Let Those Panty-Waists Drink Light

by Jim Lundstrom

“As any weight-watching beer lover knows, there are plenty of light beers on the market that taste just as good as the real stuff.” – womenshealthmag.com

Let me say this:  the comment above is a stinking lie.
It is impossible for “light beer” to taste like “real” beer. IM-freaking-POSSIBLE, no matter how many paid athletes tell you otherwise.
I spent much of the mid to late 1970s in England, drinking stout and friendly ales of all sorts, along with the occasional respectable Euro-lager. Unbeknownst to me, panty-waisted men of all stripes were succumbing to an athlete-driven ad campaign selling a product designed for women – and that is “light” or “lite” beer.

While I was drinking delicious English pale ales and bitters, Scotch ales, Irish stouts and a wide variety of other amazing, non-light malt beverages, American men were being emasculated by Lite.
That awful stuff was foisted on the susceptible American public more than 40 years ago, and now “light” beer is part of the fabric of our lightweight society.
The most hilarious thing about the pathetic rise of “light” beer is that while it occupies a major category in beer sales, we remain a nation of fat asses.

Drink more light beer!

No, I joke, and only because I recently bought a six pack of beer that advertised itself as “low calorie (99 calories) green tea ale.”
Honestly, it was the green tea that interested me, not the other claim. As a longtime tea drinker (even before England), both black and green, I am always intrigued by beer/tea brews.
An added incentive was this line on the six pack:  Crafted with Lemondrop hops.
Yum! Sounds great! Less shilling!
It is Eazy Teazy Green Tea Ale from Lakefront Brewery of Milwaukee.
I had to Google Lemondrop hops, and found a data sheet that included this description at hopsteiner.com:
The name truly says it all. Lemondrop offers a ‘unique lemon-citrus character with a pleasant aroma.’ 
The beer pours slightly cloudly, lemony even. I search without luck for lemony aroma.
I take a sip, and yes, a definite lemony presence is there, but I find my palate yelling in high-pitched Reaganesque panic to my brain, “Where’s the rest of me?”
When I sniffed for lemon, I got something else I couldn’t put my finger on until the last sip – dishwater. There’s something soapy to this beer.
And suddenly I have a very vegetal flavor spreading across my palate.
Oh, the dishsoap smell, well, I gave it another sniff and definitely got green tea this time.
Even though my sniffer now recognizes the odd vegetal smell as green tea, my palate does not. It simply registers an odd vegetal flavor, as though someone has been soaking green peppers and celery in this liquid. 
And there, at the very far end, what is that odd ending? Is that pencil shavings I taste? And then I have to ask myself, how in the world would I know the taste of pencil shavings?
Perhaps I’m trying too hard, trying to make something, anything of a low-calorie beer. 
Now I’ve just taken a sip pretending it’s an ordinary beer, and responding immediately to how it’s not, and my palate tells me immediately in many ways that this is not beer. If I had to guess in a blind taste test, I might guess that this beverage is green pepper wine.
There is a very sharp aftertaste that does not say beer to the palate. 
Oh, I know what that odd taste is. That is the awful flavor of light “beer.”
Since a 12-ounce Guinness is only 26 more calories than an Eazy Teazy, I say, “Give me a pint o’ Guinness because I’m watching my brain weight.”

I maintain that a person who drinks “light” beer by choice does not really enjoy beer.