- Product Reviewed: Anheuser-Busch Faust Lager
- Brewed By: Anheuser-Busch, Inc.; St. Louis, MO
- Form Reviewed: Bottle
- Original Posted to Usenet: December 13, 1995
- Style: Vague Pale Lager
Initial Impressions:This past summer, several of us beer geeks in the Seattle area received invitations to attend feedback groups (or whatever the vogue term for marketing focus groups is these days) on Anheuser-Busch's new line of craft-like beers called "American Originals". A couple individuals did end up going, but I did not for whatever reason. The upshot was that AB was planning on test-marketing this line of four beers in the Seattle and Denver areas.
One interesting dynamic in the beer industry to watch has been the megas' reaction to the craft segment. This reaction comes in several forms, ranging from the "stealth micro" to out-and-out blatant honesty. A new approach seems to be developing as well, in the mold of Michelob's Amber Bock, which apparently isn't either. This new effort is particularly humorous because, in the words of one rfdb'er, it allows people the ability to look trendy while drinking the same old shit.
I personally abhor the "stealth micro" concept, and welcome the blatant honesty approach. I am not threatened when Miller brews their Reserve line, for example. While the beers are mediocre by craft standards, they are considerably better than Miller's normal swill and indicate that people are moving away from the latter. I welcome Anheuser-Busch's latest attempt, if a bit cynically. Remember, this same company is responsible for the aforementioned Michelob Amber Bock, and they have produced a semi- Stealth Micro of their own in Elk Mountain Amber Ale. They seem to be covering all of their marketing and business bases. Nevertheless, the American Originals line represents an honest attempt to compete with the likes of Sam Adams.
I recently purchases two of the American Originals, including the "Faust Lager" and the Black & Tan Porter. I took notes on them the day I purchased them. I sampled the Faust Lager first.
The beer was a deep golden color in my glass. It was highly carbonated (I would speculate ~2.75 volumes of CO2) which aided in the formation of a rocky white head. Head retention was OK; the head remained on the beer for a few minutes but lacework was minimal.
The aroma of the Faust Lager was minimal. A perceptible maltiness was largely evident, but nothing else made an appearance.
The Faust Lager had a medium body. The opening of the profile was strangely empty, and I tried several times to find some initial flavor. The middle was slightly malty, which limped into a chalky finish. A perceptible and rough hop bitterness lingered, indicating that AB used a high cohumulone hop (possibly Cluster?).
The astringent hop bitterness detracts from an otherwise good beer. The moniker "Golden Lager" does not give me much to work with from an analytical perspective. I figure that there are three possibilities: Munich Helles, Dortmunder, or Pilsner. It clearly was not the latter, but it had too much body for the former. I suspect a loose interpretation of a Dortmunder. Nevertheless, the relatively slight flavor profile has a difficult time in hiding the rough bittering hop used. If you are in a position to decide between this beer and Sam Adams Boston Lager (every word trademarked, and don't you forget it sonny) take the Boston Lager.
(Fair on my 5-star scale)
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