Curious about BMC drinkers and their taste

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solavirtus

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Here's something I've always wondered about, and I'd like to hear what HBTers think about this:

What is the basis of people's refusal to drink anything but "their beer"? I usually encounter this attitude from Bud Miller Coors drinkers. You probably know what I'm talking about. There's always those guys (and gals) at the bar or the party who only drink Bud Light. They won't drink the Miller or Coors equivalent, saying they don't like the other ones.

Personally, I have a difficult time telling BMC beers apart, so if I've got to drink one, I don't have too much preference which one it is. Do these folks have a more refined palette than mine, so that they can tell them apart better than me? That's entirely possible I guess. Maybe the beers most of us drink are more bold-flavored, so telling differences is much easier. Is it mostly in their heads, driven by BMC marketing? (like "I drink Miller Lite because it tastes great and it's less filling")

Thoughts? Has this confused anyone else?

Also, it might be time to *gasp* do some blind triangle tasting of BMC beers.
 

tcory77

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I am not too good to drink a Bud from time to time. Not my preference, but it has its time and place.

I would rank them bud, bud light, miller lite, coors light. I can't stand coors light, but can tolerate miller lite. It is all just a preference. Normal beer drinkers are not like people on this message board when it comes to drinking beer and that is OK. To each his own.

There are differences, they might seem very small to some, but they are definitely there.
 

j1laskey

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This same question can be asked of those that "fight against the BMC machine".
 

McGarnigle

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I don't think the "their beer" issue is limited to BMCers. Their are plenty of poseurs out there who will rail against certain IPAs in favor of others, but could be tripped up in blind tasting.

Some people do have fierce brand opinions that I suspect aren't based strictly on taste.
 

Bobby_M

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Didn't they do a blind taste test in the movie Beer Wars and the average "xxx light beer is MY beer" people got it wrong constantly. I have no idea how many hits were edited out but I don't suspect most people can tell the difference as it's visual brand recognition at work.

I'd give the same level of credit to most craft beer snobs' ability to pick apart 4 common IPAs blindly. Most people have trouble telling the difference between full BJCP style categories.

Edit... damn, too slow.
 

cwyeary

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I'd give the same level of credit to most craft beer snobs' ability to pick apart 4 common IPAs blindly. Most people have trouble telling the difference between full BJCP style categories.

Edit... damn, too slow.
Dark food coloring in a pale ale?

Tasting notes: Very malty with good body. Moderate hops. Hints of chocolate and coffee. Overall a good porter.

:D
 

mcaple1

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I actually do taste the difference between the beers believe it or not, especially BL vs Coors Lights. I feel like Coors has a bit more body, especially when comparing Bud vs Coors (not-lite).

I've said it before and I'll say it again, there will always be a place in my heart for the BMC and PBR breweries. While I definitely enjoy a homebrew better, there is something to be said for a crisp refreshing American Lager every now and again.
 

blackdragon82

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I have never been picky. I have a handful of friends that only get miller lite and even natty lite. I don't complain. They went out and bought beer for me to drink to express friendship. Yeah sometimes they like the microbrews too but they would rather get something that they know everyone will drink. I don't have any friends that are picky about a specific BMC beer but I know a large group of people that will only drink Microbrews and won't drink anything they label as big beer. No Corona, no blue moon, I heard one say he wouldn't even drink a Sam Adams because they are now a big brewing company.
 

JeepDiver

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When i was in college and drank Miller Lite by the case I could tell it apart with no problem. I can still tell a difference between most of the BMCs but can't really tell you which is which. And the I like my beer argument is the same as the Coke vs Pepsi one. I have no problem telling those apart and while drinkable I really don't like Pepsi as much and will always take coke if I have a choice. Too someone that has never had a preference for one or the other it is hard to tell a difference but for someone that drinks it all the time its not hard to tell when you have something different. It may not be that you don't like it but it is different and not what you wanted
 

moti_mo

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I don't drink BMC at all anymore, and I rarely did at any point in my life besides sporadically in college, but I actually don't think its too hard to discern significant differences between beers like Coors, Bud, and Miller. I don't think that I would get the brand right in a blind taste test or anything like that, but there are definite differences in taste.

So if someone has found the BMC taste that most suits them, I don't see anything odd about wanting to stick with that product.
 
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solavirtus

solavirtus

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I agree with several people here that BMC beers certainly have their place. I can think of 2 things now that would be fun to try.

1. As Bobby suggested as seen on TV, blind tasting or triangle test of "my BMC beer" vs. a different one.

2. Something similar with craft/homebrews of a similar style...

Anybody else thing this a good excuse to drink a bunch of beer this weekend?
 

eelpout

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I have probably drank a swimming pools worth of BMC, and yes can tell the difference between them.
I rather drink the good stuff, but who am I to turn down a beer of any kind.
 

Revvy

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I think any experienced Beer judge, or beer geek would be able to detect the differences in the flavors of macro lagers, I know I can at least tell the difference between primarily rice adjuncted lagers like Bud, and Sapporo, which I don't like, and corn adjuncted lagers such as Labatt's, and Yuengling's which I do like at times. Light lagers maybe not so much, but the regular versions, yes.
 

Maxkling

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Heres my take Coors Light is my light beer of choice, for abusive drinking. As far as BMC if I have to choose, is Yuengling hands down(which really isnt BMC). I feel I can judge a LARGE difference between Bud Light, Bud Heavy, Coors, and Coors Light. But who knows, honestly I drink what I feel like drinking, I know an IPA doesn't feel good grilling when its 100 out side. Or if I want to drink to get drunk. Most BMC drinkers drink to catch a buzz or be the social I'm cool because I have a beer in my hand.

Its how it goes, the only beer snob mentality I have is towards Sam Adams. Thats like saying I can't believe your putting ketchup on a sausage, or a certain hatred toward a food or flavor. Some people like bland(my wife). Shell go to subway and spend 5$ on a sandwich with bread, meat, cheese, and ranch. Which I squeeze everything possible into mine, or just a cheese pizza, while I want everything.

So to answer the question I don't believe that people most people, including BMC drinkers or beer aficionados can do a successful blind taste test of the american light lager.

People have ALWAYS been biased by brand.... ALWAYS If its a certain car company, clothing company, supermarket, shoes, electronics, jobs, schools, sports, I can go on forever. So whats the difference in doing it with beer? Thats my question.
 
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solavirtus

solavirtus

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People have ALWAYS been biased by brand.... ALWAYS If its a certain car company, clothing company, supermarket, shoes, electronics, jobs, schools, sports, I can go on forever. So whats the difference in doing it with beer? Thats my question.
When I posed the question, this is what I thought was mostly going on. I was most curious about others' opinions on the hardcore BMC drinkers' taste palette. I think they might deserve more credit than I might have guessed.

Revvy - Labatt has been my BMC-style of choice, and I didn't realize until you mentioned the differences in adjuncts. Add me to the list of those you have enlightened!
 

Malintent

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I would NEVER do this... but maybe try putting a bud label on a homebrew and see what the BMCer says.
 

Airborneguy

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Muscle memory, taste memory, same thing. If you stick with the same brand, and drink it religiously, it is to be expected that you can tell the difference if handed something else. Now as Bobby pointed out, in Beer Wars, that wasn't always the case when tested, so there must be a psychological aspect to it: routine, comfort, attachment, whatever.

Me personally, I like Bud. ALL of the light beers are retched to me. I like Landshark and Genny Cream Ale also. And I mean I genuinely enjoy these beers when I feel like having them.

I knew a guy in the Army who loved Bud. He even got an email address from their website like 12 years ago when the site was probably brand new. [email protected], I'll always remember that. He was a a Bud freak, and we used to test him all the time. He never failed to pick out a different beer. He drank so much Bud his sweat was probably alcoholic.
 

dantheman13

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I think the reason the tasters in Beer Wars couldn't "tell the difference" was that they just weren't knowledgeable enough about the actual differences between those beers. For example, which one is slightly maltier than the other, slightly more bitter than the other, etc. I am sure that they could taste the difference between the beers, they just weren't educated or experienced enough to have remembered those differences in a textbook-like fashion.

BMC beer drinkers usually become stuck on their beer of choice because that was the beer that they developed their taste for beer with. Perhaps they had a bad experience with another BMC beer. Even these light beers are not a beverage that Americans are used to. Americans grow up on soda and juices... sweet stuff. We sure do love our sugar. Beer (along with tea and coffee) is one of the first non-sweet drinks that an American will traditionally begin to explore. A lot of Americans can't even develop a taste for the rather flavorless beers of BMC, let alone craft beer.

What makes us different is that we are people that probably tend not to get stuck on certain flavors. Most of us probably love to try new, exotic foods (I know I do). Some people never grow into this. I have a co-worker that just drives me nuts. When we go to a hamburger place, all he orders is meat and buns. He refuses to try any other type of food other than fast food. If it has bread and meat, with no sauce or flavor, he is happy. He is an extreme example, but I think a lot of people just don't have the desire to explore the range of beers (and foods) that we do. I consider us very lucky people!
 

ubermarkamark

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I think most of the attraction to one brand or another is largely psychological-- what else was going on while they slammed back four Buds, who was flirting with them while they were holding a Coors Light? It's kind of like a favorite song-- it's usually a favorite because the song marks a particular time in one's life. That said, I do think there are some less adventurous people who can tell the difference between Bud, Miller, Coors and their light and ice versions. I can. Brand loyalty helps move us along and make sense of ourselves, even if that loyalty is to no brand but our own.

Full disclosure: I'm a fan of PBR and Miller Light. I'll drink it if it's on hand and if I'm not actually looking to "drink" good beer (I love IPAs-- drinking them while I'm working on the car, not so much). Sure, it has to be cold, and I have to be in the mood, but I know I can tell a difference between these two and other BMCs because I've been able to tell it in the past. Well, at least until the first two. After that, the palette becomes less discerning. But, here's the kicker, I started drinking both because they are both union made, and that's important to me. The point is that taste is always more than the act of tasting. Are they the best beers ever? Hell no, but luckily my tastes have expanded.

Some people plateau and some seek to progress. It's not a matter of which one is right and which one is wrong, it's a matter of how well our individual tastes reflect our personality and desires.
 

ozzy1038

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Here's something I've always wondered about, and I'd like to hear what HBTers think about this:

What is the basis of people's refusal to drink anything but "their beer"? I usually encounter this attitude from Bud Miller Coors drinkers. You probably know what I'm talking about. There's always those guys (and gals) at the bar or the party who only drink Bud Light. They won't drink the Miller or Coors equivalent, saying they don't like the other ones.

Personally, I have a difficult time telling BMC beers apart, so if I've got to drink one, I don't have too much preference which one it is. Do these folks have a more refined palette than mine, so that they can tell them apart better than me? That's entirely possible I guess. Maybe the beers most of us drink are more bold-flavored, so telling differences is much easier. Is it mostly in their heads, driven by BMC marketing? (like "I drink Miller Lite because it tastes great and it's less filling")

Thoughts? Has this confused anyone else?

Also, it might be time to *gasp* do some blind triangle tasting of BMC beers.

I think like a LOT of people they are brand loyal. I can taste differences among them. Some I will drink on occasion for nostalgia. Old Mil (old mud) is a throwback to my high school days, Milwaukee's Best Light as well as others.
That doesn't make them good, but like smells, taste evokes nostalgia. The one beer that will never be consumed again from that era is "8 Ball". That sh*t is way too nasty to attempt.

All of us most likely fall into some sort of brand loyalty just like a lot of people like the same athletic teams as their parents. I personally prefer Coke products over Pepsi. My dad did too. I do prefer the taste of Coke products, but I wonder sometimes how much of it is ingrained in us, which would/could make us predisposed to prefer a certain brand.

That being said, the beer world is vastly larger than soda pop and the variances are extreme.
 

xxsn0blindxx

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I knew a guy in the Army who loved Bud. He even got an email address from their website like 12 years ago when the site was probably brand new. [email protected], I'll always remember that. He was a a Bud freak, and we used to test him all the time. He never failed to pick out a different beer. He drank so much Bud his sweat was probably alcoholic.
Hey I got one of those email addresses too, [email protected], no joke. It was my spam account for many years although I don't even know if it is still active.
 

DoubleAught

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I have a friend (a very frustrating friend) that is so brand loyal that BM or C should pay him. He was a Bud light guy for many many years, Bud light gives me a headache every time so my BMC choice in those days was Coors light. He would always give me a rash of sh!t for drinking such a watery beer. I tried numerous times to get him to try even a sip, and his answer was always a resounding NO. Somehow along the way he was a day without beer, I think a Sunday it may have been (we can't buy beer in Indiana on Sunday). Anyway, I convinced him to tie one on with me drinking the devil Coors light. The next day he tells me he's not even hungover, and that never happens with HIS beer. So to this day he is a die hard Coors light drinker and I can't force him to even test anything else. A good craft brew, my homebrew, NOTHING!

To answer the OP, I have no idea what makes a BMC drinker the way they are. I've always liked to experiment.
 

mikeysab

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I think peoples obsession with BMC is that they think that's what beer is supposed to taste like. BMC is usually the first thing young kids could get their hands on. For me, going into a deli at the age of 15 to buy beer, I'll be damned if I was going to sit there and try to get the beer that tasted best. I saw Budweiser commercials on TV, so that's what I looked for. I handed the guy my brothers expired license, paid and hit the door as fast as I could. That attitude carried on until I started brewing when I was 32. I was in bars from the age of about 17, and by the time I was in the neighborhood of 25, I was tired of the same old shart. I tried craft beers, and stuff other than BMC, but it just didn't taste like beer to me because it wasn't what I was used to.

When I started homebrewing, I realised there was a ton of beer styles, and started running through them all. My local distrubutor had a ton of craft beer of all kinds, and the owner knew I hated porters and stouts (because the examples of them I ever had were crap)He suggested I try some, and prodded me to throw a couple of RIS's and chocolate stouts into a mixed six. I kind of back tracked from imperial stouts down to the "regular" stouts, and now stouts and porters are some of my favorites. I think when peoples eyes are open to the true beer world, they can't help but be absorbed by it and expand away from BMC because they actually figure out that BMC is not what beer is supposed to taste like. That's not to say that BMC doesn't have a place, or isn't a true representation of a beer style. Hell, when I'm on the golf course, me and my buddy go through one can per hole of either keystone light, bud light, or MGD, and we play the course at least twice.

The people who really annoy me are the ones that think that anything but "their" beer is for pu$$ies. I work with guys that swear up and down that Budweiser is the only union run American beer. I ordered a Newcastle one day and my buddy asked me if I needed to change my tampon. My neighbor says that's "his thing", coming home and relaxing with a six pack of Coors light, and even when he's out and fiending for beer, he won't even taste my most tame beer. Although recently he tried my Centennial Blonde and truly enjoyed it. The people I enjoy drinking homebrew with are the ones that are open to new styles, and know that American macro lagers aren't the only beer style out there. They might not like my Pale ale/dunkelweizen hybrid, but they taste it, drink what I give them, and tell me "It's good, but it's just not my thing". My neighbor burns through a 30 pack every saturday night, and sometimes another on friday of Miller high life, but always tries anything I give him, right down to the oak aged cider. He always gives me an honest opinion, good or bad. For him, it comes down to money. He like Franziskaner, but isn't willing to pay for it. I brewed him a german Hefe with wlp300 and he tore it up.

So I think for some it comes down to, like Airbourne said, muscle memory, for others it comes down to money, and for others just plain ignorance. For all of them though, if presented with the right homebrewed beer, or craft beer, they'd gladly change over, if they could.
 
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