Bayou City Beer Club

Beer Review: Budweiser's Discovery Reserve

This macro brew is meant to mark the lunar landing anniversary. Are we buying it?

By Timothy Malcolm and Siena DeBolt June 12, 2019

Okay, Budweiser, show us what you got.

Despite writing about craft beer and enjoying local microbrews almost exclusively, I make space to drink mass-produced macros. Sometimes I’ll have a Modelo or Victoria (which is owned by Grupo Modelo) with my tacos. At a party? Pass me a Pacifico. I dig a classic bottle of Coors Banquet, too.

So, with the arrival of Budweiser’s Discovery Reserve, launched in April to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the moon landing, I figured it was a good time to check in with AB-InBev. Could the newest Budweiser offering, which uses the recipe of a beer brewed during the late 1960s, make this Houstonian feel a sense of national historical pride?

I like that Budweiser is highlighting a malt-forward recipe from the archives—this is a relatively light red lager at 5 percent ABV, perfect for warm summer days. The name Discovery Reserve is cool, and the label design—using a font that sends me back to the Mad Men ’60s, plus surrounding the classic Anheuser Busch eagle logo with 11 stars (for Apollo 11)—is a pretty touch. All of that works.

As for the beer, it exceeded my expectations, especially with repeated sips. At first I tasted a weak lager with little nuance, but the flavors imparted as I continued. A hint of buttery cracker and sweet, roasted malt came through, probably the Idaho barley grain Voyager, which is proprietary to AB-InBev. There was no real hop profile, however, making this about a two-note tasting experience, but for an easy-drinking summer beer with a small backbone, it’s pretty acceptable.

While I'm not necessarily rushing out to buy more Budweiser Discovery Reserve, it’s one of the better macro offerings I’ve had in some time. If I was at a party, maybe one to celebrate America’s conquest of the heavens … I might just crack one open.

Rating: 5.2/10

Explanation of ratings: 9.5-10: as good as the best beer in America; 9-9.4: the best beer in Houston; 8-8.9: among the better beers in Houston; 7-7.9: really good beer; 6-6.9: try this beer at least once; 5-5.9: if you’re stuck, this won’t hurt; 3-4.9: among the lowest-quality beers in Houston; 0-2.9: as bad as the worst beer in America.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for a local craft beer to celebrate the lunar landing, Houston has no shortage of space-themed brews. Here are some of our picks:

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