In 1978 Radio-Canada TV held a blind beer tasting of 18 brands then manufactured in Quebec. You can see them at the start of this archival clip (the first clip in the group).
This is all in the French language. The announcer drew attention to a beer newly placed on the market, La Cervoise, but did not identify the others.
The image shows what they were though.
From left to right, Labatt Blue, Labatt Porter, Heidelberg, Dow Kingsbeer, Molson Porter, La Cervoise, Laurentide Ale, Brador Malt Liquor, Carling Black Label (lager), Dow Ale, Labatt 50 Ale, Molson Export Ale, Carlsberg (lager), O’Keefe Ale, Molson Golden Ale, Guinness Stout, Champlain Porter, and Molson Canadian (lager).
The tasters, a group of young men and women, couldn’t pick their favourites for the most part.
It seems no stout or porter was served, for obvious reasons, but few drank these anyway in Canada by then.
Clearly, mass-market beers – and there were no others except a few imports with a tiny market – were rather uniform in taste. It confirms what many have said of the period.
Would I have done better? I think so. I attended similar tastings in that period, and got most of the tastes. The beers were actually not “the same”, but unless one knew what to look for, had training so to speak, results as seen here were the norm.
The industry knew this and relied largely on advertising to distinguish the products. It was the same in the United States. And many other places. Craft beer changed it, but it took quite a while.