Playoff Beards and Michelob Lager

It’s time to do something very un-beer-blog-like. I am going to extol the virtues of a macro beer. An under appreciated beauty of a beer called Michelob Lager.

Michelob, as one would expect from a macro, is simple and inelegant. It’s also not at all strong, clocking in at 4.8% ABV. However, it is beer-flavored beer. This is God’s own session beer.

Every beer has its place, and certainly, were I having one beer and sipping it, this would not be the best choice. However, as the Stanley Cup Playoffs get going, let’s take a moment to talk about a beer you can drink for the whole game. A hardworking beer. The kind of beer that doesn’t need a playoff beard, cause it’s already got one. Hell yes, Michelob.

If you’re more familiar with Michelob Light or - gasp - Michelob Ultra, do your best to forget they exist. Michelob was initially produced as a “draught beer for connoisseurs.” This was Anheuser-Busch’s craft beer in 1896. Currently, while Bud has a lot of rice malt, Michelob is still all barley, and that makes a huge difference.

Michelob has a pleasant, slightly ready flavor with more malty richness than you expect out of an American macro. But, it’s light enough to be refreshing. Which also means that it has a habit of disappearing from your bottle very quickly. But don’t worry: there are six of ‘em in that pack.

You want to grill? Michelob. Just cut your grass? Michelob. I always wish more bars and rock clubs sold it, because it would be perfect for a long, late night. But, it’s also great for watching hockey.

This time of year, I spend a lot of time sitting up late at night watching the west coast games (I even attempt to watch their overtimes). I go into work bleary-eyed and caffeine fueled enough just from lack of sleep. I certainly don’t need to add to it by drinking heavy beer. Plus, I want to watch the game. Michelob never lets me down. I go through a lot of it from mid-April to early June every year.

Let's fill it with beer!

Let's fill it with beer!

Which brings me to another benefit: it’s cheap. $4.99 for a six at my local purveyor of spirits. Let’s be clear: this is not a great beer. What it is is a very good beer that won’t get in your way while your trying to watch a tiny frozen piece of rubber flying around a rink at high speed.

Could I find a craft beer that does the session thing as well or better than Michelob? Probably. But something feels right about drinking a beer that’s not all high falutin’ while watching hockey. I don’t want to drink expensive beer with the people in the corporate boxes. I want to hoist blue-collar beer with the screamers in the cheap seats. And no beer does that quite as well as Michelob.