Budweiser vs. Heineken: Kings of Beer

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Difference between Budweiser and Heineken

Beer drinkers are a loyal lot, and it would take hell freezing over before any of them would make the switch. Budweiser and Heineken drinkers are particularly discriminating, but perhaps this comparison article may give them reason to at least reconsider their choices in beer.

Budweiser
Heineken

Profile

Budweiser is a pale lager containing 5% alcohol by volume. It was introduced into the market by Adolphus Busch in 1876, and it is still one of the best selling beers in the United States. Budweiser is composed of 30% rice along with hops and barley malt. The product is manufactured in several breweries around the country, and even in other countries around the world. Budweiser is available in draught and sold in packages.

Heineken is made by Heineken International, and like Budweiser, it is also a pale lager containing 5% alcohol by volume, although there is a 4.3% alcohol by volume version available in Ireland among other countries. Heineken is made from malted barley, hops, and yeast mixed with purified water. The yeast used in the product is the invention of H. Elion in 1886, and it is still used by the company to this day.

Brewing

Budweiser is brewed from a mixture of barley malt, rice, water, hops and yeast. Beechwood chips are used in the lagering process, and this along with an ageing vessel, ensures a much smoother taste. That being said, no flavor is actually contributed by the beechwood chips, since they are boiled for several hours beforehand in a sodium bicarbonate solution. The company also uses horizontal maturation tanks that ensure the faster flocculation of the yeast, in a process that the company calls secondary fermentation. This extra step is intended to give the yeast in the beer a bigger surface area. Along with this process, the company also employs what it calls a krausening procedure, which is intended to reactivate the fermentation process by re-introducing wort into the tank.

Heineken for its part is brewed in over 40 breweries around the world in more than 30 countries. Beginning in 1975, most Heineken beer has been brewed in the Heineken plant in Zoeterwoude, the Netherlands.

Acclaim

Budweiser isn't as critically-acclaimed as its ubiquity would suggest, consistently ranking the lowest on many beer rating sites. While many fans like its lightness, many experts are more critical of its "bland" flavor. Nevertheless, Budweiser is still one of the most popular pale lagers in North America.

Heineken enjoys much more time as a critic's darling, having received no less than four awards, which are printed on the bottle’s label. Among the awards that Heineken has received are: the Medaille d'Or in Paris in 1875, the Diplome d'Honneurs at the International Colonial Exposition in Amsterdam in 1883, the Grand Prix at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889, and the Hors Concours Membre du Jury in Paris in 1900.

Similarities and Differences

Budweiser

  • A pale lager containing 5% alcohol by volume
  • One of the best selling beers in the United States
  • Easy, light flavor

Heineken

  • A pale lager containing 5% alcohol by volume
  • Made from malted barley, hops, and yeast mixed with purified water
  • Has received no less than four awards
  • A sharper taste

Which beer tastes better in a keg?
  • Budweiser
  • Heineken
 
 

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