4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A review of light beer

"I put on too many pounds this October," moaned longtime pal Bernice. "Most of the calories were from beer, I'm afraid," she added. "The Oktoberfests killed me." Bernice and her husband Frank are avid Oktoberfest participants. Every fall, they drive hours to attend the beer-swilling festivals all over Southern California. But the steins are catching up with her. I suggested light beer. She grimaced. "That's not beer." I set out to prove her wrong. The next day I wandered the alcohol aisle of Trader Joe's. A salesman pointed out two brands. "We don't have a lot to offer in light beers," he said. Snatching up the two six-packs they did have, I headed around the corner to Beverages, & More. They offered a larger selection. As I jostled 11 six-packs of light beer into the shopping cart, a salesman asked me what I was doing. "Oh, I would love to taste beer for work," he replied. "I know when I took a home-brewing class years ago that we tasted some of the brews only a tiny bit colder than room temperature. The man leading the class said that the bad flavors could be masked when the beer is chilled on ice."

I steered my overflowing cart to the car and headed home. That evening, with husband Patrick, who shares Bernice's love of the dark, heavy beers, I invited over a few friends. Sarah, Theresa, and John all are regular light-beer drinkers. I had left the beers in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, following the suggestion of the Beverages, & More salesman.

I secretly popped open the first bottle, Coors Light ( $5.49), and passed around a tasting glass. "This screams Coors Light," immediately spouted Theresa. I burst into laughter at her knowing taste buds. "It's flat and icky," she continued.

"One of my favorite light beers," replied John.

"It has to be freezing cold to be refreshing," added Sarah. I began to worry about getting a consensus on anything.

The next two bottles tasted like sour cider: Rolling Rock's Rock Green Light ( $5.99 ), which has 83 calories and 2.4 grams of carbs, and Aspen Edge ( $5.99 ), which has 2.6 grams of carbohydrates. "Too sweet. I want my beer a little more bitter than this," added Theresa. "The Aspen Edge tastes like rotten hops," noticed Patrick. We set them both aside as losers.

Next swig was 95-calorie Michelob Ultra ( $5.49 ). The store label said, "The first beer with very low carbohydrates (1/2 of what popular light beers have)." "Thin on taste," noted Patrick.

"I like the lighter flavor," argued Sarah. "You can drink a lot of it and not feel full and heavy."

"Tastes like water," said John.

It was clear that there was a philosophical rift among my testers. Some thought light beer should be thin and refreshing and not have a lot of actual beer taste in it. Others -- well, Patrick -- thought it should taste like a full-bodied beer with fewer calories and carbs.

Next the cap came flying off of Beck's Premier Light ( $7.49 ), only 64 calories and 3.9 carbs. "I would not have known that was a light beer. It tastes like a quality beer," said John.

"Too heavy and dark for me," Theresa added.

"You guys are on drugs," Patrick exclaimed. "Regular Beck's is good beer, but this stuff is watery and tasteless."

We termed the next two "frat house beers." Budweiser Select ( $5.49 ), with 99 calories and 3.2 carbs, "smells and tastes like a drunken party, like flat keg beer spilled on a fraternity house carpet," said Sarah.

"I kind of like it," joshed ex-Greek John. "I acquired my beer taste drinking cheap keg beer." Frat house beer number two, Miller Lite ( $5.49 ), has 96 calories and 3.2 grams of carbs and featured that same all-American cheap sour beer taste. But at least it had a more full-bodied taste and more carbonation. "I like cheap American beers because I am an American," John proudly stated. I knew Bernice would never drink it, so I set it aside.

Corona Light ( $7.49 ) was a crowd pleaser. A 12-ounce bottle had 105 calories and five grams of carbs. "If you like that slightly skunky taste and smell of regular Corona," said Theresa, "then you will like this beer. It tastes just like the regular Corona; you'd never know it was the light version."

Amstel Light ( $7.49 ), 95 calories and five grams of carbs, sparked more disagreement. "I could drink four or five of these; it has a decent light flavor," noticed John.

"See, I would rather drink one quality full-bodied beer, then four light beers," stated Patrick the purist. "This Amstel has a stagnant water smell to it."

"This makes me feel full and bloated," said Sarah.

"Sour acidic taste," Theresa chimed in.

Words were flying again about the 124 calories of Sam Adams Light ( $6.99 ). "If I want to sneak in some light beer at one of my parties," explained Theresa, "I'll buy Sam Adams Light, because the guys can never tell the difference."

"I think it's too dark and heavy for a light beer, though," complained Sarah. "People who want a light beer want something that's refreshing along with an afternoon barbecue. They are not going to want something so heavy as this."

"I think you guys just don't like beer," replied Patrick. "This is the first one that I would actually buy. It has a nice microbrew taste -- it's a keeper."

We finished up with the two brands from Trader Joe's. Coastal Light ( $3.99 ), 95 calories and 3.9 carbs, carried a citrus smell and taste. "It's not a bad taste, but it doesn't taste like beer, more like wine or a malt beverage," said Sarah.

"Strangely thin and bitter," complained Patrick.

The 107 calories and 4.9 carbs in Rialto Light ( $3.99 ) fared even worse.

"I'm thinking more like medicine, like Alka-Seltzer," replied Sarah.

"It's a diluted honey taste," added John.

The consensus of the evening was to buy Sam Adams Light for beer-loving Bernice. For true light beer lovers, Michelob Ultra, Coors Light, Miller Lite, and Corona were the picks.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Why was OB Pier report held back?

Popular site doomed by a sag, cracked pilings, corrosion, spalling
Next Article

Seven-fold growth in area near Rose Creek

Will nature-lovers get park in east Pacific Beach?

"I put on too many pounds this October," moaned longtime pal Bernice. "Most of the calories were from beer, I'm afraid," she added. "The Oktoberfests killed me." Bernice and her husband Frank are avid Oktoberfest participants. Every fall, they drive hours to attend the beer-swilling festivals all over Southern California. But the steins are catching up with her. I suggested light beer. She grimaced. "That's not beer." I set out to prove her wrong. The next day I wandered the alcohol aisle of Trader Joe's. A salesman pointed out two brands. "We don't have a lot to offer in light beers," he said. Snatching up the two six-packs they did have, I headed around the corner to Beverages, & More. They offered a larger selection. As I jostled 11 six-packs of light beer into the shopping cart, a salesman asked me what I was doing. "Oh, I would love to taste beer for work," he replied. "I know when I took a home-brewing class years ago that we tasted some of the brews only a tiny bit colder than room temperature. The man leading the class said that the bad flavors could be masked when the beer is chilled on ice."

I steered my overflowing cart to the car and headed home. That evening, with husband Patrick, who shares Bernice's love of the dark, heavy beers, I invited over a few friends. Sarah, Theresa, and John all are regular light-beer drinkers. I had left the beers in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, following the suggestion of the Beverages, & More salesman.

I secretly popped open the first bottle, Coors Light ( $5.49), and passed around a tasting glass. "This screams Coors Light," immediately spouted Theresa. I burst into laughter at her knowing taste buds. "It's flat and icky," she continued.

"One of my favorite light beers," replied John.

"It has to be freezing cold to be refreshing," added Sarah. I began to worry about getting a consensus on anything.

The next two bottles tasted like sour cider: Rolling Rock's Rock Green Light ( $5.99 ), which has 83 calories and 2.4 grams of carbs, and Aspen Edge ( $5.99 ), which has 2.6 grams of carbohydrates. "Too sweet. I want my beer a little more bitter than this," added Theresa. "The Aspen Edge tastes like rotten hops," noticed Patrick. We set them both aside as losers.

Next swig was 95-calorie Michelob Ultra ( $5.49 ). The store label said, "The first beer with very low carbohydrates (1/2 of what popular light beers have)." "Thin on taste," noted Patrick.

"I like the lighter flavor," argued Sarah. "You can drink a lot of it and not feel full and heavy."

"Tastes like water," said John.

It was clear that there was a philosophical rift among my testers. Some thought light beer should be thin and refreshing and not have a lot of actual beer taste in it. Others -- well, Patrick -- thought it should taste like a full-bodied beer with fewer calories and carbs.

Next the cap came flying off of Beck's Premier Light ( $7.49 ), only 64 calories and 3.9 carbs. "I would not have known that was a light beer. It tastes like a quality beer," said John.

"Too heavy and dark for me," Theresa added.

"You guys are on drugs," Patrick exclaimed. "Regular Beck's is good beer, but this stuff is watery and tasteless."

We termed the next two "frat house beers." Budweiser Select ( $5.49 ), with 99 calories and 3.2 carbs, "smells and tastes like a drunken party, like flat keg beer spilled on a fraternity house carpet," said Sarah.

"I kind of like it," joshed ex-Greek John. "I acquired my beer taste drinking cheap keg beer." Frat house beer number two, Miller Lite ( $5.49 ), has 96 calories and 3.2 grams of carbs and featured that same all-American cheap sour beer taste. But at least it had a more full-bodied taste and more carbonation. "I like cheap American beers because I am an American," John proudly stated. I knew Bernice would never drink it, so I set it aside.

Corona Light ( $7.49 ) was a crowd pleaser. A 12-ounce bottle had 105 calories and five grams of carbs. "If you like that slightly skunky taste and smell of regular Corona," said Theresa, "then you will like this beer. It tastes just like the regular Corona; you'd never know it was the light version."

Amstel Light ( $7.49 ), 95 calories and five grams of carbs, sparked more disagreement. "I could drink four or five of these; it has a decent light flavor," noticed John.

"See, I would rather drink one quality full-bodied beer, then four light beers," stated Patrick the purist. "This Amstel has a stagnant water smell to it."

"This makes me feel full and bloated," said Sarah.

"Sour acidic taste," Theresa chimed in.

Words were flying again about the 124 calories of Sam Adams Light ( $6.99 ). "If I want to sneak in some light beer at one of my parties," explained Theresa, "I'll buy Sam Adams Light, because the guys can never tell the difference."

"I think it's too dark and heavy for a light beer, though," complained Sarah. "People who want a light beer want something that's refreshing along with an afternoon barbecue. They are not going to want something so heavy as this."

"I think you guys just don't like beer," replied Patrick. "This is the first one that I would actually buy. It has a nice microbrew taste -- it's a keeper."

We finished up with the two brands from Trader Joe's. Coastal Light ( $3.99 ), 95 calories and 3.9 carbs, carried a citrus smell and taste. "It's not a bad taste, but it doesn't taste like beer, more like wine or a malt beverage," said Sarah.

"Strangely thin and bitter," complained Patrick.

The 107 calories and 4.9 carbs in Rialto Light ( $3.99 ) fared even worse.

"I'm thinking more like medicine, like Alka-Seltzer," replied Sarah.

"It's a diluted honey taste," added John.

The consensus of the evening was to buy Sam Adams Light for beer-loving Bernice. For true light beer lovers, Michelob Ultra, Coors Light, Miller Lite, and Corona were the picks.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Crazies at Moonlight Beach, tyrants of San Diego lifeguards, lover of the Mission Beach plunge

Most exclusive skin diving club in the world, Tom Wolfe despised at Windansea, I watched them dredge Mission Bay in 1949
Next Article

Driving a plane on Interstate 5, buying liquor in Tijuana

Women who love heroin, Seal lover on the Silver Strand, why Dean Martin greater than Elvis
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close