Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Ultimate Regular Joe Beer Shootout

And the winner is…  Miller Genuine Draft (MGD)… What?  MGD won a blind taste test on a beer blog aimed at the  craft beer with topics about “good” beer and home brewing?  Who is this chump? 
Well, first introduce the chump.  I am Dave, Gary’s brother and brewing side kick.  I’m the Larry to his Moe, as Moe is typically running the show, and Larry typically is around to get things done, but without getting bossed around like Curley does.  Plus I have better hair… AKA Larry (and in this case, Moe has Curley’s hairdo, but I digress).  (Editor’s Note: The duo is more like Bob and Doug Mackenzie, with the regular author Bob.)    He mentions me once in a while on here.  What I am not?  A writer (Ed. Note: For Sure).  I’m sure you already gathered that this story is not up to his typical standard of prose. I tend to be less pointed, less direct, less polished, I try to be witty, and I am more rambling. I don’t do fancy big words or proper English. Deal with it. 
But this is a craft brew story isn’t it?  I started out with MGD as the “Winner”.  How does MGD win in a story about craft beer?  Well, it all started with our typical brew day banter, we were making our latest, an American Style Brown.  That’s it for craft beer talk so if you were holding your breath waiting you can turn the channel now, Happy Days reruns on Channel 50.  Well, our banter turned to beer, as it tends to do with Gary around, imagine that.  Somehow, I came to the realization that I have never in my life knowingly ordered, bought, or consumed a King of Beers, I have never had a Budweiser.  Ever!!  I loved the frog commercials, but it never prodded me to buying the product – take that, genius advertisers.  Gary has talked about and got me onto a PBR kick lately, so I’ve had that recently, and I went fishing with my friend and he brought MGD.   But other than that I really can’t recall differences or preferences between the popular “big brand” beers that are out there.  So, something to do during an hour of mashing and additional hour of boiling.   Off to the local liquor store I went. 
It started small, I grabbed a 6 pack of Bud.  Realizing, and kind of shocked, that bottles were actually cheaper than cans for the “Bigs”.   I proceeded down the aisle.  Of course, I needed a PBR to compare, grabbed some Michelob Original (is that like Classic Coke?), MGD, and rounded it out with our much adorned local “Big” Coors.  No light beers, and maybe I missed some other “Bigs”, but my arms were full and my wallet empty.   Then for grins I grabbed a Miller High Life, just because I like the commercial where the guy takes the beer back from Hoity Toity places (that commercial makes me think of my mom for some reason), the genius advertisers strike back.  That and it is Miller, but a lot cheaper, I wanted to taste the difference.
Back home, it did start small again (as most things around the brew kettle do).  I labeled the beer glasses with tape and wrote numbers on each.  I poured out a sample of each jotted down the numbers so I can keep track.    I spun around 6 times so I got dizzy and forgot which was which and let the blind taste test begin. 
First off: Observation, 6 glasses side by side.  One had no head, the rest had a light head, one had a great deal of foam but it disappeared quickly. I poured them all the same to see the head difference, not careful to produce no foam, but not sloppy to make a foam-over.    The 2 in the smaller ½ pint glasses looked slightly lighter but we attributed it to the different glass, next time, same sized pint glasses.   Other than that, they all had the EXACT same look and color, you could not tell one from the other by appearance alone.  Exactly the same visually, for the most part all 6 looked like they came out of the same bottle.   Then on to the taste tests.  One by one we tasted, and talked and took notes.  Since it was blind we did not know which was which until we were completely done. 
 We were having so much fun I walked around and grabbed a few neighbors to see what they thought as well.  Tom, the self proclaimed “Bud and Busch” drinker, Stuart who drinks beer and likes the stuff we brew, but really is not much of a beer drinker, and Brian, the ex-home brewer who only drinks micro’s now, along with Gary and myself (a beer snob, and a beer snob wannabe).  

Interesting.  We all tasted them on our own, and kind of sorted through them the same way.  Right off the bat it seemed we all split them into groups.  We all seemed to like the 2 on the right better, and not like the 2 on the left.  Every one of us had different ways of explaining what we liked.  This one is bitter, this one is similar to that one, this is better than that, these 2 I don’t like, etc.  Also noting in our non-professional judging style, some of the comments/justifications were vague and not all that descriptive.  I will list some specific comments on each below. 
And the judging; Tom’s first comment right off the bat was about the Bud “I can drink this” so he did pick his brand right off the bat.  But he had MGD and Michelob tied for the best.  Gary pretty much thought that the Michelob and the MGD were very similar and liked them equal.  When pressed, the MGD got his vote.  Interesting, as my thoughts and comments, I came out the exactly same way, “I like these 2 (but with PBR and MGD) but favored the MGD slightly.  Brian (the micro drinker) thought Bud was really bitter, and the Coors was bitter, but not as much.  He liked also picked MGD and Michelob as tied for the best.  Stuart the not much of a beer drinker did not have a lot of comments, but also liked the MGD the best.  We all agreed 100% on one thing, the High Life tasted really, really watered down.  Like you put ice in it and left it out in the sun.  No one remotely picked that as even as ok (total last place).   Also funny:  All us from Colorado, and poor Coors, did not fare so well, falling soundly on the disliked side.   As for Budweiser which started this all, came in a solid 5th place, something about it just did not sit well with most of us, except for Tom the Bud Drinker. (Ed. Note: Most likely because we really prefer all malt beers firstly, wheat and corn adjuncts secondly, and rice adjucncts less).
So, overall, we had fun, and the overall winner was MDG with Michelob a very close (2 first place ties) second.  So, if Miller wants to send us some (MGD) SWAG email the blog owner (Gary) and get our address, but leave out the High Life hats.    So, Michelob gets honorable mention, and PBR a solid 3rd. The Bud guy still likes Bud, and probably won’t be buying MDG even though he picked it tops.     As for me, I probably will drink MDG next time I am slumming with the “Bigs”, and probably will never buy another Bud, but now I know why.  Bud-Wyse-Er (still Love the frogs). 
Oh, and the beer snob comment was just to get a rise out of Gary, because he takes offense to being called a beer snob because he likes PBR (and now MGD).  ;-)  
Bud – “I can drink this” “Looks red”, “Fruity” “Different and I don’t like”
High Life – “Flat”, “watered down” “Really Watered down” ”Bitter” “Flat”
PBR -  “Did not like”  “Aftertaste”  “Cant tell difference” “A little fuller”
Coors – “No Head at all” “Less full than 3 (PBR)”, “Tastes more watered down than 4 (MGD)”  2 No comments.
MGD – “Good Head” “liked the best” “I liked (Thought it was the PBR)”  “Top 2” “Nice no after taste” “Identical to 6 (Michelob)”
Michelob – “Good Head” “Fuller Bodied” “More Lager yeast taste” “Like” “No after taste that Hangs with you”  “Not Bad”
Editor’s Note: I have been thinking of our taste test, and while haven’t done any research, the MGD and Michelob are premium products.  I don’t know if they are all malt, (as opposed to malt and corn or rice), but it would actually make sense.  They are priced more than the “regulars” Bud, Coors, and PBR, and way more than the discount “Miller High Life”.  From reading the can, Budweiser is made with rice (and Beechwood Aging) and besides High Life, had the most distinctive taste, although we didn’t like it so much.  Coors and PBR were also almost indistinguishable, and I attribute that to them being corn adjucnt beers.  Many thanks to my brother for his blog entry….

No comments:

Post a Comment