Brewtopia Events
American Lager
Tasting Comments
Owen Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events) gathered together some of his fellow beer lovers in November of 2001 at Athens' Wild Wing Cafe to sample and comment on several classic American Lagers.  The tasters were Owen Ogletree, Marilyn Hall, Joanne Maki, Mark King, Johnnie Sutherland, and Henry Norman.  This beer sampling was done as a blind tasting where no one was aware of the brands that were being served.  Beers were informally commented upon and ranked according to American Homebrewers Association (AHA) style guidelines (see below).  First, second, and third places (best of show) were awarded to the beers we felt represented this style in extraordinary fashion.  Drop Owen an email to share your comments and opinions.

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Commercial Beers -- Blind Tasting Comments...

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- Light/Standard/Premium
Aroma: Little to no malt aroma. Hop aroma may range from none to light, flowery hop presence. Slight fruity aromas from yeast and hop varieties used may exist, as well as perceptible levels of green apples due to acetaldehyde. Low levels of "cooked-corn" aroma from DMS may be present. No diacetyl.  Appearance: Very pale straw to pale gold color. White head seldom persists. Very clear.
Flavor: Crisp and dry flavor with some low levels of sweetness. Hop flavor ranges from none to low levels. Hop bitterness at low to medium level. Balance may vary from slightly malty to slightly bitter, but is relatively close to even. High levels of carbonation may provide a slight acidity or dry "sting." No diacetyl. No fruitiness.
Mouthfeel: Very light body from use of a high percentage of adjuncts such as rice or corn. Very well carbonated with slight carbonic bite on the tongue.
Overall Impression: Very refreshing and thirst quenching. "Light" beers will have a lower gravity and less resulting alcohol than the standard. Premium beers tend to have fewer adjuncts or can be all-malt.
Ingredients: Two- or six-row barley with high percentage (up to 40%) of rice or corn as adjuncts.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.035-1.050
IBUs: 8-22 FG: 0.098-1.012
SRM: 2-8 ABV: 3.5-5.1%

Old Milwaukee
Stroh Brewery, Milwaukee, WI, USA
There are coarse bubbles that yield nice carbonation.  Color is light gold.  Aroma is floral with faint apple/fruit.  Flavor is slight corn (but pleasant and clean), with a dry finish.  This is a very drinkable, pleasant lager.

Michelob Premium
Anheuser Busch, St. Louis, MO, USA
There is a color that is very light straw.  Aroma is like mild sushi rice.  This lager is clean, crisp, dry, floral, and smooth with slight wood-like hints.  Refreshing.

Miller High Life
Miller Brewing Company, Milwaukee, WI, USA
Color is medium straw.  Aroma is slight corn, but clean and pleasant.  A hint of fruit is present in the aroma.  Flavor is slightly corny but refreshing and light. Is there a honey-like note?

Foster's Lager
Carlton & United Breweries/FBG Breweries, Toronto, Canada
This beer exhibits a nice white head and light golden color.  Aroma is of grain, slight apple, and bread -- quite nice.  Flavor has some hops, grain, and dry tones.  There is also a hint of tartness in the finish.

Anheuser Busch, St. Louis, MO, USA
Color is very light.  Aroma is light, clean, slightly fruity.  Flavor is dry and very light.  This is a mild lager.

Coors Brewing Company, Golden, CO, USA
Gold color with an aroma of slight apples and malt.  Flavor is slightly fruity with no hop presence to speak of.

Pabst Blue Ribbon
Pabst Brewing Company, Milwaukee, WI, USA
Appearance is medium gold and clear (nice glow).  Aroma is complex with hints of pineapple and other fruit.  Flavor is a bit fruity as well with a good body.  There are creamy, thick bubbles and water with a good mineral content.  This lager finishes light.  This is a tasty beer that could be too complex for style.

Backus y Johnston Brewery, Lima, Peru
There is a nice gold color and creamy, faint head.  Aroma is very light and subtle with a pleasant hint of bread and grain.  A hint of fruit is also there.  Flavor is slightly sweet with a touch of hops.  There is a touch of rice flavor with a fruity undertone.  Water tastes rich in minerals.

Rolling Rock
Latrobe Brewing Co., Latrobe, PA, USA
Very light color with an aroma of cream corn and a hint of fruit.  Flavor is very rich in corn flavors with a slightly sweet finish.  DMS predominates the flavor profile.

Miller Genuine Draft
Miller Brewing Company, Milwaukee, WI, USA
There is a hint of sulfur in the aroma, and the beer smells skunky (lightstruck).  Flavor is slightly bitter with a touch of metallic character.  There is a lack of aftertaste.  Some grain/malt flavor can be perceived in the flavor.

Red Dog
Plank Road Brewery, Milwaukee, WI, USA
Color is medium gold (darker than most of the other lagers) with a decent carbonation.  Aroma is slightly fruity with hints of yeast and bread (faint).  Flavor is slightly fruity (not good for this style) but this beer has a good mouthfeel for style.

Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
Color is medium gold and clear.  Aroma is a bit skunky. Flavor is a bit off (stale?) with metallic hints.  Hops are light and beer has a weak finish.  There is also a touch of butter in the flavor.

Corona Extra
Cerveceria Modelo, Mexico
Appearance is medium gold with coarse bubbles.  Aroma is slightly fruity with a floral nose like European hops.  Smells like a very light version of a German Pilsner!  Flavor is fruity, malty -- too complex and full for style.  This is not crisp and dry enough to fit well into the American Lager category (but it is a very pleasant beer).

Red Stripe
Desnoes and Geddes Ltd., Kingston, Jamaica
Color is medium gold (pretty) that glows.  There is good head retention for style.  Aroma has hints of apple/tart/cider character.  Flavor is a bit tart and cider-like with a dry, metallic finish.  There is a full body for this style.  This bottle could be on the old side.

Wild Wing Cafe is known for its outstanding beer selections!

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