Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Beer of the Weak

After my scathing review of Granite City, you may think that I have spit enough anti-corporate vitriol this week; I haven't.

Michelob is the Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) subsidiary famous for such delicious brews as Michelob Golden Light and Michelob Ultra (I'm guessing Martin Lel, the Kenyan who won the New York marathon, chugged a few of the later when he was done).

While browsing the selection at my local beer market, I saw something out of place. In a beat-up green six-pack near the leftover Spaten Oktoberfest, sat Michelob "Marzen," subtitled "Octoberfest."

Here is a beer that never should have been. Michelob is taking a tradition from Bavaria, one of the world's holiest beer bastions, and putting not only into the context of the world's largest brewery, but also a brewery that puts rice in its best sellers (Germany has a "law" against this, the Reinheitsgebot). Bud already has a stranglehold on the world macro market, does it need to stick its fingers into the market of beer tradition too?

I would be surprised to see this brand around much longer. To me, people who are looking for a good Oktoberfest are going to scoff at Michelob, while the rest aren't going to care about Oktoberfest anyway. Maybe there are a few post-frat yuppies out there that will bring it to the next Monday Night Football gathering or other similar bro-love fests, but I hardly expect it to expand the market that Bud already has.

For full disclosure, I'm from Milwaukee, which could explain me being so vehemently anti-Bud, but I like to think it's because their beer sucks. Now, I may write a beer blog, but I haven't forgotten my roots; I'd drink a High Life over any Bud product any day of the week. You can even throw Miller Lite on top of that last statement. I just think that Miller's beers have more character, which is something that I also look for in buying an Oktoberfest: something that Michelob Marzen is woefully short on.

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