Let’s be honest; during finals week you’re not looking for quality when it comes to beer. Stress is mounting, funds are running low and winter break is nearly within reach. It’s times like these that cheap, mass-produced American lagers become the beer of choice. This week, I picked up four classic options in their cheapest (and largest) can variety available at Villa Spirit Shoppe in Storrs.
First up is Coors Light, one of the most popular beers in America. Self-titled “the most refreshing beer in the world,” this beer comes in at a low 4.2 percent ABV, making it the lowest ABV beer in this review. The aroma on this beer was nearly non-existent, with only a faint and vaguely-yeasty scent coming off the can. The light mouthfeel pairs with a low level of carbonation. There isn’t much to speak of in terms of flavor, this beer really is insanely light. It tastes vaguely sweet and yeasty, with absolutely no hop bite or bitterness. Un-offensive is the best way to describe this beer. It makes sense that Coors Light is one of the most popular beers, because even people who hate beer can probably drink Coors.
Budweiser, the ubiquitous American-style lager, was up next. The drink of choice of that one uncle in every family, Budweiser is another beer that almost anybody can drink. The aroma is light and yeasty, with a bit of a sweetness on the back end. A medium-light body and medium carbonation lead into a generic lager flavor. The malt is quite sweet, completely hiding the five percent ABV. There is no hop profile to speak of and no bitterness or bite. I personally can’t drink too much Budweiser, it was far too sweet for my tastes.
Up next was Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR). PBR has long been the go-to choice of those who prefer not to be seen with another generic beer in their hands. The aroma is made up of barley and sweet corn. The medium-heavy mouthfeel, paired with the noticeable aroma, distinguishes PBR from the previous two beers in this review. The flavor is again rather sweet, likely due to the corn syrup PBR introduces during the brewing process, but not as overwhelmingly sweet as Budweiser. Again, there is no hop flavor, but the malt is pronounced enough that one can at least be aware that they are drinking beer, rather than sugary, carbonated water with a hint of alcohol.
The final beer this week was Narragansett, a New England-brewed lager. The barley malt is noticeable in the aroma, which is a welcome change from some of the previous beers in this review. The medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation lead into a standard, yet quite pleasant, lager flavor. A light sweetness pairs well with the malt, making for an easily drinkable beer that still maintains its identity as a lager without being an over-sweetened, watered-down mess.
Out of all the beers featured in this review, Narragansett is my favorite by far. In times where quantity is more important than quality, Narragansett is my go-to brew.
Will Harris is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.