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Sunday, February 23rd 2014

People's Pilsner
(People's Brewing Company)

Trent is our "Midwest Can Man" and can collector extraordinaire. This pilsner, which comes in a hand-labeled 12-ounce can from an Indiana brewery with relatively limited distribution has some significant meaning to him. We'll let him explain...

People’s Brewing Company is located in Lafayette, Indiana, which is where I spent most of my youth.  It’s where I got caught up in the beer can collecting craze of the mid 70’s, and it’s where I had my first canned beer (a lukewarm Pabst Light shared with a buddy who pilfered it from his dad’s garage stash) at the tender age of my-mom-reads-these-posts-so-I-ain’t-saying. So there’s that, but there’s more.

Lafayette’s commercial brewing history dates back to 1843, and just one - Lafayette Brewery, Inc. – reopened after Prohibition before losing the battle to the big boys like many other small local breweries. In the last few years before their 1953 demise they packaged two beers in cone top cans that could be filled on their family-owned bottling line: Ye Tavern and Kopper Kettle. 

Locally brewed canned beer then vanished from the Lafayette landscape for 60 years, and this beer drinking can fan with deep roots in this river town spent the better part of four decades hoping it would one day return. 

In late 2013 People’s ended the drought and made my very personal wish come true. Can of the year indeed.

 

From the People's Brewing site:


"This beer is a twist on the Northern German style Pilsner, also known as Dortmunder or Export style Pilsner. These beers made use of hard water, like that of Lafayette, for that reason more malt was used and just enough hops to balance the beer. Rather than change the “locally raised water”, we have added some Caramalt to our Pilsner malt bill to give this beer some malt character. We’ve chosen S hops, which have a slightly spicy character, in a very simple hop schedule. The result is a clean finishing Pilsner beer, unique to the Lafayette area and our wonderful local water.

 

Here we go...


Pour - Pours a colorful gold and a little cloudy in our glass.  Head is thin but sturdy. 


Aroma - Distinctly spicy hops and pilsner malt.


Taste - The slightly sour (to me) noble hops show up at the start and linger for just a moment before giving way to the light sweetness of the malt.  What seems to be higher carbonation for the style lends itself to a clean, snappy finish and we’re at the bottom of the glass before we know it.


Overall - Emotional attachment aside, People’s Pilsner is a very good representation of the style.  Like many well-crafted pilsners, it’s an excellent choice for the first beer of the day before you go zapping your palate with hoppier fare. 


Note -  The craft can revolution seems to have taken hold in Indiana.  Early canning pioneers like Sun King and Great Crescent have now been joined by Tin Man, Daredevil, Flat 12, Cutter's and People’s. Keep an eye out for more coming later this year. Cheers! 


People's Pilsner
Style: Dortmunder/Export Lager
Brewery: People\'s Brewing Company
City: 
Lafayette, Indiana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Caramalt and Pilsner malt
Hops: Santium
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 42
Date: February 23rd, 2014

Posted by Trent


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Labels: Lagers, Pilsners


Thursday, July 5th 2012

Snake River Lager
(Snake River Brewing Company)

Snake River Brewing did something quite impressive a few months ago. The Jackson Hole, Wyoming brewery said a fond farewell to glass bottles and made the decision to start canning their entire lineup. Five of their beers are now available in cans and having had them all we can say that each is incredible in its own right. Snake River's Lager has won two gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival (2001 & 2003) and won gold at the 2010 North American Brewers Festival. We're excited to share our thoughts on this brew! Cheers!

From the Snake River Brewing site:

"Snake River Lager is our most popular beer. This is an amber colored Vienna style lager. The rich, caramel flavor is balanced with the use of several hop varieties for a subtle hop note. An authentic German lager yeast strain adds to the true flavor of this beer. The  malt forward profile of Snake River Lager makes it a fine complement to pizzas and red meat."

Here we go...


Pour - dark amber in appearance with some orange and red hues. Nice looking carbonation levels form a thin white head on top. Clean and clear in the glass. A great looking pour. 


Aroma - brown bread, toasty and roasty malts, molasses and some faint hints of orange and other citrus. Great aromas from this lager. 


Taste - one sip and we're already impressed. Snake River's Lager is something good, real good. Loads of malt flavors abound with some toasty, biscuity notes as well. This is crisp with a clean finish and leaves a lingering sweetness on the tongue. Well-rounded and practically flawless. An excellent example of this very drinkable style.


Overall - with the vast amount of beer styles confronting American craft beer drinkers the Vienna Lager might get a bit lost in the crowd. If you're looking for something to bring to a BBQ that just might convert some macro drinkers than this might be it. If you're looking for something different, or a break from all things hoppy, we definitely recommend picking up a six-pack of Snake River Lager. You can even order some online if it isn't available near you. 

Note - So, what exactly is a "Vienna Lager"? Our good friends over at Wikipedia have this to say about the style:

"Vienna lager was developed by brewer Anton Dreher in Vienna in 1841. Austrian brewers who emigrated to Mexico in the late 19th century took the style with them. Vienna lager is a reddish-brown or copper-colored beer with medium body and slight malt sweetness. The malt aroma and flavor may have a toasted character"


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Snake River Lager
Style: Vienna Lager
Brewery: Snake River Brewing Company
City: 
Jackson, Wyoming  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: 2- Row, Munich TL, Melanoidan
Hops: Perle, Liberty and Sterling
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: 18
Date: July 5th, 2012

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Lagers


Monday, July 2nd 2012

Great Crescent Dark Lager
(Great Crescent Brewery)

The CraftCans Nation won’t be surprised to hear us admit that there’s a special place reserved in our beer-marinated hearts for craft brewers who make great beer and can ALL of their beers. Great Crescent is one of those breweries. With this review of their Dark Lager we’ve crossed the halfway point and sampled seven of their dozen canned beers. Our quest to track down the final five continues.

From the Great Crescent site:

"This beer is based on the very first commercially brewed beer in the state of Indiana. The name of the brewer was George Bentel. His house is still standing in New Harmony. The Harmonist brewer and cooper, George Bentel, was born November 3, 1781 in Iptingen, the same village in the Swabian kingdom of Württemberg where George Rapp was born. Bentel lived at the northeast corner of Brewery and Grainery streets, where his house remains today, as upright as when Indiana's first brewer marched out to make his beer almost two centuries ago. 

The German utopian communalists in New Harmony were Indiana's first significant brewers. Beginning in 1816, the Harmonists eventually brewed enough to sell all the way up to what is now West Virginia and down into lower Illinois. From the historical record, it appears the Harmonists brewed a porter-like dark beer. It must have been pretty good beer: An educated German, Ferdinand Ernst, stopped in New Harmony during his journey through the frontier region. “They served me a stein of beer,” Ernst wrote, “and I was not a little astonished to find here a genuine, real Bamberg beer.” He gushed that the Harmonists “must be happiest people of entire Christiandom.” A Louisville agent for the Harmonists reported, “Mr. Breeden, the most celebrated porter seller in the place says the strongest part of it would almost pass for porter and is the best beer he has ever seen in this country…”

Here we go...

 

Pour - Deep, dark mahogany in our glass, like caramel with a touch of chocolate mixed in. Wet but fairly sturdy tan head with bubbles of every size sits on top and recedes within a couple minutes.    

 

Aroma - Sweet grain and grassy hops.  A little bit of licorice starts to come out as it warms.

 

Taste - Wait a minute…this isn’t what we expected from a lager. At the cold start we get light sweet malt with some roasted grains at the finish that reminded us of a Schwarzbier. As it warms the mouthfeel becomes more full, the roasted grains offer up some chocolate flavor and combine with what we suspect are Noble hops to give a more bitter, coffee-like finish with some caramel goodness hanging around for an aftertaste. Amazing.   

 

Overall - Every once in a while we run into a beer that is very different based on the temperature, and they’re usually lagers.  And those of us who have been drinking lagers for a couple decades may have been conditioned to drink them ice cold to mask the true flavor of what is in our glass - don’t do it with Great Crescent’s Dark Lager! We liked this beer so much better when it warmed that we were convinced it could be an ale, and we wrote this review over four different samplings just to be certain we weren’t imagining the complexity that showed up at higher temperatures. The CraftCans team highly recommends this beer; just take care to not let it get too warm when what we think is the lager yeast starts to take over and some sourness coats the palate.  


Note - Dark Lager was Great Crescent’s ReplicAle at the 2010 Indiana Microbrewers Festival.  Based on a cursory internet search, dozens of Indiana brewers took up the challenge of recreating the state’s first commercially available brew, including our good friends at Sun King Brewing.  As best as we can tell, Great Crescent is the only brewer to have canned their version inspired by a very old recipe. To learn more about this small Indiana brewer go HERE. Cheers!

 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Great Crescent Dark Lager
Style: Euro Dark Lager
Brewery: Great Crescent Brewery
City: 
Aurora, Indiana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.7%
IBUs: 23
Date: July 2nd, 2012

Posted by Trent


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Monday, May 7th 2012

Churchkey Pilsner Style Beer
(Churchkey Can Company)

 

Here it is! The much anticipated, and perhaps a little surprising, return of the "flat top" steel beer can, or that is at least what these types of cans have been called ever since they were replaced by pull-tabs and ultimately the current "stay-tabs" - who get their name because they "stay" on the can. Churchkey Can Company has certainly had a good deal of press lately with this, their first release. We've got to admit, there is something pretty cool about holding one of these cans. They're the same size as a 12 oz. aluminum can but a good deal heavier and the act of opening one of them is also a pretty neat experience, having never done it before. Let's see how the beer inside holds up!

 


 

From the Churchkey Can Co. can holder:

"Churchkey Pilsner is a handcrafted pilsner style beer made from the highest quality ingredients. The body of the beer comes from the light, grainy pilsner malt taste, accented by a smooth clean bitterness. The Saaz hop taste and aroma featured in the Churchkey Pilsner make for a uniquely complex yet sessionable finish. Protected from both light and oxygen by our flat top steel can, the freshness of the beer is kept intact, just waiting to be enjoyed."

Here we go...

Pour – after succesfully opening my first beer can ever with a churchkey it's time to pour this beer. I've got to say that it was pretty cool to open a can of beer like my grandfather did. The pour is actually a lot smoother than with conventional cans, no glug, glug action, just a steady stream of straw colored liquid filling the glass. A thin, wispy head forms on top. By the time I take a sip the head is totally gone. Carbonation still looks good though.

Aroma – honey, orange marmalade, brown bread, a little grassy along with some grainy/cereal smells.

Taste – sweet at first on the tongue and then a nice sharp bit that dries the mouth a bit while leaving a tangy aftertaste. Lots of malt flavor in this pilsner, a little toasty and bready with some spicy, earthy notes from those Saaz hops. Love the crisp, kick of a finish. 

Overall - solid pilsner. Not an easy brew to make and certainly one that doesn't give the brewer much margin of error. Aside from a missing head after a few minutes of settling, this was a nice brew and a well executed initial offering from Churchkey Can Company. I can't help but think it would be cool to have an IPA of some sort in these cans, perhaps one day we'll see that!

Note - the recipe for Churchkey Pilsner was actually put together by two homebrewers from Portland, Oregon. Also, in case you were wondering, the cans are filled and seamed using a modified Cask Brewing line and each of the steel cans is lined with the same lining as traditional aluminum beer cans. The cans can be recycled the same as aluminum as they're quite similar to the cans that you're vegetables and soup come in. Pretty cool.


Churchkey's six-pack holder come with a free opener


Churchkey Pilsner
Style: German Pilsener
Brewery: Churchkey Can Company
City: 
Seattle, Washington  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pilsner malt
Hops: Saaz
ABV: 4.9%
IBUs: 29
Date: May 7th, 2012

Posted by Russ


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Saturday, May 5th 2012

Top Rope Mexican-style Craft Lager
(Upslope Brewing Company)

 

Happy Cinco de Mayo! This is hands-down one of our favorite can designs that has come out in the past couple years. Top Rope Mexican-style Craft Lager features, front and center, the famous Lucho Libre mask that is a symbol of Mexico's "free wrestling" in which many of wrestlers don such colorful facewear (in and out of the ring). Top Rope is brewed using the same recipe as Upslope's recently released Upslope Craft Lager, you could call it an alias (hidden behind a mask).

 


From the Denver Westword Blog site:

"Big Red F (a Colorado restaurant group) tapped its relationship with Boulder's Upslope Brewing Company to come up with a Mexican-style lager that paired well with the food at its restaurants.

The result of that collaboration is Top Rope, a light, low-alcohol lager with a Mexican wrestling theme that goes well with spicy dishes and even hotter summer days."

Here we go...

 

Pour - fills the glass a straw color, clean and clear with a relatively thin, white, wispy head.


Aroma - cereal grains, lemon, fresh cut grass, some hints of melon and a bit of an earthy, spicy hop aroma.

 

Taste - very crisp and refreshing right from the first sip. Some malty sweetness hits the tongue first and is followed by a sharp, dry finish. There are some nice citrus and soft fruit flavors to this lager as well. Within the world of canned lagers this one is certainly near the top for us. A job well done by all involved! Salud!

 

Overall - we could definitely get behind having a few of these with some fish tacos or a huge Mission-style burrito with lots of fresh salsa. Love the fact that Upslope teamed up with some local restaurants to make this one happen, not to mention the label art is just fantastic. 

 

Note - cans of Top Rope are usually only available at Big Red F's Colorado restaurants; Lola, Zolo and Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace. Upslope has however sold some cans at the brewery and small amounts do get distributed locally to a few liquor stores. 

 

BONUS: There is a typo on the Top Rope can that has since been corrected. See if you can find it!



the, still growing, Upslope family


Top Rope Mexican-style Craft Lager
Style: Vienna Lager
Brewery: Upslope Brewing Company
City: 
Boulder, Colorado  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pilsner, 2-Row and caramel malts
Hops: Czech Saaz
ABV: 4.8%
IBUs: 15
Date: May 5th, 2012

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Lagers


Wednesday, April 25th 2012

UnderDog Atlantic Lager
(Flying Dog Brewery)

 

Flying Dog's first canned release is a brand new beer that the brewery just made public this year. A lighter, pale lager that is brewed with rye and wheat along with some noble hops, UnderDog is a good choice for a canned debut and should sell well over the summer. We're interested to see how this one tastes, if there is one place where many craft brewers dare tread its in the canned lager category. We'd like to see more brewers challenge the big boys but for many its just not financially sensible. 

From the Flying Dog site:

"UnderDog is light and refreshing with crisp hop lage and pairs best with foods like simple salads, provolone and Monterey jack cheeses, seafood and light proteins.

What's an Atlantic Lager? A style created by our brewers. It's a light, crisp and refreshing beer with complex lager and hop character - perfect for our hot and humid East Coast summers. "

Here we go...

Pour – light straw color in appearance, extremely clean and clear with a nice thick, tight brainy like white head on top. Very commendable as far as look are concerned. It certainly has the makings of a good beer.

Aroma – some grassy and herbal notes along with faint hints of spicy, earthy and citrusy hops. A little cereal sweetness as well. Not overly aromatic but more so than many other lagers.

Taste – first sip is a mild rush of lemony citrus, graininess and a dry finish. Slightly sweet maltiness with a lasting tangy flavor. This is definitely one to put in the "refreshing" category as its easy drinking, light-bodied and the sharp, dry finish really is nice on a dry palate. Say what you will but this is tasting really good while its really cold. 

Overall - crisp and clean with a sharp bite in the finish (not as painful as the bite occurring in the artwork below, see the can on the far left). You've got to hand it to Flying Dog for putting this one in cans. It should be a great summer brew and one that should appeal to the masses. So, if you've got some folks who are lager drinkers and aren't ready for anything else, see if they'll give this one a shot. It's certainly several steps up from some of those industrial cans filling a lot of summertime coolers.

Note - Ralph Steadman has been doing the artwork for Flying Dog's labels since 1996. Perhaps you recognize his unique artistic style from some of Hunter S. Thompson's book covers (Fear and Loathing Las Vegas perhaps) or any of the numerous other illustrations he's done over his 45 year career. You can read more about him and his relationship with Flying Dog HERE!


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
UnderDog Atlantic Lager
Style: American Pale Lager
Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery
City: 
Frederick, Maryland  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Rye, Cara-Pils, Wheat
Hops: Perle, Goldings
ABV: 4.7%
IBUs: 28
Date: April 25th, 2012

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Lagers


Monday, April 2nd 2012

Longboard Island Lager
(Kona Brewing Company)

First brewed and bottled back in 1998, Kona's first ever canned offering is their Longboard Island Lager. It's a great example of how the artwork from a bottle label can look great when used on a can. We really love the graphics on this one. Cans of this should be hitting shelves all over the mainland very soon (if you're not yet seeing them). 

From the Kona Brewing site:

"Longboard Island Lager is a smooth refreshing lager fermented and aged for five weeks at cold temperatures to yield its exceptionally smooth flavor. A delicate, slightly spicy hop aroma complements the malty body of this beer."

 

Here we go...

 

Pour - golden straw-color in appearance with a stark white head that is about a half inch in size and leaves some lacing once things settle.


Aroma - bread dough, cereal, grainy with some hints of citrus. Not overly aromatic but pleasant nonetheless.

 

Taste - smooth on the palate with a decent amount of sweet, honey-like maltiness and some hints at lemon and orange citrus flavor. A grainy taste seems to stick with you while taking sips of Longboard Island Lager. It almost has some toasty flavors as well. 

 

Overall - easy drinking and non-complex. Longboard Lager is a solid choice over the bigger players in the canned lager game. If you're a fan of lager beers and are looking for something on the lighter side than we say give this one a try. It's certainly the type of beer that will go quickly at family barbecue or at a bonfire on the beach.


Note - Kona brews and packages a bulk of their beers at the Widmer Brothers facility in Portland, Oregon. They're part of the Craft Brewers Alliance (CBA) which consists of Widmer Brothers, Kona Brewing Company and Redhook Brewing Company. Kona Brewing also operates two pubs in Hawai'i, the Koko Marina Pub in Oahu and the Kona Pub & Brewery in Kona on the big island of Hawai'i.


  image by CraftCans.Com



Longboard Island Lager
Style: American Amber/Red Lager
Brewery: Kona Brewing Company
City: 
Kona, Hawaii  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Premium 2-row Pale Malt, Wheat
Hops: Mt. Hood, Hallertau, Czech Saaz
ABV: 4.6%
IBUs: 18
Date: April 2nd, 2012

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Lagers


Friday, March 30th 2012

Shift
(New Belgium Brewing Company)

Shift is the fourth canned offering from this booming Colorado brewery and is the first New Belgium beer in pint cans to roll down their new multi-million dollar canning line since its installation in early 2012. With 40 heads and a filling capacity reportedly around 360 cans per minute, this behemoth is ready to start putting significantly more cans of great brews in our fridges and coolers this summer.

A special shout-out must go to our friend and fellow beerhound Bobby T for using his boyish looks and charming disposition to sweet-talk a Fort Collins local into giving him a can of this for us to review before its official release. Cheers!

From New Belgium:

"Shift Pale Lager features the newly developed Nelson Sauvin hop, which brings forth elements of citrus and soft fruit alongside specialty malts and lager yeast. Easy to drink, crisp and congratulatory, Shift is ready for a responsible session in the backyard and beyond.

Here we go...

Pour - deep gold and a noticeably viscous pour.  Bone-white and very sturdy head sits on top as though it were challenging us break through and sample what lies beneath.

Aroma - earthy, slightly fruity, and light floral scent that seems to be unique to this hop variety.  The distinct hop aroma blends in nicely with what looks and smells like a good-sized malt bill for a pale lager.    

Taste - round, medium-bodied, and that all-important “not fizzy” mouthfeel that we like in our craft lagers.  A clean start followed by a semi-sour mango middle before finishing with a nice little zip of bitter hoppiness.  Some light sourness sticks around for a pleasant aftertaste.   

Overall - a smooth, easy drinking craft lager that is unlike any other we’ve tried in a can. At 5% abv it is definitely a good option for sessions – even in its 16-ounce format – and we think it would make a great lager to have in hand when firing up the grill this summer or just hanging out on the back deck with friends.

Note - the Nelson Sauvin (Nelson) hop variety has its origins in New Zealand and has recently started gaining favor with many craft breweries, including Brewdog who use it in their Punk IPA.  New Belgium also uses Nelson in combination with Sorachi Ace hops in their spring seasonal ale Dig, which we hope will be available in cans next year. With a canning line capable of filling 21,600 cans per hour, we like our chances!

 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Shift
Style: American Pale Lager
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Company
City: 
Fort Collins, Colorado  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: Nelson Sauvin
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: March 30th, 2012

Posted by Trent


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Thursday, January 26th 2012

Joseph James American Lager
(Joseph James Brewing Company)

It’s time for the CraftCans Team to wrap up our reviews of Joseph James Brewing Company’s three canned offerings, including Fox Tail - the first gluten-free beer in a can – and their super hoppy, high octane Hop Box Imperial IPA.   Let’s put their craft lager to the test.  

From the Joseph James Brewing site:


"Traditional Style American Lager brewed with the finest Pilsner malts and organic rice. This light bodied lager is crisp and refreshing at 5.2% ABV, 15 IBU's, and is best enjoyed at 45°F-55°F. Serve in a 16oz pint glass."


Here we go...

POUR: Clear, pale yellow and very clear.  Nice half-inch white head on top that held its own and left moderate but sturdy lacing.

AROMA: Standard aromas of biscuit dough and fruity lager yeast.  We find it challenging to find much variety in the aromas in our craft lagers, but the taste is where the rubber meets the road anyway, right?

TASTE: Malty sweetness and the addition of fermentable rice contributes to a nice, round mouthfeel during the start and middle before just a touch of hops emerge at the end and lead us to a semi-sweet finish.  This is such a smooth drinker that it disappeared from our glass in no time. 

OVERALL:  A very pleasant, easy drinking American Lager that leans a couple ticks towards the malty side of the scale with no hints of bitterness.  We found the medium body and strong malt flavors very satisfying, especially on this cold and snowy day.

NOTE: Those of us who have been of legal drinking age for a couple decades know today’s scene is miles ahead of where it was when we cracked our first can of fizzy, yellow beer.  We applaud Joseph James, Fort George, Ska, Brooklyn, and all the other craft brewers who are offering today’s beer drinkers a much better can of lager.

          


Joseph James American Lager
Style: American Adjunct Lager
Brewery: Joseph James Brewing Company
City: 
Henderson, Nevada  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pilsner malt, Organic rice
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: 15
Date: January 26th, 2012

Posted by Trent


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Labels: Lagers


Friday, November 25th 2011

Uncommon Brewers Baltic Porter
(Uncommon Brewers)

The first Baltic Porter to be brewed and canned in the US. We've not yet confirmed if it's the first in the world. There could very well be some small brewery in Russia or Poland that put a Baltic Porter in a can first. The research will continue. By the way, a Baltic Porter differs from a regular porter because it is actually bottom fermented as a lager instead of top fermented as an ale. 

From the Uncommon Brewers' site:

"Late in the 18th century Britain's great brewing families were working hard to break into new markets. For the Baltic Sea ports they created an export version of the traditional British Porter. Styled like an IPA to preserve them for the voyage, those profound Baltic Porters served to ward off the chill winds of that northern sea.

That said, we weren't satisfied with the Baltic Porter's traditionally subtle hint of black licorice. This ale features a blend of whole licorice root and star anise to create an uncommon addition to that traditional export Porter's hearty character."


Here we go...


Pour  very, very dark. This is pitch in color pretty much with only a thin coffee-colored head. This is pretty much impossible to see through and looks rich and flavorful.


Aroma – molasses, licorice, Tootsie-Rolls, cocoa powder, milk chocolate, Play-Doh and some earthy notes. Quite a lot going on in the nose with this beer.


Taste – one sip and you know this is something unique. Lots of dark roasted malt flavor combines with the licorice and molasses notes and there is an effervescence on the tongue that is hard to describe. A bit of a sweet, dry finish almost like eating dried fruits. There is also just the faintest hints of citrus hop flavor and some bitterness biting in the end.


Overall - very good. Uncommon Brewers does this one well, perhaps well enough to be the best of their canned offerings so far. Well done. You've got to know a little bit about this particular style of beer to fully appreciate it. It's an interesting history of an interesting style.


Note - like the other canned offerings from this Santa Cruz, California brewery, this one is totally organic. Uncommon Brewers has also announced plans to can their Bacon Brown Ale in the coming months. This will be the fourth addition to their canned offerings and the first ever "bacon" beer to be canned.

 

   



Can Scale:
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Uncommon Brewers Baltic Porter
Style: Baltic Porter
Brewery: Uncommon Brewers
City: 
Santa Cruz, California  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 7.8%
IBUs: ???
Date: November 25th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Monday, October 10th 2011

Atwater's Lager
(Atwater Brewery)

Another can from the great state of Michigan. Atwater Block Brewery brought two cans to market simultaneously – Atwater’s Lager and Grand Circus IPA. According to sales and promotion rep Matt Cebula, Atwater wanted to release their beer in cans as soon as possible and contracted with Latrobe Brewing for the first run while they work towards securing their own canning line.  They promise “more cans to come,” and we have it on pretty good authority Dirty Blonde will be next up in the spring.  In the meantime, let’s give their lager a test drive.        

From the Atwater site:

 

"Atwater Lager is the first beer we ever produced in our Detroit Rivertown brewery.  Though the process was tedious, the results were tasty.  Now, this refreshing Munich-style Helles Lager – made in the Detroit tradition of German-Style lagers – is available in the can."

 

From the can:

 “We drink all we can and then sell the rest.” 


Here we go...

 

Pour - straw/pale yellow color, with a large and strong white head.  When judging to style this one gets good marks for clarity.

 

Aroma - dry, salty cracker aroma; some mint and some spicy yeast notes emerge as it warms.

 

Taste - Atwater Lager is crisp and clean throughout.  It has a dry malty start, some hoppiness in the middle and the finish, and light malt lingers in the back of the throat between drinks.  It is unlikely there are adjuncts present in this brew, and if there are then they are very well hidden.  

 

Overall - A tasty and well balanced lager, though temperature played a significant role in our overall rating.  We started this one off ice cold and the moderate complexity of this lager didn’t show up until we got it to somewhere around 50 degrees, and then we started to really enjoy it.  Drink it straight from the chiller or the ice bucket and you’ll miss the hoppy middle and the pleasant minty/spicy aromas.  If you let it get above 60 degrees you’re on your own – ours were drinking so well they didn’t last long enough for us to find out. 

 

Note - According to Matt at Atwater, the logo design is part of an overall marketing shift that is consistent with making their brews Detroit’s blue-collared working man’s drink of choice. 

When asked about the similarity between their lager can design and that of another Detroit brewing icon, Matt admitted it is not a coincidence.  After all, the Atwater Brewery is located within a stone’s throw of the old Stroh’s downtown building.  Cheers to Atwater for giving a tip of the hat to their fire-brewed Detroit predecessor! 


Atwater's Lager's can design pays homage to Detroit's brewing past

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Atwater's Lager
Style: Munich Helles Lager
Brewery: Atwater Brewery
City: 
Detroit, Michigan  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: October 10th, 2011

Posted by Trent


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Labels: Lagers


Thursday, September 14th 2011

Oktoberfest Wiesn
(Paulaner Brauerei)


One of the biggest cans of beer around! Paulaner's Oktoberfest Wiesen Bier was released in 1-liter cans as limited edition beer brewed to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Munich's Oktoberfest. Cans were sold individually and in gift packs that included a 1-liter Paulaner stein so you could celebrate Oktoberfest like they do in Munich! Prosit!


From the Paulaner site:


"The majestic deep golden color is the first hint that one must try this beer. Earthy aromas of barley and yeast eases you into the centuries old art of German brewing. True to its Oktoberfest tradition it is quite refereshing and sessionable. Low bodied with a nice mouthfeel there is an overwhelming sweetness, more so than other German Blonde Lagers. Highly drinkable and once only available in the tents of the Munich Oktoberfest one can now enjoy the tradtiion of Oktoberfest in their own home."


Here we go...


Pour - nice dark, golden color with a big, frothy, pancake batter like head on top. Clean and clear in appearance with nice carbonation and lits of tiny bubbles streaming upwards. Plenty of lacing in this big liter-size mug.

 

Aroma - sweet malt aroma with some notes of apples and caramel. Not a whole lot else going on. Smells very much like what it is, a darker, sweeter lager.


Taste - honey wheat flavor on the tongue with some caramel flavors coming in the back. Very solid malt flavors with decent carbonation on the tongue and a dry finish. The more sips of this I take the more I realize why this is they type of beer that folks are drinking at Oktoberfest. It's pretty straightforward with no palate killing flavors. Just a smooth, slightly sweet yet balanced lager. Certainly not an easy style of beer to brew but one that will appeal to a good many people in times of revelry. 


Overall - easy drinking lager with a touch of honey-like sweetness in the finish of every sip. The hardest part of drinking this beer is lifting this huge liter-sized glass mug over and over again! Thankfully it keeps getting lighter with each gulp. Prosit!


Note - Paulaner also cans their Hefe-Weizen Natural Wheat, the largest selling of their brands, in 11.2 oz. cans that come in 8-packs. It was first released during the summer of 2011.

 


Can Scale:
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Oktoberfest Wiesn
Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest
Brewery: Paulaner Brauerei
City: 
Munich
Country: 
Germany  
Container: 1 liter can
Malts: Pilsner Barley Malt & Munich Dark Malt
Hops: Hallertau
ABV: 6.0%
IBUs: 19
Date: September 14th, 2011

Posted by Russ

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Thursday, July 21 2011

1811 Pre-Prohibition Lager
(Fort George Brewery)

1811 Pre-Prohibition Lager is the "Official Bicentennial Beer of Astoria" and one of two beers now being canned by Fort George! Looking at this can you may find yourself saying, "what is all that?". It's a timeline detailing the history of Astoria - yes, that Astoria, the one where The Goonies was filmed. You can learn quite a bit from this can of beer and I'm enjoying checking it all out while I drink this beer. Did you know that the Astoria Brewery first opened back in 1872? Hmmm, I had no idea...

From the Fort George site:

"Many West Coast brewers in the 19th Century had no ice, so they improvised an effervescent beer by brewing lager yeasts at higher than normal temperatures..Described as "refreshing drink much consumed by the laboring classes’, it’s the inspiration for 1811 lager."

Here we go...

Pour - golden straw color, very pale when held to the light. Lots of little bubble making their way to the surface and forming a very nice, foamy, white head that sticks quite well to the inside of the glass.

 

Aroma - some citrus, a bit cereal and grainy sweetness as well as some hints of honey and biscuit mix.

 

Taste - the tangy zip of citrus hits the tongue first and is followed by an earthy hop flavor that is slightly astringent and mineral-like. Dry and crisp and definitely refreshing. This a very solid lager with some great malt flavors and spicy Saaz hop notes. The addition of those Centennials also plays a nice background role in the more pronounced citrus flavors in this beer. The more I drink this the more I like it. I'm left lapping my tongue a bit and trying to make it more tastes to describe. As this warms a bit the sweetness begins to come out more which makes me want to drink a little faster as I'm enjoying this nice and cold. 

 

Overall - if you're looking for a quality lager than this is it. One full pint of well-brewed American lager in each and every can. Fort George did a great job with this brew and that can sure can teach you a lot about the history of Astoria!

 

Would I buy more of it? - sure thing. Great beer, another canned winner from Fort George. Very well done!

 

Note - Fort George Brewery began canning their beers earlier this year. To date they've released two canned offerings; 1811 Pre-Prohibition Lager and their Vortex IPA. 

A while back we made some mock-ups of cans to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of The Goonies - yeah, we're pretty sure the folks at Fort George are sick of Goonies references...but...we were pretty proud of them, especially "Hey You Geuze!".

 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
1811 Pre-Prohibition Lager
Style: American Adjunct Lager
Brewery: Fort George Brewery
City: 
Astoria, Oregon  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: 2-row malted barley and cracked maize
Hops: Domestic Saaz, Centennial hops
ABV: 5.1%
IBUs: ???
Date: July 21st, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Tuesday, July 19th 2011

Mexican Logger
(Ska Brewing Company)

The latest canned release from the folks at Ska. Mexican Logger is just available during the summer months and was previously just a bottled release. You've got to love the artwork on this can, another great addition to an already eye-catching lineup of great looking cans. ¡Salud!

From the Ska site:

"Hard-working refreshment. Some beers work a little harder than others for your enjoyment. Chops down trees all day for it. The pefect Mexican lager. Light and refreshing, it really hits the spot after a long day of brutal chainsaw work."

Here we go...

Pour - light straw-colored in appearance with a bright white head on top that measures about a half an inch. Nice carbonation, clean and clear.

 

Aroma - grainy, cereal, light malty sweetness, some hints at lemon and some light earthy hop aromas. 

 

Taste - very light on the tongue, this beer almost floats in your mouth. Some light fruit flavors like granny smith apples and pears are evident along with some citrus. Not a whole lot of sweetness, which is nice as that would make this beer heavy. This has some extra pale ale qualities that I quite like and some earthy/spicy hoppiness is present if you let yourself find it. Wow, this is really hitting the spot on a warm summer night.

 

Overall - Mexican Logger has a tangy zip that is extremely refreshing. I was really impressed by this beer and all of the flavor it had. This is what you want on a hot summer day in the sun - light, crisp and thirst-quenching! Another impressive can from Ska. Cheers!

 

Would I buy more of it? - I'd love to get some more of these as we're heading into another week of heat and humidity. If you've passed this one up for any reason it's time to go back and grab a six-pack or two.

 

Note - the Ska site also states, "If you're a closet Pacifico drinker during the warmer weather than seek this one out. It is a far better brew, my friends. Saaz hops are the star in this amazingly delicious lager." 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Mexican Logger
Style: American Pale Lager
Brewery: Ska Brewing Company
City: 
Durango, Colorado  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: Saaz
ABV: 4.2%
IBUs: 18
Date: July 19th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Monday, July 18th 2011

Schlafly Summer Lager
(Saint Louis Brewery/Schlafly)

Schlafly first debuted their summer seasonal in aluminum last year. They're canning this brew at Stevens Point Brewery in Wisconsin as they don't have their own canning line. It's nice to share. Like quite a few other breweries Schlafly is just doing cans in the summer time but who knows where that might lead. Maybe we'll see more of their regular releases in cans in the future.

From the Ska site:

"Our Helles-Style Summer Lager is a bright, golden beer, perfect for summertime. The malts we use impart a wonderful, fresh grain character, reminiscent of European lagers. The German Noble hop, Mittelfrüh, lends a mild lemony, spicy flavor."

Here we go...

Pour - straw-color in appearance with a decent amount of white foam sitting on top of this pour. Plenty of carbonation in this very clean and clear looking lager. 

 

Aroma - grainy, a little sweet, perhaps a bit of lemon zest and some soggy cereal. Also, I can't help but get some subtle hints of smokiness when I really stick my nose into the glass. Hmm...I wonder where that is coming from. I guess we'll find out.

 

Taste - very light with a very abbreviated finish. That first sip almost dries my mouth out. Nice medium sweetness and certainly a bit of tart and tangy citrus lying there as well. I don't really taste that bit of smokiness I smelled but the malt profile in this is certainly a lot bigger than the color of this beer may lead on. Very well put together summer brew and a nice change-up from the very popular American Pale Wheat Ale-style that seems to crowd the canned summer beer landscape.

 

Overall - easily approachable, very drinkable and certainly session-able. Stick some of these in a (disc) golf bag, a backpack or a cooler and you're all set.

 

Would I buy more of it? - I probably would. It's a nice change from all those IPAs I love so much.

 

Note - a little more about this beer style from the Schlafly site...

 

"In the mid 19th Century, Gabriel Sedlmayr, of the Spaten Brewery in Germany, took pale ale brewing techniques from Britain and applied them to existing German lagering brewing methods. The resulting light-colored, light-bodied beers became the most widely consumed beers in the world today.  The main elements of Sedlmayr’s process are still used today, and depend on a slow acting yeast that ferments at a low temperature while being stored over long periods.  The German word “lager” means “to store”.  Today, many American craft brewers offer the style as a maltier and hoppier alternative to American light lagers."



Can Scale:
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Schlafly Summer Lager
Style: Munich Helles Lager
Brewery: Saint Louis Brewery / Schlafly Tap Room
City: 
St. Louis, Missouri  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: 2-row and Europils malted barley, Carapils malt
Hops: Mittelfrüh, Magnum (DE)
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 17
Date: July 18th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Tuesday, June 21 2011

Hell
(Surly Brewing Company)

 

As the can says, "Welcome to Hell"! America's only canned "Keller/Zwickel Bier", Surly's Hell just hit shelves for the third year. This, their summer seasonal, has been canned since 2009. Hell represents one of nine different brews that Surly is canning, talk about prolific! If you're within striking distance we highly recommend picking up any, and all, of Surly's brews. Cheers!

 

From the Surly site:

 

"Finally, a Surly beer my German mother will drink. She says this one tastes like a bier from back home. Not unlike a Zwickel Bier from Germany, Hell is not filtered and fermented with lager yeast. American hops takes a back seat to the Pils malt sweetness and fresh bread aroma. The color is well... hell (Deutsch for light). It’s fiendishly drinkable, and you don’t have to sell your soul to get another."

 

Here we go...

 

Pour - light golden in appearance, clean and very clear with a soft, bubbly inch of foam on top that fades rather quickly. 

 

Aroma - faint hints of apples and raisins along with some grassy and citrusy aromas. There are also some honey and light malty/bready notes. Not overly aromatic but pleasant nonetheless.

 

Taste - light on the tongue and palate, Hell has some nice earthy and citrusy flavors combining with some bready sweetness and it's got a bit of tanginess in the finish, sort of like hard cider and/or honey. Carbonation levels really leverage this beer and make it refreshing. Very smooth and easy drinking. Another well done beer from some folks who know what they're doing. 

 

Overall - what this beer lacks in complexity it makes up in sheer drinkability. This is a great beer for drinking on a warm summer day or night. Not one to pass up as the style presents something new to many craft beer drinkers and, oh yeah, it's in a can. 

 

Availability - Summer release

 

Would I buy more of it? -  like everything else that leaves the Surly brewery...yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

 

Note - a "keller or zwickel" bier is (according to the folks at BeerAdvocate): "A rather old, rare, and unique German beer style, Kellerbiers are unfiltered and unpasteurized lagers that date back to at least the Middle Ages. The beer is matured, unbunged (beer is exposed), in deep vaults. The final product is a smooth, naturally cloudy beer that's rich in vitamins (from the yeast). Hop bitterness can be high and alcohol will vary. Zwickel Bier is similar to a Keller, but not as pronounced."



Welcome to Hell

 



Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Hell
Style: Keller/Zwickel Bier
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
City: 
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Pilsner, Carahell
Hops: Sterling
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 20
Date: June 21st, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Monday, June 20th 2011

The Crisp
(Sixpoint Craft Ales)

I'm still finding a bit hard to believe that Sixpoint cans are actually a real thing. When I visited the tiny brewery back in 2005, when it was hardly a year old, I'd have never guessed they'd be selling cans of their beer in the not too distant future. In the short history of the brewery they've definitely earned the respect of the beer drinking populous in NYC and beyond. These guys are hard working and care about not only the beer they're brewing but also about being a part of a community. If you're ever in New York definitely make the trip out to Brooklyn and visit this brewery. Cheers!

 

From the back of the can:

"There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. Crisp Lager has nothing to hide behind - no makeup to cover up any flaws. Raw ingredients and their essence, full and unabated...uninhibited...CRISP."


Here we go...

 

Pour - golden, a little darker than straw colored with a nice inch of fluffy white head on top. This is clean and clear and looks mighty tasty.

 

Aroma - wooah! Talk about a sulfuric, earthy aroma kicking out of this can. This is the real deal. There are some grassy/citrusy hoppy notes and light maltiness as well but more than anything this one smells like a very fresh, well-brewed lager beer.

 

Taste - from the first sip of this beer you'll know you've entered the lager zone. Void of the sweetness associated with many ales this is indeed a beer that has nothing to hide behind. This bounces off the tongue with nice floral/grassy hop flavors, a bit of a mineral bitterness and just a touch of malt. Each sip seems to satisfy just a little bit more. This has a very defining dry, earthy sweet finish and nice bite. I am a fan.

 

Overall - very enjoyable pilsner. This is indeed "crisp" and very refreshing. If you're a pilsner person this will certainly make you happy as there aren't too many top notch American versions of this style, especially ones that are canned.

Would I buy more of it? - definitely. Great beer. Loved all 16 oz. of it and will certainly be buying more cubes!

Note - Sixpoint is currently canning four of their beers. These include; The Crisp (Pilsner)Sweet Action (Cream Ale), Righteous Ale (Rye Beer) and Bengali Tiger (American IPA). Collect and enjoy them all! Cheers!

 

   


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
The Crisp
Style: German Pilsener
Brewery: Sixpoint Craft Ales
City: 
Brooklyn, New York  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.4%
IBUs: 42
Date: June 20th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Saturday, June 11th 2011

Steam Engine Lager
(Steamworks Brewing Company)

I've got high expectations for this beer purely based on what it says on the can about it being arguably "the best American-style Amber Lager in the world". I think that takes some cajones to put on one's beer label. I did enjoy their Third Eye Pale Ale awhile back so hopefully the beer inside this can lives up to what's written on the outside. Cheers!

 

 

From the Steamworks Brewing site:

"Steam Engine Lager is an American classic noted for its malt sweetness and hop spice with a smooth, dry finish. It is arguably the best American-style Amber Lager in the world."


Here we go...

 

Pour - dark auburn in appearance with some lighter shades of orange and yellow being struck by the light. Rather thin head that fades to a ring of white inside the glass. 

 

Aroma - sweet and malty. Sort of reminds me of visiting a brewery on brew day and smelling all those grains being steeped. Also some hints of bread dough and a little bit of lemon or lime zest. 

 

Taste - one sip and it's clear this is a solid lager. Very crisp and balanced. Flavors like honey and caramel stand out on the tongue along with some biscuity flavors. Some faint hop characteristics come into play in the finish.

 

Overall - well put together lager. Everything seems to be in order and from beginning to end it works well. Very drinkable and quite tasty. Is it possibly the "best American-style Amber Lager in the world?" I don't think we're qualified to make that call but it's certainly a beer worth trying.

Would I buy more of it? - I'd like to try this fresh from the tap at the brewpub out in Durango! Perhaps I'll pick up some cans to go.

Note - The printed graphics on this can, and other's from Steamworks, are state of the art as far as can printing goes. They are done using Ball's "Eyeris" advanced printing technology.  Steamworks now cans three of their beers; Steam Engine Lager, Third Eye Pale Ale and Colorado Kolsch. They're also located in the same town as Ska Brewing Company, another brewery known for its canned offerings. We've got to get out there and visit some day soon...

 


Steam Engine Lager
Style: American Amber/Red Lager
Brewery: Steamworks Brewing Company
City: 
Durango, Colorado  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 25
Date: June 11th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Labels: , Lagers


Thursday, May 19th 2011

Festie
(Starr Hill Brewing Company)

At one point Festie was a seasonal brew and apparently people loved it. So, why not give them what they want whenever they want it? This is why you've got a traditional Oktoberfest/Märzen style beer available all-year round and now it's even available in cans so people can take it with them to concerts, beaches, lakes, rivers etc... Festie is joined by Northern Lights IPA as one of the first two canned brews from Starr Hill. Prosit! Cheers!

 

From the Starr Hill site:


"Rich and malty, Festie is now available year-round, and it is our tribute to the great German lager. Its name invokes the German tradition of Oktoberfest, while also paying homage to the end of the summer music festival season."


Here we go...

 

Pour - orangish/yellowish in color, very clean with a wispy head on top which fades rather quickly leaving a ring around the inside of the glass at the top level of the beer. Not a bad looking pour whatsoever.


Aroma - brown sugar, baking bread, steeped grains, honey, corn syrup and sweet tea. Some doughy/biscuity notes as well.

 

Taste - first sip is sweet on the tongue. Lots of honey and caramel flavors combine with some raisin and lemon tea with a sharp, crisp finish. Its a bit dry surprisingly in the finish with no real after taste which certainly makes for an easily sessionable beer. Nice malty flavors and easily approachable for any beer drinker from the uber-snob to the casual imbiber. 

 

Overall - Not a ton of complexity, just a straightforward amber lager. However, when it comes to finding a decent canned version of just that it's not so easy. Certainly worth picking up and taking along with you wherever you're outdoors (or indoors) festivities may be happening.

 

Would I buy more of it? - not much of an option where I am. This is a pretty easy drinking lager and if it was more available I could definitely see myself putting some on ice once in awhile.

 

Note - "The tag line on the label says 'life is a carnival', in reference to lyrics from a song by The Band. The Starr Hill crew are in many ways like carnies, in a positive way, like a family."   - Mark Thompson (Master Brewer)

 



Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Festie
Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest
Brewery: Starr Hill Brewing Company
City: 
Crozet, Virginia  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Two Row & Munich Hallertau
Hops: ???
ABV: 4.8%
IBUs: 12
Date: May 19th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Monday, May 9th 2011

Colorado Native
(AC Golden Brewing Company)

Three things come to mind while holding a can of Colorado Native. The first is the shape of the can, its a little longer and skinnier than the average 12 oz. can. Personally, I really like the feel of it. Second, this is brewed with all Colorado ingredients except hops. However, recently the brewery distributed rhizomes to a ton of Colorado-based volunteers to grow hops for a future fully native Colorado brew. Finally, yes, this is brewed, in some roundabout way, by the folks that give us Coors Light. That aside, we plan to provide an unbiased review of what seems to many, who've had it before us, to be a very solid lager. Cheers!

From the AC Golden site:

"Hold up a pint of Colorado Native and drink in its amber lager color, brought to life with pale and caramel malts from our famous Moravian 2-row barley. We painstakingly balanced its malt character against select Chinook, Centennial and Cascade hops to create a perfectly balanced, full-flavored beer. A lager yeast fermentation gives Colorado Native a slight fruitiness, complementing a citrus aroma note from a late kettle hop addition. Everything then comes together to deliver a clean taste and dry finish that is very drinkable by itself, or paired with your favorite foods."

Here we go...

Pour - dark golden in appearance with nice orange, brown and yellow hues. Very clean and clear with small bubbles streaming upwards and forming a good inch of thick, creamy white and foamy goodness. Looks very inviting.

 

Aroma - bread dough, biscuity, malty, caramel and a bit of apple combine with some citrusy hop aromas as well. 

 

Taste - plenty of malt characteristics come out at first, this is sweet with some brown sugar flavors on the tongue. The sweetness is then followed immediately by a sharp, dry and bitter finish. Very crisp and refreshing...which is what I'd like to have in a lager. Very smooth and well-rounded with no off flavors. Instead this hits all the marks and comes together extremely well. 

 

Overall - very impressive. I had my reservations at first but the folks at AC Golden have done a great job with this lager. I can't help but think that the packaging only improves upon something that was already well above par. If you live in Colorado definitely give this one a shot. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - yes. I would be happy to get a 12-pack of this from time to time to stock the fridge or cooler this summer. This is an easy drinking, refreshing lager that would make both the craft beer enthusiast and the casual beer drinker very, very happy. 

 

Note - AC Golden is a subsidiary of Coors Brewing Company (MolsonCoors). The brewery itself only employs ten people. Much debate can be had as to whether or not to consider this a true craft brewery. The truth is, they produce a great lager with real ingredients and the folks that brew the beer are dedicated to what they do...which is brew beer. I think we can agree that good beer is good beer and leave it at that. 

 

From the AC Golden site:

 

"Nestled against the foothills of the Colorado Rockies is the AC Golden Brewery, where in the time-honored tradition of craft-brewers, we create limited production beers in small 30-barrel kettles imported from Germany. No Super Bowl commercials. No magazine spread ads. Just a commitment to brewing great beer."

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Colorado Native
Style: American Amber/Red Lager
Brewery: AC Golden Brewing Company
City: 
Golden, Colorado  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Moravian two-row barley
Hops: Chinook, Centennial and Cascade
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 26
Date: May 9th, 2011

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Labels: Lagers


Monday, April 25th 2011

Narragansett Bock
(Narragansett Brewing Company)

 

First brewed back in the '30s, Narragansett's Bock is an ode to spring and their newest canned seasonal. This is a helles bock or maibock style beer so you can expect it to be a little easier on the palate yet pack plenty of flavor. These big, green cans certainly stand out on the shelf and at $7.99 for a six-pack its certainly hard to resist!

 

From the Narragansett site:

"Gansett Bock is a deeply flavorful beer with a rich golden color and a full body.  It is drier, hoppier, and slightly more bitter than a traditional bock, but still with a relatively low hop flavor.  It offers an extremely approachable craft experience not to be confused with the double and triple bocks out on the market.  The beer pours well, producing a large creamy, persistent white head, and moderate carbonation.  Despite its full body, the flavor is not overly malty and delivers an elegant spicy character from the hops that produces a balanced, smooth finish."

Here we go...

 

Pour - clear, dark golden to amber in appearance with a thick, biscuit batter-like head on top. 

 

Aroma - caramel, raw sugar, a bit of sweet orange and plenty of maltiness. 


Taste - first sip brings on malty sweetness and a sharp, firm bite. Some nice caramel and brown sugar flavors combine with slight hints of citrus and bread dough and all come together and face a nicely put together and altogether sharp lager finish. This is not a half-assed amber lager by any means. This is a very well brewed helles bock and needs to be experienced in order to truly be appreciated. 

 

Overall - This is certainly a well put together lager with a very nice and very defined finish. Crisp and refreshing. Well done Narragansett, well done. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - I would. A six-pack of 16 oz. cans is going for about $8 here in New England. Very affordable for a quality brew. Narragansett has done very well with all of their seasonal canned releases thus far. 

Note - Narragansett has released a fall seasonal (Fest) as well as a winter seasonal (Porter) and now a spring seasonal (Bock) and will in fact also be releasing a summer seasonal in 16 oz. tall boy cans this year for the very first time. Cheers!

 

 

       


Can Scale:
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Narragansett Bock
Style: Maibock/Helles Bock
Brewery: Narragansett Brewing Company
City: 
Providence, Rhode Island  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Light and Dark Munich malts, Pilsner Malt, and Malted Wheat
Hops: Northern Brewer and Hallertau
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 32
Date: April 25th, 2011

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Monday, April 4th 2011

Black Star Golden Lager
(Great Northern Brewing Company)

   

 

The nice folks from Great Northern Brewing Company were kind enough to send me some cans of their Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager, their one and only canned offering. They've now released this brew in both 12 and 24 oz. cans and I have to say I like the weight of a 24 oz. can! I owe them a big thank you and an apology for it taking me so long to get this post up! Cheers and thank you Charlotte!

From the Great Northern Brewing site:

 

"A "double hopped" (dry hopped) unique American lager based on traditional European Pilsners with a crisp refreshing body and lots of taste. We add hops in the kettle and then again before finishing for aromatic quality."


Here we go...

 

Pour - very clean, very clear light golden or straw color. Almost an inch or stark white foam on top. The head on this looks quite nice and leaves some lacing as it fades away. Nice little bubbles streaming upwards.


Aroma - the aroma is subtle, a bit of mashed grain, some grassy notes, some straw/hay as well as slight citrus. 

 

Taste - very crisp, clean flavors. This lager has a nice malty, almost toasty, taste upfront and a nice bite in the finish. The carbonation levels are spot on and make this beer quite refreshing. No real hop presence, more honey and caramel sweetness and almost no aftertaste. 

 

Overall - No, the double hopping doesn't provide this beer much in the way of hoppiness but this is a nice example of a lager that is well brewed with a nice malt profile and a clean, crisp finish. Well done. I'd like to go to Whitefish, Montana and try some of their other brews some time.

 

Would I buy more of it? - perhaps I would. I'd imagine this has a nice price point and in the summer a few cold cans of these would be a nice way to start the evening next to a campfire. 

 

Note - Started by Minott Wessinger, the great-great grandson of famous brewer Henry Weinhard, the Great Northern brewery was built in 1994 to brew Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager as its flagship beer. Black Star beer quickly became a local and regional favorite. Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager is available in both 12- and 24-oz. cans as well as on draught. You can also try a number of their other beers on draught at their brewery in Whitefish, Montana.       

 


Can Scale:
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Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager
~ 12 oz.
Style: American Pilsner
Brewery: Great Northern Brewing Company
City: 
Whitefish, Montana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 and 24 oz. cans
Malts: 2 row malted barley
Hops: 80% Mittelfruh and 20% Czech Saaz
ABV: 4.6%
IBUs: 15
Date: April 4th, 2011

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Labels: Lagers, Pilsners


Monday, April 4th 2011

Black Star Golden Lager (24 oz.)
(Great Northern Brewing Company)

The nice folks from Great Northern Brewing Company were kind enough to send me some cans of their Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager, their one and only canned offering. They've now released this brew in both 12 and 24 oz. cans and I have to say I like the weight of a 24 oz. can! I owe them a big thank you and an apology for it taking me so long to get this post up! Cheers and thank you Charlotte!

From the Great Northern Brewing site:

 

"A "double hopped" (dry hopped) unique American lager based on traditional European Pilsners with a crisp refreshing body and lots of taste. We add hops in the kettle and then again before finishing for aromatic quality."


Here we go...

 

Pour - very clean, very clear light golden or straw color. Almost an inch or stark white foam on top. The head on this looks quite nice and leaves some lacing as it fades away. Nice little bubbles streaming upwards.


Aroma - the aroma is subtle, a bit of mashed grain, some grassy notes, some straw/hay as well as slight citrus. 

 

Taste - very crisp, clean flavors. This lager has a nice malty, almost toasty, taste upfront and a nice bite in the finish. The carbonation levels are spot on and make this beer quite refreshing. No real hop presence, more honey and caramel sweetness and almost no aftertaste. 

 

Overall - No, the double hopping doesn't provide this beer much in the way of hoppiness but this is a nice example of a lager that is well brewed with a nice malt profile and a clean, crisp finish. Well done. I'd like to go to Whitefish, Montana and try some of their other brews some time.

 

Would I buy more of it? - perhaps I would. I'd imagine this has a nice price point and in the summer a few cold cans of these would be a nice way to start the evening next to a campfire. 

 

Note - Started by Minott Wessinger, the great-great grandson of famous brewer Henry Weinhard, the Great Northern brewery was built in 1994 to brew Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager as its flagship beer. Black Star beer quickly became a local and regional favorite. Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager is available in both 12- and 24-oz. cans as well as on draught. You can also try a number of their other beers on draught at their brewery in Whitefish, Montana. 


Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager
~ 24 oz.
Style: American Pilsner
Brewery: Great Northern Brewing Company
City: 
Whitefish, Montana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 24 oz. can
Malts: 2 row malted barley
Hops: 80% Mittelfruh and 20% Czech Saaz
ABV: 4.6%
IBUs: 15
Date: April 4th, 2011

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Labels: Lagers, Pilsners


Monday, February 21 2011

Cherny Bock
(Bohemian Brewery)

The newest canned offering from Utah's one and only canning craft brewery. Not only is Bohemian the only canning show in the state but they've also exclusively canned varieties of lager thus far. This Schwarzbier is a departure to the dark side compared to their first two canned releases, a Vienna Lager and a Czech Pilsner. Thanks goes out Pete at Bohemian for hooking us up. We've loved everything from this brewery so we're excited to try this one!

 

From the Bohemian Brewery site:

 

"The word Cherny literally means ‘black‘ in Czech referring to the color of the rather surprising dark Schwarzbier with gentle bitterness to appeal to your palette.  A true gem to be discovered by specialty beer lovers.  2008 GABF Silver medal winner in the Schwarzbier category."

 

Here we go...

 

Pour - very, very dark brown with some slight hints of red/auburn when held to the light. The head on this is a good inch of coffee and cream colored foam which slowly fades leaving a thin bubbly head atop this intriguing brew.

 

Aroma - coffee grounds, vanilla beans, cocoa powder, burnt toast and plenty of good old dark-roasted malt. Cherny Bock has a great aroma, one that will certainly draw you in if you're not afraid of dark beer (you can be afraid of snakes or bears or even possums but you should not be afraid of dark beer).

 

Taste - lets start by saying that the second this hits your tongue you're going to notice that A) it is super smooth and B) it is a very light beer. The dark, roasty malt flavors are there but subdued and meld well with some light espresso and bitter chocolate. The finish is light on the tongue, its like it just fades away. 

 

Overall - at a super session-able 4% alcohol, this is a beer that you could enjoy during a long afternoon outside. Great flavor for a beer this light and certainly a great option for anyone looking for another beer to stock their cooler with. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - yes. This is another great canned lager variety from Bohemian. We need to make a trip out to Utah and visit their brewpub, I hear they do a great brunch!

 

Note - For everything you've ever wanted to know about this dark lager style from German go HERE!



"Darkness Cometh"

 

    


Cherny Bock
Style: Schwarzbier
Brewery: Bohemian Brewery
City: 
Midvale, Utah  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 4.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: February 21st, 2011

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Thursday, February 10th 2011

Joes Premium American Pilsner
(Avery Brewing Company)

Joe's Premium American Pilsner is the only one of Avery's beers that appears solely in a canned format (well, that and draught but NOT in bottles). This was a beer that was made by the brewery for the sole purpose of being a canned release and we should be so lucky. 

 

From the Avery site:

 

"A contemporary rendition of a classic style, Joe's is hopped with purpose: beautifully bitter and dry with an abundance of floral, Noble German hops. Uber sessionable. Utterly American. This is Premiuim American Pilsner."


Here we go...

 

Pour - very light straw color, pretty bright sunshine-like yellow when the light hits this. Head is sort of soda-like yet dense and about a half-inch in thickness. Looks nice and clean and clear as it should with some tiny bubbles streaming upwards to freedom. 

Aroma - a bit malty, some fresh-cut grass notes, a bit of citrusy hoppiness and slight hints at earthiness.

 

Taste - that first sip will have you re-thinking the mere notion of a canned pilsner. Erase every possible thing you've been told because this is something entirely different. One taste and the bite of the hops, the solid malt profile and the addictive crispness snap of a finish and you'll be hooked. Plenty of bitterness from all those hops as well as a mineral, almost iron-like, flavor as well. This one has the dryness associated with the style but that just keeps your face pressed in the glass after each sip. 

 

Overall - The hoppy bitterness and the all out bite of a finish of this pilsner are what really sets it apart. I could get used to drinking pilsners if they all tasted like this! Share this with any potential craft beer drinker and call it you're good beer deed of the day.

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely! I'm bummed that this was my only one. I need more for when all the snow melts and its time to barbecue.

 

Note - Along with Joe's Premium American Pilsner, Avery has also canned their White Rascal White Ale, Ellie's Brown Ale and their absolutely delicious Avery IPA! Try 'em all!

 


Can Scale:
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Joe's Premium American Pilsner
Style: American Pilsner
Brewery: Avery Brewing Company
City: 
Boulder, Colorado  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Two-row barley
Hops: Magnum and Hersbrucker
ABV: 4.7%
IBUs: 42
Date: February 10th, 2011

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Labels: Lagers, Pilsners


Thursday, February 3rd 2011

BrewFarm Select Golden Lager
(Dave's BrewFarm)

Dave's BrewFarm is just that, a farm that brews beer. Dave Anderson, the farmer, grows the ingredients and brews a select number of beers with the help of an on-farm wind-powered generator. BrewFarm Select is the only beer they currently can, but their Matacabras, a bottled Belgian dark ale, is also fantastic. 

From the BrewFarm site:

"Full-flavored and full of character, yet smooth, crisp and easy to drink. Here's BrewFarm Select spec’s: six-row and Briess Caramel 20 malts, Cluster and Perle hops (’bout 25-30 ibu’s), 5.5% abv. Comes across as a “hoppy pils” - medium- to full-bodied, lingering bitterness, hint of malt sweetness but finishes dry. Easily sessionable."

Here we go...

Pour - very clean, light golden in appearance with a decent soapy white head on top. This certainly looks refreshing after shoveling lots of snow.

 

Aroma - grainy, hints of lemon or orange, some sweetness but overall a very clean and somewhat muted aroma.

 

Taste - first taste presents malty sweetness on the tongue and crisp, dry and refreshing finish. Like the descriptions this has some lingering bitterness along with malty sweetness. Its also got that crispness comes with the lager territory. Not a lot of aftertaste but some nice, subtle hop characteristics. 

 

Overall - I can see why this would be "easily sessionable". Your palate won't be all that exhausted after a few of these which is a nice way to change things up. What really excites me about this beer is the opportunity to introduce a non-craft beer drinker to a very well brewed style they might enjoy. Great job Dave!

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I really enjoyed this beer as well as the Matacabras. If you see either one be sure to give it a shot.

 

Note - BrewFarm Select was first canned in October of 2009, a year after the brewery was started. You can read more about that first canning by going HERE!


Can Scale:
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BrewFarm Select Golden Lager
Style: American Pale Lager
Brewery: Dave's BrewFarm
City: 
Wilson, Wisconsin  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Six-row and Briess Caramel 20 malts
Hops: Cluster and Perle
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 30
Date: February 3rd, 2011

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Labels: Lagers


Saturday, October 23rd 2010

Santa Fe Oktoberfest
(Santa Fe Brewing Company)

One of three canned Oktoberfests to hit the market this year. Last year there were NONE! Santa Fe has now canned a trio of beers and this one is their second of four canned seasonals they plan to release. Prosit!

From the Santa Fe Brewing site:

 

"Though it is not necessary to drink this beer out of a mug that is larger than your head while dancing to polka music and wearing your lederhosen, you will find this lager's unbridled festivity difficult to resist. This ode to Germany's classic fall lagers is as clean, clear, and quaffable as any that has ever weighed down the table of a German Beer garden. The crisp maltiness of classic Munich malt compounded with the delicious notes of Bavarian hops gives this clean-finishing beer just the right flavor for the end of the summer.."


Here we go...

 

Pour - dark golden in color with some nice little bubbles streaming upwards making a thin white head. This settles pretty quickly with a ring of white and some lacy webbing. 


Aroma - brown bread, bread dough, malt, caramel and hints of dark fruit.

 

Taste - very crisp and quite refreshing on the palate. The sweet maltiness that you can expect from this style is nicely balanced by the dry finish and the carbonation. Brown sugar and caramel are left on the tongue but fade quickly which makes your brain tell your hand to quickly replenish your mouth with more beer!

 

Overall - not an easy style to work with and yet Santa Fe has pulled it off nicely. Great flavor and very easy drinking. A six-pack of these would get you through a few sing-a-longs in good fashion that is for sure. Prosit!

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. A very drinkable dark lager with plenty of character but not too heavy. I'd love to have easier access to this brewery's canned beers.

 

Note - Along with their Oktoberfest, Santa Fe plans to can three other seasonal offerings; an already canned "Freestyle Pilsner", a "Java Stout" and their "Viszolay Belgian". Look for their Java Stout in February.


Can Scale:
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Santa Fe Oktoberfest
Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest
Brewery: Santa Fe Brewing Company
City: 
Santa Fe, New Mexico  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pilsen, Munich
Hops: Hersbrucker, Tettananger
ABV: 6.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: October 23rd, 2010

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Thursday, August 26th 2010

Viennese Lager
(Bohemian Brewery)

One of two lagers that Bohemian is currently canning (the other being their Czech Pilsner). This "Viennese Lager" is actually a Märzen/Oktoberfest style brew as it is darker in color and sweeter in taste compared to actual Viennese Lagers. Very few craft breweries focus solely on lagers and I am pretty sure that Bohemian is the only one of those that is canning their beers. 

 

From the Bohemian Brewery site:

 

"Our full bodied amber colored lager is a result of combining our fine Pils malt with more darkly roasted malt to brew what has become our most popular beer. Slightly more hoppy than our other beers with a very clean and crisp finish. This beer is hard to put down."


Here we go...

 

Pour - nice dark amber or golden in color with about a half inch of bubbly white head. Reminds me of the color of autumn.

 

Aroma - grainy malt, like sticking your head right in the fermentation tank. Some flavors of bread dough, yeast and caramel also come to mind.

 

Taste - sharp on the tongue, like a malt whip setting the stage. This dark amber lager has lots of malt flavor up front followed by some apple and caramel sweetness. I'm loving the way the carbonation makes each sip very crisp and refreshing. The grainy flavor I smelled is very apparent once this hits the lips. If you like an all-grain lager brewed with heart and soul than this is for you. Solid, straightforward and superb. 

 

Overall - smooth, crisp and malty. Pretty light on the tongue and very well-balanced. Excellent lager with plenty of flavor from start to finish.

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. This is another winner from the good folks in Midvale, Utah! 

 

Note - thanks goes out to Bohemian Brewery for hooking me up with samples of both of their canned offerings. I really appreciate your generosity and enjoyed both beers immensely.

 


Can Scale:
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Viennese Lager
Style: Vienna Lager
Brewery: Bohemian Brewery
City: 
Midvale, Utah  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Canadian 2-row pilsner malt
Hops: Noble
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: August 26th, 2010

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Thursday, May 13th 2010

Bikini Blonde
(Maui Brewing Company)

 

Another great piece of artwork from the folks at Maui Brewing. How could anyone resist a six-pack of this to bring back for their friends and family after a vacation in Hawaii? For that matter, how can anyone living in Hawaii resist grabbing a six-pack of this before heading off to the beach? 

From the Maui Brewing site:

 

"Our filtered Munich Helles Lager brewed with floral hops and Pilsner and Munich malts. This is the closest thing to an American lager from Maui Brewing Co. but not skimpy of flavor. Bold, smooth and refreshing."


Here we go...

 

Pour - light golden straw colored with an inch of stark white fluffiness cropping the top. Its a nice sight to behold when you're thirsty. 

 

Aroma - some citrus (lemon and bitter orange) combined with fresh grass and hay. Some sweet malt aromas as well. Not a lot going on in the nose but that is to be expected from the style.

 

Taste - sweet and slightly lemony as it hits the palate. The sweetness in the finish is sort of surprising as many lagers have a sort of mineral-esque dry finish. This is much smoother and sweeter and I really am enjoying that aspect of this beer, it sort of sets it apart from other similar beers that I've had. I guess when you brew with 100% malt and no adjunct bullshit you get a much better tasting beer. Go figure! Extremely easy to drink and I can imagine that a cold pint of this on a hot day would be just what the doctor ordered. 

 

Overall - pretty solid light bodied lager from the folks at Maui. It delivers what it says its going to and that is something smooth and refreshing. I really enjoy the finish of this beer, it is much more appealing to me than many other lagers. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - I'd probably go for their IPA or their CoCoNut Porter over this one if faced with choosing from their three canned option. That being said, this is a pretty refreshing and light beer that would be great when mowing the lawn.

 

Note - If you're ever in Hawaii you'll need to stop in and see the folks at the Maui Brewpub in Lahaina. They've got a lot of great beers on tap that they don't put in cans. If you can't make it over to Hawaii you should at least try and get your hands on their three canned brews (CoCoNut Porter, Big Swell IPA and of course the Bikini Blonde). Mahalo! 


Can Scale:
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Bikini Blonde
Style: Munich Style Helles Lager
Brewery: Maui Brewing Company
City: 
Lahaina, Hawaii  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pilsner and Munich malts
Hops: Liberty, Tettanger and Saphire
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 18
Date: May 13th, 2010

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Tuesday, May 11th 2010

Dunkel Lager
(Sly Fox Brewing Company)

I love the color motif of this can, its pretty eye-catching as far as can art goes. Sly Fox does a great job with all of their marketing and their labels and cans are certainly a big part of all that. 

 

From the Sly Fox site:

"A traditional Bavarian style Dark Lager, made with Munich, Pils and German Roast malts and a variety of Bavarian hops. This became the third Sly Fox beer to be canned in October 2006."


Here we go...

 

Pour - clean, clear brown to auburn in color. Looks like a lighter brown ale with a nice looking lager-esque head. 

 

Aroma - some sharp sulfuric smells, definitely some brown sugar and warm caramel, a little cocoa and perhaps a bit of vanilla extract.

 

Taste - sweet on the tongue with a crisp finish. Lots of caramel flavor along with some citrusy hops in the finish. Not a ton of complexity here but that makes for a very easy drinking beer. 

 

Overall - A very well crafted dark lager that's clean all the way through and does its job very well. This leaves my tongue a little dry which keeps me reaching for my glass. 

 

Availability - Fall/Winter

 

Would I buy more of it? - sure, as far as dark lagers in can goes this is pretty much the one that I'd go for. 

 

Note - Sly Fox's Dunkel Lager became the third Sly Fox beer to be canned in October 2006. Before that came Phoenix Pale Ale and Pikeland Pils

 


Can Scale:
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Dunkel
Style: Munich Dunkel Lager
Brewery: Sly Fox Brewing Company
City: 
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Munich, Pils and German Roast malts
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.3%
IBUs: 21
Date: May 11th, 2010

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Labels: Lagers


Wednesday, April 21 2010

SurlyFest
(Surly Brewing Company)

It might be a little out of season but the weather sure feels like fall here in New England. Its warm-ish outside but the nights are still quite cool. I figured this one still tastes fresh so why not, right? 

From the Surly site:

"A traditional Oktoberfest bier from Surly? Nein! If you want one of those, grab your passport and head over to Munchen (bring us back some pretzels.) Our Fest inspired beer is brewed with imported malted barley, rye, and a German lager yeast strain. We hop this beer with a single variety... and then we dry hop it. A single hop, dry hopped, rye lager bier? Ja!"

Here we go...

Pour - gold to dark golden in color. Head is about an inch of tight whiteness. Looks very nice in a big glass, all 16 oz. of it!


Aroma - malty sweetness, some grainy smells, corn syrup, caramel and a little earthy/dirty hops. 


Taste - sweet like honey and caramel combined followed by a very sharp crispness that I'd imagine is the slap of spiciness that is asserted by the rye in the grain bill. Very balanced and the crispness that this beer has is so refreshing. Very, very tasty. I could go for a few more of these that is for sure! 


Overall - I really dig the battle between sweet and spiciness. This is definitely different than most of the beers associated with Oktoberfest. Personally, I think it has more character and I really dig that rye.


Note - Surly hosts "Surly Fest" each September. Your paid entry gets you four Surly beers, a .5L SurlyFest stein and lots of live music and fun at the brewery. Man, I wish I lived a LOT closer...




SurlyFest
Style: Rye Beer
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
City: 
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Vienna and Rye
Hops: Sterling
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 34
Date: April 21st, 2010

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Thursday, August 20th 2009

Black Noddy Lager
(Buckbean Brewing Company)

Black Noddy lager is the second canned member of the Buckbean Brewing Company family. They've now canned four of their brews with hopefully more on the way!

From the Buckbean site:

"This is a traditional Schwarzbier with a smooth, rich malt flavor, black color and medium body. The mild roastiness and malt complexity is perfectly balanced with a moderate hoppiness for an exceptionally clean finish."

Here we go...

Pour – pours dark, almost pitch in color, but them again the word "black" appears in the name of this beer! When held to the light it has some of those ruby red hues that you can see in a glass of stout. The head is a good inch of coffee colored foam that tops this one quite nicely.

Aroma – a boatload of dark roasted malt, brown bread, iced black coffee and some sweet caramel. Mostly this is toasted and roasted malt.

Taste – first sip is surprisingly light in flavor and actually reminds me a bit of a hoppy porter. Its got a nice carbonation level that makes it quite refreshing. The dark, roasted malt flavors are definitely at the forefront but there is, like the can says, moderate hoppiness. Its got a nice bite to it that works to balance things out.

Overall - Not bad, not bad at all. We definitely liked this one more than their Original Orange Blossom Ale.

Note -  The name, Black Noddy, refers to a type of bird, a seabird that is part of the tern family to be more specific. Considering that the bird itself is not native to Nevada, its a mystery as to why the brewery chose that name for their beer. Please chime in if you have some insight.

THIS BREWERY HAS SINCE CLOSED


Can Scale:
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Black Noddy Lager
Style: Schwarzbier
Brewery: Buckbean Brewing Company
City: 
Reno, Nevada  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: ???
Date: August 20th, 2009

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Tuesday, August 11th 2009

Brooklyn Lager
(Brooklyn Brewery)

    

Brooklyn Lager is truly one of the few American lagers that I really, really enjoy. What you see here are both 12 and 16 oz. cans of an American lager that makes 99.99% of the macro-canned lagers look and taste like crap. 

From the Brooklyn site:

"Brooklyn Lager, the Brewery's flagship label, is New York's "hometown" beer, brewed to a pre-Prohibition recipe that dates back to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. Brooklyn Lager has won numerous awards."

Here we go...

Pour – a nice, deep, dark amber color. Hey, its not pale yellow and almost clear! The head on this is so thick and fluffy it really is a sight to behold. It leaves quite a bit of lacing along the inside of the glass. Great looking beer in a glass, from a can, the bottle or on tap. You can't go wrong.

Aroma – quite hoppy for a lager in my opinion. Lots of noble hops going on with some nice floral notes. There area also some hints of honey and some caramel. Nice rich malty aroma as well.

Taste – crisp, refreshing and delicious. This is what a lager should taste like! I'ts got a nice delicate hoppiness to it that gives it a nice bitter and sharp finish that combines nicely with the carbonation level and dryness from a lager. 

Overall - this is an excellent lager that has taste, body and complexity. Brooklyn has done good by putting this offering this in a can.

Note - Brooklyn cans their famous Brooklyn Lagerin both 12 and 16-oz. cans and are now canning their Summer Ale as well. Perhaps more are on the way? We'll have to wait and see...

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Brooklyn Lager ~ 12 oz.
Style: American Amber/Red Lager
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
City: 
Brooklyn, New York  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. and 16 oz. cans
Malts: American Two-Row Malts
Hops: Hallertauer Mittelfrueh, Vanguard & Cascade
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: ???
Date: August 11th, 2009

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Lagers


Tuesday, August 11th 2009

Brooklyn Lager (16 oz.)
(Brooklyn Brewery)

Brooklyn Lager is truly one of the few American lagers that I really, really enjoy. What you see here are both 12 and 16 oz. cans of an American lager that makes 99.99% of the macro-canned lagers look and taste like crap. 

From the Brooklyn site:

"Brooklyn Lager, the Brewery's flagship label, is New York's "hometown" beer, brewed to a pre-Prohibition recipe that dates back to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. Brooklyn Lager has won numerous awards."

Here we go...

Pour – a nice, deep, dark amber color. Hey, its not pale yellow and almost clear! The head on this is so thick and fluffy it really is a sight to behold. It leaves quite a bit of lacing along the inside of the glass. Great looking beer in a glass, from a can, the bottle or on tap. You can't go wrong.

Aroma – quite hoppy for a lager in my opinion. Lots of noble hops going on with some nice floral notes. There area also some hints of honey and some caramel. Nice rich malty aroma as well.

Taste – crisp, refreshing and delicious. This is what a lager should taste like! I'ts got a nice delicate hoppiness to it that gives it a nice bitter and sharp finish that combines nicely with the carbonation level and dryness from a lager. 

Overall - this is an excellent lager that has taste, body and complexity. Brooklyn has done good by putting this offering this in a can.

Would I buy more of it? - definitely.

Note - Brooklyn cans their famous Brooklyn Lagerin both 12 and 16-oz. cans and are now canning their Summer Ale as well. Perhaps more are on the way? We'll have to wait and see...


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Brooklyn Lager ~ 16 oz.
Style: American Amber/Red Lager
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
City: 
Brooklyn, New York  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: American Two-Row Malts
Hops: Hallertauer Mittelfrueh, Vanguard & Cascade
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: ???
Date: August 11th, 2009

Posted by Russ


Have you had this beer? Thumb it:
(3)