When Lone Star Brewing announced last month that it would release an ultra-light beer with less than half the alcohol of its namesake beer, the Internet’s reaction was swift: “Why?”
Why, indeed. Why would Lone Star name their beer Lone Star 24|7 when it only encourages jokes about drinking nonstop? Why isn’t Lone Star Light light enough? Why would Lone Star think a half-beer is going to sell?
You deserve answers, readers. And not from a beer connoisseur who wouldn’t deign to differentiate between any pale American lager. No, you need a judge who has a history of vigorously and unironically drinking Lone Star beer.
That would be me. I’m going to review a six-pack of Lone Star 24|7. It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve got the kids settled in the house nestled amid their electronics. I’m in the garage with an ice chest and a notepad. Let’s do this.
Beer No. 1
I pull a can from the cooler. The can, with its metallic gold sheen, is fairly attractive -- even more so with bits of ice clinging to it. It opens with a familiar sound and faint-but-familiar aroma.
But this is water. This. Is. Water.
I mean, there’s the slightest beer taste that only comes out of hiding when you start to swallow, but then it disappears. Have you had a beer with a “clean finish”? Well, this isn’t like that at all. This vanishes like a ninja at night.
I know everyone has heard the joke about Coors Light and the canoe but this has all the beer taste of a vivid memory. Maybe less.
Beer No. 2
Under ordinary circumstances, I am not a sprinter. I am more of a marathoner.
*waits for laughter to die down*
I’m talking about beer drinking, of course. And yet, there’s so little resistance between the top of a can of 24|7 and the bottom, I’m wondering how fast I could drink it. This time, I pour it into my Yeti cup and …
I down it in about 40 seconds, easy, with a pause for a burp in the middle.
Beer snobs will sniff and say that light beer is beer for people who like to pee.
Well, this is water for people who like to burp.
Beer No. 3
This time I’m trying a longneck bottle. I twist off the cap and breathe in deeply. There’s the faintest beer smell, as if someone spilled a real beer on this some time ago.
I head into the house and explain what the beer is to my wife, Shannon. “ … with half the alcohol,” I finish.
“Why?” she asks, immediately.
Against all expectations, she tries it. “Hell, that’s Topo Chico,” she says.
It would not have occurred to me to slander Austin’s favorite drink, but I realize right away that Lone Star would have had a much better chance of long-term success had they simply dreamed up “Lone Star Water.”
Beer No. 4
Just as this becomes drudgery, here comes the slightest semblance of a buzz. It’s as if I decided to day drink, then after two beers reconsidered and took a good nap. Now I’m awake and feel an ephemeral intoxication. Half a sheet to the wind.
Of course, this pixie pickling is a distant second to the most pressing aftereffect of four “beers” ... I gotta pee.
Beers No. 5 and 6
I gotta be honest. I didn’t drink the last two. Even at 68 calories each, that’d be the emptiest 136 calories in a lifetime of poor dietary decisions. Besides, hyponatremia is a thing. Look it up.
No, I’m saving those for garage guests. Come over anytime ...