Leinenkugel Northwoods Lager

It’s harder and harder to find mixed-packs of beer that have good selections. Awhile back, I found a mixed pack of Leinenkugel’s and grabbed it. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 4.9%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Leinenkugel’s® is the nation’s 7th oldest operating brewery. It has a rich history, which began when brewer Matthias Leinenkugel brought his family over to the United States from Germany in the 1840s. The family continued to travel west and finally settled in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Matthias taught his sons the art of brewing. It was his third son, Jacob, who traveled north to Chippewa Falls. Jacob felt sure the thirsty lumberjacks and lumber-booming economy of Northwestern Wisconsin made Chippewa the ideal location to begin his own brewery. In 1867 Jacob began brewing. For almost 150 years and six generations, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company® has survived and continues to prosper through commitment to their founder’s ideals of brewing and operating with excellence. Having survived Prohibition, the economic demands of World War II, and fierce competition, Leinenkugel’s® has remained a prominent brewer in the Upper Midwest. In addition to our year-round offerings such as Leinenkugel’s® Honey Weiss, Berry Weiss, Sunset Wheat, and Original, we also brew seasonal beers such as Oktoberfest and Summer Shandy.”

Random: This beer was first brewed in 1986.

The beer poured with a one finger, slightly off white head. It was thick and went away slowly, leaving a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and an amber color with light carbonation visible. The nose was muted with some grain and corn and honey, without much else. The flavor started with some caramel sweetness and milled grain. There was some corn as well, but not much else. The body was light and the carbonation was present and plentiful. The finish was quick with caramel sweetness. This beer was simple and didn’t have much flavor. I wasn’t a big fan of this beer, but I could see this as a good beer to give someone who is a Bud/Miller/Coors fan.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Night Shift Lime Lite

When I first started drinking beer, I loved Miller Chill. Despite not giving the beer a stellar review, I loved it when I didn’t know what good beer was. I have been on the lookout for a decent lager with lime for the Summer. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 4.3%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Macro light beers with subpar flavors have owned the light beer space for too long, help us raise the bar and compete against big beer on their own turf! At 4.3% ABV and 120 calories per serving, Lime Lite features natural lime in its recipe. Like Nite Lite, Lime Lite is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and preservative-free. It sips super refreshing and crisp, with a hint of lime citrus. Available in 16oz 4-packs and 12oz 12-packs, making it ideal to share with friends at barbecues, tailgate parties, concerts, and pretty much anywhere you find yourself.”

Random: This beer was first produced in 2017.

The beer poured with a finger and a half of loose, white head. It dissipated quickly and left limited lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, golden-yellow color with a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had some grain, mineral water and lime. The lime struck me as actual lime as opposed to artificial lime. The taste started with clean lager notes, lots of grain and mineral water and lime juice. The body was light with a lot of carbonation. The finish was quick with grain and lime. For a light lager, this was pretty good. I’m just not a huge fan of the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Jack’s Abby Hoponius On Holiday IPL

I’ve been working like crazy, which is nothing outside of the normal. We just finished with end of month, which is always crazy, so I’m hoping it slows down for a few weeks.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We gave our classic Hoponius Union a tropical fruit twist to create Hoponius on Holiday. This IPL combines cold lager fermentation with a West Coast IPA hop profile. A blend of classic American hops accentuates the tropical fruit flavors and lends a citrusy aroma. A refreshingly crisp finish compliments the pleasant bitterness of the hops and leaves you wanting more.”

Random: This beer comes in at 65 IBUs.

This beer poured with a one and a half finger, white head. It was quite thick and took awhile to dissipate. The body was clear and bright yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had some fruit to it. I specifically noted white grape juice and floral notes of plumeria. The taste had a lot more fruit that went towards the tropical side. I picked up some mango and pineapple, but still had the floral note of plumeria, which was a nice complement. The body was on the light side with a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy and tropical. My parents brought this beer back for me from their last trip of Massachusetts, so no idea on the cost of it. Either way, this was an easy drinker on a hot day that I would definitely have again. I just wish it had a more robust fragrance.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Victory Home Grown New American Lager

This was the second beer that I had at City Tap House. I was trying to have lower ABV beers since it was early in the day and I was curious about how this (relatively) new lager from Victory would be.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Gotta give the people what they want, right? A lot of you have been searching for your next go-to beer. Something hoppy, but still drinkable and refreshing. Search no further! Six varieties of American whole flower hops pack bold and juicy flavors into this crisp, drinkable lager. Meet Victory Home Grown. Your NEW American Lager.”

Random: One of the prettiest bars that I’ve ever been to is in the original Victory brewery.

The beer poured with less than half a finger of pure white head. The body was mostly clear except for some chill haze and straw yellow in color. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was relatively mild with some toasted grain and also had an odd chemical characteristic. The taste luckily did not have the same chemical characteristic, although it had plenty of toasted grain. It was quickly followed up by a touch of Noble hops, but the grain was dominant in this beer. The body was light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with the Noble hops. I liked this beer, but it didn’t wow me. I could see this beer as a good addition to a barbecue for people who are used to drinking Bud Light who may want to branch out to craft beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Ship Bottom Barnegat Lager

When Val went to DC for a weekend, I went to Surf Taco for lunch after dropping her off at the train station. My favorite thing at Surf Taco (other than the beer selection) is the baja mahi taco. It has just enough spice and the fish is always super fresh. The chips and salsa are really good as well. My second favorite is the garlic shrimp taco. It has the right amount of garlic and the cilantro pairs well with it.

ABV: 6.3%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Tribute to Old Barney. The most iconic landmark on Long Beach Island. Our classic German Lager has a malty aroma with a subtle fruit flavor from the Munich malt and has a very crisp finish.”

Random: Having all of these Jersey beers to choose from now is different from the lack of Jersey beers five years ago.

This beer poured with a half a finger of off white head. It was thick and dissipated slowly, leaving a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and amber in color with a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of grain and wheat toast. The taste had an unexpected and significant honey sweetness with a lot of lightly toasted grain. It had some river stones and mineral water as well. The body was thicker than expected with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with wheat toast and honey. This was a solid drinker, but it was bordering on too sweet for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Great Lakes Grandes Lagos Mexican Lager

Great Lakes is putting out some great beers. They got distribution to Jersey at least five years ago, but I feel like I’m seeing a lot more of their seasonals making their way to my local bars. This was one that I heard being reviewed on one of my favorite craft beer podcasts and Val decided to order it and let me try it.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Colorful hibiscus flowers bloom against a picturesque malt backdrop in this refreshing cerveza from south of the border (of Canada, that is). A breezy getaway accented by beams of golden malt and a tart, pink-tinged hibiscus sunset.”

Random: This beer comes in at 20 IBUs.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass along with a small crown. The nose was filled with hibiscus and grain. There were some notes of honey along with yeast and corn as well. The taste started with grain, honey and corn sweetness. It transitioned into hibiscus and floral notes. Some honeysuckle came out as well. It had a touch of tartness as well. The body was light, as expected, with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick with corn and flowers. I enjoyed this beer a lot and I wish it wasn’t a seasonal. This would be a great everyday drinker, especially if you live in a warm area year-round. This is definitely a beer that I would search out again. It’s a great take on a Mexican lager.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Founders PC Pils

Pilsners are one of my favorite styles, especially in the summer. They’re really drinkable and they’re perfect for having by the barbecue. Let’s see how Founders interpretation is.

pcpils

ABV: 5.5%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Pleasantly crisp, perfectly clean and profoundly crushable, PC Pils is our take on the classic Pilsner style. While Noble hops have been the preferred choice of Pilsner brewers around the world, we went with some of our favorite American varieties. Piney Chinook, pleasantly citrus Cascade and punchy Centennial make this an easy-drinker with floral hop characteristics. Pretty cool, if you ask us.”

Random: I dropped a tea towel on the floor before and one of the cats decided it was a cat blanket.

This beer poured with a two finger, thin, white head. It took awhile to dissipate and left some spiderweb lacing on the glass. The body was clear and straw yellow with a lot of carbonation visible. The nose started with a touch of Sprite soda and quickly went into super grassy hops and some fresh flower petals. The nose was stronger than I expected for a pilsner. The taste was also very hoppy for a pils. It had a lot of grass and some pine resin with a lot of flower petals. It had a light body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky with flowers. A can of this was $1.07 (.09 per ounce). This beer was drinkable and had a lot of flavor, plus is comes in cans. I’ll be picking up a case of this for my next barbecue.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Sideswipe Collaboration With Gordon Biersch

While I was out in Ohio, my friend invited me to play volleyball with her and a bunch of other people. The park that they play at is perhaps, one of the nicest parks that I’ve ever seen. It had a climbing wall, obstacle course, playground and beach volleyball courts. Volleyball and golf are really popular in Ohio, way more so than in New Jersey. Anyways, I dove for the ball and I thought I tore my ACL. Luckily, I just pulled something in my knee, although load out the next day was terrible. I could barely walk. Anyways, let’s get to the beer.

collaborationbeer

ABV: 6.1%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: The brewery is located in Columbus, Ohio. That’s all of the information that I could find.

Random: I think the brewery was actually by the park I played volleyball in.

The beer poured with a full finger of fluffy, cream-colored head. It took forever to go away and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and amber with only light carbonation visible. The nose reminded me of decaying hops with white corn tortilla chips that didn’t fit with the beer. The taste had the same corn and tortilla chip note. It was followed up with grass and had a lot of grain. The body was thicker than I expected with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with old grass clippings. I wasn’t a big fan of this beer. The tortilla chip note threw it off for me.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Ballast Point Orange Vanilla Fathom

Tonight’s selection is another one of the flavor variants of a Ballast Point beer. I’ll be honest, I’m not sold on the idea. I’ve had a lot of them so far and they’ve been big misses. Let’s see how this one was.

orangevanillafathom

ABV: 7%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A sweeter take on an award-winning IPL. Our Orange Vanilla Fathom India Pale Lager continues our quest for exploration. The piney and citrus hop aromas of our Fathom IPL combines with sweet orange and creamy vanilla – while staying true to classic lagering techniques. Brewed with a touch of nostalgia, it may remind you of a childhood treat, but this one is just for adults.”

Random: My favorite orange soda is Stewart’s Orange and Cream.

The beer poured with a three finger, white head that dissipated slowly. It left a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and bright orange. There was some carbonation visible in the body. The nose was filled with orange soda, but no vanilla. There wasn’t much else to it. The taste had the same orange soda note and again, very little vanilla. There was also old grass and grain. It had a heavy body with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with old orange soda. A bomber of this was $5.99, which came to $.27 per ounce. I was not a big fan of this beer. It seemed a bit gimmicky and the flavors just didn’t work out for me. I won’t be having this one again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Jack’s Abby Calyptra

I had no idea that Jack’s Abby started canning. When I saw this can on the shelf at Half Time in New York, I was positively shocked. I’m a huge fan of canning beers, so having a solid brewery that only brews lagers putting a session IPL out is great.

calyptra

ABV: 4.9%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This hoppy lager is brewed with two intense and aromatic hops, Calypso and Citra. It’s an easy drinking brew that balances dominating fruity, citrusy, and tropical aromas with a sessionable malt body.”

Random: I like the shade of purple on the can. It makes it jump off the shelves.

The brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was mildly hazy with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of tropical notes, obviously from the Calypso hops. I picked out mango, pineapple and then a grapefruit flesh note from the Citra hops. There was no malt on the nose. The taste was more towards grapefruit pith than flesh, which was disappointing. I also wished it had more tropical fruit on the taste. I picked up dried mango, but no pineapple, which I was looking forward to. There was also lemon and lime flesh in the background after a few sips. It had a really light body with high carbonation. The finish was instant with lemon pith and dried mango. A single can of this was $1.67 ($.14 per ounce), which is a great deal. If only I enjoyed this beer more and it had more tropical notes, it could be a go-to.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0