Feb 13, 2007

Supporting the Goliaths: Episode 1

Editor’s Note The following feature was written by guest contributor JayBirdSlim. We make no claim to support his rantings nor do we acknowledge knowing him personally or his where abouts. Enjoy.

Supporting the Goliaths: Episode 1

As people race to read about the most interesting, unique, and flavorful of beers around I sit and find myself wondering about those great giants of the industry — the ones the snobs have forgotten. I decided to stand up and defend the Goliaths giving them the due they justly deserve, as well as the claim to fame they so desperately seek.

I decided to embark on a fruitful and fact finding adventure to discover the true depth and breadth of mass produced, joyous frothiness! I’ll take a mind-bending journey through all the major amber beverages provided to us by such monumental icons as Coors, Budweiser, and even Miller.

That’s right, you heard me. I will only drink one mainstream brand for a series of weeks then analyze the overall effects, flavors and mindsets of those who consume it.

Below is the first installment in my thrilling escapade.

All Hail the King!

I decided to start my journey with a visit with the self proclaimed King of Beers! That’s right, the one, the original BUD! If you’re going to start a wonderful journey you should always start at the top and hope you go UP!

Let me start this article with a bit of a background on my procedure. I drank Budweiser for a period of one month and drank no other type or brand of beer. I even drew puzzled looks and stares from fellow beverage drinkers, especially those who know me as a Guinness man. I drank Bud with a variety of food types, ranging from Mexican to steak and potatoes, as well as consumed it solely for its ability to stand on its own.

I find analogies help paint the perfect picture, exciting the brain to create a visual spectacle that only words can illuminate.

You’re in an endless field of wild flowers, the sun is beaming in a beautiful blue sky. Site lines continue for miles with no apparent end. With the snow capped mountains, gentle breeze and fluffy pillow-esque clouds cutting through the sky you could swear you are trapped in some artist’s dream. Living life on a canvas of natural beauty gives you a sense of endless possibilities, limitless hope, and boundless joy.

Got it? Can you see the wonder I am deftly painting on the canvas of beer?

Now imagine a big, old mange-ridden cow wanders by and drops a warm, steaming load right on your bare feet.

Welcome to the world of Bud!

Perhaps I am a snob, though I know I am not. Perhaps I don’t understand the nuances of this American standard, however that can’t be possible. Maybe, just maybe this is a cesspool of bad flavors and horrid aftertaste.

There are certain aspects I’ve come accustomed to expect from a beer, a certain earthy aroma when you crack open the bottle, a cool soothing flow, a soothing aftertaste reminding you of what just transpired. When I cracked open the first bottle of Bud and caught the “born on date” odor wafting from the long neck I had visions of skunks and assorted roadkill. However, I forged ahead trying to catch the essence of what this gold standard has to offer.

Ok, having decided to put my first impression aside (of course I had had Bud before in college, but I’ve grown, my taste buds have improved. Oh, and my wallet doesn’t house a small colony of moths anymore) I decided to try the brew with a variety of meals.

Unfortunately “ye ole king” fell a wee bit short in the meal accompaniment category as well. Having had a wide range of beers I discovered that it is in fact possible to have a beer compliment a meal quite nicely. I had always thought it was a farce and wine was the only alcoholic beverage who’s flavor could bring out various qualities of food, but alas I was wrong. Beer, too, can heighten the flavor of such tender morsels as lobster as well as be hearty enough to go with the classic, rustic steak and potatoes.

Bud however maintains a steady flavor throughout all meals. I drank it with spicy mexican, buttery crab cakes, and char-grilled steak. Hell, I even tried it with breakfast cereal (Fruitloops to be precise….oh but not as a substitute for the milk, along with my cereal). To no avail I was unable to find a food stuff that would best suit the unique pecan-esque qualities of the Budweiser.

Perhaps though, that is a true ringing endorsement for Bud. You always know what you’re going to get! It always has the same flavor no matter what you’ve had to eat or what else you have had to drink. Whether you’ve had a hearty Murphy’s or a light and bright Tanquerey and tonic the flavor properties of Bud remain true to form — never wavering, never faltering, never belittling itself to the minions that are foods and “lesser” beers.

I can understand how someone could get addicted to drinking Bud on a regular basis. There are no surprises, no deviations from what it was the first time you ever pursed your lips and pressed them against the cold rim of that tall cool bottle.

Consistency has to count for something right?