TMS Beer Project: Budweiser American Ale

September 14, 2008 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

With the name Saloon included in our moniker, one could surmise that we here at TMS like to drinky drinky. One that would make such an assumption would be correct, thereby throwing out the whole, 'when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We also like to plagiarize each other. In the same vein as the Wrigleyville Bar Project, we are proud to bring you another installment of the TMS Beer Project. The premise is simple: we review beers. Each rating will feature a variety of scores from 1-10 and comments from the bartender. This is a public service damn it. We don't want you to be the sucker who pays $15 for a six pack of some overrated Belgian cat piss. Now, we all drink massive amounts of beer so we know what we speak of. Each of us seem to have a favorite style of beer though. Will we be reviewing macrobrews like Bud and Coors? Oh you bet your Aunt Susie's ass we will. For purposes of this science experiment, and it is in the name of science, those will be the "control" group. Use them as a base line for when we review lesser known imports and microbrews. Without further ado, I bring you our next beer:

Budweiser American Ale

Brewery: Anheuser-Busch, USA

Type: American/Amber Ale

Receptacle: 12 oz. bottle, which claims: "Carefully brewed with barley from America's heartland and cascade hops from the Pacific Northwest, this rich, amber-colored ale has robust flavor and a distinctive, hoppy finish."

Drinkability (1 being Jim Jones' kool-aid, 10 being the nectar of the gods): 6. If you're going into drinking one of these thinking it will taste like Budweiser or Michelob, you are dead wrong. The first thing that will jump out at you is the existence of hops. What? In a mass-produced product? Get out of town! According to it's website, it's even dry-hopped with Cascade hops. The aftertaste is a bit lacking, but I'd have no problem saying this is easily the most drinkable of the Bud products out there.

Heartiness (1 being fresh mountain spring water, 10 being a pureed British steak infected with mad cow disease): 7. When you compare it to the main products put out by A-B, it's pretty thick, but keep in mind what you're comparing it to. If compared to other Pale Ales like those put out from craft brewers like Sierra Nevada, Goose Island, and Bell's to name a few, it's definitely on the watery end of the spectrum.

That being said, it really is a traditional American Ale, very close to that of Goose Island's Honkers Ale. It doesn't have overwhelming hoppiness, but that's not what you drink an American Ale for.

Intoxication (1 being your friend's weird pentecostal grandmother high on Jesus, 10 being Boris Yeltsin on a week long bender in the Crimea): 6. The American Ale clocks in at 5.3% ABV. Not too low, but pretty much the same as Bud Heavy. We're not talking an Imperial India Pale Ale here, and it packs the same wallop as it's competition. If it's only $0.50 more than a pint of Macrobrew, take the American Ale so you get your buzz on quicker, and with greater flavor.

Celebrities You May See Drinking This Brew: Joe Buck, "beer enthusiast" Jason Biggs, Frank Stallone, Guy Fieri.

Affordability ($ being chicklets in Tijuana, $$$$ being diamond encrusted braised lamb shank from a trendy cafe on the Champs d'Elysee): $$. I'm taking a total stab at the price. American Ale hasn't been released here yet, I only happened on a few bottles by way of knowing a Bud distributor. If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say it would price out very close to the "craft" stuff being put out under the Michelob label.

Overall: 7. A very safe American Ale. Keep in mind, they aren't claiming this to be an IPA. Let's be realistic here, this beer is bound to be trashed and looked down upon from the start by beer snobs and homebrewers alike. I can't see this beer being designed for them. I view it as almost a "starter" beer for those who've only previously indulged in college kegger beers. Maybe you're 23 or 24, you've gotten your first real job where it's allowing you to put some bread in your pocket and you're looking to enjoy some of the finer things in life. Budweiser's response to Fat Tire, anyone?

It really is a wholly drinkable beer. One of the positive things it has going for it is the name behind it. How often have you been at a bar where your only choices for draft beer are Miller Lite, Bud, or Coors Light and their specialty beer is Killians? This is where American Ale can be valuable. It's tough to readily find a beer with any sort of hop presence at your typical neighborhood bar.
This picture would have come off better if I hadn't had a few pulls first.
But hey, as the color and head shows, it pours like a REAL beer!