Budweiser American Ale

Budweiser American AleThere’s been a number of people waiting to hear my review/verdict on the new Budweiser American AleAnheuser-Busch‘s first foray into ale brewing under the Budweiser label. So here we go.

At the risk of ruining the surprise, I’ll come right out of the gate confirming that this is a straight-up American Amber style of ale (Jeff called it in his ruminations on that very subject). Personally, the American Amber is one of my favorite styles of beer, and I have a particular "benchmark" in mind when I talk about the style (as you’ll see as I lay it out in my notes, below).

The other spoiler—I like it. I think they’ve crafted a winner here, despite the cynical remarks that inevitably occur of a now-Belgian-owned company producing an "American" beer. (Among other things.)

It’s 5.3% alcohol by volume and will be available generally after mid-September.

Appearance: Amber in color, very clever, with a nice, substantial off-white head.

Smell: Very clean, caramel and floral nose—sweet and delicately hoppy. Crystal and brown malts in there, too.

Taste: Pretty classic example of what I like to think of as the "American Amber"—malty and sweet with rich brown malt notes (but not astringent or burnt) with hoppy notes but not too hoppy (not like the current trend in American pales). It’s lighter than my "prototypical" American Amber, but still—it tastes good.

Mouthfeel: Very clean, fairly crisp, nicely medium-bodied with a sweet malt backbone.

Overall: I like this, it’s not revolutionary for the craft beer scene but it is for Anheuser-Busch, and this is a solid, well-crafted ale.

On BeerAdvocate, naturally enough there are 13 reviews already, scoring a grade of B. On RateBeer, it scores 2.9 out of 5 with 17 ratings, and is in their 35th percentile.

(I’m mostly overlooking the irony of ratings being available despite the availability of this beer not being for another month.)

20 Responses to Budweiser American Ale

  1. Ira Spinks says:

    Will this Ale be like the Bud dark of old?;which was a beechwood aged dark draft,as I remember it.

  2. shawn says:

    Funny, how budweiser is supposed to go up $3 over the next few months for 6 and 12 packs. F the dutch in the A.

  3. Jim Davis says:

    I keep seeing the ads (signs, etc.) for ‘American Ale’ but cannot find it anywhere! I’d heard it was supposed to be out on the shelves on September 9th, but I still couldn’t find it on Saturday, September 20th! … and I’m here in St. Louis (Kirkwood)!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Jim,

    Bud American Ale draught rolled out earlier this month, but package beer does not roll out until September 29th. If you are in Saint Louis, you should be able to find it at several bars around you.

  5. I’m drinking my first as I write this, preparing to write my own review – very positive, of course. It arrived in my tiny town in Central Ohio today – in fact the Bud truck hadn’t left the lot when I bought mine.
    As coincidence, at a stop in another town’s liquor and beer store, I spoke with a craft beer distributor. He’s made my life very good since bringing great things, and promises Redstone Meadery’s Winter Solstice. He is very excited about the American Ale and what it will do for the craft beer market in general.

    Now I’m wondering who I have to do, er, KNOW, to get one of those promo packs you received!

  6. Tony says:

    I finally found the new Bud American Ale and I’m make this short so I can get back to drinking it. I’m a half beer in and I’m sold, nice taste a little stronger taste than Newcastle and slighly lighter taste than Sierra Nevada, could be a little more potent, Alaskan Amber 6.2 more is less if you know what I mean. I paid $6.99 for a six so not too bad…I will definately purchase more so go buy stock in AB, Inc. JK

    Tony

  7. Dennis says:

    My opinion: Doesn’t live up to the hype. Tastes like a 50/50 mix of a good ale and regular Bud. Taste doesn’t last. A little bitter. Not smooth. Might be good consumed in mass quantities (pitcher form) with pizza, but that’s about it. Not something to compliment good food or stand on its own. Will not be trying it again after this first 6-pack is gone.

  8. Rick Martinez says:

    How can I get a promotional pack? I’m a fan of Killian’s IR and Sam Adams Winter but I can be bought! LOL

    Seriously, I’d love to give this a try but haven’t been able to find it. I live in upstate NY. When can we expect it on store shelves?

    Thank you!

  9. chris says:

    I think its tasty for budweiser nice beer remember you need to keep up with the micro’s bud is loosing ground despite there power and cash flow.

  10. Derick says:

    Wow…

    This beer is actually really good.

  11. Robert Leach says:

    I leave in Newport Beach CA. Can’t find the new Bud Ale anywhere. Is it out on the West Coast yet? A 6 pac for anyone with the answer:)

  12. Todd says:

    Robert,

    Bud American Ale is out in California as I have already purchased it. I would check your chain grocery stores first…they probably already committed to carry the brand.

    I think it’s a very balanced ale and am actually enjoying one (OK, more than one) right now.

    You might want to check Vons or Rite Aid.

  13. DC says:

    Robert:

    I bought some this weekend at my local Albertson’s so, you should be able to find it. I liked it and would buy it again.

  14. Kurt says:

    I’ll chime in with a thumbs up. Solid beer. If I’m buying a six pack, I’d pay the extra dollar or so and go with a St. Arnolds, or even a Sam Adams. But if this is going to be flowing from a tap in every bar in the land, that is a non-qualified win for the consumer. It isn’t the best thing since sliced bread, but it does move the taste expectation a little closer to "tasty" and further away from "Budweiser."

  15. Ryan S says:

    This beer is really a knock-out for anyone of AB’s "traditional consumers" – those that have brand loyalty.

    For the rest of us, it’s still a great beer for social occasions. It’s not quite as potent or doesn’t have a dynamic palette like other micro brewed American Ale’s, but it’s a strong noticeable taste of malts and caramel. Could be a little more hoppy, but it’s a macro beer in high volume, so it’s expected as such. And the idiots above me that were expecting an APA are just retarded and really have no idea what good beer is if that’s what they were expecting.

    I bought a six pack for $6.50, which comes "dressed up" in new graphics to appeal to the younger crowd. At $6.50, it’s a great selection for most occassions that you cannot argue with the price, but for myself, I’d probably pay the extra $1.50 for a signature favorite of mine.

    This beer pours a reddish copper, almost tricking you into thinking it’s got a great chewability. If there was any improvement to be made, I’d say AB needs to select some higher quality finishing hops, given in higher concentration, and perhaps give this ale a dash of brewer’s yeast during bottling. If AB went just a tad bit further by attempting to make this almost like a ‘true’ Porter, it’d be a grand slam…with or without the AB logo.

    Budweiser American Ale won’t be my traditional sipping beer, it’ll be quite far from any one of my preferred brands, but god damn I can’t put down the bottle.

    Grade: B (.84)

  16. Jon Johnson says:

    It took me a week to choke down a 6 pack of this imitation of a craft beer. The taste was that of a cheap, bad beer brewed (conjured up) for Sam’s club’s yearly Christmas special in the beer/wine aisle.

    I felt like I was chewing aluminum foil the whole time I attempted to drink some of this swill.

    Never again. There are too many other tried and true real beers to enjoy.

  17. Jerry H. says:

    Excellent beer. This is the beer for those of us who can’t get past the bitterness of some of the so-called "craft" brews but want something more than alcohol soda. It’s a great compromise and deserving of the name American Ale.

  18. Anonymous says:

    not american.

  19. Droknar says:

    I no nothing of great Beers, tried all different Ales and always come back to American Ale from Budweiser. Only other Beer I like better is Warstiener witch is a Verom brew made in Germany. I love the taste of American Ale from Budweiser. Thanks Budweiser!
    I love you guys!

  20. Stephen says:

    I don’t think its that bad. Its like a bud with a bit of hops and a little more of a body. I do not like bud lite but I do like this. I love craft beers but am no beer snob. It has been the same price as any other macro (draft and sixer) for a few months. I pay 4.50 to 5.50 for a sixer nowadays (beer is decently cheap where I live in Northern IL). So basically it still has become the sixer I purchase when I get the crave for a cheap and drinkable "American beer". The only other macro I buy nowadays is miller lite which is my lite of choice.

    Basically I buy a sixer or a draught of this once every month or two.