2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Melanie Woods

We tried to see if we could tell which Den beer is which

This year, the Den introduced its exclusive new Den Lager. Brewed specially for the Den by Molson, the Students’ Union bills the beer as an affordable and unobtrusive choice for students. It joins Molson Canadian, Coors Light and Pilsner on the Den’s list of domestic beers on tap. Those three retail for $5.50 a pint, while the new Den lager goes for $4.75.

To see what all of the fuss was about, Gauntlet staff of various beer-drinking experience decided to have a blind taste-test of the four beers. We wanted to not only see if we could pick out the new addition, but determine which is the tastiest.

We based our evaluations on four categories: Taste, Mouthfeel, Which beer is this? and How much would you pay for a pint?

Our server labelled each beer with a number and kept their identities hidden until the end of the challenge. We sampled each beer together and gave our thoughts on each category.

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The panelists:

Derek Baker, Gauntlet humour editor: “I’ll drink anything that is free.”

Rachel Woodward, Gauntlet entertainment editor: “I know nothing about beer, and I have nothing to say because all of these beers look exactly the same.”

Melanie Woods, Gauntlet editor-in-chief: “The first time I drank beer was Pilsner, here at the Den.”

Sean Willett, former Gauntlet editor of various positions: “I have spent close to a decade drinking beers in a remote compound in Bolivia, so I think I’m ready to do this and I’m confident in my ability to figure out which beer is which of these gentlemen’s beers.”

(We would include individual pictures of each of these, but there’s no point. They honestly are all the exact same shade of off-colour urine.)

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Beer one: The beer we are sampling is actually Molson Canadian


Sean: At first, the taste is nothing. It’s like fizzy water. Then it settles into your mouth with a sort of distinctive bad beer finish. It lingers in there for a bit. Honestly it’s a toss up as to which one this is — who really knows? Mouthfeel is kinda fizzy and somehow greasy? It just sits in there for a while. I would pay two Canadian dollars for a pint of this. It’s a toss up as to which one it is. It’s either Canadian or Pilsner. Okay. Canadian.

Derek: Definitely has that cheap beer taste. It tastes better than anything at a hockey game, so we know we’re above that. It tastes like bread that has been out for too long. Its mouthfeel is definitely a liquid — so that’s good. I think it’s Pilsner and I would pay no more than five bucks for a pint of this.

Rachel: Greasy is a good word. It’s very light, it doesn’t have a whole lot of flavour. Oh. Just kidding, at the end it does. It does sit and it is thick at the end. Mouthfeel — very strange. When I licked my lips it was just sharp. I would pay $3.50 max for this and I’m gonna say it’s Canadian.

Melanie: This is a beer that I would drink out of a pitcher at a social gathering here at the Den. It is very dull, and kind of tastes like cardboard — damp cardboard. I would pay $4.50 for this damp cardboard. I also think that this is Canadian. It definitely has that sour taste at the end.  

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Beer two: The beer we are actually drinking is Pilsner.


Sean: So this one hits you a bit faster in terms of flavour. It’s a bit more bold and determined with what it does. It’s still bad, for sure. But it doesn’t sit in your mouth like a disgusting skunk eating trash and rummaging around. It just comes in, does its thing and leaves. What it does is be a mediocre beer. Mouthfeel wise, it’s a bit fuller and frothier than the first one. I’d pay three Canadian dollars for this. I think it’s Pilsner.

Derek: It definitely tastes worse than the last one. I don’t like this one as much. You taste more of that cheap beer feeling. It’s heavier than the last one. I hate this so much. Its mouthfeel is bad. It feels like sorrow and pain. I would not pay more than a buck for this. I do not like this one. Because of that, I think it might be Coors Light.

Rachel: Smells weird. First of all, it has a very thick taste to it. It’s very musky. It coats your tongue with an awful feeling. Mouthfeel is thick. How much would I pay for this? I don’t know, I’d probably just get a flirtini instead. I’m gonna say this is Pilsner.

Melanie: It’s very bitter. It’s also very carbonated and hoppy. I have to drink this the way that I normally drink Pilsner which is just drinking to commit. Yeah, no. In terms of the mouthfeel, if you squeeze it a little bit, you just get that essence of bitter sadness. It’s a more lively beer than the last one which also means it’s more aggressive in its badness. I think this one is a Coors Light. I would pay three dollars for this. It tastes like Pilsner but I don’t think it’s Pilsner.

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Beer three: This beer, is in fact, Coors Light.


Sean: Oh, my god! What the hell is this!? This is the Den Lager. This is not anything else that I’ve ever tasted, even remotely. It’s clearly very different. It’s almost sweet. A syrupy taste. Not very fizzy or carbonated at all. Like a maple syrupy taste. It’s a smooth drink. In terms of how much I would pay for this, I like this. I’d pay four canadian dollars for this. I think this is the Den Lager because it’s truly different than the other ones.

Derek: Wow! That actually tastes not like beer, which is a good thing! It’s pretty sweet, I would also say syrupy. The Students’ Union might have just pumped sugar in this. Mouthfeel is differently liquidy, like most beers are. I think it’s the Den Lager too. I’d pay no more than five bucks if it’s on special.

Rachel: Oh my god, what!? This tastes like peach soda! I like this a lot. This is very light and fruity. Not very carbonated. It doesn’t hurt my mouth like beer usually does. Mouthfeel is light, crisp, it’s refreshing. I dig this! I’m gonna say it’s the Den Lager and I’d pay five bucks for this, straight up. This is good. I’m psyched about this.

Melanie: Oh fuck, this is going to turn into an advertising special for the Den Lager. Oooh! It’s very smooth with just a fruity bitter taste at the end. It doesn’t hang around too long. The mouthfeel is very fleeting, but in a good way. Whatever beer number three is — hot damn, I would drink this. I’m going to be really bummed if this is Coors Light or something. I think this is the Den Lager and I would pay $5 for it. Hot damn. This is good.

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Beer four: This beer is the real Den Lager.


Sean: We are getting just wet and wild now. This has a lot to live up to because beer number three was a lot to live up to. Well. That’s the most inoffensive beer I’ve ever tasted. It’s like if someone took a beer and managed to somehow zap it with a mad scientist’s gun that blasted all the flavour out of it. The colour is beer and it feels like beer when it hits your mouth, but it tastes like nothing. It actually is just like illusion magic. It’s sparkling water that is somehow alcoholized. Mouthfeel — no, not really. It’s not even trying and didn’t bother to show up. I would pay one Canadian dollar for it,my lowest score. I think that this is Coors Light because it’s light on flavour and light on soul. It’s a soulless beer.

Derek: Not much flavour to that one. When I was younger, I hid a 24-pack of Molson Canadian which my mother found and fed to the slugs. I think this is Molson Canadian because I don’t love it, but also didn’t hate it. So I think it’s Molson Canadian. It’s not bad, but not great.

Rachel: This is a taste I’m familiar with. It’s a taste that I know. It’s a taste that I dislike. Mouthfeel is rough. Like sandpaper to my tongue. It’s quick and it’s dirty and it’s sore on my mouth. I’m gonna say Coors Light. Again, I’d get another flirtini.

Melanie: Oh no. This reminds me of going to Red Deer Rebels games, and this smells like the Enmax Centrium. It smells and feels in my mouth the same way that breathing in air at the Enmax Centrium feels, which is pure and bad. Therefore, I am going to cheat and say that this one is Coors Light. This is another one that I would drink out of a pitcher. Out of a single pint on my own regard, I guess I’d pay five dollars because it’s a hockey game.

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Final remarks before the big reveal:


Sean: My favourite of all of them is number three — I know. It’s going to end up being the Den Lager. And it actually did impress. It’s different from the other beers that you can get at that price, and I would say that it is better.

Derek: My favourite is also number three, unfortunately. The worst beer was number two.

Rachel: Unfortunately — third beer was the best. I hate to say it but goddamn, that was pretty fresh. I don’t like beer, but I would drink that beer.

Melanie: I came into this knowing that I would drink the beer if it was free. But I paid for these beers, and number three is it. It was surprisingly good. Number four, though, brought back some traumatic memories.

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Flipping over the paper revealing which was which shocked us all. Beer number one was Molson Canadian, beer two was Pilsner, beer three — the consensus favourite — was Coor’s Light and beer four was the new Den Lager.

What does this tell us? Maybe we all have shitty taste in beer. Maybe there’s a glitch in the matrix.

After the challenge, our server told us the Den Lager was conceived as a cheap, easy-drinking beer for students on a budget. And while it was none of our favourites, we all agreed it fit that criteria. “Hockey arena beer” isn’t really an insult to something intended for student mass consumption.

If you want nice beer, go drink Wild Rose at the Last Defense Lounge. But if you’re looking for something to chug out of a dented plastic pitcher on a Thursday night, the new Den Lager might just fit the bill.

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