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Putting Light Beer Taste To The Test

diana-web Diana Rocco
Diana Rocco joined the Eyewitness News team as a general assign...
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By Diana Rocco

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Light beer is a $50 billion industry, and behind every bottle of beer is a battle for America’s taste buds.

“Bud Light is the king,” says beer writer Don Russell, who is otherwise known as “Joe Sixpack.”

Russell says that even as craft beers and their stronger tastes become more popular, light beers still sell big.

“It’s generally younger beer drinkers in their twenties, because you can drink a lot of it without getting filled or drunk,” Russell said.

Corona Light is reaching out to 30- and 40-somethings with what they call a “better light beer.”

“When you’re ready for a light beer you can actually taste, you’ll know,” their ad says.

“What they’ve decided to do recently is kind of go after more of a middle-aged demographic,” explains E.J. Schultz, a reporter at Advertising Age. “They’re really targeting the taste of the beer. They’re trying to say it has a little more hoppier taste than traditional light beer.”

We decided to put it to the test. We matched Corona Light up with some of the more common light beers — Miller Lite, Bud Light and Coors Light — and poured them into unmarked glasses for our testers to try.

One drinker said, “First time around, I’m gonna say A.”

“If I had to drink one all night, I’d go with A,” said another.

“This one has more flavor than that one,” one woman said, also choosing A.

Another said, “If I’m watching a college basketball game, I prefer C over A.”

Of the 10 people who tried our test, Beer A, or Corona Light, came in first, with five thumbs up for more taste.

In the end, selling beer is about more than taste.

“It’s all about the marketing approach with these beers,” Russell says.

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