Saturday Suds special – Budweiser & The Olympics

28 07 2012

My fourth “Saturday Suds” is a little different due to the times.  In other posts I’ve tied a beer to baseball in some fashion.  But today, I wanted to do an Olympic post because my (still pregnant and still overdue wife) watched the opening ceremony last night.  But I’ve had Saturdays generally slated for beer posts this summer – so I figured, let’s do both.

First – I’m really excited for the Olympics.  With a kid on the way any day now, I will probably be spending a good portion of August at home, and if I’ve got to be up at 3 AM to try to get the baby back to sleep, I might as well be able to watch some random Summer Olympic sports.

It won’t be quite as exciting for me as in 2008.  In 2008, a kid from my high school (David Payne) qualified in the 110m hurdles and actually got a silver medal.  That’s right – an OLYMPIC SILVER MEDAL.  This wasn’t just a kid from my high school – he was actually 2 years younger than me.  I was captain of the track team my senior year, and he actually didn’t run track as a sophomore.  The coaches knew his mom, and we got him to come out and compete just at the CHL (our league in Cincinnati) championship, and he ended up winning the hurdles in the league meet – on a week of training.  I’ll never forget it, because a) the points helped us win the league for the 8th straight year when we weren’t given much of a chance, and b) it was the most impressive thing I’d seen in my short 17 years at that point.  David was an athlete – everyone knew that.  A basketball or football player just stepping out and winning a 100m or 200m sprint, while impressive, is certainly within the realm of possibility.  But hurdles are an acquired taste for track athletes – it takes a lot of work to get your steps down.  For someone to be able to have that down without any practice (he ran something like a 15.1 or so) was incredible.  Did 17-year old me think someday he’d win a silver medal at the Olympics?  Heck no, but it certainly seemed like he could be a D1 college runner.

David is still a professional hurdler, but he unfortunately didn’t qualify to the Olympics this year (he made the semifinals at the trials in Eugene, OR).  So I won’t have the local guy to root for this year, but we will still enjoy watching the Olympics – as a former track & field athlete, those events in particular!

On to the Beer!

Brewery:  Anheuser Busch Companies, Inc. in St, Louis, Mo (plus ~30 other breweries worldwide)

Currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, NV (Belgium).

Beer:  Budweiser

Description:  An American style lager introduced by Adolphus Busch in 1876.  He developed it to become America’s first national beer brand.  Since then, it’s had the same recipe through 5 generations of the Busch family. From the company website, Budweiser has: “Fresh and subtle fruit notes, a delicate malt sweetness and  balanced bitterness for a clean, snappy finish. Budweiser is a medium-bodied, flavorful, crisp and pure beer with blended layers of premium American and European hop aromas, brewed for the perfect balance of flavor and refreshment.”

All that said, we used to refer to it as Bud-heavy in college (and frankly still do).  It uses rice for a good percentage instead of hops, which makes it cheaper.  But it frankly doesn’t have much taste.  It’s got the typical golden color, and can be very refreshing on a hot day.  Sometimes you don’t want a strong taste – if it’s 105 degrees and you’re at a ballgame barbecue watching the olympics, having a bitter beer with a lot of hops isn’t the way to go.  So Budweiser can be a decent option as a cold beer that’s a little stronger and fuller than the light beer counterparts (though it also kind of just tastes like NASCAR too me now).  Which is why I’ll post on it again later this summer when I go back to baseball.

Medium:  Anything you can think of.  From a keg, in a can, in a bottle.  For this post I’ll focus on the Olympics.  This year, Budweiser came out with a special 16 oz bottle for the Olympics.

How it’s related to Olympics:  Budweiser has been a sponsor of the US Olympic team since 1984, when the Olympics were held in LA.  The brand has signed on through at least the 2016 games.

Good luck to all the US athletes over the next 3 weeks!

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