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  4. I compared Budweiser's new nonalcoholic beer with its original beer, and I'm baffled by why someone would drink nonalcoholic Budweiser

I compared Budweiser's new nonalcoholic beer with its original beer, and I'm baffled by why someone would drink nonalcoholic Budweiser

I compared Budweiser's new nonalcoholic beer with its original beer, and I'm baffled by why someone would drink nonalcoholic Budweiser
Business Insider
  • Yeah, ok. Nonalcoholic Budweiser? Who's idea was that?
  • Well, too late. Anheuser-Busch apparently thought it was a good idea, and Bud Zero, a new nonalcoholic beer and Dwyane Wade collab, is now a thing.
  • But is it a good thing? I compared Bud Zero against its burly older brother, Budweiser, to see if I could figure out if nonalcoholic beer could really be basically as satisfying as the boozy stuff.

What's the point of nonalcoholic beer?

That's what I thought when I heard that Budweiser had launched a new nonalcoholic beer, Bud Zero, with former NBA star and champion of dads Dwyane Wade. Bud Zero contains 50 calories, no sugar, and, as you may have guessed, zero alcohol.

Wade told me that Bud Zero was created for athletes and people who choose not to drink or are unable to drink for health reasons. That makes sense.

I, however, am none of those things. I'm lazy and I love my booze boozy, unless you are my boyfriend's conservative Indian mother, in which case I never drink alcohol, work very hard all the time, and am open to praying at both Buddhist and Hindu temples.

For the rest of you, I spent my Wednesday afternoon pouring libations at the temple of consumerism and comparing Bud Zero to its much older sibling, the original Budweiser beer. Here's why I'm still not quite a Bud-liever.

"Irene, you're a snob" — my friends, family, and everyone who knows me. This is correct. I like my beer like I like my story plots: crafty and not mass-produced.

"Irene, you
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

So let's start off this taste test with the understanding that I'm not a huge Budweiser drinker to start with. Never have been, never will be, unless it's the last beer on earth.

So let
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

And at this rate, it just might be! The pandemic is much more likely to annihilate small and independent brewers than it is the big ones, who have a much wider, bigger, deeper, and cushier financial safety net.

Oh, the good old head. I hope you like this foamy glam shot, because I wasn't able to pour the beer properly so it foamed up a lot.

Oh, the good old head. I hope you like this foamy glam shot, because I wasn
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Let's talk standard Budweiser beer. It's cheap, light, and drinkable with a sour bite and a savory body.

Let
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

When Business Insider did a taste test of five cheap beers in January, we included Bud Light (not Budweiser original) in our line-up. Reporters described Bud Light as "watery and chuggable."

When Business Insider did a taste test of five cheap beers in January, we included Bud Light (not Budweiser original) in our line-up. Reporters described Bud Light as "watery and chuggable."
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Budweiser packs more of a punch than Bud Light, so all-in-all, the alcoholic beer remains a solid "does-the-trick" cheap beer choice.

Budweiser packs more of a punch than Bud Light, so all-in-all, the alcoholic beer remains a solid "does-the-trick" cheap beer choice.
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Bud Zero is for those who want the taste of Budweiser beer but without the beer. The first question it begs is, who drinks Budweiser for the taste of Budweiser beer?

Bud Zero is for those who want the taste of Budweiser beer but without the beer. The first question it begs is, who drinks Budweiser for the taste of Budweiser beer?
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

That question aside, Bud Zero is a pretty decent visual replica of its alcoholic brother. It foams like Budweiser.

That question aside, Bud Zero is a pretty decent visual replica of its alcoholic brother. It foams like Budweiser.
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

It's even a similar, albeit slightly darker and richer color

It
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Get to the taste part Irene, you say! Well, that's the most disappointing part, so really I've been doing you a favor making you wait.

Get to the taste part Irene, you say! Well, that
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Bud Zero tastes a lot like Budweiser without the alcohol: wheaty, watery, and slightly savory.

Bud Zero tastes a lot like Budweiser without the alcohol: wheaty, watery, and slightly savory.
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Unfortunately, without alcohol, Budweiser feels — and tastes — pointless. Without the bite of booze, Bud Zero leans sweet and simple.

Unfortunately, without alcohol, Budweiser feels — and tastes — pointless. Without the bite of booze, Bud Zero leans sweet and simple.
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Someone once described tea as "dirty water," and I am no longer friends with that person because tea is a flavor explosion. However, if that same friend had described Bud Zero that way, I wouldn't disagree.

Someone once described tea as "dirty water," and I am no longer friends with that person because tea is a flavor explosion. However, if that same friend had described Bud Zero that way, I wouldn
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

I'm not here to hate on Bud Zero just because it doesn't have alcohol. Many people have legitimate reasons for drinking nonalcoholic beer over beer. But none of those are good enough reason for drinking nonalcoholic beer over, say, a Sprite or a seltzer water — unless beer-flavored seltzer water is just your cup of tea.

I
Irene Jiang/Business Insider

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