I love beer and drink what of a lot of people would consider high-end, fancy beers and imports, but when people ask what my everyday drinking beer is, they are often surprised by my answer: Miller High Life. This answer is all the more surprising because I live in Buffalo, New York where (with Canada just across the Niagara River) most people prefer to drink Molson or Labatt brands. In fact, Buffalonians drink so much Labatt that the company moved their US headquarters here in 2007. I used to be a Canadian beer only drinker, and no mass-produced US domestic beers would pass my lips unless necessity dictated it.
Well, necessity did dictate it on a trip several years ago to Nashville, Tennessee in the summertime where Canadian brands were considered fancy import beers (although I have heard since that Molson has made major inroads into the market) and mass-produced domestic beers reined supreme in the local bars. Every bar had your standard domestic selection of Budweiser, Coors and Miller products while microbrews and imports were few and far between. So, I settled on Miller High Life, a beer I had tried in the past and thought was OK. Being summer in Nashville it was hot and incredibly humid. I was amazed at how refreshing an ice-cold bottle of Miller High Life was while watching the plentiful live music that starts at two in the afternoon and goes until two in the morning. I came back from that trip down South with newfound appreciation for High Life that has continued through that summer and every summer since.
High Life is a very light straw yellow colored American Pilsner with a alcohol content of 5.0% ABV. The bottles are a distinctive clear glass shaped to mimic champagne bottles, and the beer in it is so light in color you could probably read a newspaper through a full bottle. When poured into a glass (not something I often bother with) the head is white and frothy. Miller High Life should always be consumed ice cold because like most beers from the big 3 US breweries, it is almost unpalatable warm. The taste is watery, with very little hops and finishes clean with a slightly sweet, light malt aftertaste, leaving you ready for another one. Now from that description, you might not imagine a great beer, but time and time again when I have brought a 12 pack of bottles to a summer party or a 30 pack of cans on group camping trip it always seems to be the first beer to disappear from the cooler. Maybe it is the unique clear bottles, the classic Girl in the Moon Logo, or the slogan “The Champagne of Beer,” but something about High Life is irresistible in the summer time.