In Defense Of A Cheap Beer: Natural Light

This is a recurring TFM series. Catch up with all installments of In Defense of A Cheap Beer by visiting the archive.

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Being in a fraternity entails many things. One of these things is, of course, massive, unwarranted success with women. The ladies love affiliated men, plain and simple. All you have to do is say “I’m in a frat” and they won’t be able to keep their probably-already-tugged-off-a-few-of-your-pledge-brothers hands off of you.

Anyway, another important quality of a fraternity man is his attitude toward beer. He appreciates a fine craft brew, but he prefers drinking a barley soda of the light and cheap variety. In this series, I attempt to defend the latter from the Negative Nancys who are talking shit on beer review sites. And let me tell you, some of these guys are real jerks about it.

This edition’s defendant is fraternity staple Natural Light, a light lager brewed by world famous Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Missouri. The beer boasts a respectable 4.2% ABV, which, when paired with its relatively cheap price and nationwide availability, has helped make it the most iconic fraternity beer of all-time.

Of course those two factors aren’t the only two reasons why Natural Light is the pinnacle of fraternal intoxicants. Another reason is the legendary taste. But don’t just take that from me, take it from Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle.

The act of enjoying a Natural Light is not simply gustatory, though — it pleases the olfaction as well. There is no smell more engrained in my brain than the aroma of that invisible wall of Natural Light from parties past that would waft into my nose each time I descended into my fraternity’s basement. When it came to cleaning that part of the house, no amount of bleach, ammonia, or a combination of the two (R.I.P. the entirety of fall pledge class 2014) has ever managed to erase it, and I’m unbelievably thankful for that fact.

The full-bodied flavor and aroma of a Natural Light are out of this world. Or, should I say, they have been out of this world, seeing as Natural Light was the first beer to ever make it into outer space.

One of the only things more emblematic than Natural Light’s taste and smell is each can’s self-description: The smooth pilsner with all-natural ingredients. Such a beautifully succinct description of such an awesomely minimalistic beer. Everything about Natural Light is perfect.

My crackhead uncle thinks Natural Light tastes like “I’ll say whatever you want about this stupid beer, just give me some more rock you disappointing nematode.” Sadly, not all reviewers have been raving about this nectar of the gods as much as I assume my Uncle Phil was with that cryptic review.

god-aweful beer. i could spray diarreah in a can and it would be better than this. it for some reason was the #1 BYOB beer at weekend after-school parties. (geuss everyone was poor?) this is the kind of beer they use to torture intel out of prisoners of war. and im sure it is a VERY good method of doing so. – CaptainBadass,

If the U.S. government is using Natty Light to torture prisoners of war, ship me off to Guantanamo. They’re obviously not, though, and that’s a stupid thing to say, CaptainBadass, if that is your real name. Besides, being trapped somewhere and force-fed Natural Light isn’t called torture — it’s called college.

Today we arrived in Jackson, MS. It was a warm day, about 95 degrees, and sunny. I decided to go for a run since I missed my scheduled run yesterday due to a long drive down in the bayou. I planned for about 6 miles, but misjudged the distances and ended up in some suburbs, eventually I found myself by an abandoned gas station, the road back was 40 mph without sidewalks, so every quarter mile or so, I had to run out into the high grass to avoid the oncoming cars. I eventually made it back, after 8 miles, and was totally dehydrated. Sadly, we didn’t have any chilled water in the room, but then I remembered I had a Natural Light in the cooler. Said and done, I went for that one, and lo and behold, it was actually close enough to water to quench my thirst! Having said all that. Yeah, this is pretty much water. I would rate it higher if it was sold as bottled water. – ktwse,

This has got to be pretty high up in consideration for “most pointless story of all-time.” He could have taken out all but the final two sentences and it would have gotten the exact same point across. Of course, if he had done that, then he wouldn’t have been able to tell internet strangers how fit he is, which it appears was his end game here.

oh yes I did. why you ask? just to appease my son. this is just plain nasty and tasteless and watery runny snot. – tmongoose,

To appease your son, you say? Jesus Christ, tmongoose. Who wears the pants in your family? You do things you don’t want to do just because your son tells you to? Man the fuck up. I bet you know what watery, runny snot tastes like, what with your son ruthlessly belittling you in front of your embarrassed wife so often, you whiny tearful bitch. Grow some nuts and go beat the shit out of your son for fuck’s sake.

Drink this only to get drunk. Do not smell it. Do not savor it. Do not do anything but swallow it. (That’s what she said.) – TheBeerMaster,

TheBeerMaster? More like TheJokeMaster!!!

A good alternative to water on scorching Texas summer days, while frolfing. But u cant tell if your getting drunk, or if thats just the heat strock talking. – Dsnutz,


Appearance- Piss Water
Smell- Piss
Taste- None
Mouthfeel- Water
Overall- Perfect to clean your toilet with. Looking back on my 18 year old self i realize why we drank this. But now i want to smack myself in the head, if you want to go cheap, get some high life. – aorloski –

Apparently Appearance = Smell + Mouthfeel, which explains why, if I ever met you, I’d probably describe your appearance as “Shit Dick!” Hahaha!


I am very disapointed to state I have consumed this beer, not much but the damage has been done. I vow to start an educational out reach program aimed toward high school students, the issue being the wrongness of this beer. – dankman,

They pretty much already have that. It’s called D.A.R.E., and it doesn’t work.

How do you give a beer a 0? Thats exactly what this stuff deserves. On the plus side, its fairly cheap, it’ll get ya drunk, and you’ll be fucking fat chicks in no time. You may even fight a dude or two. – lipscomb216,

Sounds like a helluva night. Where do I sign up???

my mom once told me she liked this, … i shoulda slapped her – dolemike1,

By saying you don’t like Natural Light, you put yourself in the same club as dolemike1, a self-confessed regretful domestic non-abuser. Congrats, that’s some good company.

Natural. Light. It is naturally light. This is almost not a beer. One time some friends brought it over and when we opened a can, a genie appeared and granted us a wish. When he was gone, I saw the case was still on the counter. Darn. On the upside, my friend started farting money. But they were nickels. – insertpunhere,

What the fuck are you talking about?

I drank one of these from a half-empty case left by partying college kids at a neighborhood beach. Presumably the abandoned it accidentally. This beverage is very pale in color, and has virtually no smell or taste. It feels like water going down the chute. If you’re thirsty, it may be better than nothing, but I’ll stick with my bottle of spring water. For the college kids (only over 21), without a developed taste for malt and hops, this may be a good way to chill with friends. – jushoppy2beer,

If you and your friends are ever drinking some beer on the beach, watch out: jushoppy2beer might be lurking in the palm tree shadows waiting for you to leave your spot so he can steal your beer, that sick fucking fuck.

My mother always told me ’If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.’ Enough said! – titan99,

You forgot the part where you slapped her.

Mouth feel: every synapse in your brain fires off as you are overcome with a sense of agony. Your body wants to reject it, but you fight against yourself and take the gulp. By the end of the can you want to cry. – StanfordBlack,

Uh… I don’t think we’re talking about beer anymore, are we, StanfordBlack? Damn… Now I’m just depressed. You Natty haters are just sad people, plain and simple. I’m done here.

Know of a cheap beer that needs defending? Leave your recommendations in the comments section.

[via Beer Advocate, Rate Beer]

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Jared Borislow

Jared Borislow (né The DeVry Guy) is a Senior Writer for Grandex Inc and a 2015 graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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