What to Drink This Week: Coors Light Iced T
I’ve been on a strange streak lately, where whenever it seems like I’ve found yet another horrible miscalculation on the part of a major brand, instead I discover that I actually enjoyed the final product. Gum that taste like pie? Hey, it actually does! Jack Daniels that taste like honey? Oh jeez, I actually prefer it to the original! Will I never find a suitable inspiration for a snarky article? Can sarcasm truly be a thing of the past? MY WORLD IS CRUMBLING!
So perhaps you can all understand when I went a bit mental after hearing that Coors Light was going to do a beer flavored like iced tea, because — well, my goodness. There are so many hilarious aspects to that statement that you’d have to put numbers to them just to keep some kind of grip. I mean,
- Coors Light is the brand that sells itself on the flavor of coldness, which can no more have flavor than itchiness or searing pain.
- Iced tea flavor beer has, in my experience, never done well for me. Infusing one bitter substance with a second bitter substance results in an astringent substance, and if I wanted my gums to feel dry then I’d stop fighting the cat when he tries to sleep on my head.
- Coors Light Iced T (those other vowels are for nerds) has apparently consumed the Coors advertising budget for the summer, on a scale that practically begs for it to be over-hyped shit
There’s just so much to get excited about here: After Budweiser stormed onto the scene with the widely-derided (but not here, amazingly) and even-more-widely-consumed Bud Light Lime, there has been an escalating arms race between light beer brands to make themselves more interesting. Miller tried a lime-infused beer with the excessively-urban name of “Chill”; Molson have trotted out their “Sublime” offering for another go this summer; and even Bud Light are attempting to stay ahead of the game by infusing their own infused beer with… still… further infusion, adding in mint to create some kind of Light Beer Mojito.
It doesn’t appear that any of these brands realize they are, in effect, admitting to the blandess of their core product — or if they are, they definitely do not care. And for Coors to then decide to be the hard-right-turn innovator and branch out into a new flavor, thus implying everyone has seen through the ruse of adding synthetic lime, is absolutely marvellous. That the solution to that should be Iced T(ea), and not perhaps just a better tasting light beer, has been blowing minds.
My mind, especially, because here’s the thing: I really wanted to open a can of this, find it hateful, and thus use it as my chief reason that the infused light beer movement can finally die. Instead — just my luck — I liked it.
Is it because I am comparing it to my experience with un-infused Coors Light, with its dubious but greatly-trumpeted flavor of coldness? In fact no, because for once that actually works in the beer’s flavor. As I mentioned before, I’ve tried a few other tea-infused beers out there that are a) much more authentic and b) taste much more like tea, and have yet to find one I’d want to try again. If I desire refreshment from something cold, fizzy and painfully herbal, then I’ll just guzzle Campari and soda after I’ve mowed the lawn.
But of course, nobody’s looking for complex and challenging after they’ve hauled bags of gardening soil, or helped someone tear down a deck, or lugged a ton of furniture across town. They just want simple, approachable, not terribly fattening and maybe not that alcoholic — and it would help if it tastes all right. That Coors Light Iced T(ea) doesn’t taste anything remotely like iced tea doesn’t even matter, because an orangey-citrus (or maybe even peach) infusion into plain old light beer is close enough. It invokes the sense of Iced T(ea), delivered on an inoffensive platform, and thus stands out from the lime derby happening everywhere else on the shelves.
It’s unlikely that Coors Light Iced T(ea) is going to become your favorite beer — not by a long shot — but for all that it’s definitely a nice break, and most definitely a BBQ or back-patio appropriate beverage now that the hot weather here. Most importantly, buying it now will perhaps spur even further insane ventures next summer, and who doesn’t want to see which major brewer will try a Lambic light beer first?
Rating: 4 Ts out of 5