Saturday, May 2, 2015

Batch 19

Batch 19, from Molson-Coors, was introduced in c. 2009 as an attempt to reformulate a pre-prohibition lager beer, possibly similar to the old Coors Gold Beer.

Sold in bottles and on draft, this beer enjoyed an initial rush of television, radio, and print advertising attention, but this soon died off, and the beer presently sets on the shelf, left to fend for itself. As of 2015, sales seem to be minimal.

Batch 19 is as follows (from the website):

Appearance: A deep golden color that’s naturally filtered and unpasteurized; capped with a full, white head.
Aroma: Biscuity malt aroma with herbal notes from the Hersbrucker hops and black currant notes from the Strisselspalt hops.
Taste: Bold, hoppy taste that’s balanced by a subtle caramel maltiness.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied lager with a moderate carbonation.
Finish: Crisp, clean finish with a lingering hop taste that gradually fades.
IBUs: 26
ABV: 5.5%
Food Match: The caramel malt character and herbal notes go great with any two- or four-legged animal that’s been roasted, braised, smoked, pan-fried, or charred. It goes especially well with bacon and strong cheese.

There is a back-story for this beer, which talks about how an old, filed recipe was recovered in 2004, but one wonders how much of the story has been embellished.

This writer has sampled Batch 19 on multiple occasions and can attest to the beer's wonderful flavor and high-quality production. A sampling is strongly recommended, as this brand may not be long for this world.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Moosehead Lager

Moosehead Lager is the flagship beer of the Moosehead Brewery of St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. Sold worldwide, this lager is appreciated for it's crisp, clean, and refreshing aspects.

The Moosehead Brewery, formerly Army and Navy Brewery, was established in New Brunswick in 1867, the same year as Canada was created as a united country. Family owned, Moosehead produces a wide range of beers, although, one will mainly see the lager in America, and typically in the 12-oz., green bottles. Rated at 5% alcohol, this beer comes it at the same strength level as Budweiser or Coors Banquet.  It is rather common, so the consumer should be able to easily locate the beer in most major beer outlets and in many restaurants and taverns.

This writer has sampled Moosehead Lager many times and always appreciates its exceptional smoothness.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Budweiser Black Crown

At 6% alcohol, Budweiser Black Crown, (Budweiser Crown, in Canada), has been part of the Budweiser family of beers since Jan. 21, 2013. But, this beer's roots go back further in time.

Black Crown was actually the winning beer of the 2012 Budweiser Project Twelve experimental series and was originally known as Batch No. 91406 (named after a Los Angeles zip code). The head brewmaster at the Los Angeles brewery, Bryan Sullivan, lead the development team for this winning beer. After choosing this recipe, Anheuser-Busch (a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch/InBev) spent a fair amount of time and money to brand, package, and roll out the Black Crown, to much fanfare. This beer's success is questionable, however, and it remains to be seen if it will remain on the market, long term.

Available in 12-oz. and 24-oz bottles, cans of various sizes, and on draft, this beer is an attempt by Anheuser-Busch to re-present and re-image malt liquors, as their Hurricane and King Cobra malt liquor brands are seen, incorrectly, as low-grade offerings, from the company. The original Budweiser malt liquor, Budweiser Malt Liquor, of the 1970s, was an all-malt beer (with no rice or corn adjuncts) and was presented as a higher-level or more polished extra-strong beer, and in its heyday enjoyed strong advertising attention. Although Black Crown television and radio commercials are now rarely seen, one will still encounter a fair amount of point-of-sale materials at beer outlets.

Brewed with a blend of two-row barley malt, four types of American hops, and rice, Black Crown, like all of the Budweiser family, is aged on beechwood chips.

Drinkers looking for an extra-strong beer, with the renowned Budweiser quality assurance, may find Budweiser Black Crown to be a good malt liquor option.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Genesee Ice

Genesee Ice was introduced by the Genesee Brewing Company, today a subsidiary of Costa Rica's Florida Ice & Farm company, in 1993. Brewed at the Rochester, New York brewery, "Genny Ice" comes in at 5.5% alcohol, the same as Icehouse (by Miller), the original American ice beer. Genesee Ice is sold mainly in the northeastern U.S.A., typically in 12-packs of 12-oz. cans and single-sale 24-oz. cans. Bottles are also available in select locations.

I have sampled Genesee Ice on a few occasions and find that it can hold its own against other mass-produced ice lagers.

As with all Genesee brand beers, Genesee Ice receives no major television or advertising attention, although some point-of-sale promotional activity may occur.

"When you're looking for a rich, full-flavored beer, Genesee Ice is the perfect beer for you. Our brewmasters begin with only the purest natural ingredients. Then, ice crystals form in the beer during its aging process before it's filtered for the rich flavor Genesee Ice is known for."

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Genesee Cream Ale

Genesee Cream Ale (Genny Cream Ale) was introduced in 1960 by the Genesee Brewing Company of Rochester New York. This ale-lager hybrid, has a creamy aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel, yet the smoothness of a lager. It is sold in selected American markets, mainly in the eastern states. One can find it in bottles and cans of various sizes and configurations.

Genny Cream Ale is 5.2% alcohol and has 12 international bitterness units. It falls in a range that is slightly stronger than a regular lager beer, yet somewhat weaker in alcohol than an American malt liquor. This beer is typically priced at the "below premium" level and is marketed towards working class consumers. It arrived in Louisiana in November of 2014.

Winning multiple awards at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup, Genesee Cream Ale rates among the highest of the mass-produced, American adjunct beers. I have tried it on a few occasions and can give it an unqualified positive endorsement.

Genesee beers receive no nationwide television or radio advertising attention and must market themselves from the store shelves.

Genesee Brewing Company is currently part of North American Beverages, owned by Florida Ice and Farm of Costa Rica.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Molson Ice

Molson Ice Beer was developed in 1993, and it was the first ice-brewed lager sold in North America, setting off an ice beer revolution. Icehouse, from Miller's Plank Road Brewery marketing project, was the first ice beer introduced in the USA, later in 1993.

Molson Ice is rated at 5.6% abv and has 169 calories per 12-oz. serving. Most ice beers fall in the 5.5%-5.9% alcohol by volume range. After the ice beer craze subsided, the major brewers repositioned these beers from the above-premium level to the below-premium level. Molson Ice is typically marketed at the below-premium level (budget beer), and one will find it sold in 12-oz. bottles & cans and very often in single-sale 24-oz. tall cans. It is found in multi-packs of varying unit count.

This beer receives no advertising attention, and Molson-Coors is satisfied to allow the brand to sell it self, with its price and alcohol level touted on the labels. Molson Ice is brewed in Canada for export to the USA. The Molson-Coors website proclaims that, at present, it is only available in the USA market.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Molson XXX Super Premium Beer

Molson XXX Super Premium Beer is somewhat of a mystery. Yes, it is listed on the Miller-Coors website as a beer, made with no preservatives and is described as "a unique, super premium beer that combines 7.3% ABV with the characteristic cold, crisp and clean finish that people have come to expect from Molson brewmasters." It is also known that Molson XXX (which stands for Triple Export, and is probably somehow descended from Molson Export, a famous ale, created in 1903) is brewed in Toronto and sold in the American market in 11.5-oz. bottles and large, Foster-like, individual cans. What we do not know is when the beer was first developed, nor do we know exactly which markets in which it is sold.

On my travels around the USA, I have only ever seen it in Northern states, north of the Ohio River, so it is unknown if it is sold in other regions, as is the case with Molson Canadian, Molson Ice, Molson Light, and Molson Golden (which are also produced in America). I have tried it, and can attest to the fact that the promotional descriptions of the beer are on target.

Here, I will list some descriptions of this imported beer from some websites:

"Malty, Sweet, Corn, Medium-bodied. Canada- American Malt Liquor- At 7.3% ABV, this medium-bodied brew is higher in alcohol than a session beer but with a similar taste. Pours a clear, pale-golden color. Hints of pale malts and hops along with an alcohol presence touch the palate, with a balancing creaminess."

"No preservatives. Imported. XXX by Molson is a unique beer that combines the benefits of a 7.3% alcohol by volume product with cold, crisp, and clean taste that has made Molson brews legendary. Through its quality, XXX by Molson will quickly become your favorite super premium beer. Product of Canada.
Warnings Because XXX by Molson is a perfect blend of higher alcohol with a smooth, clean taste, we advise you to drink this beer in moderation. XXX by Molson - Handle with care."

"ABV: 7.3%
Category: Imports
Food Pairing: Cuisine (Indian, Latin American, Pan Asian) General (Apéritif)
Brewery: Molson
Seasonal Availability: Year Round
Beverage Type: American Malt Liquor

Pours out to a clear dark golden, forming a modest rocky white head with good retention and some moderate lacing. Moderate carbonation. The aroma is of macro-twang, some pale malts, a decent hop presence in the vein of a pilsener and a little touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is wet, smooth, moderate body."