Well, I never expected another Bud beer to be gracing the pages of this blog. Budweiser Zero has the dubious honour of being our worst scoring non-alcoholic beer, behind even the dreaded Beck’s Blue. Watery, and virtually tasteless, Bud Zero is in my opinion the epitome of an alcohol-free canoe beer. But all is not what it seems with Bud Lime, as this beer does not come from the AB InBev brutes, but from the brewery that started the Budweiser brand name, Budějovický Budvar in the Czech Republic.
Budweiser Budvar Brewery and AB InBev have been at each others throats since the early twentieth century, disputing who has the legal use of the Budweiser trademark, with over 120 cases going through the courts. Put basically, as it currently stands, Budějovický Budvar have legal use of the Budweiser name in Europe, whilst in the US it’s AB InBev that can use the term on their branding. This means that AB InBev falls back on the name ‘Bud’ when selling their products in Europe and various other parts of the world. And so this is where it gets potentially messy – Bud Lime is wholly a product produced and marketed by Budweiser Budvar Brewery! Doesn’t this just open up another potentially huge and stinky can of worms to add to the over 100 years of litigation between the two brewers? Maybe, but I bet any potential conflict will also help with marketing…
Opening the huge 500ml can and pouring the beer, we get a liquid the colour of cloudy apple juice, which produces a loose bubbly head as it fills the glass, though this shrinks back and is gone in seconds. The beer is opaque, though we can see some carbonation bubbles through the murk. On the nose we get the aromas of sweet orange and mango, with maybe some lime citrus at a stretch. Nothing particularly ‘beery’, maybe a slight doughy note, but it’s more like a more restrained soft drink.
When we taste there is sweetness up front, a fruity mixture of mango and packaged orange juice, with a faint background of malt. Then we get a touch of lime or lemon coming through, adding a slight citrus zestiness to the drink. It reminds me very much of the ‘Top Deck’ shandy that used to be marketed to kids in the UK in the 1980s – zesty fruity lemonade with some breadiness to it. I was a discerning kid and always preferred Shandy Bass… The body of the beer is quite light but not watery, with the carbonation being quite fizzy. We get a crisp lime finish to the drink.
Bud Lime is hardly a beer in my opinion, sitting somewhere between a radler and a shandy, or maybe even a fizzy fruit drink. But it’s actually pretty tasty, not too sweet, and by ‘eck it’ll be a great drink on a hot summer’s day. I’m tempted to fill the fridge with them, but that’ll probably summon the rain gods for the rest of the year. The important thing though is that it tramples Bud Zero into the dust.
Buy Bud Lime
I’ve seen Budvar’s other beers, including their non-alcoholic offering available in many supermarkets, so perhaps Bud Lime will be available in your local shop soon. Other than that, it’s all over the online stores:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)|
|Non-Alcoholic Beer (Water, Barley Malt, Hops), Water, Sugar, Natural Lime Flavour, Mango Juice, Citric Acid|
|Country of Production||Czech Republic|
|Brewer||Budweiser Budvar – https://budweiserbudvar.com/uk/|
Bud Lime Alcohol-Free Beer Review
Not really much actual lime flavour, or indeed much to identify it as a beer. But it’s tasty, not too sweet, and definitely a better choice than yet another cola.