Anheuser-Busch Light Beer

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Budweiser Select 55: The Ultimate in Low Calorie Blandness

Dec 14, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:It quenches your thirst

Cons:Watery finish; hideous appearance; bland flavor profile

The Bottom Line: The ultimate in low calorie nothingness, Budweiser Select 55 is a beer destined for the garbage heap of malt beverage history.


Light beer products have been around for more than three decades and they continue to enjoy widespread popularity due to their decreased likelihood to add inches to the waistline. Most every major brewer offers at least one light beer and in the past year, there has been a race to the bottom to see which brewer can "out- light" the other. The winner so far is Budweiser Select 55, a product with less than half the calories of most light beer.

Basic Beer Characteristics:

Budweiser Select 55 pours to a golden color with an aroma that is adjunct- laden, with scents of corn and basic grain. The head of foam is almost non- existant. It bubbles up when poured aggressively but then disappears quickly, leaving an ugly, headless glass of brew behind.

The flavor of Budweiser Select 55 can be described as a combination of seltzer water, lightly skunked grain, and barely perceptable hops. There is a certain sulphur character as well and the product finishes with the familiar taste of Budweiser, for a brief second, before making way to a watery finish. The flavor profile is sweet overall.

Budweiser Select 55 has only 2.4 percent alcohol by volume, with a very low carb level of 1.9 grams per 12 oz. serving. The calories per 12 oz. bottle are only 55 total, making it the lightest beer on the market.

Food Compatibility:

If you must consume Budweiser Select 55 with food, consider popcorn, corn chips, or potato chips. This beer is too light and watery to stand up to anything heavier than a light snack.

Final Thoughts:
 
Light beer products are found everywhere you turn. Many consumers want a lighter brew either because they are watching their weight or because they want a product that isn't very filling. For these reasons, most every brewery manufacturers at least one light beer and some of the larger brewing operations include multiple light beers in the product lineup.

The interesting fact about most light beer products is that many of them are only fractionally lighter than the regular brand and thus don't really save the consumer many calories. Michelob Light is one good example and there are countless others. However, with Budweiser Select 55, those who desire a light beer finally have their ultimate wish fulfilled: A beer with calories and carbs so low, so drastically reduced, so cut to the bone that, for practical purposes, they might as well be zero. This ultra- light product cuts the calories, carbs, and alcohol to the extreme, resulting in a beer that currently reigns as the lightest beer product in the world in terms of calories. Anheuser- Busch wanted to be number one, and if you base your measurement on calories, this beer certainly wins the award for the beer least likely to add inches to your midsection. A full six- pack of this beer contains a grand total of only 330 calories- a number so small it won't even register in the calorie logs of even the most diet- conscious consumer.

I have never been much of a fan of light beer, but I can agree that some are better than others and there are a few that are actually decent imitations of the regular product. Budweiser Select 55, unfortunately, is neither. This product offers some promise at first pour, thanks to its slightly darker color (compared to Budweiser or Bud Light) and decent amount of bubbling action. But within seconds, the beer looks like a bald man who misplaced his toupe. Many beer products blow their cover, but Budweiser Select 55 loses it much faster than other products and, likewise, loses quality points quickly, before the first sip is even taken.

As for the taste, well, it takes effort to locate. There is virtually no hop character at all- only the light taste of bland grains combined with a little bit of plastic and sulphur. But watery character dominates and in many ways, Budweiser Select 55 tastes no better than some of the alcohol free "near" beers on the market. In fact, I'm going to go even further and say that some of the alcohol- free beer products actually taste better than Budweiser Select 55. Many alcohol- free brews offer better body and character (not to mention more calories and carbs) than Budweiser Select 55, and they contain no alcohol at all, making them perfect for the designated drivers among us. If you're going to sacrifice taste to this extreme, why even bother with any alcohol? You might as well drink alcohol free beer and put your worries completely to rest.

Anheuser- Busch tried its best to make an ultra- light beer with flavor, but they succeeded on only one count. Yes, this beer is certainly lighter than light, but the problem with making any beer this light is that the flavor is bound to suffer. Malt beverages were simply not intended to be this light in body and taste. I realize there is an active and growing market for anything that can claim to be ultra- low in calories, but those who want to cut their calories this far would be best off either avoiding beer completely or consuming half as much of something that actually tastes like beer.

I never thought I would taste a beer that makes Miller Lite seem like a premium beer product, but the day has arrived and the product's name is Budweiser Select 55. It could be useful for those on low- carb diets who crave something similar to beer but don't want the calories or guilt. Otherwise, Budweiser Select 55 is a forgettable brew useful only as a thirst- quenching alternative to the real thing. The watery body, bland personality, and ugly appearance make Budweiser Select 55 a memory as bad as your worst blind date.

Put the experience behind you, and move on to better things.


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