The race among alcohol purveyors to make the lowest calorie and carb beer (or hard seltzer) has a new entrant with Bud Light Next. This beer (“beer?” we’ll get to that in a bit…) boasts some impressive stats for those looking to keep their macros low when getting their drink on: zero carbs, 80 calories, and 4 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Those are great numbers for weight-conscious beer drinkers and those who prefer light, sessionable quaffs over bitter triple IPAs, heavy saisons, or malty porters.
The new light beer took Anheuser-Busch almost 10 years to craft to their liking, which they stated needed a “brewing breakthrough” for it to come to fruition. Though they won’t say what that amazing breakthrough is: “When you combine technology with Bud Light’s innovation, the impossible becomes possible!”
What they came up with is, for sure, something you can drink to get a buzz without imbibing a bunch of calories or any carbs. But, with that drastic drop in carbs and calories, you inevitably end up losing what most love about beer—flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel.
The lager is brewed with malted barley and rice (hard seltzers get their alcohol from fermented cane sugar). Though we can’t say it tastes anything like a beer. Anheuser-Busch says it has a “super crisp” taste and is “refreshing,” which we’d say is true; but that obfuscates the fact it’s on par with plain seltzer. Water that’s got some bubbles…and some alcohol.
It’s a fine drink as is, and would be nice on a hot summer day when you don’t want any semblance of flavor tickling your taste buds. Or you could use it as a mixer for any manner of warm-weather cocktails. Next would work great in a vodka or tequila soda.
But really, if you’re seeking some flavor in your downtime beverage of choice, you’re probably better off just sticking to a zero carb hard seltzer, and there are plenty out there to choose from. If you—technically—want to be drinking a “beer” and are a diehard Bud Light fan looking to shave some carbs and calories from your brew, then Bud Light Next will be just what you’re looking for.
Just don’t expect major flavor or taste.
Oh, and that’s not all…the ad wizards at Bud Light (you know, just a plucky brewery that happens to be part of global juggernaut Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV) have included the buzzwords of the moment: NFTs and metaverse.
Called the “Bud Light N3XT Collection,” it’ll feature 12,722 unique tokens in similar hues to Bud Light Next’s light blues and white. Anyone who buys an NFT (only $399 a token!) will be able to vote on Bud Light Next merchandise, have access to Bud Light Next brand and partner events, and other unannounced opportunities centering around the light lager.
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