by Mike Retzlaff
Several years ago at the Beer Appreciation School put on by CCH and conducted by Carol Rice, we started one class with a place mat that had 5 labeled circles on it. We were asked to wait in tasting the beer samples until all were poured. Normally that would have seemed a cruel request but it was 9 am on a Saturday and we all knew what we were waiting on.
We were given 2 oz. samples of Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Miller Genuine Draft, Bud Light, Budweiser, and off of the place mat we were served Michelob Ultra-Light which I think was included as an afterthought. This made for six samples of popular beers among the “Joe Six-Pack” segment of our society. The energy in the room was electric as we waited until all were served. As we started, I attempted to treat these beverages as if they were unknown to me and there might be something special about any of them. I even took notes. The gist of my notes is below.
Miller Lite has a foul underlying aroma and flavor which, at first, makes one believe that you simply got a tainted bottle or can.
Miller High Life has much more body than its skinny sibling. It is typical of an American Pilsner style beer. It also has that same foul underlying aroma and flavor which seems to suggest a brewhouse character.
Miller Genuine Draft seems to be Miller High Life in a different package but it has less head and more fizz. It doesn’t make any sense but that’s what I found. It also seems to maintain that house character.
Michelob Ultra-Light has no flavor or aroma to speak of. It exhibits no apparent reason to exist.
Bud Light is insipid and a bit heinous in both flavor and aroma.
Budweiser was the only one of the group that showed no flaws. It has no abundance of flavor, aroma, or hop presence but it doesn’t have any qualities which detract from its value as a beverage.
This was the first time in which I actually tasted a variety of such beers side by side and it was an eye opening experience. I thanked Carol who immediately gave kudos to Cooch for his suggestion to include this particular tasting. Although I didn’t find this exercise useful to determine which of these beers should or might become a regular in my fridge, I did realize the value of tasting beers side by side.
If you disagree with this review, feel free to write your own or as Hank observes, “continue to sit in the back during the meetings and mumble.”