February 02, 2005
Caffeinating a beer near you

The new caffeinated beer, which I mentioned before, is now officially on the market. Putting aside the travesty that is beer with ingredients like "guarana", this is an Anheuser-Busch product. What more do you need to know?

Oh, all right, here's one thing. It may taste better than cough syrup.

The popularity of a cocktail made by adding vodka to the energy drink Red Bull has inspired several brewers to create caffeinated beers. Most are small local brews such as Moonshot, a Boston-based beer. One is nationally known: Sparks, a malt-based energy drink containing many of the same ingredients as BE.

Rolling Stone magazine raved about Sparks last year: "The wave of the future is getting invigorated and wasted in one go with Sparks, the energy drink that has thoughtfully already added booze for you."

But Rolling Stone did not rave about the flavor: "It tastes like cough syrup."

BE doesn't taste like cough syrup. It doesn't taste much like beer, either. It tastes like ... something else.

"It has an aroma of blackberry and a little bit of cherry, which is unexpected," says Nathaniel Davis, the brew master who created BE. "It has typical beer flavors, like hops and malt, and it finishes with what we're calling the wow factor."

What's the wow factor?

"That bright, slightly sweet tart finish," he says. "People who drink it, their eyes light up and they say, 'Wow!' among other things."

Such as, mayhap, "Does that ever suck!" I'll never know, and that's a good thing. If you give it a try, please feel free to enlighten us here.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 02, 2005 to Food, glorious food | TrackBack

This reminds me of the time that I unfortunately tried a sip of Zima. I still have the aftertaste in the back of my throat.

Honestly, don't any of the taste testers tell these guys that this stuff tastes like crap? Malt liquor and fruit juice do not mix.

Posted by: HankP on February 2, 2005 7:59 PM

I hadn't tried this new Bud energy drink until I saw the article, and its horrible. its not even in San Francisco. we have Third Rail, which is a micrbrewed energy beer. its pretty good. no fruit flavors. just tastes like a beer.

Posted by: Karl on February 3, 2005 3:19 AM

It sounds like 33:15 La Biere Amareuse that we bought once because it looked so cheesy. It was a french spiced beer and it came in a 3 pack with pictures of a loving couple enjoying the Beer of Love.

It was the only product I've ever seen that always made people who tasted it try to wipe it off their tongue onto the roof of their mouth.

Try it, it's bizarre!
[Smack, smack, smack...]
But not good?
No, definitely not good.

This conversation repeated until we ran out of "The Lurve Beire".

Posted by: Michael on February 3, 2005 9:02 AM

Nothing like mixing your stimulants and depressants.

Besides, it's Bud. Or something Bud-like.

Which means it's likely better than Coors, but that's about it and that's saying almost nothing.

Posted by: Tim on February 3, 2005 5:27 PM

You know, I thought this beer would really suck. Then I tried it, and realized that sucking would be a step up. A big step up.

I'm sure there will be only too many people stepping up to trash this beer. To be fair to Bud, at least they're trying something different for them.

However, I really want to know what consumer test group said "yeah, I'd pay $6 for a 4 pack (of 10oz) cans more than once." See, I'm not one of those people. I tried it, becuse I'm an idiot, and I'll try almost anything once. This is sweet, tart, but what in god's name is that flavor supposed to be? I mean, eeech.
Make beer or make an energy drink. Not both in one little overpriced can.

Posted by: Bill on March 26, 2005 7:49 PM