Bud and Bowen: Lager off!
Ok, it’s time. I’m putting the traditionally brewed Bowen Island Lager up against the “King of Beers” and seeing how they stand against each other. Both have been in a normal fridge for the past couple of days and were cracked at almost the same instant.
The reason for all this is that Budweiser, while being one of the world’s top beers in sales, is really not a very good beer. The argument could even be made that it isn’t properly beer. It’s made with rice, not barley. However, many people associate it’s flavour, along with similar beers like Molson and MGD, as beer. The issue I take with this is the fact it’s like you say you don’t like sandwiches because all you’ve ever tried is something peeled out of a cooler at the local gas station. Of course the bottom of the barrel isn’t going to impress you!
But why, then, is this chemically induced lager so popular? I think it’s simple marketing. Money and power and image control equal market share. Conversely, think about how hard Coors and those guys try to sell their beers. When was the last time you saw a commercial for a micro-brew? In Victoria Phillips probably equals Bud in sales, outselling in pubs of course, but they never advertise except in pubs with the odd sign and sponsor a couple events. Phillip’s annual advertising budget probably doesn’t even equal Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Marketing VP’s salary. In fact, it’s probably not even close, his car might match the ad costs.
Anywho, enough of the rant. If you’re reading this you either know me and get the live version, or are a staunch fan of quality small time brews already.
So back to the taste test now, and after a little bit I’m a little disappointed. I knew the Bowen Island Lager wasn’t a stalwart, but both offer rather tepid flavours. However, Bud has a slightly sweet after taste at first, although, now that it’s warmed up just a little it’s lost even that. All that’s there now is a mild flavour. I’m not sure how to describe it because it’s barely there. Not barley there though.
Bowen’s still got some lagerness to it and while it’s not spectacular, it’s pleasant enough. In other words, it still tastes like beer instead of…nothing really.
So I’ll continue my rant a little bit more, since the beers lack anything interesting to say. Bud and most of the other InBev beverages are proof that marketing works wonders. Molson-Coors are the same. These companies make an inferior product and charge just slightly less for it while claiming to use the finest products. Have you read a Budweiser can? It’s insanely positive. If you met a person with as many good things to say about himself you would call him a braggart and ask him to kindly leave your sight.
Anywho, I’m obviously a big believer in micro-brews and small companies making higher quality product. Sure, you wont find GIB English Bay Pale Ale in every pub across Canada, and so you won’t have an old standby everywhere you go, but people always talk about “living a little.” Take a chance with a different beer!