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Drink Thu Aug 18 2011
As the end of summer looms on the horizon (noooo, look away! White shoes forever!), it seems an appropriate time to reflect upon some of the other summer drinking options... You know the ones. The kinds you find in a cooler at a friend of a friend's backyard get together when you arrive hours after the peak of the party has faded and all the good beers have been finished off. The kinds you find on the "seasonal specials" menus of bars that are really not terribly interested in offering seasonal specials. And in the case of MGD 64 Lemonade, the kinds that have been not only discontinued but recalled by their parent brewer and now only exist in keg form in a few select (?) joints around town. That's right, gentle reader, I drink them for you. And I have learned some things.
First off, do not drink MGD 64 Lemonade. Just don't. Unless you're missing the cloying, plastic taste of Crystal Light in your light beer. Maybe if Miller had gone with a regular, full calorie shandy concoction, things might have turned out better -- but when you try to add lemonade or lemon soda to a beer capped at 64 calories, you have to get creative. And creative, in this case, means adding lemon "flavor" and sucralose. And not even Splenda -- some off-brand, unnamed version of sucralose. The first sip is not bad -- it doesn't really taste like anything. Just weak, beer-esque, lemon-ish sweet water. But the in the second and following, the weird-science sweetness gets increasingly more oppressive. At 2.8% ABV, it's not even going to get you drunk enough to not care about how it tastes. A good, old-fashioned Miller Lite will be kinder and more quenching for your summer drinking purposes, or even, and I can't believe I'm saying this, a Mike's Hard Lemonade (5.2% ABV). Pinky swear.
Anheuser-Busch seems to have fared better than Miller Coors in the flavored, summery beer category. Bud Light Lime (4.2% ABV) is pretty drinkable -- sort of like a blander version of a pre-dressed Corona...Light. The lime flavor isn't nearly as chemical as in the MGD 64 Lemonade. But the best/least-chemical option of all might be Bud Light Gold Wheat (4.1% ABV). An improvement on regular Bud Lite, it still doesn't measure up to even a more mass-produced wheat beer, like Blue Moon (a Miller product). But it delivers the (featherweight) citrus-coriander one-two punch of better, smaller batch beers, drinks easily, and won't leave you wrinkling your nose and wondering what they hell you just put in your mouth. At a late party or limited bar, sometimes that's all you can ask for.