Back in my early days of beer drinking, like many other poor college students, I tried to keep it cheap. There were the usual ultra-cheap beers like Milwaukee’s Best and Natural Light. Then there were what we considered, at the time, “premium” beers, like Michelob and Miller Genuine Draft. Hey, I was a beer newbie — give me a break. In any case, I’m no stranger to the tastes of these beers.
Michelob has been trying to squeeze their name into the microbrew-like arena with a relatively new line of beers with varying styles. Unlike other breweries, Michelob has decided to tack their name firmly onto each bottle because, really, who are these breweries trying to fool?
This new line of beers includes types such as Porter, Pale Ale, Honey Lager, Irish Red, AmberBock and Dunkel Weisse. As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of porters, so I decided this is what I had to try first from these offerings.
Right off the bat, I was surprised that this beer didn’t simply outright suck at first or even second sip. It really did carry the characteristics of most typical porters, with a rich dark color and coffee aroma. About halfway through a bottle, I was thinking that Michelob really did it — they were able to proudly attach their name to a beer that I could reach for and not think, “aw man, what am I, still in college?”
However, by the time I finished the glass, I figured out what was wrong; well, wrong for me, at least. Although the beer carried the traditional elements of a porter, it was somehow also able to retain the characteristics of an age-old Michelob. At first I thought this was all in my head, but I really don’t think so. Underneath those yummy porter flavors there was that cheapy Michelob taste, lurking. It wasn’t until you thought, “hey, this beer is good,” that the Michelob flavor came out and tapped your taste buds on their shoulders, whispering, “remember me? Those late Thursday nights burping in sorority girls’ faces? It’s me, ol’ buddy. I’m back.”
Now, this isn’t all to say that this beer is bad. I stand behind the fact that Michelob has done a decent job of making what many consider a low-brow beer into something tolerable by some snobs. However, I would not put it above any other porters I’ve ever had, except maybe that it’s more affordable. Your mileage may vary.