Low ABV craft beer styles vs. AAL/Mexican Lager

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by bubseymour, Jun 10, 2018.


If craft beer was the same price as AALs would you still buy AAL's?

  1. Yes - I'd still buy AALs

    26 vote(s)
  2. No - If craft style options were same price as AALs, I'd never buy AALs again

    30 vote(s)
  1. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,258) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    If most all the <6% ABV beer styles, Pilsners, Helles lagers, Kolsch, Gose, session IPAs, Pale ales, English milds (basically all of the lighter, easy to drink beers), could be available at same price as AALs or mexican lagers, would you ever buy AALs? This is for people who actually tolerate/enjoy AALs either regularly or on occasions.
    Lahey likes this.
  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,010) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    That doesn't happen even in my dreams.
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,646) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    From my perspective there us a time and place for any beer style. I do not purchase AAL beers often but I do buy them occasionally and I enjoy drinking them on those occasions.

    While I am on the topic the beer style of AAL does not 100% correlate with non-craft. I recently drank an AAL beer brewed by Sierra Nevada (Sierraveza) and I enjoyed drinking that beer.


  4. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Devotee (494) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    The awareness that there is a cost of ingredients prevents me.
  5. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,258) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    I do not buy AALs often, but when I do, its either to save money or there isn't a another comparable craft option (i.e. light beer). I'm just curious if others actually prefer AAL at times if price was removed from the decision. If you were at a BBQ on a hot day and there was some good Pilsners, Helles Lager etc. would you still ever have a desire to reach for your favorite AAL?
    utopiajane and pjbear05 like this.
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,646) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It would depend on the mood I am in at the moment.

    I was at a party yesterday and I brought my homebrewed beers. I drank homebrewed Dubbel, Classic American Pilsner, Centennial IPA and later in the evening I drank a can of Miller Lite.

    Things are not either/or for me.


    Edit: I did not bring the Miller Lite - this beer was provided by the party host.
    TongoRad and Squire like this.
  7. TheGent

    TheGent Meyvn (1,341) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    My wife would become a craft beer drinker.
  8. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,280) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    This is a very interesting question. It seems that more and more craft brewers are brewing AALs or something similar (i.e. Founder's Solid Gold, Full Sail Summa' Time Lime Lager, Anchor's Los Gigantes, etc.). Why? Because people are buying it. But isn't that selling out? I'm not sure that any of the breweries listed ever spoke out against AALs, at least on the record, but the general mindset that I've encountered over the years is that craft beer was not about making AALs and similar beers. I find it disturbing to be honest, that Full Sail is now making a Corona Extra knock-off with the lime already mixed in - that seems like an A-B move. What's next? And why are people buying it?

    Finally, I haven't done the homework, but I'm pretty sure that these "craft" AALs and so forth will score much better on beer rating sites than their predecessors. That's just sad.
  9. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,609) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Hey, I like lighter lagers and there's a bunch thats worth buying. There's no problem liking Budweiser and its competition , and sometimes they are perfect and the lower Abv can be a plus. Perfect for the beach and pool, they have to be ice cold to be good, but under these kind of circumstances it's a nice match. There's a reason why smaller craft breweries are brewing these beers, go into any bar and see what's on the bar, even in craft bars there's still a ton of Corona and Miller Lite in sight. I'm sure they're well aware of the beer sales charts and the sheer volume that represents both in beer and money.
    #9 nc41, Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  10. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,258) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    Just for arguement sake, what if at the end of the night the host also still had an assortment of Von Trappe lagers, Suarez lagers (or other well made light lagers) along with the Miller Lite option. You still grab for the Miller Lite?
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,646) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I still had my homebrewed Classic American Pilsner in my cooler "at the end of the night" and yet I drank that Miller Lite.

    Does that answer your question?

    tzieser likes this.
  12. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,212) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I'd continue to drink the craft beers. Even when a craft brewer brews an equivalent of an AAL/MAL it tends to have much more flavor. That's the name of the same for me.
    dcotom likes this.
  13. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,258) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    Didn't mean to put you on the spot but this is sort of what I was interested to find out from fellow AAL/lager drinking BA's, if craft beer drinkers genuinely like to occasionally have an AAL even if there are comparable style craft beer options available (or if buying and price was removed from the decision equation). I guess the answer is yes, sometimes some craft beer drinkers do prefer AALs. I personally enjoy many AALs and Mexican lagers, I've got my favorites and also several I don't care for much, but I really don't think I'd choose any AALs over a fresh Pilsner Urquell, numerous other sub 6% German/American craft lagers no matter the situation. Ice cold, a fresh PU would always trump any BMC AAL (or Narragansett, Hamms, Sol, Corona, for that matter). I pretty much only go AAL to save a buck or no other light beer options.
  14. mambossa

    mambossa Initiate (127) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    This is a great question from OP. I am absolutely not opposed to AALs, but the price point and/or just a simple craving for them is usually why I buy them. Often times they’re a little too sweet for me, but a 30-pack of Hamm’s for $11? I’m sold. Especially to just have around the house.

    That said, if I could get a 30-pack of a well-made Pilsner or Kölsch with good ingredients for $11? Ain’t no fuckin question about it, I would choose that.

    It’s like asking: for $500 would you rather buy a 1995 Honda Civic (it’s reliable, easy to fix, gets the job done) or an Audi for the same price? Many people are gonna choose an Audi, but I wouldn’t blame anybody if they chose the former.
  15. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,454) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    I think we would purchase and drink what we like regardless of the price. I mean, we already do.
    Lahey, cavedave, utopiajane and 2 others like this.
  16. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,060) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota

    Flawed survey. Since you talk about craft vs. AAL I presume the AAL is BMC/macro. If so, then the missing survey options are "I don't drink AAL", and to be thorough "I don't drink craft". You'd probably find that a majority on this site don't drink AAL/BMC/Macro.
    HorseheadsHophead and utopiajane like this.
  17. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,334) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Why? Lots of non-macro* US breweries still market American adjunct lagers - starting with Pabst and their large (but shrinking) portfolio of once large-selling regional brands but also from the most of the surviving pre-craft breweries like Yuengling, Minhas (Huber and others), City (various contract brews), Schell (and Grain Belt), Straub, Cold Spring, Genesee, Matt (Utica Club), Stevens Point, The Lion, Spoetzl, Iron City and near countless and constantly revived brands like Narragansett, Duquesne, Piels, Champagne Velvet, Lemp, Fitgers, Walters, Gerst.... Add to that the current trend of craft/ex-craft breweries like Founders, Sierra Nevada and others adding adjunct lagers to their portfolios.

    *At this point, the only "macro" brewers - using the Brewers Association definition of "Large brewer" being 6m bbl/yr and up - left in the US are AB and MC, along with the US-based w/Mexican-breweries Constellation. I guess with Heineken (over 8m bbls) owning Lagunitas, they qualify as an "American macro brewer", even thought only a small percentage of their beers are brewed here.
  18. marquis

    marquis Crusader (759) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    JD Power survey of cars placed Audi next to the bottom,just above BMW. Honda came near the top. Reputations do not always match reality.
    Same with beer,call a beer "craft" and people rate it higher than a macro brewed one which might be equally enjoyable and with similar taste.
    surfcaster, MNAle and NeroFiddled like this.
  19. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,258) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    The survey is intended for people who drink AAL's (macro, independent, craft, Mexican, Canadian etc.) and also drink light craft lagers & ales. If you are only in one camp then survey isn't for you.
    TongoRad likes this.
  20. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (851) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I'm an equal opportunity beer drinker. I like having "industrial" beer (Hamms ,Miller High Life) as easy drinking "pace" brews.I always have Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Torpedo to drink a couple. I'll also buy anything new that I see that strikes my fancy. I like the price of Hamms and Miller, and I can always get 12 packs of Sierra Nevada for $12.99. My son is still in the business and brings by many new and often esoteric beers. The Hamms and Miller are very good for what they are and are great values. If Founders or Sierra Nevada offered similar beers at equal prices, I would still buy both "industrial" and craft.
  21. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,010) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Sir I raise my glass to your words.
    KentT likes this.
  22. KentT

    KentT Initiate (177) Oct 15, 2008 Tennessee

    rgordon and I are alike. I love the best of beer, and drink ordinary beer equally often. Sometimes I need a light, easy to drink AAL when it is severely hot, and I need thirst quenched after working on hot broadcast equipment at a site. Sometimes the complex microbrew IPA is what suits my mood. Like the music I listen to, the beer is a variety. I enjoy and appreciate a well made AAL just the same, when I want an AAL to drink. I even enjoy better malt liquor when I want one. I drink a variety of beers, and listen to a wide variety of music.
    JackHorzempa likes this.

    THANAT0PSIS Crusader (763) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin

    Yeah, I would. I actually enjoy the taste of PBR, High Life, and Hamm's. The fact that they're really cheap is a bonus. Also, Miller Lite is a choice of mine due to the low calories while retaining a good amount of flavor.
  24. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (122) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    First, show we an English mild available in stores apart from Brawler, and second, this is a ridiculous question, and third, about 90% of beer styles are below 6%, and lastly, back to point 2, don't we buy the styles we wish to put in our mouths?
    Lahey and EvenMoreJesus like this.
  25. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,258) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    The whole purpose of my OP was to get input from others to answer your exact question. Who buys AALs because of low price/budget reasons and if other / similar light craft styles were same price, would you no longer buy AALs? Of course you have to at minimum tolerate the taste of AALs. Its not a reality based question (i.e. craft styles at $7 a sixer are nearly impossible to find).

    For me personally, I would never have a need/desire to buy AALs if other light ABV craft options were both available and offered same price.
  26. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,585) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    I voted yes I would, because sometimes there is a time and place, as @JackHorzempa mentioned above. I don't usually fret the cost of beer unless there is a huge app. I do know that for the beach, I usually get a bunch of beer 5.2 or less and love it or hate it Bud Lite lime seems to work well there. This year Shiner saved me and release their Sea Salt and Lime Lager. I will always purchase craft if given the choice, but sometimes there are exceptions, and price usually doesn't have much to do with it.
    TongoRad and JackHorzempa like this.
  27. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (832) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    On the infrequent occasion that I drink AALs, it's not because they are cheaper than the craft beer that I usually drink. It's due to either preference, or, more likely, available options.
    HorseheadsHophead and TongoRad like this.
  28. BogusOwnz

    BogusOwnz Initiate (0) Feb 17, 2010 Illinois

    A Founders 15 pack of Solid Gold and a 15 pack of Centennial IPA gives me all the fridge diversity I need at an awesome value.
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  29. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (122) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    I occasionally by AALs if I get that combined urge for nostalgia and the desire to push back on what I sometimes see as becoming ridiculous ("craft" beer). In the summer time. Price is a nice factor, but I am not really competing between my choices. It just flows.
    bubseymour likes this.
  30. JoePasko

    JoePasko Initiate (82) Mar 10, 2018 New York

    Fortunately I've finally reached a point my life where
    I don't have to seek out or select less expensive beer
    purely for budgetary reasons. That being said, I
    do avoid beer that I consider to be over-priced, even
    though I can afford it, because I don't like being ripped
    off and I don't buy into hype.

    I rarely buy any AAL's... occasionally some Champagne
    Velet, which is a throwback to pre-Prohibiton "pilsner",
    when any beer that was yellow and clear could be passed
    off as a pilsner in the US. (Miller Lite and Utica Club
    are two that continue that practice today.) Most pale
    lager that I buy and drink these days are imported German
    pilsners, or American pilsners brewed faithfully in
    the true German/Czech style (Von Trapp, for instance).

    As far as that supposed "refreshing" aspect of AAL,
    my pilsners and session IPA's refresh & quench me just fine.
  31. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,532) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    I would also drink more of the classic american pilsner if it were available. Price is a concern as it is for most people but it is not the only reason that I would like to see more craft brewers doing the AAL styles. Let me illustrate by saying that I enjoy Enjoy By very much but the almost $20 a sixer prevents me from buying it and it is not an AAL style. I do not enjoy the "light/lite" beers at all. I do not want them from any one. I have a taste aversion to the rice lager and rice in beer as a rule so again even though I have had a craft rice lager that I liked I would not buy it. I also have noticed that some macro brands are just as expensive as their craft counterparts so at that point it is time consider where the beer is made.
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  32. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,334) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    I don't know, I've been drinking beer for around half a century and beer is getting cheaper. Around the time I became of legal age (it varied back then, depending on state and changing laws) a case of Ballantine Ale went for around $5.50-6.00 - pretty much the average price of a "premium" beer around here in the northeast.

    The DoL's inflation calculator says that about $36 in today's dollars.

    I was making $2/hr, so I had to work ~3 hours for a case of beer.

    When I retired around a decade ago, one hour's pay could get me a case of "expensive" craft beer.

  33. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,258) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    If my favorite pilsners, pale ales, Helles lagers, gose, berliner’s Etc were available at same price, I’d never buy AALs. However there are quite a lot of “bad” craft options (both American and European) attempts at traditional or new school styles and in those cases, there are several AALs that I actually enjoy more. So it’s a little relative to the quality of the craft beers.
  34. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,477) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    I'm with you there, Jack- when I'm having one it's because that's just what I'm in the mood for and money doesn't enter into it. I may even say "damn, that's good!" after every few sips. :sunglasses:

    My only requirement is that they be good examples of the style.
  35. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (356) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    I'm not a big fan of the AALs anymore, so I'd rather pay for a session IPA than drink a free AAL most days. I do have some AALs in the fridge to drink, but that's due to overbuying for guests. I'd love to get a case of 24-30 ipas for 20 bucks though, tell the craft brewers to get on that...
  36. Jirin

    Jirin Aspirant (220) Apr 28, 2013 Massachusetts

    The only case I'd ever drink AALs is if they are the only think available at a party.

    All the moods where I would want a light drinkable beer I'd go for a Weihenstephaner or something of that nature, maybe a Sam Adams Summer.

    I just think, why put poison in your body if it doesn't even taste good?
    Lahey likes this.