Just Stop It – Bud Select 55 vs. MGD 64

August 16th, 2009 · 125 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.


125 Comments so far ↓

  • Brueguerue

    Apparently, you’ve discovered that not being fond of ultra-light industrial megasuds means that you hate America, and also, “your retarded.” Does this mean you’re a “moran” too?

    Nolo te bastardes carborundorum. Keep ’em comin’!

  • Jeremy Staffordshire

    Pliny the Elder is truly a special beer. One of my favorite pleasures (not involving a cat, a wii remote, and a keg of vaseline) is waking up at 5am, roadtripping out to Point Reyes, hiking the coastline, and then heading over to Santa Rosa for pizza and some Pliny. I’ve spent a liver transplant’s worth of money enjoying their brews. Pliny the Younger, if you can actually find it in stock, is something else entirely. I’m inspired now. Maybe this weekend, I’ll spare the cat and head out for hike followed by a trip to Russian River.

  • Woodrow

    It isn’t just about the calories, really it’s that diabetics need low carbohydrate beer. Select 55 is the lowest at 1.2 grams of carbs, while many full flavored beers you like are 20 grams ( 100 % of recommended daily allowance) per bottle. If you develop diabetes you’ll love this crap too! It doesn’t taste that bad compared to having your feet amputated

  • Jeremy Staffordshire

    At first glance, I agree with Woodrow. It would seem like Bud Select 55 doesn’t taste that bad compared to a foot amputation. However, after thinking about it long and hard over a Pliny the Elder, I am not so sure. I mean, I have literally said to my wife, “woman, I would give an arm and a leg for a good, hoppy brew right now.” An arm AND a leg. I think an arm and a leg is worth more than two legs. Granted, without either leg, your mobility is greatly restricted. But, you still have both hands, and with both hands you can have a beer in one hand and yer crank in the other. win-win in my book. If you are missing one leg and one arm, you are really screwed. You really can’t run, and while your hoppin’ around your house, you have to make a devil of a choice between grabbing a beer or grabbin yerself.

  • gary

    i drink both select 55 and mgd 64. i dont mind the wateryness cuz i hate to much carbonation when im thirsty. not to mention im a weight lifter/mma enthusiast and carbs and cals matter when im on a week race trip and gonna drink two 30 packs regardless if its light or regular. drinkn is one of the biggest reasons for overweightness and diabetes. its a sacrifice that u just make if u care how u look. when i party its all night and i still like being coherent at the end. where i live bars are open till 4am. plus even though the alc is lower its enuff for that lil edge u need to deal or be around drunks. if i wanna get shit faced i drink grey goose and water. to be social and hang for the duration im pickin mich ult/mgd64/bud 55. personally i think the micros and flavored shit is all garbage.

  • Dean Ruffner

    I want to party with Gary. 60 beers a night and all the bar fights I can handle. Sounds awesome!

  • Geneva

    I agree with Gary! In the end its about making it through the night and having a good time. I am into working out and the calories DO matter, personally I favor mgd 64 over the others.

  • Jeff

    Crazy…. It’s time to switch your drink of choice if your truly worried about calories to the extent where you would drink one of these (much less 60). Switch to a classic or dirty martini. You can sip on it, watch your calories, catch a little buzz, and not spend 3 hours out of a 6 hour party session peeing in the bathroom.

    Other suggestions.. JD & Diet, Seven & Diet 7up, Jameson & Diet ginger ale. All low calorie, and all infinately tastier.

    If your going to drink beer, then drink a real big-boy beer. If you need to drink a 55 calorie beer, you should probably skip the beer and visit the treadmill for a few minutes.

  • Rella

    MGD64 is pretty watery and flavorless (I love local craft beers) but I suffer through it because 1) it’s cheap, 2) it’s low in carbonation, and 3) I’m much less likely to get drunk because it’s got a low alcohol content. It’s the perfect drink for my social life as a grad student, and everyone else is drinking cheap crap too so it’s not like I’m alone. At least I won’t get fat! 🙂

  • Nick

    I enjoy the “best beers” as some of you guys do. Belgians, stouts, porters, ales, etc are great from many parts of Europe. My palate is Pretty sophisticated to the point where I have Chimay reserves in my fridge along side withe Mgd 64. Bodingtons along side withe 64, and so on. They have their place though. When I’m grilling outside in 110 degree heat I love to have a cold light “guzzling” beer that I can just pound. You gotta appreciate them all for what they are and not for what they are not.

  • kevin davey

    Okay, I’m weighing in on this.

    I say to each his own. The ultra-light beer would not be made if there wasn’t a market for it. Also, I will have to agree with Geoff that it is pretty stupid. I think Charlie Bamforth once pontificated that it was surprising that the beer doesn’t float out of the bottle upon opening it. It does seem silly that American brewers are in an “arms race” to make the lightest beer possible. However, have you noticed that craft brewers are too in an arms race to get to the top? Making a 40-50% beer and wrapping it in a taxidermy stoat is, to me at least, more over the top. http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2010/07/22/worlds-strongest-beer-launches-bottle/

  • Moe

    MGD 64 has a much fuller taste and doesn’t taste like a diet beer. Select 55, on the other hand, is very light tasting and doesn’t hit the spot if your a beer drinker…it certainly “feels” like it has less alcohol per bottel.

  • Moe

    MGD 64 has a much fuller taste and doesn’t taste like a diet beer. Select 55, on the other hand, is very light tasting and doesn’t hit the spot if you’re a beer drinker…it certainly “feels” like it has less alcohol per bottel.

  • The Gout Man Speaketh

    MGD 64 or Select 55 are perfect beers for those who suffer from gout and don’t want to give up beer drinking altogether. Those craft beers that everyone acts all giddy about contain massive amounts of purines, which is one of the root causes of gout. Too bad gout doesn’t have a sexier name, it might be taken more serious if it were called something like Purine Induced Pain…

  • Dean Ruffner

    I’m sure Anheuser-Busch is queuing up their “Budweiser – It’s Good for Gout” advertising campaign as we speak….

  • jeremy staffordshire

    I think Select 55 works best for mixing with sprite. I tried mixing sprite with some pliny the younger last week and it was pretty much awful.

  • Pete fond

    Mgd64 tastes good and is good for weight watchers.

  • Ace Walker

    So I just bought a case of Select 55 because I’m looking to add variety to my “chuggable” summer beer repertoire and remember in college some German buddies and I blindfolded tested “normal” Select and regular Budweiser and found the former pretty tasty (in fact, we couldn’t tell the difference). Unfortunately for me, once I got it home, I saw the URL on the cans, checked in online, and realized this wasn’t the same stuff anyway. Damn. I was then curious as to the ABV (which is -not- on the cans) and ended up here searching for it, so being bored, I read through the comment thread, and have these choice, irrelevant items to add to the morass:
    1. I think we can all agree that any thought of dragging Gary’s manliness into question due to his defense of Select55 is immediately obviated by the fact that he drinks not one, but -two- 30 packs in a night and types with MMA sparing gloves, explaining his inability to use the shift key or isolate ‘g’ for those marathon gerund verbs like “drinking”;
    2. It’s adorable that even with two runs at it, Moe can’t quite stick the spelling of “bottle”;
    3. Pete Fond should be knighted for cleaving so faithfully to the style of debate we all cherish from childhood — the age-old, grade-school, damn all previous rhetoric, “is so” approach.
    All this and about 30 (but not 60) 2.8%ers or maybe a sinful six-pack of the normal stuff could really add up to quality entertainment. Especially Jeremy’s post about foot amputation. I gotta hand it to you, brother; that was genius =)

  • joel denning

    After working hard to lose 40 lbs., age 54, I look and feel great. I don’t drink fake beer such as O’douls, whats the point? I really missed having a beer, this is not Chimay but it is what it is. I like it, it is an excellent product for it’s intended purpose. To all of the serious beer drinkers, live and let live.

  • dale

    What the hell do you care what other people drink? quite being a snob, if folks buy it, let them buy it for whatever reason the want, even if its to piss people off. have another beer!

  • wymano

    *Couldn’t care less* ….liked your review!

  • Dean Ruffner

    I echo Dale’s thoughts; I like to make my beer choices by what I think will piss other people off the most.

    Where do these loons come from?

  • Shawn

    First of all Ace is a clever, smooth character. Nicely done.
    Secondly, whoever said martini up there: a single Martini has the same calories as a six pack of Select 55.

    I’m still debating whether I’ll be trying these beers myself or not.

  • Sally

    I LOVE SELECT 55 , i drink it because it doesn’t give me a headache like all the other beers !! my husband drinks BUD , and alot of it !! , so to hang out with him and party i found that select 55 gives me a small buzz and i can function the next day !! now i can’t find it anywhere i was told they have discontinued it !!! very sad !!!

  • bt

    macro beers may have their place – in the water waste system as piss. wait, is that where they get it from? piss in, piss out! Anyhow, you all can keep your light beer. I may from time to time dip in, but it won’t be for any other reason than at whatever bar I may be at has other choices.
    Drinking craft beer AND losing weight! A little bit of exercise can go a long way.

  • Andrew

    I keep the stuff in the same cooler as double IPA’s and 10% Belgians. Please don’t tell my friends. It comes in handy. For example, after doing a large bottle of a 9% triple and I am at my computer wanting to drink more, knowing I shouldn’t, that stuff fills the glass, is bubbly, and keeps the part going for another half-hour or so. At least, that’s my illusion and I’m sticking to it.

  • Dean Ruffner

    In tribute to GLK re-manning the helm of SBN, this post gets thrown to the top of the page. How awesome is that?

  • JS

    If you’re looking to become less fat like me, and I have done so, this stuff fills the bill, and the gut. It may not taste like precious micro brew nectar, but it’s not gutter extract, either.

  • Jen

    I’m a craft beer enthusiast. I mean, I really love beer. I’m a huge stout fan. Sadly, it all goes right to my hips, butt and gut. Regardless of the beer I drink I’m going to pound them. At least with these ultra lights I don’t ruin hours of training. I’ve tried the Select 55 and found that adding some lime juice makes for quite the refreshing adult beverage, particularly when they are ice cold. I save my yummy stouts and porters for treats!

  • Stacy

    I’m in Utah, so unless I go to the state liquor store, all beer must contain no more than 3.2%.

    All of the beer sold here is watered down to start with, so I was looking into ones with lower cals since they all taste like piss water anyway.

    I appreciate you posting the ABV content.

  • Bob Paine

    Forget the calories. Don’t need 5% to prove manhood or don’t need to ply my girl to get laid.

  • Noah K

    I know I’m late to this party, but I’ve gotta be honest, on some days I automatically drink whatever’s in front of me as fast as humanly possible, without even realizing it. If it’s Coke, I get one step closer to diabetes and a cavity, and if it’s some craft IPA, I just end up an asshole. Such are great Miller 64 days. Look, it’s tempting to go on rants about culture, but you sound desperately insecure. Did you read the Da Vinci Code ? Well I read Anna Karenina this year, so go back to your hovel you semi-literate troglodyte. That would makes me sound like an asshole and a bit of a loser, right ? And just think- Literature actually matters to western culture, enlightens, and shines a light on the human condition, ideally making us more complete and caring people. Food & alcohol snobbery is the cheapest, easiest to attain form of culture that there is. Good for you to be blessed with it, though.

  • Jeremy Staffordshire

    Here’s the deal: I think we are being a little to critical of lo-cal beers, like Miller 64. They are like the Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus of beers. Are these two great singers or artists that will be remembered for their significant musical contributions? No, of course not. However, if I were stuck on a desert island and had to choose between listening to Bieber and Cyrus or never listening to music again, I gotta go with Bieber and Cyrus. At least it’s something. I’m mean you would have to be a nihilist or something to choose no music at all. As Socrates once asked, “Is badly structured pop music better than no music at all???”

    Same with beer. Of course we all prefer the taste of a nice Belgian quad over Budweiser’s bottled devil ball sweat. However, if I could never drink a beer again unless I drank Bud Select, I’m going with Bud Select, because as Sheryl Crow once said (quoting Jesus), “It’s not about getting what you want; it’s wanting what you’ve got.”

  • Dean Ruffner

    The 1st and only time both Sheryl Crow and Socrates will ever be quoted in the same post.

    Good to see this article get back to the top of the page.

  • Kaiser

    Funny thing is that this was the 4th time Jeremy has posted in this thread. I just love that it won’t go away. If you google “MGD 64”, this thread is the 4th link that comes up. I bet MillerCoors loves that.

  • bretthorn

    After scrolling through this post, I’m convinced that it’s almost entirely written by Dean.

    I don’t really even understand what most of the comments are trying to articulate, but I think we can all agree that we should party with Gary.

  • Ken

    I used to totally make fun of lighter beers. What kind of beer do you serve, “bud, bud light, coors, coors—stop—I asked what kind of beer do you have?
    Anyway as you get older, such is the case with my bod, you often have to consider cutting cals and carbs or experience the label of “morbidly obese”. Anyway, one thing I have found with the light beers, MGD 64, it almost quinches your taste for beer and it really doesn’t make you want to drink more beer like a good micro will do. So it is an old persons tool to limit suds intake. Just sayin.

  • Tess

    I finished the entirety of a 55 bottle in a matter of a minute or two without a single burp or hiccup afterwards. Truly crappy tasting water.

  • Robert Hills Jr

    I enjoy Select 55. I don’t get drunk and once one gets used to it, it is ok and taste very good. We all usually drink to much, bad for liver, and want to be healthy. It is the weakest beer I can find and that is what I want. One can get used to anything from weak women to weak beer. Still good tasting.

  • Gumshrud

    Coors should try creating a good tasting Ultra Light. it could contain 2.0% ABW.

  • Jeremy Staffordshire

    It’s all about managing expectations. In many ways, light beers are like veggie burgers. If you approach a veggie burger expecting it to taste like a fat, juicy Kobe beef burger, you are going to be disappointed. On the other hand, if you treat it as a stand alone sandwich patty, you can appreciate its chewy, soy mediocre-ness. Same with light beer. If you drink a Bud Select with the hopes that it will compete with a craft brew IPA, it’s going to be a dismal failure.

    Bud Select is perfect for 2:00 a.m. when you wake up in the middle of the night with a mouth that feels like the Gobi desert and the bottle of orange juice is empty. Do you reach for a 22 oz bottle of 11% breakfast stout or do you go with the thirst-quenching bottle of Bud Select?

    You go with the Bud Select, and you make sweet, sweet oral love with that bottle until your thirst is quenched.

  • Roger Moore

    I’ve found that 2 or 3 ounces of a good IPA
    miked with a Miller 64 in a frozen mug makes
    It a lot more drinkable without adding a bunch
    of calories or carbs for those of us who need to
    restrict those things…I know this is a great sin
    to the purists, but a good option if required!

  • MaxDeusPhallus

    I hate it when people say “I haven’t tried it but it’s sh**…” This is a light beer not anal sex. You can try it before giving a bigoted comment. Any beer can be skunky if it’s in a clear bottle and left in the sun. It’s called chemistry… I have tried MGD64, Michelob Ultra Amber, Bud Light Platinum, SA Light… And they all are OK. I like SA Light and Michelob Ultra Amber the best. Sure it’s not Chimay, but I can enjoy the light beers without the beer gut that normally accompanies a couple beers a night ( 120 – 250 calories, which you CAN walk off in 30 minutes vs 400-500 which you canNOT walk off in 30 minutes). Your arguments against light beer are bigoted and are essentially illogical.

  • captain Burt

    I drink approx. 5-7 of the select 55 PERDAY. Mainly for health!! It is healthy than milk, Orange juice and certainly diet sodas. Yes water is healthier, but Select 55does has a “bite” to it, more so than Miller 64. I drank an entire 18 pack one day – no buzz! If you drink beer for a buzz, this ain’t the beer for you, but to replace diet drinks/sodas, milk, etc, it’s perfect! I remain under 18% body fat, and highly recommend it…

  • Paul S

    If you’re going out drinking after work, but you have things to do when you get home, these beers are godsend, depite the fact they have little flavor. If you have a low alcohol tolerance, but wish to stay out late (especially if you’re driving) these are a good option. They can be alternated with a stronger beer as well, to avoid getting bombed too early. To avoid snide comments from hardcore beer snobs, make sure you secretly ask the server to put it in a tall glass & keep the can out of sight, so as not to ruin your drinker street cred.

  • Jack Sparrow

    I was looking for a beer with the lowest calories and found mgd 64. The taste has explosions of aquafina 500 ml with hints of dasani and a subtle aftertaste of sparkling water. Since it has almost no alcohol I found that you can safely drive back to the store after you drink it to buy some alcohol, and use the remaining mgd64 to make ice cubes. The ice cubes can be safely used in your cooler to chill real beer.

  • Guido Carrara

    How does Becks Premier Light compare with just 63 calories.

  • Jeremy Staffordshire

    Out of curiosity, are either of these beers actually available anymore?

  • Kaiser

    Yep – they both are.

  • BeLoud

    Truly I was a beer snob, loving my Surly Furious and beers of that ilk. But in my quest to lose 80 pounds with the low-carb lifestyle, I could not give up the nice feeling of cold bubbles in my tummy. Pop and fizzy water is not the same. 64 & 55 are not the same, either, but at least I feel like I’m drinking something…sort of. It’s better than zero beer for 8 months. When I can start consuming a few carbs again, I will have to be very moderate in consuming designer beers and ales. It sucks to be me. Low-carb diet sucks, but at least I am never ever hungry.

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