Miller Lite in Europe

Going to Western Europe with the family in a few weeks. Brother-in-law will only drink Miller Lite (BLECH!), and is already grumbling about finding something to drink. Is there a local alternative? I've already told him that if he was able to find ML it would probably cost an arm and a leg.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

Okay, Miller Light is a terrible, run-of-the-mill beer, so why is he so keen on having only ML? Habit? Doesn't like change? Cheap? Loyal? Anyway, maybe he'll like equally bad European beers, such as Kronenbourg 1664 , Bitburger, or (dare I say) Heineken (actually, this will do in a pinch). Budweiser is everywhere. You really need to force him to at least try (just once) something good, such as one of the Belgian beers, a good German Hefeweizen, or even a Bass or Fuller's. No man could ever go back to cheap beer after drinking something like a Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. Your challenge is to introduce him to something new! Good luck. :) BTW, remember the father on Midnight in Paris? He only wanted California wines. That guy actually had another agenda. Funny.

Posted by George
Canada
815 posts

I don't think you'll have a problem getting your BIL to try other beers. Forget about getting him to try hefeweizen style (wheat beers), or schwarzbier style (black beer) - those are both acquired taste beers. Forget about all the craft, micro brewery beers (many I've tasted have been bad, bad, bad.) Get him to drink Bitburger or Sion Kolsch or Berliner Kindl (German), Tyskie or Zywiec (Polish), Union or Lasko (Slovenian), Dreher or Soproni (Hungarian), Budvar or Pilsner Urquell (Czech), Stiegl (Austrian), Kronenbourg 1664 (French), or Birra Moretti (Italian); all great refreshing beers. Hey, you're on holidays, just have fun!

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9091 posts

Where in Western Europe are you headed to? I've never seen any Miller products sold in Europe, but even Belgium and Germany are capable of brewing light lagers just as bland and uninspiring. You can occassionally find Budweiser (now that Inbev owns it), although not Bud Light.

Posted by Keith
Lancaster, Pennsylvan, United States
11 posts

London, Paris, Barcelona and then down to Italy for a Disney cruise.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10845 posts

Wow, if that is his standards, he is in for more surprises. Miller Lite is not a beer. The big risk in getting him to try something else is that he may discover what real beer tastes like and then he will not be able to get it in Lancaster when he returns. Reminds me a little bit of the posting a while back about not being able to get Mountain Dew which was a part of her morning fix. Sad.

Posted by Keith
Lancaster, Pennsylvan, United States
11 posts

Let's not open that can! (Pun intended) He knows what he likes. Period. Personally I'm looking forward to all the good local food and drink. Pint of what's on tap for me, if you don't mind.

Posted by Robert
Happy Valley, PA
150 posts

Just dilute whatever beer is available 1:1 with water.

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
1687 posts

You can get Miller Lite in some bars in London, or if not there are many really crap British lagers available.

Posted by Kira
Seattle, WA, USA
954 posts

Beer is a very serious matter for someone who has a real preference!!! I've seen my husband practically have a melt-down (very quietly - he's unfailingly polite - but I know when he's freakin') when he asks for a Guinness and the keg has blown. The beer you want is the beer you want! That being said, if he likes lighter American-style beer, maybe just go with Bud? I've seen Bud at a lot of pubs in the UK and several bars in Paris. I have never seen a "lite" beer. The "real" Budweiser, Budvar, is a Czech pale lager and quite light in taste. I've seen it around both in London and Paris.

Posted by Cyn
Wheat Ridge, CO, USA
93 posts

One year we traveled wth a guy who drinks ONLY Coors Light at home (and a lot of it), but in Austria and Switzerland whatever was on tap worked fine for him. The setting and experience made the local beer the right fit. He was upset at Cafe Demel in Vienna, however, when his glass wasn't filled completely to the top of the rim, and the waiter and the rest of us had to point out that the glass was clearly marked with a line to which a pre-determined amount of beer was to be filled, ensuring an exact serving every time. Have him get his grumbling over with before the trip -- it gets really old really fast, and our Coors Light guy was not invited on subsequent trips.

Posted by Darren
Boulder, CO, USA
647 posts

That's a bummer that he's setting himself up for a letdown already. Unfortunately, if ML is his thing, it's likely that not even Bud will help him out. Explain to him that there are no laws REQUIRING him to drink beer, as Europe has many beverage alternatives. You could always drop by a brewery ask for three grains of barley, two hops, and a liter of water and make something yourself that's close...

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7819 posts

Ah,, can't pick our relatives but we can pick our travelling companions. Grumbling already what an interesting trip this will be... lol
He could pack some ML in his checked bag I suppose,, not sure if it would explode though with pressure changes. I had a friend who used to pack booze in her bag for cruises.. ( she was trying to save money, plus they don't stock hard cider which many Canadians like)

Posted by Michael
Griffith, IN, USA
440 posts

Please no wheat beer. He may never drink other beer ever. You can get many of the beers mentioned here in the states. Try some before you leave.

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1519 posts

Do try to condition him to being disappointed. Maybe the Disney cruise will have some American beers? He might find that any beer he does drink might not be at 40 degrees, either. I like a gin and tonic, but don't bother ordering one there because I want ice in my drink, thank you very much, and will only get a few cubes. Maybe you should tell him that you've read on Rick Steves helpline that when Americans bitch and moan about European beers, that bartenders put a little something "extra" in their beer. That might help you by shutting him up!

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

That can be pretty nasty if you're talking about someone else's genetic material, but "ruffies" may not be that bad. I mean, they had a pretty good time on The Hangover. Your suggestion might work, though.

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

You never know. I was in a bar in Keswick that proudly had a list of international beers displayed, including Bud light. There were also vastly superior local beers and ciders. That being said, I doubt he will find Miller lite on every stop. If he will go without beer if there isn't any, that's one thing, but if he wants to find the alternatives, he should start looking in his area for imported beers and maybe trying a few to get a sense of what he might like. He sounds too entrenched to actually do that, but I figure I'd suggest it anyway.

Posted by Marbleskies
USA
275 posts

Please post an update as to how receptive your b n l was to experiencing new beers and cultures upon your return. I am hoping his quest for America does not inhibit his, or the families, enjoyment of the journey.

Posted by Keith
Lancaster, Pennsylvan, United States
11 posts

I'm sure he'll do fine. Thanks for all the suggestions. We all call him "The Mayor". He's the guy who knows everyone's name in the bar inside of the first ten minutes. He'll find a bartender to take care of him.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

Keith: "The Mayor" is already taken by former NBA standout and current Iowa State head coach, Fred Hoiberg. Sorry. Have a great trip!

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
232 posts

Didn't Rick Steves write something to the effect that if you want to stay in American style hotels when in Europe, you might as well stay home? It's a lot cheaper to stay home and drink American fermentation products of cereal mixes with corn syrup: http://www.homebrewchatter.com/board/archive/index.php/t-7202.html Miller Lite contains propylene glycol alginate, water, barley malt, corn syrup, chemically modified hop extracts, yeast, amyloglucosidase, carbon dioxide, papain enzyme, liquid sugar, potassium metabisulfite, and Emka-malt http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/323/does-budweiser-beer-contain-chicken-hearts

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9091 posts

"Didn't Rick Steves write something to the effect that if you want to stay in American style hotels when in Europe, you might as well stay home?" Rick Steves equates "business style" with "American style" and seems to be under the mistaken prejudice that those who stay in such institutions never leave the hotel.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

Nor quite on topic, but this thread reminds me of our "Miller lite in Europe" story. Short version: we are enjoying a lovely dinner at Doyle's in Dingle. Seated at the next table is a a yuppie couple from Germany. He overhears us telling the waiter we are from California, leans over and starts sharing with us his stories about his favourite micro-brews. He makes it quite clear that German beers are superior to any American ones. His fiance has limited English but is trying to follow the conversation. At a pause, she pipes up with her one contribution, "I like Miller Lite." Mortified, he quickly ends the conversation..... Years later, I still wonder if that engagement was terminated later that evening.

Posted by kathy
chicago, il, usa
37 posts

hi keith... i am also i miller lite drinker... when it's not available i look for a light pilsner.. for example we travel to disney's epcot a lot where bud is served in america and no ml in park so... in england i drink stella, in germany it's radeberger, in canada it's labatts and in mexico it's margaritas. while they don't taste exactly like ml i do just fine. we are heading over to germany for the first time in a month and i will be drinking the local helles (light) beers. i have not been to the places you are going but i'm sure he will find something he likes. enjoy your trip.
kathy