Monday, July 20, 2009

A Little Light Identity Crisis

There are some beer styles that I simply don't get. Among that less than august list is "light" beer, in its various guises, whether the mass produced Bud Light (for some reason I have the urge to call it Butt Wipe, but there we go) or Samuel Adams Light from one of the bigger "craft brewers", to even the abysmal Ybor Gold Light from the Florida Brewing Company which I have just had the misfortune of sampling on the beach in Daytona - seriously it was so bad even my non-craft beer drinker father-in-law thought it was awful.

Before continuing my rant let me just say that I am 100% behind the Session Beer Project, and thoroughly enjoy beers which are below 4.5%ABV, however I have serious misgivings about the fad for light beers which seem to take up the vast majority of cooler space in supermarket beer aisles, especially when it comes to light beers from the craft brewing section of the industry.

I assume there is a market for such beers or people like the Boston Beer Company wouldn't be muscling in on the act, but I fear that products such as Samuel Adams Light takes away from the core Boston Lager brand - which in my world is up there with the finest of Czech lagers and will most likely assume the status of permanent lager in my cellar. However, the very thing that created a national demand for beers such as Samuel Adams is the very thing that the company should cling to, it is different from the mainstream in that it is a flavourful quality lager, by comparison the Samuel Adams Light is an abberation.

Say yes to session beer, but session beer is so much more than just a light lager with nothing going for it other than a low ABV.


  1. When I first went to the US and got married and on subsequent visits to the inlaws I always complained about American beer. It seemed from what we have of American beer is this "beer flavoured water" as I always called it.

    Eventually I was in a bar and noticed a tap I did not recognise and was told it was a local brew. I tried it and it blew my mind. I was thus introduced to the American craft brew scene years ago and from then on I always asked for the local stuff and was never disappointed.

    More recently in the last year I discovered the hidden Irish craft brew scene (with a lot of help from Al) and could not be happier.

    Anyway before this reply becomes longer than the blog post I am replying to, I will just say I do not get light beer either.

  2. Coors Light is a light refreshing beer, bland, inoffensive, and whilst not a great flavour there nothing wrong with it. Lower in calories than other lagers, if your watching your weight, as many do. The 88 calories a bottle is on the label, I couldn't tell you the calories on most other beers and would assume they are not suitable for having a drink and dropping a few pounds.

    I guess I get light beer, though I never drank it before meeting the missus. It was the only beer is her fridge.


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