Welcome to macro month here on JGF. One of the main goals of this month is to look at the titans of the beer world and find the lessons that they can teach the craft beer industry. While these brewers are brewing on an entirely different level than your average craft brewer it would be detrimental to not pay attention to what they are doing. They still very much dominate the brewing scene both in market share and quantity produced. Over the next few weeks we are going to look at how we came to this point, what can be learned, what value the macrobrewing side has for craft brewing, and what the future may hold.
I have to admit that I have been anxiously waiting this month, back in November when this blog was getting on its feet I knew then that macrobrewing would be a topic that would have to be discussed and it would be a lot of fun to write about. There is a caveat to this though, the focus is going to be on the American macro giants. Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. I am open to further suggestions if folks have them.
In order to discuss these giants we have to look at their beers and that is why we are here today. I initially wrestled with the order amongst the big American macros but I have decided to start with Coors first, then Miller, and then Budweiser. The fourth week has not yet been decided on but I am toying with the idea of looking at some of the new creations that have come out on the macro scene.
So we start with the flagship beers of Coors and here is why. First was it was obtainable in single bottles at my local Total Wine, second was it makes me think of Smokey and the Bandit (I've got fond memories of the movie), and third was that it gives me a chance to post a link to a fun Johnny Paycheck song.
Our first candidate is Coors Light, a.k.a "The Silver Bullet." Interestingly enough it is the second bestselling beer in the United States as of 2011. It came into existence in 1978 and is hands down the bestselling product out of Coors Brewing. Style-wise it is an American Light Lager. More discussion on this style and its impacts can be expected throughout the remainder of the month.
It poured a very clear light straw gold almost yellow color. There was no head on this beer. It was immediately gone. It has a 4.2% ABV and the alcohol does not make an overt appearance. It is very effervescent and did make me burp...a lot. Taste-wise it comes off weak, slightly stale, beer flavored water. Two reasons for this, one is that this beer is not designed for someone like me. My palette is way overdeveloped for this style of beer. The other reason is this beer is meant for two things and two things only, the be a thirst quencher and for people to drink a lot of it. In both of these categories it succeeds. An ice-cold Coors Light on a sweltering hot day will probably hit the spot for a beer drinkers who haven't been exposed to the joys of craft brew. One of the tenets of JGF is that there is a time and place for every beer. For me, I remember drinking a lot of this stuff in my college days. You could drink a lot of it and the hangover wasn't too bad. Now though, it leaves much to be desired and is best left as a memory.
Our second candidate is the older brother of the Bullet, Coors Original. First brewed back in 1874 this is the standard bearer for the Coors line. This is an American pale lager.
It poured a clear light straw gold color with a small, rapidly disappearing head. Unlike its younger, lighter brother it isn't as effervescent and it does have some body to it. On the drink it has some minor hops to it, but not much in the way of crispness or bite. It has a mild, sweet, earthy taste. The best that can be said of it is that it is inoffensive and nondescript. It clears of the palette quickly but does have a very light lingering staleness in the aftertaste. It has a 5% ABV. The biggest failure of this beer is that it does nothing to stand out from the crowd.
Overall Coors Original doesn't really do anything for me. There was never a time when this beer was part of my life experience or has some nostalgia for me. With that as the case, the beer on its own merits comes across as simplistic and bland. Simply put there is way too much better beer out there, a few of them even brewed in the Coors family.
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