I picture Budweiser (or Anheuser-Busch as it is, but you know what I mean) being a bit like Microsoft. They both have what probably would be the most popular product within each market segment (Budweiser Lager and Windows respectively), they are both laughed at by Better Tasters, and they both definitely want to appear to be better and hipper than they are.
Microsoft tried to achieve this by releasing Vista and the Zune. The former, of course, failed miserably. The latter… It was laughed at, it was mocked, but in general wasn’t considered that bad. Following that line, then: If Budweiser Select is Vista, then American Ale can largely be compared to the Zune.
The picture isn’t lying; this might very well be the first Bud that has some head to it. I kid you not. A mishap in pouring like that would not make much of a difference with a Bud Light, but the American Ale kinda reacted how you would expect any decent beer to react. My first impression was positive.
The color, much like the original Zune, had kind of a deep brownness to it, and a quick whiff… My god, was that hops I smelled?! Well, fear not, it only took a couple of sips before it became abundantly clear American Ale will not be much of a kick in the teeth flavor-wise.
Actually, American Ale is just plain strange. It’s like they took a fairly average ale, combined it with Bud Light, shook it around, and bottled it. When it first hits your tongue you have high hopes, but a second later it all falls apart. Kinda like when you realize you’ll never use the FM feature on your Zune.
I don’t know about all of this. It’s not that Budweiser American Ale is plain awful. If I had to attend a bad concert somewhere, I’d certainly pick this beer over Bud Light. But really, just like I wouldn’t replace my iPod or iPhone with a Zune, I will not replace my baseline choices of beers with American Ale.
Alternate comparison option: Sarah Palin.
Vote for Budweiser American Ale: It’s your civic duty!