Let me begin with a picture of this ad from the local weekly:
So, that’s a thing. It’s a couple months old-what can I say, it took me a little while to get around to it, because Rainier isn’t high on my “to drink” list.
Regardless of how timely I am, the fact of the matter is that Rainier won an award for best beer in its style. Which is relevant because when many beer aficionados talk about how terrible American macro lagers are, what most of them neglect to mention, likely because they don’t know, is that those beers are exactly what they are supposed to be. Complaining that they are flavorless, near water beers is like complaining about a knife that cuts things.
We have to judge the beer on its merit, within the goal(s) of the brewer and that’s not an easy thing to do. We all want what we want, so taking that next step to say, “Nevermind what I want, what is this supposed to be” isn’t easy.
Thing is, Rainier is high on someone’s “to drink” list. And I am in the field to talk about beers people drink, in addition to the stuff I drink and make. So when I found Rainier on draft at the Slow Bar, I started my evening with a pint.
The nose is low on the lager funk.
This is a very bright, clean beer. The effervescence pops long after the beer is gone, leaving a sparkly feeling on my tongue.
Somewhere in there is a nice bready flavor sneaking up before the finish. Giving the beer just a pixie dust of depth. It’s not just water and bitterness.
Do I want another? No. I’d prefer a little more hop and malt to draw from. But is this a bad beer? Would I refuse it? Not at all. For the style it is, it’s a quality product.