William K. Busch's Kräftig Lager: "Better Than Bud Select!"

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​As the comments on our first Kräftig post prove, there's no consensus on the new lager from William K. Busch. Opinions range from:

I just sat down and had the two beers, both equally horrible. They taste bland and smell like a watery pilsner. They should just stay at home and realize that disposable income cannot buy a good beer. Get original.
to:
Tried Kraftig Lager today and found it to be robust, flavorful, and very smooth and drinkable for an American Lager. I'm spoiled after living in Germany for 21 years....This Lager puts Budweiser to shame. Best American Lager I've had here.

Sly old Gut Check knows from long experience that when presented with conflicting opinions regarding alcoholic beverages, the proper course of action is as plain as "that thing" on Assistant Principal Hogarth's face: Raid the Gut Check International HQ petty cash stash, round up a colleague or three and get our drink on.

As fate would have it, we wound up tasting Kräftig on two separate occasions. The first was a previously scheduled meeting that had nothing to do with beer and thus stood to be greatly improved by the addition thereof.

As tastings go, this first one was utterly informal. We rustled up a few cold six-packs, including but not limited to Kräftig, and plopped 'em in the middle of the table in RFT's conference room along with a bottle opener. Dunno about your office, but around here that's pretty much all the encouragement necessary.

Simple enough, but the results of this first tasting were, well...inconclusive. As in: When the meeting ended -- and it wasn't a short one -- there were still some beers left on the table.

Kräftig beers.

In unopened bottles.

Like we said, though, this wasn't a beer tasting in the strictest sense; it was a meeting at which people were free to 1) drink Kräftig and/or 2) drink something other than Kräftig, or 3) skip drinking altogether.

So we devised a more rigorous process involving six willing participants who'd do a blind-tasting of W.K. Busch's beer out of plastic cups alongside four other malt beverages, selected virtually at random and presented in similar fashion.

The lineup:
Bud Select
Schlafly Kölsch
Stag
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Kräftig

Participants knew that one of their cups contained Kraftig, but they did not know which, nor did they know what kind of beer had been poured into the remaining four cups. They were instructed to sniff, swirl, sip, slug, chug or otherwise ingest a sufficient quantity of each beer to form an opinion, to translate those opinions into tasting notes and, finally, to rank the beers, in order of the taster's own personal preference.

Later in the day, we dropped off the unopened bottles (and cans) that remained at an RFTmusic meeting. They seemed uncharacteristically (for music writers) happy to see us, until we realized that it was because we were carrying a sizable quantity of beer.

By and large, they liked the Kräftig. Of course, they knew it was Kräftig they were drinking, having chosen it themselves over Stag, PBR, and Bud Select. (The Kölsch was all gone.)

Observed one member of the pro-Kräftig camp: "It's better than Bud Select."

That's damned succinct stuff, particularly coming from a music writer. In fact, we were about to suggest that this writer deserves a raise, but we caught ourselves just in time, as it dawned on us that William K. Busch, not RFT, should be opening the wallet.

Can you imagine a more fitting tagline? Blows "From the glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe" out of the frickin' water!

While Gut Check checks the mailbox for that big fat check William K.'s gonna send us for supplying him with the killer slogan (we'll share with our music writer, of course), we invite you to peruse our findings...


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14 comments
Mizza
Mizza

Haven't had Kraftig, but had a couple Kraftig Lights at the Cards game this past weekend. (Yes,  I braved the 110 degree temps to attend my first Cards home game). As a light beer goes (and I'm not a huge light beer fan, but I wasn't going to drink anthing heavy in that heat) it was pretty darn good. It was better than the Bud Light I got from the roaming vendor and, agreed, a FAR cry better than Bud Select. In the realm of light beers, I don't see why there wouldn't be a place for Kraftig Light.

Milehye
Milehye

To make this simple, I tried Kraftig last night, it tastes like Budweiser. Not kinda like it, but exactly like it with stronger  bud flavor; look, a little darker, smell was a little lighter actually, taste,like I said was stonger Bud taste. This suprised me as it seems the only guy not from AB was their brew master. And at $6.94 a six pack it's about 5 cents cheaper than Bud and Coors/miller(millersucks!). So not bad it's an American mass beer, with the Busch name, so it should do pretty good.

jeand
jeand

I was in St,Louis in late January and and was offered a Kraftig lite, loved it...had more than one and enjoyed each one!

stlab
stlab

If Kraftig's goal is to be a high volume nationwide brewer, which all indications to be the case, then Kraftig Light is a good beer. I tried it and liked it along the lines of Bud Select/Bud Light. The snobs on here are comparing it to a quality MicroBrew which it is anything but...both price and taste. You cannot be a high volume brewer without the staple Pilsner. 

Dusty
Dusty

I liked Kraftig a great deal. No, its not a craft beer so its not going to taste like a Schlafly or any of the other great microbrews we have in town, but its not trying to. For trying to be a big player with mass appeal, I'd take Kraftig over any of the AB, Miller, or Coors products.

BlueNote Revelry
BlueNote Revelry

I just happened to taste a sample whilst drinking a bud, and I was pleasantly surprised. Light, flavorful, appealing. But I was mostly attracted to the floral aroma. Let it be known that I am an absolute hop-head and I will guzzle down any IPA I can get my hands on. There is just something about it that reminds me of an AB product I absolutely cannot stand, one that makes them look desparate, the Wild Blueberry. Am I the only one that smells blueberry? Maybe I had too many buds. Maybe they're snoz-berries.

Lucas
Lucas

Kraftig isn't particularly good, but it certainly isn't exceptionally bad. It's better than its Budweiser brethren (Bud, Bud Light, Bud Select), but it's not a craft beer. Not too expensive though, so I'd never complain about it. I don't get all the backlash, it's a fairly cheap beer and it tastes like it, what more do you expect?

Chris
Chris

Beer drinkers are starting to sound like wine snobs; get over yourself.  Kraftig is perfectly fine beer, though it is not some stellar beer.

Nunya
Nunya

Kraftig is an abomination to beer. Wickedly overpriced for bottom of the barrel dregs. Skunky smell and taste. Wish I never let it touch my lips.

Nosorry
Nosorry

Kraftig is definitely better than Budweiser, but that's not a difficult task to accomplish.

Eric
Eric

Kraftig tastes like a marginally better version of Budweiser. That's what it is. No more, no less.

Frank
Frank

I enjoy the beer very much.

Mike N.
Mike N.

I haven't tried Kräftig [yet] but my initial impression seeing it in-store is that it looks cheap. Not that it looks like cheap beer, but that the packaging itself looks cheap; the six pack holder thingy seems flimsy, and the bottle labels seem haphazardly applied.

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