What's the deal with Minnesotans and Michelob Golden Draft (Light)?

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by MN_Beerticker, Sep 10, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MN_Beerticker

    MN_Beerticker Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2012 Minnesota

    Why is this beer so popular among Minnesotans? Is it the bland Norwegian/Scandanavian/German palate? Is it a lack of daring to try new things? I have been told that this market is the strongest market for Mich Golden and even outsells Missouri where it is brewed. This baffles me.
  2. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (2,129) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    Check this out. And this:
    Sorry it's a tepid Wikipedia cut n' paste, but I'm too lazy to go through the whole article search route. If you were of legal drinking age back then (hint hint) the stuff was not nearly as inescapable as it is right now, but it came on strong pretty quickly and consolidated its position as the top brand in the state.

    As I understand, it really was an MGD-beater from the start, and the Light line extension really took off in the mid-to-late 1990s.


    P.S. I dig the "bland Nordic palate" thing as an alternate explanation, but I've seen plenty of non-Scands guzzlin' it up over the years. :wink:
    yamar68 likes this.
  3. Jfriz25

    Jfriz25 Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2012 Wisconsin

    I have quite a bit of family in NW WI and Min and they pretty much all drink this. I have to say it was better than Bud or Miller when they had the can with the ruffles but ever since they moved to the normal can it's not worth drinking anymore.
  4. Gonzoillini

    Gonzoillini Meyvn (1,225) Oct 15, 2008 Illinois

    An interesting question that I have also wondered when traveling to northern MN (North end of Itasca County, Squaw Lake / Marcell MN).

    Literally every local bar has Michelob Golden Light on draft for low prices, and it is always available in off sale establishments as well.

    I re-established my enjoyment of Nordeast from Schell (Grainbelt) this trip, on draft at a lot of places where the only choices were Leinenkugel Amber and Nordeast besides the usual suspects.

  5. Ungertaker

    Ungertaker Disciple (364) Apr 30, 2010 Minnesota

    Golden Light is my family's go-to light beer and we are not Scandinavian at all, we are Irish-German. I still don't get it, though.
  6. morimech

    morimech Poo-Bah (3,874) Nov 6, 2006 Minnesota

    I was in Las Vegas about 10 years ago and ordered a Mich Golden Light in some casino (choices in Vegas were few back then). The bartender instantly identified me as a Minnesotan. That was disturbing and I have never ordered it again.
    Nutwood likes this.
  7. WisconsinBeer198

    WisconsinBeer198 Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2011 Minnesota

    Crappy macro lager that for whatever reason took off in popularity in MN. Doesn't really have any redeeming qualities, people just drink it because they see their buddies drinking it.
  8. Gonzoillini

    Gonzoillini Meyvn (1,225) Oct 15, 2008 Illinois

    Paging JessKidden
  9. yamar68

    yamar68 Meyvn (1,320) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    I don't think he gets reception from the midwest forum - you might want to try his cell.
    paulys55 likes this.
  10. ObiWanKushnobi

    ObiWanKushnobi Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2011 Minnesota

    The majority my friends drink that "beer", I have tried to convert them (a few have crossed over) not sure why it is so popular to each their own I guess. One day I was at France and 44 wine and one of the beer guys said that they regularly ship that stuff to customers out of state who lived here which blows my mind considering all of the good beers they could be ordering. I'm not above drinking it but after having so many great beer it is like drinking water.
  11. feloniousmonk

    feloniousmonk Poo-Bah (5,628) Nov 14, 2002 Minnesota

    I didn't use to carry it at my bar, out of spite and hatred, etc., (but I do now), and in those days, there was a guy who expressed his outrage at this decision by saying: "What? The most popular beer in Minnesota, and YOU DON'T HAVE IT???"

    Not as bad as the guy who screamed at me for not carrying Icehouse, though.
    Chaz, Redrover, Penguin3200 and 2 others like this.
  12. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (2,129) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    "Mr. Kidden cannot be reached at this time. His office hours are 9 to 5, Monday through Saturday. Please try back or leave a message after the tone. This has been a recording. Thank You. Good Bye!"
    P.S. It probably helps that it is advertised profusely throughout the area and region. Note also that it is not a part of the regular portfolio, but is considered a specialty brand.
    Penguin3200 and yamar68 like this.
  13. BrianJ

    BrianJ Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2003 Minnesota

    I don't know and I don't think anyone really knows. "Bland palate" may be accurate but it doesn't explain our market's preference for this particular bland beer. People like bland beer everywhere but it seems like only MN and IA like this one.

    On a barely related note - a few months ago I was at my wife's grandparents' house. My father in law was there too and offered me a cold Mich Golden Light. It was a ribbed can and I thought, "hey, cool they brought back the ribbed cans!"

    Then I took a drink and it was one of the most foul things I'd ever tasted and I took a look at the "born-on date". It was a 7 year old can. For future reference I advise against cellaring Mich Golden Light and if you have a ribbed can it's more useful as a curio than a beverage.
    sparx1100, Jfriz25 and Ish1 like this.
  14. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (3,442) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    I think it's all about mouthfeel. For those who don't care about taste, or want a beer with minimal offense in the taste, the softness of the carbonation is pleasing.
  15. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (4,346) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    My opinion is Mich Golden Light has been cheapened since it first came out years ago....Marcell BTW...one of the nicest areas in the state imho
  16. JohnBierman

    JohnBierman Initiate (0) Sep 27, 2006 Minnesota

    The simple answer is...15-20 years ago, this was the "cool" beer to be seen drinking regardless of taste. People wanted to be seen drinking what was perceived as being hip by their peer group.

    The same thing is happening now. Only now, craf beer is perceived as "cool". If you don't believe me, head to a Chammp's or a Wild Bill's near you and watch the "Jersey Shore" types order craft beers.
    UMNbeerhunter likes this.
  17. feloniousmonk

    feloniousmonk Poo-Bah (5,628) Nov 14, 2002 Minnesota

    Is that why when they say "I'll take a Surly", and I ask "Which one", the response is: "Whichever. Doesn't matter."
    tgchief and henderan like this.
  18. evilgenius1917

    evilgenius1917 Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2009 Minnesota

    I got tired enough of watching brahs order Summit at places like Sweeney's long enough ago that I quit caring about what people drink anywhere.

    The fact of the matter regarding this thread is that Mich Gold Lt was a marketing beer designed to attack Miller Lite, as already explained in this thread. Or Mich Gold vs MGD or whatever. It is only available in the three or five state area, I forget which. So yeah, being pegged as a Minnesotan in Vegas isn't much a big deal unless you're from Wisconsin or Iowa (or the Dakotas, I forget which). It was a Bud Lt substitue because that didn't (and still doesn't) work here, despite being the best selling beer in the country. One the one hand, it's pretty empowering that our market can have an out of nowhere market share leader, in defiance of the rest of the national industry. On the other hand, it's still AB.
    Chaz likes this.
  19. Hannibalism

    Hannibalism Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2008 California

    This has nothing to do with my personal ethnicity, but I do not agree with this statement. I'll give you Norwegian and Scandinavian because stuff like Haandbryggeriet isn't the norm. However, there are way too many stellar beers brewed in Germany for this to make sense to me. I certainly wouldn't consider something like a Rauchbier bland.
  20. MN_Beerticker

    MN_Beerticker Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2012 Minnesota

    True, however these are Minnesotan Germans that don't venture too far out of the taste box. They may have tried a Schell's or Lowenbrau, but stick close to the comfort zone of Mich Golden, Miller Lite and Bud products.
  21. Nutwood

    Nutwood Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    Good pairing with pickled herring, ya know?
  22. incutrav

    incutrav Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2007 Minnesota

    It sure doesnt taste the same now that its not in the ol' crinkle can!
  23. Lifeofbrian

    Lifeofbrian Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 Minnesota

    I have to disagree. Before I got in the beer industry the cool beers of choice 20 years ago for this 43 year old and his Uptown friends were Leinenkugel "Indian beer" returnables, Grain Belt Premium returnables and if we could afford it Summit Extra Pale Ale.
  24. Luke2080

    Luke2080 Initiate (0) Sep 12, 2012

    Since this thread is near and dear to my heart, I found it important to actually register for this site so I could give my opinion on this wonderful topic.

    First lets get this out of the way. The bigotry of bashing the palates of the Nordics / Germans should stop. It makes me sad, and since Germany sort of helped give the world beer as we know it (and I lump Belgium in with Germany at this time) and Oktoberfest, sort of tough to knock them. You can also all thank the MidWest for our grain production. Your Welcome. (I would give you the Nords, if I wasn't one and drinking Deschuttes Black Butte Porter and Ninkasi IPA all last night)

    While I live in Boston and generally stick to craft beer, and when back in Minnesota I enjoy the craft beers that now exist (which weren't available while I was 15 growing up on a dirt road), I also need to enjoy a case of Mich Golden Light. For those of you that said it was bad, but it was a 7 year old can...umm don't buy beer from wherever you got it ever again.

    If you ask most Minnesotans, 90% will say they prefer the taste of Mich Golden over Bud, Miller, etc. I challenge you to compare Mich Golden to other Macro beers if you have a chance. Personally, I think coors light tastes like piss unless it is served at 25 degrees. Bud Light and Miller Lite have no flavor. But to me, MGD (as we call it....Miller Genuine Draft is just "Miller" to me there) does indeed have flavor and tastes great....for a Macro brew.
    I do realize most people on BA are super-duper beer snobs and can't be bothered with a Macro beer, and thus, may never try this beer. Thankfully, some of us rational beer drinkers know how to balance our beer intake between styles and breweries.

    As most Minnesotans spend most time fishing, hunting, camping, ice-fishing, etc, people lean to the light, low alcohol beer you can throw in a cooler and drink all day. Be happy it isn't just another Bud / Miller brainwash area. MGD brainwash by A-B? Sure. But if you ever get a chance, compare it with BL and other Macro brews. When drinking Macro's, its the way to go. I've never understood how it isn't distributed more broadly then it is.

    Just as an aside - I was recently north of Bemidji, getting up there in the north country. At a small local liquor store off the highway, I had to walk past the Moose Drool, different New Belgium offerings, Summit, Surly, etc to get to the macro brews. I thought I wouldnd't be able to find the MGD. Thankfully I found it so I could pick up a suitcase of MGD to go with my 6 pack of Moose Drool. Did not expect to see craft brew that far out in the sticks.
    DSlim71 likes this.
  25. BrianJ

    BrianJ Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2003 Minnesota

    This is a complete failure of reading comprehension.
  26. gilberg

    gilberg Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2006 Oklahoma

    Hardly the only fail in that post.
  27. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (7,568) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I like how he has a "need to enjoy a case of Mich Golden Light." Another candidate for the BA First Post Hall of Fame.
  28. MN_Beerticker

    MN_Beerticker Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2012 Minnesota

    There is hardly bashing of Nordics/Germans. My statement above is just a reflection that the further you are from the equator the more bland the food tends to be and the more people are accustomed to less spice in their food. Due to the lack of need for food preservation (i.e using spice as a meat/food preservative).

    Second point many Minnesotans are stuck in their ways. Whether it's the routine of daily life or the type of food and drink they consume. Shake that up and there tends to be turmoil.

    I am not saying Mich Golden Light is $hit Water. I am just baffled by its popularity over Miller Lite, Bud, MGD, Premo etc...

    *Admission: I was a Grainbelt Premium drinker from the time I first imbibed legally. If GBP wasn't available I would fall back on Coors Light and occasionally Miller High Life or Miller Light if offered. I learned to go outside of the box and try new beers thus my baptism into the craft beer/fine beer realm.
    beertunes likes this.
  29. elshaggy

    elshaggy Initiate (119) Jul 12, 2009 Minnesota

    Old folks and their cellaring of mich gold light. I've seen plenty of ancient cans, maybe not 7 years. For the man who has a beer every other year or so, a case of mich gold light is quite a value. The real surprise is they don't mind drinking a 3 year old beer. That's just how beer tastes!
  30. jera1350

    jera1350 Poo-Bah (2,573) Dec 15, 2007 Minnesota

    So it only doesn't taste like piss when it's served as a popsicle?
  31. legwhipper

    legwhipper Initiate (0) Jul 28, 2009 Minnesota

    There is a place and time for almost every beer. If I'm sitting in the parking lot with my co-workers, I won't be drinking Orval. Coors Light hits the spot from time to time. A wide spectrum of experience with beer is a good thing, as is a varied palate.
    ZAP likes this.
  32. Reinbeck11

    Reinbeck11 Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012 Iowa

    I cannot think of Coors Light without thinking of Ice Cube, a man who once extolled the virtues of St. Ide's Malt Liquor. Just makes you aware of what money and peer pressure can do to a mans values.

    It is simply a problem of availibility. I can remember when we were all about a bar that had tap Michelob because everywhere else your choice was Miller Lite or Bud Light, unless you hit a bar that had a Cubs fan for an owner and you might get some Old Style....

    Thankfully times have changed......
  33. Lifeofbrian

    Lifeofbrian Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 Minnesota

    We should rejoice in Ice Cube upgrading his beer palate. He just might be the next great brewery owner. :wink:
  34. reedy212

    reedy212 Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2009 California

    Moved from MN to CA a few years ago and I was honestly jaw to the floor surprised that no one had heard of it. I always thought it was EVERYWHERE. As to the macro/micro tangent this thread had taken on I would like add ym tally to the non beer snobs side. As a man who has enjoyed the nectar that in both Pliny's I can tell you, with no shame, that I am currently drinking a Hamms.
    incutrav likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.