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MGD 64 – Lemonade

Rest assured, I didn’t actually purchase this beer, but instead received it as a promotional package with a press release. I first heard about this beer through some internet chatter where people were asking if it was a malt beverage, a shandy or what it was. Beer + lemonade isn’t actually a new idea, but I think what scared me (and the other people I was talking to) was that it was being marketed as most light beers are – in every other way than about its taste or ingredients.

Let me give you an example. The in press release, two paragraphs are taken up by calling out the caloric content of other competing similar brews – including Bud Light Lime (116 calories), Mike’s Hard Lemonade (109 calories) and so on. But they are quick to remind you that,

“MGD 64 Lemonade, with only 64 calories and 2.4 grams of carbohydrates per 12 oz offers significantly fewer calories than other flavored alcohol beverages.”

Not one who cares at all about the calories that I drink (trust me, ignorance is bliss and it all balances out in moderation) I couldn’t have cared less about which lemony-flavored-alcohol-beverage (that I don’t drink anyway) has the least calories. But, I have said in the past that I will try anything before passing final judgement, I decided to chill it and open it up anyway. At 2.8% ABV, I wasn’t going to spoil my evening.

Now, I should tell you that this already violates sin #1 in beer: It’s in a clear bottle – and thus very susceptible to skunking from light exposure – a real no-no for a summer beer that might sit on your deck in a cooler for hours. And what’s also disturbing, is that the beer inside isn’t the yellow fizzy color that I was expecting, but instead, is cloudy and pale, like bad urine. So, compared to all of the other lovely colors of beer I’ve seen before, I wasn’t exactly enticed.

I poured it and it did the yellow-fizzy-head thing and then settled down. The aroma wasn’t particiuarly beer-y, but was actually a light and subtle lemon, which for a moment gave me hope. Until I sipped it.

Now, there is something seriously amiss with this beer that took me a while to figure out. Sure it starts with a fresh lemon taste that’s arguably pleasant if not just ho-hum, but then it slides into a malt-only finish and then there is a strange aftertaste that’s neither lemon nor beer nor anything in-between. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but at first could only describe it as confused. I like malt beverages like Mike’s Hard Lemonade sometimes because there’s no argument about what it is – it’s lemon-y flavored alcohol. This was trying to make up its mind between a mild lemon taste and weak, watery malt flavor, but then something else.

I reluctantly took a few more sips before I went back to the bottle to see if I could figure out what the aftertaste was all about. Then, I saw it.

“Light beer with natural lemon flavor and sucralose

Sucralose. As in, what they make Splenda out of. They put fake sugar in to make the lemonade taste and still keep the 64 calories. The gross aftertaste? All sucralose coating my outraged tongue.

So, with that, I was done and I stopped drinking it. I’m still insulted that the attitude is that beers like this would be particularly attractive to women because in marketer’s eyes we’re all obsessed with our figures and like things that are tasteless and fruity. Its about taste, quality and ingredients – not about what can be chemically manipulated to make us feel better about having a beer that we don’t even enjoy drinking.

The official Beer Babe recommendation? AVOID. (Shocking, right?). And, now that that’s over, I promise to get back to reviewing brews I can recommend to you with a straight face, instead of a sour puss.

Categories: Beer Reviews

26 comments

  • Clarice

    This sounds really gross. Why would anyone want a beer with sucralose in it? I like Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy; it’s a lemonade beer but there’s no weird aftertaste.

  • Sheppy

    Wow … they just are not going to give up on this whole low-carb beer thing … are they? Not that I would have ever ever tried this “beer”, but thanks for the warning.

    Yuck.

  • Reggie

    Beautifully said –> “Its about taste, quality and ingredients – not about what can be chemically manipulated to make us feel better about having a beer that we don’t even enjoy drinking.”The old.. old.. man in me nods in approval ; ) Well done Carla.

  • Shelly George

    You people are obviously not diabetics!! Thank goodness for those of us who are, and like to drink when attending a barbecue in the summer, this is the perfect solution for us. MGD64 and MGD64 Lemonade has the best of both worlds for “my kind” – very low carb and artificial sweetner. So, for those of you who have to watch carb intake this is an acceptable beverage.

  • Kristine

    Can’t agree more with the comments by Shelly George. Diabetes makes your body go crazy very easily. Yes the sucralose might not be the best tasting thing in the world, but it opens up the market for those who have to watch what they put into their bodies. I can’t have alcohol often with my condition, so it’s nice to know there’s at least one out there that wont make my sugar spike.

  • Susie

    The aftertaste is HORRIBLE!! The huzz and I got a 12 pack of this stuff a couple of days ago and it is slow going to get rid of it. I’m a diabetic but I still have tastebuds. I’d rather be parched.

  • Nick B

    What you need to do to make it better is try it with a real lemon in it. It gets rid of the “sucralose” taste to it. This beer does not hide the fact that there is artifical sweetener in it like most flavored beers do. Look at Bud Light Lime, how do you think they keep the calories lower in that as well? This beer serves a purpose to those looking for a lower calorie substitute.

  • Mrs. Marshall

    I attempted to drink one of this on a cloudy day; bluck; decided to wait until a nice hot day hoping I could get over the boring taste that isn’t beer or lemonade…I had one and then again, bluck. I have determined the only way one could enjoy this is if you are a very dedicated runner who runs every single day….in Arizona; because that’s the only way I’d be thirsty enough to have another.

  • Larry R

    I love it. The “aftertaste”, what little there is, is fine by me. Using an artificial sweetner to minimize calories in this low cal beverage is expected. One of the fun things about beer is that there are so many brews to try.

  • Kriket1

    I LOVE Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, so I was excited to try this…wish I hadn’t. It’s vile. Tastes like an MGD64 with Crystal Light lemonade mix dumped in it, with the horrid aftertaste to boot! I did try the addition of fresh lemon, and it didn’t help. I will stick with my Leinie’s, though they are a bit pricey. Anyone is welcome to come take the remaining 11 bottles off my hands, because I wouldn’t even serve this crap to guests!

  • FreshGreenKim

    What a scam and I agree with EVERYTHING you said. I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague and just never imagined they would be in BEER! I had hoped it was just a lighter drink, due to lower alcohol. It was revolting. I thought about making “beer bread” from it (what I usually do with beer I prefer not to drink) but the fake sugar will ruin it!

  • Paulette

    Well when you have diabetes your choices are limited so this is a nice alcoholic option for the summer (since most of us have to eat sugar replacements to survive). People are such snobs. Just by another beer & stop with the whining pretentiousness.

  • cj mitc

    This was the worst beer I have every tasted. It doesn’t taste like lemonade and it sure as hell does not taste like beer. I was very disappointed. I bought a 12 pack and I am mad as hell. I will never buy it again. Foul!

  • Mel

    Sucralose causes cancer, so avoid! Make it with stevia and it would be so much better for us.

  • Chris

    So I ended up with a 12 pack… obviously it sucked. I was looking for a creative way to better the taste and increase alcohol content, so I added a shot of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka… made it OK. Worth a try for y’all who might be stuck with some of this stuff.

  • will

    Tried this once at the in-laws’. Disgusting. An affront to society. Worst beer I’ve ever had. Should not even be called a beer.

  • Gary

    I like the beer I have a bottle or two every night and have drank every other kind of beer made, for me this is the best with low carbs.

  • Kristen

    One word…..DISGUSTING!!!! I couldn’t finish one bottle let alone the remaining 11 we sadly have left.

  • Scott-TheBrewClub

    I just reviewed this as well, thank goodness mine was free too, and thank goodness it seems to have been pulled from the market! One of the worst beers ever put forth by humankind.

  • fred brady

    I’m inclind to disagree with all these comments. I purchased this beer and found it most refreshing. Everyone that came to my house was offered one of these beers and they found it quite delighful. The out of towners were upset they couldn’t find it in there areas, especially the Colorado friends.
    The people that wrote the previous blogs, are diffenant followers, and are unable to really make a decision on there on. This “Beer Babe” person must only have taste in cloths, because “it” sure dosen’t have it in beer.

  • Matt

    I agree with Fred there. I found this beer to be very refreshing, with no horrible aftertaste at all!
    It’s a shame Miller won’t be producing it any longer. All those who say they have some left, please send it my way!

    As for “beer Babe”, obviously she doesn’t know that Miller uses a special type of yeast in many of thier beers that is NOT affected by sunlight. That is why many of thier bottles are clear (MGD, MGD 64, and Miller High Life). Miller Lite doesn’t use this yeast, hence brown bottle;)
    So stop trying to pretend you know so much about beer, when clearly you just have seen a lot of false commercials.
    The truth is, It’s more about temperature than sunlight. If a beer is pasturized (as all bottled beer is now), it can be stored warm. However, if it stored cold, then shipped warm, and then arrives at the store and is cold again, that’s what causes “skunky beer”.
    A few here mentioned Lienenkugels. Lienenkugels keg beer is never pasturized! It’s stored cold, shipped cold, and served cold! That’s why keg beer always tastes better!
    (as long as it’s kept cold).
    I too love Summer Shandy, but it’s loaded with sugar, and calories.

  • Deneice

    I loved it too! My husband is diabetic and we could enjoy this together. Wish they would reconsider brewing this again.

  • Gayle Epperson

    I’m so disappointed you drop it My neighbors love it. I can drink any of the lime drinks because lime drinks. I’m really not a beer drinker, but love MGD 64 Lemonade

  • tkt

    I loved this stuff so much better than Summer Shandy, I thought. More refreshing and lighter. Really miss it. I bought in cans and was great in Iowa heat.

  • tkt

    For those bashing the artificial sweeteners, I hope you are reading ALL your ingredients in everything you drink and eat. DUH, low calories usually does mean artificial sweeteners. so sad they stopped making it for those of us that enjoyed its light, refreshing taste
    .

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