Bud Light Platinum Beer Review

A friend of mine alerted me to the fact that DC-area Harris Teeter stores (in D.C. and VA) are carrying the new Bud Light Platinum. 

Naturally, I ventured on down to acquire some because it isn’t supposed to be released nationally until January 30. First, the packaging and the price, and name.

The packaging is silvery, as opposed to the straight blue or red that normally is used for Bud Light or Budweiser. This may be done purposefully to lure typical drinkers of Coors Light to look at the package. The bottles are blue. Frankly, they look like ZIMA bottles, not that I’d know what those look like.

The price is, well, expensive. I don’t know if they’ll keep the price significantly higher than a typical 12 pack of Bud Light or Budweiser once it is released nationally and production increases. It’s about $1.75 more expensive per 12 pack.

The name is stupid. Bud Light Platinum sounds like an airline miles membership or a credit card. Some of my friends cracked that it is “made with real bits of platinum, so you know it;s good.” My mom thought the bottles should be silver — which would be way too similar to Coors light, but since they’re glass that might be hard. It’ll be interesting to see what the cans look like. They say it is “triple filtered” which is something I am sure their Superbowl advertisements might explain a little bit.

The normal ABV for Bud Light is 4.2%. Bud Light Platinum boasts, and almost brags about about having a higher ABV of 6.0% — Budweiser is 5.0%. A typical can of Bud Light runs about 110 calories, Platinum has 137. The taste is familiar, almost sweeter than normal Bud Light and Budweiser. Overall, it’s not a bad drink.

What will make or break this as a brand, in my opinion, is how it is marketed.Anheuser-Busch had a history for a marketing bonanza for new brands, and many of them flopped or disappeared. World Select. Golden Wheat. American Ale. Budweiser Select. Sure, you can find these beers from time to time in various places, but some are gone for good.

If the marketing is chotchy, the brand will likely be rejected. If the marketing is snobby, the brand will likely be rejected. Normal people don’t want to drink what’s perceived as a beer douchebags drink just as much as they don’t want to drink beers snotty people drink. Remember that iconic Sam Adams commercial where the guy goes to the place with a dusty thick beer menu and says “I’ll have the Sam Adams.” That is the sweet spot.

In its press release, A-B InBev notes:

“Bud Light Platinum provides beer drinkers an upscale light beer option as a companion to their social agenda.”

Which makes me think — well, maybe the Platinum moniker isn’t as stupid-sounding as I thought. Remember the kids in grade school that would walk the teacher’s dog if it got them one of those gold stickers? Status plays a role — and if Platinum didn’t work, credit card companies would stop using it. (I always got bronze stars.)

I don’t have any beer companions to my social agenda, but I guess this beer is going to be an upscale wing-man? Who knows.

Conclusion: This isn’t a bad beer. It isn’t an amazing beer. It’s a Bud Light-like product that has a sweeter taste and more kick. Will it stick around? We’ll see.

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