3.5% ABV (not a misprint)
Went to my aunt and uncle’s place upstate to celebrate Father’s Day. Besides my 18-year-old cousin who spent the entire afternoon texting and messaging on Facebook, I was the only being in the house under let’s say sixty (even the dog is 77 in canine years). Tired of hearing debates about medicaid, discussions of Obama, lectures on correct propane grill usage, and thoughts on Tim Russert, I had to escape. I snuck downstairs to the basement to watch the US Open and find some “relaxation” medication (i.e. beer) to allow me to continue existing around my loud Jewish family. Unfortunately, all the house had in stock was Amstel Light. Yuck. What a horrific beer. I’ve always detested the brew but when I was younger I assumed it must be highly regarded due to it’s “classy” commercials and the fact that I always see douchebags in suits drinking the stuff. It’s, in fact, one of the few beers that suited men feel comfortable imbibing on. Come to find out, Amstel is just the Absolut vodka of beer. In other words, a savvily marketed libation meant to make people think it’s highbrow. It’s a good trick. Overprice something crappy and now all of the sudden people like it. Price Amstel cheap and no one’s touching the swill. Call it an “import” and sell it for $6 or $7 at a bar and now everyone’s a fan.
However, it wasn’t until last week or so when I finally realized why I detest this beer so much (besides the fact that it tastes like shit). I was at a bar that nicely listed the ABV of every beer on its menu. I was stunned to see the absolute lowest ABV offering they had was Amstel Light at 3.5%. I thought that had to be a misprint. Root beers are higher ABV than that. Beer sold in Utah is more potent that 3.5%. No, it was NOT a misprint. My god.
So what to say about this semi-alcoholic water? It tastes very salty. Seriously. Like a pack of Lay’s Salt & Vinegar chips made into liquid form. The beer is arguably thinner than Corona. And that’s saying something. The only way Amstel Light could be worse is if it was bottled in gas form. Then you’d just pop the top, inhale the zero-calorie Amstel Gas as it escaped, and not get fat. Or drunk. Exactly what happens when you drink it in beer form. Amstel Light is the Netherlands’ answer to Stella.
Speaking of which, has any one ever seen a regular Amstel?