It was last month when we first saw a billboard. “What’s Bud Light Platinum?” asked one of my friends.
I guessed correctly. “Bud Light with more alcohol.”
Yep, now the world has what it may or may not have known it wanted: a light beer with more alcohol than a Smirnoff Ice. It’s “triple filtered for that top shelf taste,” proclaims Bud Light Platinum’s website, though the word “rail” rather than “shelf” comes to mind when you drink it. By depleting the brew’s beer-ish qualities (via making it “Light”) while enhancing its alcohol content (via making it “Platinum”), Bud has created the world’s most conceptual “beer.” Essentially, it’s a cheap vodka tonic.
But hey, vodka tonic—gets the job done! I’ve talked with several different people about the new brew, and it’s appreciated best by the mainstream bros and bro-ettes who want to hit it hard and get a buzz while maintaining the pretension of unpretension—that they’re drinking “beer” rather than a mixed drink or girly drink. My sister, on the other hand, was skeptical: she likes Bud Light precisely because she can drink it at after-work happy hour without ending up under the table and skipping the gym.
The brand’s secret weapon, it turns out, is its solid-blue bottle, which everyone I talked to loved. Drinking-vessel gimmicks are to mainstream beers as screen prints are to microbrews: totally part of the appeal, even though everyone says they just like the taste. Recently breweries have presented us with the vented beer can (Food & Beverage Packaging blog: “The point of the channel is to allow drinkers to swig more easily”) and the laughable “vortex” bottle; given that this is a Platinum brew, Bud supplies no provision for shooting, typhooning, or whirling the beer into your mouth. You just hang out feeling like a baller with your solid blue bottle, sipping it like The Game sips Hennessey.
Here’s another guess I’ll hazard: Bud Light Platinum is going to be the beer fad of the summer. Better scrub your bathroom floor, because someone’s going to be lying on it before Labor Day.