Confessions of a Miller High Life Drinker

Posted on July 7th, 2010

Here at Beeriety we’ve often expressed our frustrations with the biggest American brewers. Folks like Anheiser-Busch and MillerCoors, who collectively make up almost 95% of the US beer market. Generally we champion craft beer because we feel the little guys offer superior beer, and more honesty of what their beer is.  While we strongly favor craft beer over the other stuff we would be amiss if we here at Team Beeriety weren’t honest about how much cheap industrial beer we drink. It’s not something we’re proud about, but we’re don’t feel guilty about it either.

One of the greatest strengths of beer is its unparalleled adaptability. It ‘s equally at home at the ball game with a box of cracker jacks as it is a fancy meal at an expensive restaurant. While the former situation is more closely associated with the beverage, thanks to the efforts of the craft beer movement that image is slowly changing, and people everywhere are coming to recognize that there is no meal or  situation beer can’t handle. Here at Beeriety we want to celebrate all of the roles beer is able to play, from low brow to high brow. That means celebrating the beers both by Dogfish Head and by Miller. We may be most excited about the beers of craft brewers but we still regularly partake in cheap light lager like High Life, Pabst Blue Ribbon and the like, and we aren’t ashamed to admit it. Sometimes you’re not able to enjoy a nice craft brew, for reasons of availability, price or situation. Some may forsake beer all together if they can’t get a nice craft beer, but not me.  I’m interested in beer in all it’s forms, and sometimes that means something watery, thin and tasteless. If it’s all I can get my hand on at the moment I’m happy to have it.

When other people know you’re passionate about craft beer they may be a bit intimated by what that means. They may think you only drink expensive, imported beer in crystal chalices. I know that I’ve had of plenty of friends say they feel guilty drinking cheap beer around me, but the fact is I really don’t care, and frequently will gladly join them in a glass of whatever thin lager they’re drinking. It may not be my favorite, but I’m always happy the share a beer with someone, regardless of what it is. There is no beer that’s ‘right’ for a time, place or meal, only the beer you want to drink.  Don’t let anyone stop you from enjoying the beer you want to enjoy. I’ll continue to educate people about the beers beyond the light stuff, and drink craft beer when I can, but I’ll never dismiss someone based solely on what their drinking, or refraim from trying every beer I can get my hands on. That kind of snobbery and elitism is best left to wine drinkers.

  • “Don’t let anyone stop you from enjoying the beer you want to enjoy.” That pretty much sums it up there.

    Amen to this whole article.

    -Lost

  • “Don’t let anyone stop you from enjoying the beer you want to enjoy.” That pretty much sums it up there.

    Amen to this whole article.

    -Lost

  • right on! ive found that the movement isnt about snobbing it up, it simply educating. most people just have no idea about good quality beer, if after knowing they can still drink a crappy beer, than more power to them and we are making the world a better place! one beer at a time 🙂

  • Amen: “I'm always happy the share a beer with someone, regardless of what it is.” Because drinking along is never as much fun anyway. – BrewNoob

  • This attitude is exactly why I love reading this blog. I couldn't agree more.

    Cheers.

  • bntly

    Look: It's not even BEER. it's sold as beer, but it's fermented with enzymes, it's more corn and rice then barley and hops. I'm not being a snob, i just like drinking actual BEER.

  • Wolfsleepy

    “That means celebrating the beers both by Dogfish Head and by Miller”

    It's one thing to refrain from being snooty to people who don't have an interest in craft/micro beer and prefer macro adjunct lagers. Nobody likes a snob. But why do I have to celebrate Miller?

    Honestly, given the option, I'd pay a few bucks more to buy a light lager or pilsner offered by a local brewery than buy big national brands so that at least I'm putting money into a company that cares about producing quality beer.

    It just seems to me that anyone who has a genuine interest in beer would also like to see producers of quality beer succeeding in the marketplace and should understand that this will naturally ensure a healthy selection for beer consumers. The documentary 'Beer Wars' is an interesting perspective on the beer market and distribution system in the USA, though it does kind of hit you over the head with its agenda. I'm not really interested in treating InBev and SABMiller as the corporate bad-guys to rail against but they certainly don't need my support.

  • SDC

    “That kind of snobbery and elitism is best left to wine drinkers. ”

    Beer is running into the same issues facing wine snobbery. Supply & Demand economics is the only reason wine is deemed snobbish. With a bottle of Petrus 2009 wine not even out of the barrel yet for sale for $27,000 its based on only a few hundred bottles. We can see 3 Floyds, PtY etc.. facing similar demand /supply issues. Which creates grey/area beer trading.

    Its not a Them & US issue, as I'm both a Beer & Wine snob and I'm happy to admit it. Beer shows have as much geekiness & snobbery as wine shows. Which is fine as beer geeks are still only a few % of the population.

  • Pinot911

    Everything you said is untrue.

    Adjunct brews rarely have adjunct levels greater than 35% of the total grist bill.

    You cannot “ferment” with enzymes. The added enzymes that you are speaking of are a cocktail of mostly AMG that help degrade some of the dextrins remaining from the malted barley's own saccharification of the barley starch. This reduces the body, and increases the fermentability of the wort.

    Other enzymes used are used by many many breweries, not just Bud, Miller, Coors. They help breakdown hemicellulose fractions and beta-glucans present in wort. This improves filterability and clarity in beer.

    If you're going to spout off rubbish, please take your rubbish elsewhere.

  • Livingthehighlife

    Hold on – it’s my money and I will buy what beer I like to drink. I happen to be one of the biggest fans amongst my friends of Miller High Life. I have tried many a micro brew/craft beer and I will admit, that taste wise, they usually are better beers than “the High Life.” But, what Miller High Life lacks in basic taste, it more than makes it up in “image”/”perception.” Though I am well aware of all the marketing that SAB Miller and AB InBev perform for all their products, I have to say, I’m not immune to it. Over the years, some of it’s really worked on me. I love drinking Miller High Life because it gives me a good warm feeling. It reminds me of the seventies. It reminds me of the scene in the movie Deer Hunter where the guys are playing pool at a bar and drinking and having a great time and they’re all singing to that Frankie Valli song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” – good times before some of them have to go to war and things change greatly. It reminds me of growing up in the north where it snows in the winter and things can get pretty grey and depressing save for you and friends pounding cheap beer in the winter in your later teens and through your twenties. So you see, for me, beer is not just some sterile beverage which I judge with an upturned nose and will feel disappointed at the lack of depth of some obscure and seemingly made up flavor category. I drink Miller High Life because for me, it gives me the best overall “package” – a package full of memories (real and/or fancied), feelings (an escape back to simpler roots that are quite different from my current upper middle class situation), and just overall warmth in a simple, non fussy drink. So, yeah, that’s what I have to say about that.

  • Anderson Borelli

    I took a break from school and basically only drank craft beer. Now I’m back in school and too poor to buy fancy bevs. Clearly, cheap beer has it’s place.

  • Andrew Flick

    If i buy a budweiser it goes into my local economy too. We have a plant