Just Stop It – Bud Select 55 vs. MGD 64

August 16th, 2009 · 121 Comments · Beer Reviews

I rarely mention anything other than craft beer on this site, but this is just getting ridiculous. Seriously, is this what it is coming down to for the big boys to sell beer these days? Are consumers really that focused on their calorie count that they’d rather drink something that resembles tap water more than a real beer?

Anheuser-Busch is advertising the new Bud Select 55 as “the lightest beer in the world”. Miller tells consumers that the MGD 64 is “As Light As It Gets”. How often do people really go out to a bar and say, “Can you please bring me the drink with the least amount of calories, regardless of how awful it tastes?” I’d like to think that people are smarter than this. Beer is supposed to be enjoyed, not endured. If you are that focused on calories, just drink a little less of your usual beers (even if it is the “regular” Miller/Bud Light….) then go for a freaking walk or something.

The regular Bud/Miller Light beers are often consumed by people that could care less about what the beer tastes like in the first place and they are just looking to catch a buzz. With MGD 64 weighing in 3% ABV, and Bud Select 55 weighing in at a whopping 2.4% ABV….it’s going to take a few more bottles to catch that buzz anyways. I’m all for session beers, but I don’t think that was the point here…

No, I haven’t tried these beers. I wouldn’t spend my money on them, but I’d gladly try a free sample. And, no, these beers are definitely not marketed toward the craft beer drinker market. But, just for fun here are some of the highlight reviews from Ratebeer.com:

Bud Light Select 55Aroma: Severely skunky. Appearance: Very pale golden; off-white head. Flavor: VERY, very light, water with beer flavor (barely). Palate: Very, light-bodied, dry and fizzy. Overall: This isn’t a drain pour, but it is severely lacking aroma, flavor, and body! This has to be as close to beer-flavored water as it can get without being just water! Even NA beers have more flavor and character than this “beer” does! – Review from shigadeyo (2,111 total ratings) on Ratebeer.com

MGD 64 – Really pale straw colour. Smells like cud, pee and other animal effluvia. The taste is watery, grassy…kind of like urine but without the ammonia. Truly noxious stuff. – Review from Oakes (7,924 total ratings) on Ratebeer.com

MGD 64 – This would be pretty vile stuff if it wasn’t watered down so much. Very pale yellow with a short lived bubbly head, it smelled of mineral water and gym socks. It tasted like watery creamed corn with sugar. The finish was wet. Not too offensive, since there’s so little to it. This is a true waste of water. Review from Cornfield (4,812 total ratings) on Ratebeer.com.

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121 Comments so far ↓

  • P. Fruit Trees

    That’s it I am going to fridge and making myself a truly light beer and I will willingly give away my secrets.

    1 hop leaf
    1 grain of malt
    12 ounces of water
    1 spec of yeast

    There the lightest beer in the world and even I won’t drink it since I am enjoying my Session Lager (5.10%) which has more flavor! Sigh.

    Thanks for the post on this and allowing me to rant.

    Cheers

  • Elvis

    thinking something similar the other day when the 64 commercial came on…like, “is there really an untapped market for 64 cal beer?”, particularly with men since the commercial is two dudes drinking beers. seriously? most nanci….i mean, men….just drink crappy light beer if they are worried about their belt.

  • Eric Lundquist

    While I don’t drink those ultra-low calories beers, I have found that if I alternate a light American Megalager with my real beers like Imperial IPAs, I can spend the day drinking with my brothers and still be able to walk. It also helps pace things out (can’t drink canned coors light (pronounced “curs”) too fast) and keeps me more hydrated.

    That’s only if I’m going for a 6-10 hour drinking session. Alternate beer with cans of mountain fresh spring water.

    🙂

  • Nitin

    Damn! Bud Select 55 sucks! TAP WATER is better off. Don’t waste your money

  • Lilricky

    As a retailer, I thought I would put my 2 cents in. Its been flying off the shelves at my store in Kissimmee, FL. I’ve had people requesting cases of it. So either they enjoy the taste, or beer drinkers really want super-low calorie beer.

  • peter adlington

    This crap taste like putrid water . Bud have you ever had an original idea ? Please , Please STOP1
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bert Werd

    “Miss, when you get the chance, would you bring me over a Select 55? I’m driving home tonight, thanks.”

    The targeted demo has to be designated drivers, or avid in-line skaters looking to stay svelte for their spandex onesies. Are there people who, while washing down a delicious app at Applebee’s with a Bud Light, say to themselves “this is NOT light enough!” Apparently.

    With such a low abv, I wondered, Can you even get drunk from Select 55? To answer the question, I began imbibing the World’s Lightest in front of my camcorder. Got through the 12 pack, but only got drunk from a little extra summin’, summin’.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tavjcpccXOU

  • The King

    There is no reason to stop making products like these when a single area can sell 10,000+ cases month after month. I’m sorry you cant sell your full flavor shitty home brews, but the fact of the matter is that people like beers from some of the top brew masters in the world.

  • Kaiser

    King – Thank you for that wonderful insight.

  • Dustin

    Yeah King, and I suppose those billion dollar ad budgets don’t skew the market at all, either.

    It’s real easy to stay on top when your brand was built on prohibition-era distribution restrictions and decades of brewery buyouts.

  • Dean Ruffner

    Dustin brings up an interesting point with his comment about distribution restrictions. These avenues of distribution can only be restricted or prohibited by the state. No other player in the market can make an act illegal. Uncompetitive financially, sure, but not illegal.

    (gets off soapbox)

  • Pat

    not sure about the ‘prohibition era distribution restrictions’,

    budweiser/miller/coors exited the prohibition era as market leaders because they were the only brewers of the time with the business savvy to continue operations through the tough times by diversifying to other products, dairy, soda, etc

  • Dean Ruffner

    A couple of months ago, there was an episode of “Modern Marvels”, I believe, on A+E and the topic was beer. The show was pretty interesting. They showed the Coors plant in 1932 hanging on by making malted milk, of all things.

    My point is this: I doubt that the rise of Anheuser/ Miller/Coors from such a lowly place at the end of Prohibition was because of quality of product. I would wager that a little help from a congressman or two helped grease the skids for the macro-beer dominance of the market today.

    Thanks,

  • Matt

    Select vs Michelob Ultra
    Select half the alc % so u have to drink twice as much (more money) which in the long run turns in to more calories, and taking more shots of whiskey througout the night = more calories. Bud Select 55 is not worth the money or the calories. I calculated I drink twice as many select 55’s than mich ultras, do more shots, get less drunk. NOT WORTH IT PEOPLE.

  • Mike

    OK I had to try all these beers before getting on here and badmouthing or exaggerating.

    Bud Select: Light, decent flavor, crisp finish. Good thrist quencher.

    Bud Select 55: Ultra light, scarce flavor, I found this one difficult to taste much at all. I had to take small sips and savor it for it to really taste like beer. Otherwise, it goes down almost like water. The flavor isn’t BAD (like some light beers -Keystone, Nattie, Busch), but there’s so little flavor I couldn’t justify ever buying it again.

    Michelob Ultra: Ultra light body, good finish which seems to last a little longer than Select, but I prefer the flavor of the select.

    Miller 64: Possibly even less flavor than Select 55, much like a 50/50 mix of light beer and water. My least favorite of the bunch.

    I hope someone finds this helpful. I prefer brews like Sam Adams, Hofbrau, Killians, and Labatt. I will probably buy more Bud Select because it is s crisp and refreshing beer that I feel is a good compromise between low calories and acceptable flavor.

  • budgirl

    As much as you think this is “crap” Beer sales of Lighter Light Beers are up 24.5% YTD in 2009 and are still growing. Yes it may have a lighter alcohol content but the demand is growing for a lighter refreshing drink.

  • Laura

    So, I’m on a fairly restrictive low-carb ish type diet, so it’s nice to have a sort of beer substitue if I want to have a social drink with friends. I hate just ordering diet coke at the bar, so I’m going to try this pretend beer to see if it’s any good at all. If that doens’t work, straight whiskey it is, that’s pretty low-cal 🙂 So I think the market for this thing is those on diets, specificaly low-carb ones.

  • Lou

    The more bad beer that people are drinking like this, means there’s more good beer for me!

    Yippee

  • Colin

    I can drink all night at a bar and still drive home relatively sober? Sign me up!
    Staying out all night instead of driving home after only 2 hours at a nightclub…..Priceless.

    No Hangover? ….Nirvana

  • Lance

    Colin why in gods name would you want to drink all night at a bar and still be relatively sober? If I drink all night I do it for one reason and that is to get good and buzzed!

  • Rudiger

    Regular Budweiser tastes pretty good.

  • TheZol

    i drank Mic Ultra and then tried Bud 55. i have gotten so used to 55, that Mic Ultra tastes thick to me lol. and i only drink maybe one extra beer!

  • Dave in Chicago

    I’d rather drink 2 or 3 pints of really good beer in an evening than a case of watery swill I didn’t enjoy. Hate to bring it up, but the flavorless “light” beers cost about the same as a good brew…. why pay for water? Life’s short, drink the good stuff.

  • Dean Ruffner

    The thread that never dies…………..

  • mat gajewski

    this guys an idiot.

  • Jean

    Not everyone is a drunk and wants to be wasted when they go out. Some people just drink as a social whim, they go out to have a good time in general. Not everyone has to be drunk to do that because some people don’t need to be drunk to have substance. I love a good Murphy’s red or a good bottle of Fat Tire if I am at home and just want to chill with my husband. However if I am out I would rather a low cal low alcohol content beer. Because honestly who the hell is going to drink LESS beer? Nobody!

    Not to mention, that fold of skin hanging over your pants , it’s the beer!

  • Sweetpea

    I tried the low – cal beer and I really didn’t think it was to bad. I did feel kind of foolish asking for a low – cal beer but after I left the I felt good that I did everything right for the day.

  • Sweetpea

    Sorry! did not read it before I sent it.

  • adam

    It’s been said before, but you can’t trust a skinny beer drinker!!!

  • Soggoth

    Well, I agree – those beers taste like water and under other circumstances I’d rather go with some kind of real beer. But now I’m doing my P90X fitness program along with a low-carbs diet, so I don’t have a much choice so far 🙂

  • Goose

    These beers are made for a target group. People who are counting carbs and or calories. People
    who don’t really like the taste of beer but want to
    join in when people are drinking it. Chill out!!
    The regular beer most like will always be available. Let those who enjoy drinking this near beer do so. I’m guessing it’s mostly women but that’s just a guess. If your a real beer drinker your not the target group so ease up.

  • joan

    finally a beverage other than water, diet pop or unsweetened ice tea that diabetics can enjoy with a meal. there’s more to life than being a beer snob-it’s called doing your own thing…as far as taste goes, I don’t care what you drink, don’t rag on my choice.

  • Bubbs

    I am a little late to the party but here is my take on it. I love beer! Real beer!! But I absolutely have to lose weight. I am going to do weight watchers. I can drink beer in moderation and a lite beer is better than none. I for one will have plenty of these 55’s in the fridge until I start hitting some milestones. Then I will reward myself more appropriately.
    Don’t dog the lite beers…they serve a valuable purpose!!

  • Woman beer drinker

    I just wanted to let all ya men know that beer drinkin ain’t just for men but cha’ll complain when your woman has a beer gut so maybe the lo-cal beer can let her enjoy herself and you can enjoy her later!!!

  • john

    its just as good as any other light beer, you guys are all just beer freaks. not everyone wants to gag on their beer as they drink it. not to mention i bet most of you are sporting a hefty beer gut. some of us enjoy going out drinking with our frinds but dont want to put on 5 pounds a weekend!

  • garrett

    whoever wrote this article is a dumbass. i like the taste of them. your retarded.

  • Bobbo

    Well, at 2.4% alcohol I would say you definitely can’t get drunk. Since, in our state at least, drunk driving of any kind is highly a money maker for the law dogs, I would say that the 55 is the only beer I would consider if at a bar.

    The arguement on flavor is absurd. All beer taste like crap! It is an aquired taste. The reason beer is popular is 98% advertising. The only reason you “craft” beer drinkers fool yourself into liking this crap is because of the billions of dollars that have been poured into advertising beer by the big boys.

    If you had any objectivity water would clearly win the day. What the hell have you got against the flavor of water? Oh yeah, it doesn’t taste like crap?

    Let’s try a simple test, refrain from beer for 180 days and drink lots of cool water. Then get yourself a nice chunky craft beer. I think at that time you will clearly understand that water is the superior beverage.

    Beer originated as a way to store safe water. It was originally a very low alcohol beverage that was drank instead of water. Not because it was good but because it was safe.

    Now that water is safe, beer is pretty much obsolete except as a way for smart marketing companies to chump dumbasses out of $2.00 for a glass of water.

    Yeah, keep drinking that beer and the chicks will be all over ya!

  • Dean Ruffner

    Geoff –

    This post is by far one of your all-time best; it just refuses to die.

    Where do these people come from?

  • Kaiser

    Yeah, Dean, it really is impressive. I think this post deserves its own post one of these days to revisit some of my favorite comments from the past year.

  • Scott

    I thoroughly enjoy drinking Budweiser Select 55 when I want beer-like liquid replenishment. It’s great for us who live in warm climates and work outdoors and sweat. It’s the best for that. And you don’t get swimmy on it. For us who are self-employed it’s the beer you can work with when you want beer-like liquid replenishment. Easy and awesome.

  • Dean Ruffner

    It makes my day when someone hits this post.

  • betty

    I love Bud 55 ! So I guess we all have our own opinions!

  • mukishi

    I have never in my life willingly dumped beer (and i come from a country that consumes more alcohol per capita than russia) but I bought a 6 pack of this stuff and i could only get through two before throwing away the other four. Good beer has taste and the stupid light beers are a sham. For people who are drinking them, put down the burgers and go for walks.

  • BigMike

    I have 30 years of drinking the “good stuff” under my belt so to speak. With a pre-diabetic condition and needing to loose weight, I can turn to this and almost remember what beer tasted like. In fact this is much better than none at all.

  • Jeremy Staffordshire

    Ah, so beer drinkers also commit logical fallacies. Who would have thought? Logical fallacy: X is better than Y; therefore, Y is bad. Hmmm…because a Pliny the Elder is better than a Miller 64, Miller 64 is horrendous, putrid, awful, penguin piss? If your comment is that Miller 64 is not a good economic choice based on its cost in dollars per flavor, that’s one thing. But all of you are attacking this poor lite beer as if it were urine straight from the Devil’s shaft. Last night, I went on a hellacious 5 mile run and just trucked right into the kitchen to see what beers I had in the fridge. I opened the fridge to find Stone Double Bastard Ale and a Miller 64. I’ll be damned if I didn’t choose the Miller 64, and guess what? It was goooooooood. So thirst quenching and with that mild beer flavor, I couldn’t have been more satisfied. On a desert with the choice of having either no beer or Miller 64, I’d sure as hell go with the Miller 64.

    You know, it’s this kind of dogmatic hatred for anything that isn’t brewed in some redneck’s bathtub that gives you craftbeer snobs a bad name. In fact, it’s this type of attitude towards beer that has caused the vast majority of society’s problems. You know who shares your mentality? Klansmen. Yep, I said it. You guys suffer from that same tendency to prejudge that resulted in enumerable lynchings in the south. True.

    So, keep sucking down your craft brew and mock the macrobrews. I’ll keep an open mind and fight the same fight that earned blacks the right to vote and woman the right to equal pay for equal work.

  • dave

    “Penguin Piss”? “Devil’s Shaft”?! “Equal pay for women”?!!?

    HILARIOUS!!!

  • DK

    Oh god, Pliny the Elder is so good.

  • Colin

    Thank you Jeremy Staffordshire. I was having a shitty day, and I know I can count on someone hitting this post to make everything better. This motherfucker won’t die! This is like the Pet Cemetary of SBN posts.

  • Dean Ruffner

    Geoff, if you’d just stop being a racist crypto-Klansman, this blog would really go somewhere.

  • Bob

    I find it humorous that this Monty Python quote was launched long before either of these two beers: “Frankly over here we find that your American beer is a little like making love in a canoe. It’s fucking close to water.” And now we’re just that much closer.

    For historical context, beer was not originally consumed for health reasons, it was to get a buzz on. And really, the first guy to drink the accidentally fermented malt sauce had to be at least a little crazy. Thanks, dude! Some time after that people started making beer on purpose and eventually beer became less likely to be contaminated than the water, but not before ingredients such as chicken guts were abandoned.

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