For the discerning American beer drinker, these are truly glorious times. Odds are, your town features a craft brewery or two, and even if it doesn’t, big “craft” brewers like Sierra Nevada or New Belgium have never been more accessible in stores and bars. If you want, you could go the rest of your inebriated life happily imbibing dank IPAs and limited edition milk stouts without inconvenience or need to pick up an case of flavorless macro-brew. This is all well and good, and I personally have the privilege of living in an area of great craft beer density, for which I am grateful.
But when spring rounds the corner into fall and the sun turns her wrath upon us, an itch begins to build. No amount of seasonal pilsners or Belgian goses can scratch it. We want something light, refreshing, and easy to drink. That’s right: this guy wants a Bud Light Lime.
In the interest of “hearing both sides,” there are some arguments against sucking down a sweet, cold Bud Light Lime. Budweiser’s patriotic “America”-emblazoned marketing is a lie, its sweetness is chemically contrived, and it’s a carbonated fruit beverage that is neither completely beer nor completely alcoholic juice poison. And even though it was the 17th most-popular beer in the United States in 2015, its very existence is a punchline. Here is a list of ways that writers on our site have described or written about Bud Light Lime:
- “green Froot Loops soaked in thigh sweat” (this take was later disavowed)
- “still the world’s worst light beer”
- “Jolly Green Giant’s ejaculate” (this was John Oliver)
- “long citrus middle sandwiched between the hellacious Bud Light start and finish”
Not to mention that Ben Roethlisberger is apparently an avid drinker of the stuff (and fuck that guy), or that a Bud Light Lime bottle was once weaponized by a bad Phillies fan.
I know an uphill battle when I see one. Deadspin, like most people, do not respect the Bud Light Lime lifestyle. This is probably because, as beers go, Bud Light Lime is not, strictly speaking, good. The lime essence tastes canned and artificial, and the flavor washes over and past your palate rather quickly. The new bottle has shades of the ignominious Vortex Bottle. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth drinking. Bud Light Lime is the least serious beer-esque beverage you can purchase. It allows you to shed any pretensions that drinking in the sunshine is anything loftier than exactly what it is. You can’t be sad while canoodling with a BLL, it’s impossible.
Bud Light Lime is the creation of August Busch IV, the dumbest in a series of men named August Busch who have run the Budweiser company. Busch IV is responsible for some of the most ambitious failures in the company’s history, including a raspberry ginseng caffeinated malt beverage called “Tilt,” Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus, a pair of separately packaged shots sold together and intended for mixing called “Jekyll & Hyde,” and “Spykes,” two-ounce shots full of caffeine marketed as beer mixers that came in flavors like “spicy mango” and “hot melons.” Busch IV was the last of the Busch men to control the company, and he struggled with addiction throughout his tenure. It was Busch IV who oversaw the company’s sale by hostile takeover to InBev. Somehow, through it all, he struck gold exactly once, with the creation of the good time lime.
The beverage succeeds in spite of itself, and its accidental conception makes a whole lot of sense. It is a beer utterly without ambition or fancy flavor profiles, which I’d argue is a detriment to many craft beers. Not everyone can afford (or enjoys, for that matter) drinking bitter, weed-tasting IPAs, which is why the cheap shit will always dominate the market. Nine-dollar, limited-edition Belgian quads are not the drink of the people. For all the nobility in creating a product that eschews global capitalism and creates a better product out of local ingredients, beer is still a poison, craft or lime-infused. You drink it to feel good.
Will Bud Light Lime’s sulfury faux-lime additives please every palate? No, some people have bad tastebuds. But for the masses, who want the bottled sensation of drinking in a body of water, look no further than Bud Light Lime.
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