Kräftig Light Wins Gold Medal (and RFT's Blind Taste Test)

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In answer, Gottfried explains, "I don't want another Bud Light. We're not trying to reproduce Bud Light. What we're trying to do is make a beer that fits the category, a premium lager that directly competes with Bud Light, Miller Light and Coors light, but we want it to be worlds better."

That sounded intriguing, but being the empiricists that we are, we needed something more concrete. Wisely, Gottfried threw some German words at us: "What makes us different is, immediately we went forward in adherence with Reinheitsgebot (RHINE-heights-geh-boat)," the German Beer Purity Law of 1516 that requires only four ingredients be used in the brewing process -- water, barley-malt, yeast and hops. No other premium, domestic light beer (Bud, Miller, Coors) can make such a claim.

        Marc Gottfried inspects his latest batch. | Kräftig
        Marc Gottfried inspects his latest batch. | Kräftig

As Gottfried warns, "There are lots of things you can put in beer. Brewers add corn to beer for one reason: It's cheap. That's it." Another recent trend has been to skip corn altogether and go with the even cheaper corn syrup. Kräftig does not use corn or corn syrup. Nor do they use rice, enzymes (to quicken the process), preservatives or foam enhancers (whatever that is)...just hops, malt, yeast, and water. Gottfried imports the hops directly from Germany, employs a high-quality water and uses a yeast strain of his own making. Because of this, Kräftig Light and Kräftig Lager are more expensive to produce, says Gottfried, yet must still be able to compete with the other light beers of the world. For Gottfried, it all comes down to quality winning out in the end.

And with that, Gut Check decided to put the notion of quality to the test...a blind taste test.

After discreetly marking cups and pouring out Kräftig Light, Bud Light, Miller Light and Coors Light, Gut Check sat down and began to drink. Our discerning palates considered each beer, and we wrote down our preferences. Of the eight Gut Check members participating, seven held up the glass containing Kräftig Light. The general consensus was that Kräftig had a noticeably fuller body with more distinguishable flavor compared to the challengers. Essentially, Kräftig tasted like a beer -- a light beer for the masses that doesn't have a sour aftertaste.

So, at least based on our humble sampling, Marc Gottfried and Kräftig might be on to something. We suggest you go outside, do some yard work, get nice and thirsty, and crack open a can yourself -- you can thank us later.

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