If you live in Canada or near the border in the U.S., you’ve likely heard of Molson’s new “microcarbonated” lager called M. And if you’re like me, you wonder, “What the hell is ‘microcarbonated’?”
I started my sleuthing with the Molson M website, which revealed nothing. Then I watched some online ads, which offered even less info than did the website. And finally I went to the MolsonCoors global website, where it was revealed that M is “injected with CO2 through smaller, finer bubbles with precision and consistency to attain a level of carbonation that we believe to be close to perfection.”
Uh-huh. I have no idea what that means, expect to say that, like virtually every other packaged beer on the market today, M is carbonated at the filling line. Oh, “through smaller, finer bubbles,” whatever that means when it’s at home.
But the proof is in the tasting and I have at my side a chilled bottle of M. So let us see what “microcarbonation” tastes like.
In the glass, M doesn’t look any different than other mass-produced lagers: it’s pale gold and fizzy, with a head that dies out rather quickly. And the bubbles appear to be of the same size and quantity as you’d find in any other lager.
On the nose, M is sweet and cereally, with some vaguely fruity notes and, yes, a floral note of hoppiness. I would say that the taste is drier than a typical mass-market lager, perhaps thanks to those floral hops I smelled, but still sweet at the outset, with a bit of flowery creamed corn, rather cereally in the body and off-off-dry with restrained icing sugar notes in the finish.
If it was up against Blue and Bud and Canadian in the North American Style Premium lager category at last year’s Canadian Brewing Awards, I can see how it would have won. Head-to-head against a King Pilsner or (Molson owned) Creemore Springs Premium Lager, it wouldn’t stand a chance.
And I’m still no closer to understanding “microcarbonation.”