Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Great Mediocre Beer Experiment, Volume IV: "Smooth as a Busch."

Beer: Busch Beer
Brewery: Anheiser-Busch (St. Louis, MO)
Type: Adjunct Lager
ABV: 4.7%

Before I get going with this one, I'd like to point out something utterly hilarious that's on the can. Underneath the massive BUSCH (heh heh) logo and the badass American Eagle emblem, the beer promotes itself with a fun little slogan. For some reason, a lot of mainstream brewers like to push the fact that their beer comes from mountain streams or springs or whatever, and this one is no exception. But someone, and I mean anyone in the marketing boardroom should have maybe spoken out about this particular slogan, because it's fucking stupid:
"Cold as a mountain stream, Smooth as its name."

Smooth as a Busch, you say? I can literally take this comment in so many directions, most of which will get this blog labelled as pornographic, but let's not even go there. So, this beer is "Smooth as its name", the name being "busch." What, exactly is smooth about that name? Have you ever encountered encountered a bush (I'm really struggling here...) that was smooth? Do people use "busch" as a synonym for smooth, like: "Dammit, I got a ticket for crashing into a cop car." "Real busch, dude." or, "How as the drive in?" "No problems whatsoever. Busch sailing the whole way." No, they don't. Not ever. In fact, there is nothing remotely smooth about the word 'busch' in any possible connotation. I have no idea what they're trying to convey here. At least they spelled 'its' properly.

And we're off to a grand, fantastic start...

Doing a little internet searchery, I discovered something horrible about Busch Beer. It's brewed by Anheiser-Busch, of course, but - get this - this is their discount beer. In other words, this is a step DOWN from Budweiser. And how again do brews become cheaper? Cheaper ingredients and packaging. Lovely. So, without further adieu, I'll dive right in.

Busch pours an incredibly pale straw colour, paler than most of the other competitors. Lots of visible carbonation. To Busch's credit, the retention isn't bad. The head has survived as a thin ring all the way through, which is better than some brews I've sampled thus far. Still, looks like an adjunct lager.

The nose is, well, non-existent. I suppose if I was blindfolded, I could identify the smell as 'beer', but other than that, I've got nuthin. Pale malts and tin, that's about it. The website claims that it has a "pleasant hop aroma," but trust me, she don't.

The taste isn't much better, but I'll say this: it is surprisingly smooth. I've blasted through 3/4 of the can so far and haven't really noticed it. The reason, of course, is that there isn't really any flavour to it. Pale malts, a bit of hops and some cereal, finishing with tinny hops. Pretty boring stuff, but I'm not retching, which is a plus.
The mouthfeel is pretty thin. Watery thin. Initially, the carbonation was spritzy and seltzerish, but now it's completely gone. After five minutes, the beer has gone flat. Oy...

I'm sure there are occasions when a Busch would be ideal (heh heh-STOP IT!! Get a hold of yourself!). I mean, as far as drinking goes, this has been about the easiest way to inject 4.7% of alcohol into my bloodstream, because I am pounding this sucker back and not even trying. I suppose that if you want a cheap way to get drunk, or you're at a St. Louis Cardinals game, this would be ideal. But man, is this sucker bland.

So far, PBR is leading the American brew charge, tune in next time for Labatt Blue, aka: Matt's First Beer!

*By the way, if any of you women folk have been upset by how many bush jokes I've tried not to make thus far, I direct your attention to the Store at

It's not just me.

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