Budweiser Select 55: Light on Calories, Taste and Alcohol

March 25th, 2010 | by Carleton

During the advertising blitz of this year’s Superbowl Anheuser-Busch pushed their latest creation, Budweiser Select 55. It’s a 55 calorie light lager that’s clearly a direct challenge to MGD 64, SABMiller’s similar light lager with 64 calories per 12 oz serving. While light beer is certainly nothing new, this tug of war between the two companies is a trend we’re not pleased about.

What a lot of people don’t realize about these super light beers is that they’re not just light in calories (and taste) they’re also light in alcohol. Both Select 55 and MGD 64 are just 2.8% alcohol by volume. That’s low, even by light lager standards. Michelob Ultra, the first ‘super light’ lager at 95 calories  is 4.2%, the same as Bud Light. To get the same amount of alcohol from Select 55 or MGD 64 as Bud Light you’d pretty much have to drink twice as much, all but negating any of the caloric benefits. Without the promise of lower calories is there any reason to drink these beers? let’s face it, if you’re drinking them it’s certainly not for the taste, it’s for the alcohol and the perceived lack of calories. So really, why bother? If you’re looking for a low calorie alcoholic drink you’re really better off drinking a simple cocktail like vodka tonic or something.

If on the other hand you’re interested in drinking beer because you enjoy beer and you enjoy the way it tastes, you should try drinking a real beer that’s brewed for taste not calories. We’re all for healthy living and watching what you eat and drink but as we’ve said before, counting calories when it comes to beer just doesn’t make sense. Is anyone really concerned about the 9 calories you save by drinking Select 55 over MGD 64? Despite the suggestions of Anheser-Busch and SabMiller, quality beer doesn’t have that many more calories than light beer. Although Guinness is sometimes referred to as “liquid bread” due to its perceived heaviness, it only has 17 more calories per serving than Bud Light. Hopefully this race for the lightest beer possible will fade away like the silly trend it is, but in the meantime take a stand for real beer that’s made for taste, not calories and enjoy craft beer.

What do you think of this race for the lowest calorie beer? Let us know in the comments or on twitter.

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Categories: Beer Ad Myths, General

  • http://zerodev.tumblr.com zerodev

    Excellent.

  • http://www.lowcalhq.com/ Cal

    I guees that makes sense about the alcohol content and the calories. The higher the proof or percentage then the higher the calories. Check out this drink that has around 65 calories. Plus the lady making them is hot! http://www.lowcalhq.com/slim-and-sexy/

  • Sarah

    Actually a vodka tonic has a pretty significant number of calories: 50-100 in a shot of vodka and tonic has nearly as many calories and as much sugar as Coke. My brother swears by diet tonic but it tastes funny to me.

  • Cal

    club soda, not tonic. But all acohol has calories in it. around 60-70 perdrink is pretty good

  • http://blog.beeriety.com/2010/04/22/the-myth-of-beer-bellies/ The Myth of Beer Bellies – Beeriety

    [...] people are under the false assumption that beer is much higher in calories than it really is. As we’ve discussed several times, even so called “heavier” beers like Guinness aren’t significantly higher in [...]

  • Mike Higdon

    Honestly the calories thing is stupid to me. It's a cheap attempt to get the female market they've shirked and degraded for so many years. It's another image thing. If you're holding an MGD 64 or Bud Light 55 at a party, it's supposed to make you look thoughtful about your health.
    But that fact is, beer is already healthy because of its ingredients. I suspect craft beers are healthier because their higher quantity of vitamins and other ingredients.
    And anyway, at the kind of parties Bud and Coors try to position themselves in, 70% (anecdotal numbers) of beers don't get finished anyway. People will hold their red cups or bottles to look cool but won't finish them once they heat up from their hand.

  • kinglouie

    For the many folks who have to watch the CALORIES, SODIUM and CARBS for health reasons this beer is the best thing going if you like a cold beer for reasons other than getting drunk.

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