on August 07, 2010, 07:28:41 PM
The use of rice/corn was really more in an attempt to mitigate the harsh taste and huge protein content of early American barley malt.

Apparently American malt was real crap. Then it stayed around as people developed a liking for it.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: dhacker on August 07, 2010, 08:22:03 PM
Thanks to a comment I made about my early days of drinking, my son sees to it that there is always some High Life in the refrigerator. I think it is not only refreshing on a hot day, but a good way to cleanse the palate for the homebrews I make that have lots of character. . .

It beats eating crackers . .
 
;D
 
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: vista on August 08, 2010, 03:03:48 PM
my dad forced me to try a Narragansett premium lager a couple of years back, it was a beer he grew up drinking in college at URI and then i believe they bellied up. i was really happy i gave it a try, it quickly replaced pabst as my go to american lager...

summer bbqs...90 degrees....humid...sure i can drink an apa but an american lager is pretty clutch....about losing the love though for american lagers, i don't mind stumbling across something like narragansett or even pabst....but something about supporting AB or MC...i don't know...
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: Matt B on August 08, 2010, 04:33:37 PM
I didn't start drinking until I was 23. I know, blasphemy and how the hell did I go from not drinking to brewing my own beer? Well, up until that point growing up in rural PA, I had only had what I now refer to as american piss beer (APB) and rum. Turns out, I have a strong disliking for both. So I was convinced I just didn't like booze until I moved out to California and was introduced to good beer, good vodka and good wine. Then it was straight down hill.

My taste, personally, as this is all we're talking about here, is that APB doesn't have any, and what little there is just isn't very good. Couple that with the huge amounts of carbonation (which I'm not a fan of and one of the reasons I don't drink much soda.) I like to take small drinks of something and savor the flavor and not have it turn into a frothy mass of foam in my mouth, which APB fails on both.

I can see how many people, even those who do enjoy many different beers (at which point 100% of them will have more body and flavor) which is fine. I've even been to wedding receptions in Phoenix in the middle of summer and still gone for the water instead of the Bud. It's just not for me (un?)fortunately.

I do agree that brewing an american lager with no major flaws is very very hard. The DMS and the diacetyl is quite difficult to get down to controllable levels for us homebrewers, and the big guys have come up with some very interesting industrial scale techniques to help with that. Which is impressive and testament to the quantity they deal with and the amount of time they've been doing it.

I also believe that most americans would in fact like different beers if they would venture out and try it. But given the marketing strategies of the big guys (and they're very good at it) and their control and influence with the distributors, people just don't try. The APBs are right there BAM in your face and people just go for the old standard, which people are prone to do.

Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: nicneufeld on August 09, 2010, 04:06:16 PM
I'm not against adjuncts, just against rice.
It brings nothing to the table

A good nigorizake begs to differ!  :D

But yes, I prefer my liquid rice fermented on its own than fermented in beer.

I just made a very, very delicately hopped Helles that was originally intended for a BMC-friendly family event.  Drinking it lately I find myself wishing for actual, serious flavor!  I went so far to mix in some lemonade the other day...sure a Radler may be a bit of a wimpy drink but at least it tasted like something!  :D
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: bluesman on August 09, 2010, 06:40:40 PM
I'm not against adjuncts, just against rice.
It brings nothing to the table

A good nigorizake begs to differ!  :D

But yes, I prefer my liquid rice fermented on its own than fermented in beer.

I just made a very, very delicately hopped Helles that was originally intended for a BMC-friendly family event.  Drinking it lately I find myself wishing for actual, serious flavor!  I went so far to mix in some lemonade the other day...sure a Radler may be a bit of a wimpy drink but at least it tasted like something!  :D

I've never tried brewing anything with rice so it's hard for me to pass judgement.  I am not a Bud fan but I would like to compare (blind tasting) it to an all malt lager just to understand the subtle nuances of rice and barley.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: euge on August 09, 2010, 10:04:42 PM
My favorite Sakes are the cloudy unfiltered variations. If that was all one had to drink believe me subtleties would make themselves known.

As an adjunct in my experience rice lends a certain crispness to the brew. However it isn't all that cheap anymore, I'm not saving much using it.

IIRC, Bud doesn't use a set recipe- but uses whatever's cheapest and available at the time. Then they blend.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: The Professor on August 09, 2010, 10:36:34 PM
I've never tried brewing anything with rice so it's hard for me to pass judgement.  I am not a Bud fan but I would like to compare (blind tasting) it to an all malt lager just to understand the subtle nuances of rice and barley.


A pretty good indicator of the differences would be a side by side tasting of a few products from a single brewer
...in this case I recommend the much beloved AB-InBev   :o :P 

Bud (rice)
Busch (still made with corn, I believe)
Michelob (all malt).

Seems such a session would tell the tale quite effectively!
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: beerrat on August 10, 2010, 12:37:33 AM
As I sit here drinking a can of Old Style it made me wonder...Why are there so many negative comments about these beers? Have we forgotten our roots? Or is it really crap beer? I know we weren't all drinking  Chimay Bleue right out of high school. I agree 100% that these beers don't touch a good micro or homebrew, but are they really that bad?

I guess it depends upon whose lager.  I've certainly enjoyed an Old Style at Wrigley field, and my local Yuengling Lager is perfect with a pizza.  I've had a number of region American lagers that really hit the spot.  As for Bud-Miller-Coor, not a chance of me to drink.  Any beers that require my attention with a vortex bottle, cold indicator cans, see thru boxes, or some other non digestible feature surely is not worried about the taste aspect.  Hence my negativity, anyway against mass produced American lagers.
I've brewed an American lager and enjoyed it.  BMC crowd thought was too heavy - he he he.
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: weithman5 on August 10, 2010, 01:10:12 AM
i like bud, i like busch, i like the old schlitz malt liquor.  do i reach for them often.  not much but they have their time and place.  i would just as well drink water out of the shower head before i spent money on a perrier.  and just because it is brewed by a small craft brewery it can still suck.  i routinely give stuff away that i won't drink. 
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: thirsty on August 10, 2010, 03:56:13 AM
Much like Wonder Bread and Cheeze Whiz, mega corporate brew has it's place. I don't want to eat or drink them often, but it's good to have them around when I'm in the mood for a cheeze whiz sandwich and and an ice cold bud lite.

 
Title: Re: What's with all the negativity against the Standard American Lagers?
Post by: nicneufeld on August 10, 2010, 03:04:58 PM
My favorite Sakes are the cloudy unfiltered variations. If that was all one had to drink believe me subtleties would make themselves known.

I agree, those are the nigori type.  They have an almost fruity, sweet complexity to them.  I need to get another bottle and queue up a bunch of my favorite Kurosawa movies!