Tag Archives: light beer

Quick Quaff: Molson Canadian 67 Sublime

OK, let’s get this out of the way right off the bat:

Molson Canadian 67 Sublime is not a great beer. It has very little colour, aroma and flavour. It’s bland and, frankly, kind of boring. The several bottles I had at the launch party that Molson threw at The Fifth last week are likely the last I will ever drink.

Those are all the things that I, as a Serious Beer Drinker, am expected to think and write about beers like this. And in general, they’re all true.

But they also don’t much matter, as Molson Canadian 67 Sublime – a low calorie and low alcohol beer infused with lime and lemon flavour – isn’t a beer for Serious Beer Drinkers, and what Serious Beer Drinkers think about it is pretty much irrelevant. It’s not a beer to be sniffed and sipped and swirled and savoured; it’s a light and lightly-flavoured beverage designed for calorie conscious consumers who want to enjoy a few brews on a warm patio with friends and not think about what they’re drinking aside from making sure it’s cold and refreshing.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Sure, I could pull out the argument that those who want to cut back on their caloric intake could just drink a less – and preferably craft – beer rather than settling for a low calorie macrobrew. But that assumes that the people who choose to drink 67 Sublime and other low-cal and lime-flavoured brews are settling, when in fact, many of them are likely quite happy with what they’re getting.

And what exactly are they getting? A pale yellow liquid with lots of carbonation, very little aroma, a very refreshing mouthfeel, and a clean flavour that’s reminiscent of 7-UP with a backnote of malt. (My wife claimed that it tasted like Irish Spring soap, but I think that was caused by the combination of the beer and the cilantro in one of the hors d’œuvre that was being served. Plus she generally hates fruit-flavoured beers, and calls me a girly-man when I drink them.)

Sitting on the lovely enclosed rooftop patio at The Fifth, chatting with friends and colleagues, and enjoying a sultry early summer evening, I drank one, and another, and another besides that. Sure, they weren’t as good as the Hacker-Pschorr Kellerbier I’d enjoyed at a nearby pub beforehand, or something else similarly full of flavour and character, but they were cold and wet and drinkable (sorry, Steve!), and I was thirsty, and I drank them.

So for what it is, and who it’s made for, Molson Canadian 67 Sublime is a product that fits its niche perfectly. It’s just pretty clear that I (or any other Serious Beer Drinker) don’t really fit into that niche along with it. That’s not a passing of judgment, just a statement of fact – a fact that I’m fine with, and that I expect Molson is fine with as well.

Into The Light: A Molson Quartet

Over on Taste T.O. this week, I’ve got a review of Muskoka Pilsner Light, a newish beer from Muskoka Cottage Brewery that is “Light” due to being 4% alcohol, but is otherwise a solid and flavourful German-style pilsner. In the piece, I make the point that the name – which I assume was chosen at least partially to get the beer noticed by drinkers of Coors/Bud/Blue/etc. Light who may be willing to experiment a bit – might end up alienating Muskoka’s core customer base of craft beer drinkers who would sooner drink water than a typical North American Light Lager.

I have hope that the quality of the beer – which is quite high – will win it fans regardless of the name. But there’s still a big reason why so few small breweries call their beers “Light” even if they happen to be lower alcohol lagers, and that reason is that most mainstream light lagers simply aren’t very good. Not that they’re completely undrinkable (well, some of them, at least), but they inevitably lack some or all of the elements that craft beer drinkers look for in a beer – elements like colour, body, aroma and flavour.

I recently had a chance to reconfirm my opinion about macrobrewed light lagers when I received a promo shipment from Molson Coors Canada containing a selection of beers from their portfolio, ranging from light and ultra-light lagers to craft and pseudo-craft brews. I’ll give some thoughts on the beers in the latter category in a subsequent post, but for this one, I’ll be concentrating on the quartet of cans in the former group.

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