Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Dreaded AB 12 Project: Batch 63118

"Back up in yo ass with the resurrection"
-Willie D, "Still"

Wow, what an appropriate quote to start off this post. Now, I know, I didn't do what I promise to do - update this regularly. What can I say? One minute you're super-pumped about a blog you just started, the next thing you know you're knee deep in a Ponzi-like scheme and your office building catches on fire... Or something like that. You get the gist.

Anyways, let's get straight down to brass taxes: I'm pretty excited for this entry, as it's the first part of a small mini-series that, at the bare minimum, will be funnier than Band of Brothers (which is hilarious!). What kind of mini-series? Well, brace yourselves, because winter is coming Anheuser-Busch is pretending to be a craft brewer again! 

Tron Carter agrees, this is even funnier than Nick Cannon!

OW, shit! Sorry, my side just split in 2.

Terrible jokes out of the way, I'm so against AB and SABMiller and all those other macros trying to corner the craft market that I might as well be the Leonidas to their Xerxes. Not the shitty 300 version, either, but the legit thing. My plight is serious, people. The first of these is coming straight from my old stomping grounds, St. Louis. Let's get going down this long and lonesome road (because seriously, who reads these entries?).

I'll get deeper into that another day, but before anyone asks: them brewing beer that isn't total shit is a good thing, but there's shadier stuff happening in the background. Another story for another entry.

Anheuser-Busch 12 Series: Batch 63118 (St. Louis, MO)

Surprise, motherfuckers! The bold and daring AB brewing company is going all out this time with pilsener! Wow, InBev, you so adventurous! Why you no brewmaster?

Okay, let's be real: there's nothing wrong with a good pilsener. The Germans and Czechs each have their own unique approach to it, and like any other delicious beer, the American crafters went ahead and decided to make a much more intense version of it, so there's a lot to love. AB took the German route, because St. Louis. I'm from the suburbs there, and I'll be goddamned if those people don't love their German beers. Can't blame them: when the heat and the humidity get near 100, nothing beats a light, easy-drinking beer... Well, so long as it doesn't have adjunct, but you get the drift.

Anyways, picture:

My Schlafly glass didn't talk to me for a week.

Very clean-looking is the first thing that comes to mind when I pour it. Clear, golden body topped off with a surprisingly-thick white head. More foamy than anything else, it dissipates at a pretty decent clip before settling in to a seafoam-esque appearance. Lots of carbonation floating to the top and a thin trail of lace makes this a rather solid-looking brew. None too shabby, thus far.

The presentation... holy cow, this bottle has to be paper-thin. It's like holding air. Okay, it's not a big deal, but really, that's an odd thing to pick up that goes a long way in reminding me that this is the cheapest possible approach to beer one can make. The label itself is fine: very standard colors with a list o' stats and even a nifty description of what to expect from the beer. Hops used in St. Louis in the 19th century? At the minimum, that gives a sense of tradition that will excuse them from their inability to stray too far from a dependable formula. All in all... I think like it?

Does this make me a terrible person?


Thin traces of noble hops with a hint of grain underneath. It’s very subdued and not all that impressive, but it certainly beats the pants off the typical AB beers you grab from the store. Light bread and floral scent, really. This is what I’d call a second-rate pils scent. Pleasant, but not at all there. I don't have much to say about this one because there's not much there.


Think of St. Louis' skyline. It's certainly got a couple of buildings standing around doing nothing (much like myself), but at the end of the day, there's one thing that makes it standout: the Arch. It's very one-dimensional.

Ha! Nice try, Millenium Hotel!

This is fits the beer to a T:

Very floral the whole way through and with sharp carbonation, the initial reaction to this is that it’s extremely one-dimensional. Finish is clean and finally gives off a hint of malty undertones with a biscuity flavor. If that had been more prominent, I might have really liked this, as-is, it’s just okay. Body’s light and prickly which is perfectly fine for a pils. All in all, it’s a decent affair and a solid good day-drinking beer.


Ah, AB… you know, I would have never bought this (this 12-pack mixer was a gift) as the big macros are starting to try and corner the craft-brewing market, which is in 2 words, fucking annoying. This is exactly what craft beer would be like if they achieved it: mediocre versions of the real thing. Blue Moon is another example of this (being under Coors’ label). I could do a whole entry on why I don’t like what they’re doing, and probably will, but for now, I’ll just say that this is a very standard affair. Certainly take it if it’s offer, but you won’t lose sleep over missing out on it. Good drinking companion for some good ‘Murrcan brats.

Casual beer fans can't go wrong with this, but I beg you: try something from an actual microbrewery. It'll be higher-quality and good for the local economy. You can't beat supporting local businesses.


"Practice harder." -Master Splinter