Amstel Brouwerij B. V. – Amstel Light


Fins rising above his head and arms, the sea creature crept from the briny abyss and mounted the ladder which took him to the dock. There he assumed his stance, threatening and ambiguous, in his nightly role as a disturbed of the peace and scary of nosy observers. But as he stepped forward, something clicked under the loose boards, and a net dropped over his head.

“Now let’s sea who this deep sea terror really is,” said Fred Jones, ripping the plastic mask from the face of the oily monster.

“Mr. Amstel Brouwerij B. V.!” the team exclaimed in unison.

“This must be why he was trying to scare people away,” said Velma, pulling aside a door to show giant vats of sludgy tan goo.

“That’s right, I admit it. I made this costume to scare off passerby. You see, I’ve made quite a profit smuggling in this beer-flavored sludge from Amsterdam, and then mixing it with soda water to make an ultra-low cost beer which I sell to consumers at import prices. And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”

Once upon a time, Amstel Light was decent beer. Developed by the same brewer that makes Heineken and designed for the American market, it took the fuller flavor of European beer and adapted it to the market demand for lower-calorie beverages. Since it was head and shoulders better than the standard dreck, it got a good name for itself, and so the MBAs at Amstel Brouwerij B. V. realized there was a “profit pocket” — a certain amount of time they could bank on the good name by selling a far cheaper ersatz version and yet the audience would still, with insectlike motions, continue purchasing it at the higher price — and ran the brand into the ground. Amstel Light now resembles an American beer in its water, skunky, quasi-fruity flavor with the distinctly bilgy taste of most pasteurized mass-market beers. You might think that at import prices, this would be better than your average bottled drool, but they have played a bait and switch on you just like with Heineken.


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16 thoughts on “Amstel Brouwerij B. V. – Amstel Light

  1. Smoking_Gnu says:

    Just like Stella Artois, too.

    1. …Why is it that all products, and not just metal bands, “sell out”?

      1. OliveFox says:

        Once companies get bigger and start having Stock Holders and Board Executives the product becomes meaningless. My friend worked in a law office and was privy to some documents between InBev and Anheuser-Busch and said that the terms they used for beer and customers were little more than X’s and Y’s. “If X is so and so, and Y already pays so and so for X than we can make X this and that, saving this much and Y is none the W.”

        Similar things happened with Guinness, Bass, Blue Moon and even Rolling Rock. I think Yuengling is the only macro-brewed beer that is still family owned (since 1829 no less) so if I’m getting a generic lager than that is the only thing I will purchase. Sam Adams might still be American owned at least, but they haven’t been around long, so a “sell-out” to Inbev or Diago could easily happen in the next 10 to 15 years.

        1. Daniel says:

          Guinness Draught at least has no brewing flaws and still tastes like pale malt + some chocolate malt + roasted barley + old Guinness with little residual sugars (a dry stout). The nitro kills the smell and the pasteurization the yeast flavors and it’s been like that since the early 60s when they replaced the two cask (old and mild) system for dispensing the beer with the nitrogenated kegs. It’s still a decent but simple beer. GUINNESS FOREIGN EXPORT STOUT is still unchanged and world class.

          1. OliveFox says:

            Yeah it is hard to reproach Guinness on taste alone. Just stinks that Diago owns them…it would be cool if it was still in the family and super romantic like in Ulysses:

            “For they garner the succulent berries of the hop and mass and sift and bruise and brew them and they mix therewith sour juices and bring the must to the sacred fire and cease not night or day from their toil, those cunning brothers, lords of the vat.”

            Oh well. Their extra stout is still one of the best “entry-level” beers for newer drinkers to start them down the path toward more nuanced ales.

            1. Daniel says:

              The Guinness family is the one that cheapened it over time.

  2. Mayonesa says:

    Here’s a suggestion: Review good beers. No one in America over the age of 25 like Amstel “Light”. The microbrewery market has exploded and we have some excellent beers now.

    1. Smoking_Gnu says:

      That’s what I’ve been saying for the last few of these. Scathing macrobrew reviews for this audience is preaching to the choir; let’s see some quality microbrew reviews.

    2. #blessed R the sick says:

      Yes, please! Why tell us that beers we know are shitty are shitty, when you could tell us good things about lesser-known good beers?

    3. Emperor Tomato Ketchup says:

      Here’s another suggestion: Stop reviewing beers, bad movies and pipe tobacco and stick to metal.

    4. Name says:

      My thoughts exactly, well said Mayonesa.

      Anyone from Europe is scratching their head on why you’d even review a run of the mill normie lager. It’s like going to a swinger party and then complaining you walked out with a case of syphilis. Perhaps Amstel has some sort of “something” about it in the eyes of Americans because it’s an European beer, but over here, it’s basically just vending machine piss.

  3. Doug Killjoy says:

    The purpose of sleep has always been assumed to be for repair, but maybe it is more about the pause than the repair. Humanity sure could use a short nap right about now.

  4. in the void says:

    when beers sell out I normally go more underground

    1. Maybe someone will make a list of good underground beers. In the meantime, what this series of articles appears to be doing is setting some ground rules using beers that everyone has heard of, without stooping to the level of Miller Lite, Coors, Budweiser and other beer-flavored fortified soft drinks.

      1. Doug Killjoy says:

        Amen! Not an expert on beer but the assumption is that reviewing a “macro” beer was the whole point since they are cheaper and easier to find and therefore deserve the most scrutiny.

        Here’s a suggestion: keep reviewing beers, bad movies, pipe tobacco, Taco Bell sauces, cat food and anything else that may be a tangentially related fifth cousin of metal (i.e. just about anything) that will help retain and expand readership while still being relentlessly honest.

        If you really wanna be a poke in the eye, maybe toss in a Blue Oyster Cult or even a Lynyrd Skynyrd review here or there even if you detest it or know little about it. Keep the DMU name for the search results but by no means limit the site to (literal) metal articles and reviews.

        1. Good suggestions. If we stayed only on the topic of death metal, it would be a “few and far between” situation with posts. I need to review more bad movies…

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