It's always a risk, going drinking with someone who has studied beer packaging technology at university. They end up making impulse purchases of stuff in shiny cans and expect you to help them drink it. But at least they have the decency to be ashamed of it, don't they Thom?
So it happened that in a gigantic sports bar in the centre of Cork last Saturday I found myself sharing a bottle of Bud served from the new "aluminium bottle" which Diageo are currently foisting on the Irish market with an all-pervading advertising campaign. The unique selling point is that it's served at -5°C from a special fridge, though if it actually was when the lid comes off I suspect that this 4.3% ethanol solution would freeze solid.
Either way, however, it pours out bloody cold. And rather unpleasantly thick too -- gloopy, the way vodka goes in the freezer. The big up-front taste (yes, there is one) is apples. It's a long time since I last tasted Bud, but I don't remember the apples. It quickly vanishes though and you just get water and gas, until the finishing surprise. We were drinking from glasses, which I don't think is the intended method of dispense, yet there was a major metallic tang left behind after swallowing. I'm guessing that straight from the bottle it would be even worse.
So there you have it: Bud isn't very good. I'm actually rather surprised at the flaws, given what I've been told about the impeccable quality control procedures at the brewery in Kilkenny where they apparently take every imaginable step to remove all flavour from the beer -- I was expecting fizzy water and nothing more. Turns out it really is bad beer. Who knew?