Brew Review Episode 5 – Bud Light Golden Wheat

Posted on February 10, 2010 by

I know that this beer is not a craft brew and kind of falls out of my normal reviewing criteria, but some of you know and some will learn that when I see something that I think is wrong or incorrect, I like to make the world know how I feel. So the inspiration came for this review when I saw Bud Light Golden Wheat being put along side a whole bunch of other craft brews in Maxim’s latest issue under the article flag “Best 25 New Beers in America”. This beer was put up with beers in the category of New Belgium Brewery and Widmer’s just to name a couple and I feel this is an outrage and I can see right through Maxim and it is painfully obvious that they were paid for that placement, and for that, they lose all credibility with any review of anything in their magazine and my subscription.

So, please enjoy my little rant and my suggestion to Maxim. I also pose an interesting question about Anheuser Busch and their new “craft” brews that they are churning out that I’d like to hear from you guys on.

My thoughts are one of the two, I can’t decide yet.

1. Anheuser Busch is riding the coat tails of the craft beer movement in hopes of creating a new, legitimate market for themselves by offering their hardcore brand followers an option instead of moving to another beer.

2. They are deceiving the craft brew movement by making lack luster brews that people just trying “craft” beer would wonder “What the point is of paying more for the same?”

No answer is wrong, I’m just curious what you all think.

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  • Dave Martinson

    Bud Light sucks, I don’t care what type of grain they put in it. And I absolutely believe that Bud bought their way into that list. No doubt. But I won’t hesitate to still check out the babes in Maxim in the future. :-)

  • mike

    LOL.

    I have a subscription renewal notice that just isn’t going to make its way into my mailbox. This one rubbed me the wrong way.

  • http://snobbyhops.com Aaron Mielke

    Very candid and entertaining, especially at around 8:00 when you say “Bud Light Wheat has its place and that place is not in my mouth.” Love it!

    I’m with 100% on both fronts.

    1. obviously, Maxim was paid to include BL wheat

    2. BL wheat is terrible

    You covered every reason why this is true. Great review, and I hope you get some commentary with differing opinions.

    Nice work, Mike.

  • mike

    Thanks man.

    I appreciate you coming by and checking out the newest episode.

    I can’t bring myself to drink Bud Light Wheat. I feel like I’m getting ripped off and that isn’t because I don’t like light beers, I just feel this one is tricking me into wanting it. I’m not falling for it.

    Thanks again dude!

  • Shawn Betts

    Isn’t it “riding the coattails” not curtails?

  • mike

    Thanks!

    What the hell is a curtail?

  • Evan

    I think that what you said at the end has some truth to it; that they may be making an attempt to discredit the craft beer thing by making a “craft” beer that is nothing special.

    On the other hand, this could potentially backfire. If their light-only drinking customers venture off and try something like Bud Light Wheat, or Bud American Ale, and LIKE it, then A/B may have just shot themselves in the foot. Those same people will be more likely to venture out of their comfort zone and try something else.

  • mike

    That is a good point. What if people like the new “flavor” and decide to move onto to something more flavorful. I never thought about it that way. That’s a good thought. So maybe that whole thought of discrediting craft brew can be shot out the window…or is it just not that likely that people will move on beyond it. Would Bud Light Golden Wheat be enough of an adventure that they stop?

  • http://brewingnetwork.com Mike

    I’m not sure either theory is valid. I think it is just a case of market analysis getting in the way of good business. The bean counters probably will not approve something too far out of the A/B style so they stick with a watered-down version of a craft beer so as not to scare off their base– the same base that probably won’t try anything new anyway. Meanwhile, the craft beer drinkers who might be in the market for a well-made beer from A/B won’t drink it because the flavor still doesn’t compare to what we’re used to.

    However, I completely agree that the Golden Wheat is only in Maxim because of the advertising dollars. There’s a reason why “Consumer Reports” is completely subscriber driven. It’s called integrity.

  • mike

    Thanks for the comment Mike.

    Yea, I’m not sure what theory is valid. I was on reddit yesterday and someone posted a reply to the same video. He was talking about the idea that each distributor gets X amount of shelf space and can buy X amount of shelf space as well, but most products only get one facing within the cooler case. So instead of only having bud and bud light, A/B creates new ones to fill those slots so that no one else can come in and compete with them, or so they can squeeze off other competitors because there is only so much room. What do you think about that? I think it makes really good sense, but I still don’t know why they wouldn’t rebrand it Coors did with Blue Moon.

    I replaced my Maxim magazine with Zymurgy regardless.

    Thanks again for the comments.

  • http://brewingnetwork.com Mike Todd

    Have you seen the “Beer Wars” movie yet? If not, make a point of doing so. They have a great segment in there on the battle for shelf space that addresses that very issue. As far as Coors and Blue Moon goes, that was an acquired, already existing brand. A/B, or InBev more appropriately, adds Hoegaarden and numerous other breweries that they have bought up.

  • mike

    I’ve actually got “Beer Wars” on my netflix and I’ve got it here. I’ll probably watch it tomorrow.

    Thanks for the comment. I look forward to seeing it again…

  • Kurt

    Hey Mike, thanks for checking out our Brownlie Beer Club blogspot. Maybe I’ll get motivated and do some more thorough reviews of some of the brews we picked up on our Bufffalo road trip.
    Anyway, I think A/B is definitely trying to cash in on the craft brewing movement, and with some of the newer Michelob offerings, they are doing a decent, though not spectacular job of it. They may carve a middle of the road niche out for themselves with a slightly lower priced, less demanding (on the pallet) series of beers.
    I just hope that they don’t make a full out assault and try to crush the smaller, more experimental brewers who don’t have the buying power by severely undercutting on price.
    I, for one, will always pay extra to support the craft brewers and the difference in quality is well worth it.

  • mike

    Cool!

    Thanks for coming by my site. I appreciate the comments.

    I don’t think A/B could ever muscle anyone out of the market by making more beer or anything. I think they could crush some people through legal actions or sabotage or some other sort of crappy way to hurt the small guy. I just don’t think people like you or I would ever go back to them. I mean, if A/B took everything out of the stores except their product, for one, beer stores would fight that, and two I’d just go to homebrewing all the time and screw even going into a store.

    Thanks again for swinging in.

    Which craft brews do you like the most?

    Mike

  • Kurt

    Mike
    I hope you’re right and A/B and other large brewers- Miller, Coors, etc. don’t affect the craft brew industry. I do think they can hurt it through their purchasing power (hops, malt, etc.) driving the price up while selling for less due to the high production volume.
    I have a few eastern brewers I like- Dogfish Head which you have most likely heard of, as well as Troegs and Southern Tier. Excellent stuff. North coast, Avery, Stone and Lagunitas rate highly as well. There are some midwestern beers we can’t get which I’m itching to try from Russian River and Three Floyds.
    Keep up the good work. We at the BBC hope to start brewing our own later this year.

  • mike

    Awesome.

    If you start brewing your own later this year I would love to hear about it. Keep in touch for sure!

    As for purchasing power, I suppose that could happen, except none of them use malt, or at least it doesn’t taste like it. So they would buy it and have to throw it away. I do wonder though if that is why there are so many breweries out there that are trying to start growing all their own stuff or trying to get all of it locally. If they don’t have to compete on a national level they may have an upper hand, plus it could make quality better because they are in control of the freshness.

    Have you heard of this?

    I really wish I could get some of those beers your referring to I can’t get anything like that.

    Thanks again for stopping by!

  • Kurt

    Mike
    I think the buy local/brew local is part of a growing movement aimed at sustainability and environmental responsibility. A kind of farmers market mindset. It would certainly mean fresher ingredients.
    Maybe we can work out a beer exchange if I can figure out a shiping option. I’ll get on that!
    Kurt

  • mike

    I’ve heard if you tell the people at UPS that, IF THEY ASK, that they are yeast samples it can fly sometimes. Otherwise, don’t tell them anything and if they don’t ask, don’t tell.

    Thanks for the comments

  • Shelley

    Nothing like a beer snob writing a full page defending his stance that the only “cool” beers are beers that noone has ever heard of. I love how people like you inevitably, with only few exeptions, feel that there is an inverse relationship between popularity of a beer and quality.

  • mikebiewer

    Thanks for the comment Shelly.

    I will agree with you that there are a lot of people out there that feel that the only beer that is worth anything is the beer that is a “secret” or makes them feel “unique.” However, you are making a pretty big assumption about me when you say that I believe there is an inverse relationship between popularity and beer quality.

    I personally don’t think that the more popular a beer the less quality it has. I’m merely saying that this beer’s quality is bad. It has nothing to do with popularity. I felt that the company that owns this beer saying “BLGW is not a craft beer” is completely different than what they are marketing it as. For example, in my video I describe how this “non-craft” beer is placed next to 24 other craft beers…Does that make it more popular? No, it makes the assumption that this beer is comparable to the others even though its stated that “is not a craft beer” by the creators.

    That is what really fueled my fire.

    Let me ask you this though, as you are making a lot of assumptions about myself and pretty much everyone in my community of followers who agree with me. What is your take on this beer? What is your stance on craft beer versus the great American Light Lagers? You have come in here waving your guns, but you don’t really back it up with any facts or opinions. Just accusations. I am all for discussion, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and I don’t want them to. I would never grow as a person if I didn’t have the opportunity to learn from others. But I need an argument or a discussion, not your pointer finger in my face and waving it around at “you people” calling us beer snobs.

    Again, I appreciate you stopping by and making your point. I’d be more than happy to discuss it further if you could give me something more to discuss with you.

    Thanks!

  • Maxim Whored Itself out

    I'm drinking it right now based on the Maxim review. It has the essence of horse urine and rusty car keys.

  • anonymous dude

    I think I heard this from a beer reviewer, something like this… I like good beer, I don't care where it comes from. I tend to agree with this. Anything that raises the level of beer quality is ok in my opinion

  • http://freshbeereveryfriday.blogspot.com/ Jez

    Mike – if you can clear a 12 and some whiskey in a sitting, couldn't you just slam the BLGW and clear some space for the better beer? I dig your opinion, but an extra glass and maybe a proper opener versus a leatherman might show some more organization on your part. Hopefully that came out constructive, and not snarky. Apologize if it did.

    Dig the blog, man!

  • mikebiewer

    Thanks for the comment!

    I love my leatherman, but it does suck for opening bottles. But in a pinch or at the lake it really works! As for the glass, that was my bad and your right, I wasn't ready!

    Its gonna have to be pretty snarky for me to take it that way. I'm a designer by day so I know what its like to have people criticize and not even have it be constructive.

    Water off a ducks back my friend..

    Thanks again! Hope to see more comments in the future!

  • completegeek

    I think you are spot on. Busch cares only about profits, and if having the biggest market share had anything to do with having the best product then how did microsoft become so huge? I think the Beer Wars documentary is very telling when it comes to their business ethics at Busch.

  • Askbob

    I tried this the other day, seems like a rip off of Blue moon.

    Was getting gag reflexes

  • mikebiewer

    LOL.

    It isn't very good. And I'm not just saying that cuz its a Bud product. It tastes like Bud Light, with a sprinkle of coriander and orange peel. I bet the yeast isn't even yeast…

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Mike

  • Fudisaintrealniga

    bud light GOLDEN WHEAT is horrible, honkers ale i know isnt in the same category but a much “finer” beer!!! shock top is GOLDEN WHEAT's bigger better brother from anheuser, and much better also, but still if u r tryn to find a good mildy dark beer, HONKERS ALE, is fantastic….has a very subtle cherry finish to it.

  • mikebiewer

    Right on.

    My wife really enjoys the Honker's Ale. That's a Goose Island beer no? What kind of beer do you prefer when your out at the store?

    Mike

  • http://www.bronzependantlights.net/red-pendant-lights red pendant lights

    This is
    cool! And so interested! Are u have more posts like this? Plese tell me,
    thanks
     

  • That guy

    Found this beer on closeout sale at the local grocery store. I thought to myself, “Closeout sale on a Budweiser product? How bad does that have to be?” I tried it, and came to a similar conclusion. I’d rather drink Shock Top any day, since it does a far better job of imitating real craft beers than this watered-down tasteless swill. Of course, anything from Widmer or Red Hook is better than the best from AB.

  • Anonymous

    Yea…it isn’t even worth it.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Mike

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