I’d never heard of it before and saw a variety pack, so I decided to try it.
Don’t buy it. The packaging is nice. The bottles are nice. But every single beer in the variety pack I bought tastes like the beer version of Boone’s Farm. Positively awful. It’s made by Miller, which I didn’t know, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I swear to god. The suckification of “beer.”
Dumped 8 bottles down the sink. Worth more in the recycle bin. If a beer lover is driving the truck, he’ll probably leave those bottles behind.
Update: I consider myself to be a bit of a beer connaisseur. My friends would disagree and tell me I am a beer snob. I think over the past few years, I’ve realized they’re right. I am a beer snob. Having said that, I live by the golden beer rule: If it tastes good to you, drink it. My former roommate swore by Michelob Ultra. I hate MU. But whatever. He liked it a lot, and he spent one helluva lot less enjoying his beer than I did!!
Are you talking about Leinenkugels from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin? That’s good beer, especially the Honey Weiss, one of my favorites.
That’s what I am talking about.
Miller owns Leinenkugel as a subsidiary, distributes the beer, and occasionally makes some Leinenkugel beer if the Chippewa Falls brewery can’t meet demand. Otherwise, everything that has Leinenkugel on the label comes from Chippewa Falls, and is made by the same people who have been making regular Leinenkugel beer for decades. Miller can be faulted for ensuring that Leinenkugel gets wider distribution than it would otherwise get (or arguably deserve), that’s about it.
Most any Wisconsin brewery will give you something that’s more akin to what you would get from Miller than what you would get from your local microbrew, though it will always be cheaper (that is, if it’s not distributed by Miller), and it will often be more nicely done.
I’ve bought the variety pack that you mention. I like the Leinie’s Sunset Wheat but can take or leave all of the others. It’s not my first choice but if I see a 12 pack of the sunset wheat on sale I don’t hesitate to buy it.
Not Leinenliugel: Lienenkugels. Leinie’s original, northwoods,red and light are the only beers worth drinking. The variety packs promote their fruity beers. I think Miller is trying to shift the Leine’s brand away from Northern Wisconsin old men to young urban women and effeminate men who like beers with fruit in them. All beers I detest.
J. Michael Neal
ploeg has it almost right. All of the specialty beers are brewed by Leinenkugel’s, but they get the recipes from Miller. They really are Miller beers, and they suck.
Leinie’s Original Lager is different. It’s not only brewed by Leinie’s, but it still uses the recipe they had before Miller bought the company. It’s a very good American lager. Unfortunately, it also uses the same distributors it used before the purchase, rather then the Miller distributors, so you’ll only find it in the Upper Midwest.
One of the wonderful things about the Upper Midwest, primarily Minnesota and Wisconsin, is that G. Heilman didn’t buy all of the small local breweries, like it did everywhere else in the country. Around here, you can still get a very good, cheap beer. Landmark. Leinie’s. James Page. Pig’s Eye. Grain Belt. Step up a bit, and you have Schell’s, which is very good, and still a lot less than microbrews. Go high end, and you have Summit, which ranks behind only the Kalamazoo Brewing Company for the quality of their whole line.
Everywhere else, you have to buy the expensive craft beers to get something good. Around here, it’s different.
Lenie’s Big Butt — dopple bock beer — the BEST you can find outside of Germany!
Leinie’s Winterbrew — Herr Drunken likes the dark porter on those cold grey days.
Leinie’s Red — very smooth, nice in the fall after an afternoon outside watching college football game
Leinie’s Berry Weiss — Delicious ICE COLD in the summer, preferably at Germanfest or up in Door County on a boat.
They don’t call me Drunken Hausfrau for nothin.
I’m a big fan of Leinie’s Red and am a pretty big fan of Leinie’s Original. Wife loves the Blueberry beer (forget the name, but she JUST drank the last one). I could do without the Honey Weiss, but it’s OK. No to the Berry Weiss.
Certinaly not as bad a beer as you’re saying. I’m originally from MN and this stuff is standard up there and quite good…though I didn’t know it was owned by Miller. I’m in FL now and it’s nice to see a little Midwest beer that doesn’t say “Miller” on it.
Best not to get suckered in by a pretty bottle or a cute name. Especially if you suspect it’s a beer associated with a Big Name. (I guess it wasn’t clear in this case.) Next time, politely ask the beer associate if you can use the cash register to visit beeradvocate.com so you can see if it’s any good. (Though the owners of that particular site rank a little too high on the hipdouche meter for my tastes.)
I somehow managed to drink some Leinenkugels and Henry Weinhard’s many years ago. Now they’re connected in my memories. I don’t have overly fond memories of them, though my tastes have expanded since then, so maybe they were too good for me at the time. Sounds like probably not, from the comments above.
For those of you interested in becoming certifiable beer snobs , may I suggest the Beer Judge Certification Program. This is an actual organization that trains people to be judges for homebrew contests. This program will teach you more about beer than you’ll want to know, the history, how its made, and how each style of beer should taste. Being a beer judge is really a lot of fun, and gives you a legitimate excuse to start drinking at 10:00 AM. ;)
I’ve always been a Natty Light man, myself. Cheap and palatable.
I am so white trash.
I shan’t repeat the wonderful comments about different varieties of Leinenkugels. I do enjoy their beers. I am currently drinking Leinenkugels Oktoberfest, brewed for two months in late summer.
Another good Wisconsin beer is Point Beer, from Stevens Point, WI.
I also like Red Stripe and Honey Brown.
Leinie’s is cheap midwestern beer that somehow got marketed to the wider world. The wheat beers are horrible, overly sweet and acidic before you add a lemon or orange, but they were the first to get wide distribution.
But I remember drinking $4 pitchers of leinie’s red and it was a decent beer for a poor college kid
I got a 12 pack of their wheat beer a while back. I think it was supposed to have a lemon flavor to it, but it just tasted like soap to me.
Not surprised to see bad reviews. That stuff was garbage.
Pig’s Eye and Grain Belt!
Man, I remember many an afternoon wandering dorm hallways to find empty bottles. A full case of empty bottles plus 3 bux would get you another case of the Pig or Grain Belt at the Munie. It wasn’t good beer by any means, but it was certainly better than any Miller, Anheuser-Busch, or Coors related beer.
I also second the decentness of cheap pitchers of Leinie’s Red.
Now I live in Utah where we have some decent pub-brewed micros, but not much that’s bottled.
Leine’s was only recently purchased by Miller and given wider distribution. It is a staple here in Wisconsin, sort of like Yuengling in the mid-atlantic states. I cut my teeth on Leine’s Red and Honey Weiss. It is not the best beer ever brewed, and their specialties are usually wide of the mark, but trashing Leine’s is fightin words around here, so I would invite you, on behalf of Wisconsin, to go get bent.
On the other hand, ANYTHING by New Glarus (WI) Brewery is absolute divinity. Not sure what their distribution is, but I know they are expanding in that direction. Keep your eyes out.
leinie’s always seemed like the midwest version of yuengling.
maxbaer (not the original)
It’s Genny Bock season!
Real snobbery requires spelling words like this correctly.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled elitism.
Yeah, it’s kinda like trashing the cheese. It just isn’t done. I was fond of the honey weiss.
Only a sadist pours Leinie down the drain.
Take your east coast snobbery and fuck off. Leiny’s is the shit for us Midwest natives. Perhaps you purchased the pretty pink multi-pack perfused with all the fruity flavors; that does not a bad regular Leiny’s make. Their honey weiss is legendary.
Go take you Zima and leave the Midwestern beer judging to Midwesterners.
anyone else hear horribly annoyed with the Budweiser spots with Rob Riggle stating that, ‘darker beers can hide flaws’ or some such nonsense? As if a beer is like a diamond or something.
I sure hope he got paid well to peddle that pisswater. If I was stranded in the middle of the Arizona desert on a 120 degree day and it was a choice between drinking Bud or dying of dehydration, I’d take a chance on finding a cattle tank. Even that nasty water would taste better than a Buttwiper.
I think drinking beer is only going to hasten dehydration. It tends to be a diuretic, IIANM.
Water is the thing to drink on that July afternoon when you can only drive your car with oven mitts. Drink water, early and often. Then drink some more.
Forget popular wisdom when you are on the desert in the summer. People have died of heat exhaustion within sight of an interstate highway, after going for a walk in conditions they did not understand. Take a lot of water, and then drink it in copious amounts.
personally, i don’t drink beer anymore, but i drunk enough in my day to know what you are saying:
i like what seth meyers said on snl weekend update a couple of weeks ago about the thieves in wisconsin who stole $24,000 of miller beer:
“$24,000 worth of miller beer? what, is that like, all of it?”
side note: i do drink non-alcoholic beer, but i will only drink buckler, kaliber, haake beck or gerstel’s a surprisingly good cheap beer found at trader joe’s. (ok, st. pauli girl n/a is not bad).
Hmmm… I’ll take the New York sharp cheddar, or some really good swiss, a good 6 pack of Fat Tire or Blue Moon and tell you and your Packers to go stuff it.
I don’t mind Leine’s, and I especially like the Honey Weiss.
That said, all other beer is eclipsed by Fat Tire these days. their 2 Below may be my favorite beer ever. Just picked up their 1554 dark ale and it’s excellent.
I think that the real reason is that it’s more profitable to make and sell the fancy stuff, the Chippewa Falls brewery has a finite brewing capacity, and Miller isn’t willing to invest money just to make more plain old Leinie’s (which would compete more directly with Miller’s regular lineup).
Also, the Schell Brewery took over the Grain Belt brand some years ago, and ever since then, Grain Belt has cost just as much as Bud in my neck of the woods. If I have to pay that much for a beer, I’d rather have a bonafide Schell’s brew myself.
Plain old Leinie’s is OK, just not my first choice. Point is good. (Mike Royko did a blind taste test in 1973 where Point beat all other domestic beers and was beaten or equalled only by Wurzburger and Bass ale.) Huber Bock is probably my favorite small-town Wisconsin beer.
Grew up on leinies.
I only drink Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (michigan)
or Surley Furious Ale (Minnesota) or Summit IPA (Minnesota) these days.
Mustard is Evil
ploeg beat me to the punch. Point is, for my money, much tastier if you’re going WI pilsner. (Also recently tried what I assume is a new-ish Point Pale Ale, quite yummy for a cheapie.)
Leinie’s regular was tasty to me years ago, before I knew what beer was supposed to be. It’s cheap, the choice I make when Miller/Bud/other crappy domestics are my only other options. Never knew any of the specifics mentioned by others above, regarding Miller’s purchase, recipies, etc.
Used to be I could get a Huber/Huber Bock right up the way, at the best local live music joint, for a buck a bottle. Was that way for at least a decade. Broke folk need beer too! Alas, no more… : (
Leine, to me, is kinda like Sam Adams: decent, but only decent as compared to….
And I second the New Glarus endorsement…
Ah, Grain Belt.
And What J. Michael Neal Said WRT Leinie’s: The original lager is good, but unobtainable outside of Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Of course, my favorite beers are the craft beers made by Fitgers in Duluth. Their Big Boat Oatmeal Stout is delicious, especially if you can get it fresh and taste the full complexity of the brew.
In Minnesota, we have great beer selections at our liquor stores. One local store is about the size of small post office but stocks 1,100 brands of beer — Czech, Italian, Belgian, Asian, local, northwest, etc etc (and over 200 kinds of single malt Scotch). But almost every store I’ve been to carries Leinenkugel’s (I’ll have to check the next time I’m at Blue Max).
I heard a food critic say that in France, since people drink wine with almost every meal, most of the time they drink cheap wine. The critic suggested that instead of seeing wine as gourmet, Americans should treat wine like the French — cheap stuff for your daily routine, expensive stuff for special occasions.
Here in Minnesota, people drink both the mass-marketed brands and the microbrews. We’re like the France of beer; we have very broad beer palates.
I’m not saying that people should like Leinenkugel’s. I just think beer is a personal thing, like whether you prefer Ben & Jerry’s, Sebastian Joe’s, Izzy’s, Sonny’s/Crema Cafe, the Grand Ole Creamery, Bridgeman’s, or Dairy Queen.
(We also have very broad ice cream palates.)
Fat Tire is great!
I can’t decide which will alienate middle American voters more, your debauched, alcohol soaked lifestyles or your elitism about what is ultimately a working man’s drink.
Maybe if you stopped working as graphic designers, professors, and software developers and worked a graveyard shift in a steel factory, you’d understand why the rest of America hates you.
Blue Moon!? You realize that’s a Coors beer, right? Barf.
The surest sign of elitism is to call beer a “working man’s drink”. I happen to think of it as my drink (when I’m not at work, that is).
It’s hard to put much credence in a guy who 1) never heard of Leinie’s, 2) can’t copy the l-e-t-t-e-r-s from the bottle and 3) doesn’t know the realationship between Leinie’s and Miller. Regional tastes vary. I sent a bottle of the Sunset Wheat to a respected co-dependent of mine who says the beer tastes like a bar of lilac soap, yet my uncle in Manitowish Waters, WI, loves it.
Thank goodness we have hundreds of craft beers to taste, compare and debate over. The 70’s were a dark time, young Skywalker.
BP in MN
Grand Ole Creamery > Izzy’s > Sebastian Joe’s. Plus, the last time I was at Grand Ole Creamery Tim Pawlenty walked in and I passed the time walking past him and muttering at him about his budget vetos.
I admit a fondess for Pig’s Eye or Grain Belt for cheap beer, though the only occasionally seen Grain Belt light is atrocious. Otherwise, I try to find the local bars that have $8 Summit pitchers or $5 Leinie’s.
It’s all over the Midwest.
The surest sign of elitism is to call beer a “working man’s drink”. I happen to think of it as my drink (when I’m not at work, that is).
Yeah, well what kind of countertops do you have?
Oh just forget about the Midwest and come to Oregon if it’s microbrews you’re after. But I suggest you wait a month on the off-chance that spring ever shows up around here.
Oh fucks sake, DougJ, I’ve worked factory graveyard shifts and in offices. I’ve drank good cheap beer (yes, Leinenkugel’s) and spendy microbrews. I’ve enjoyed them all and I can honestly say that you don’t know shit about “the rest of America.” Fuck you and all turds like you that presume to speak for anything else besides your what own pathetic, fragile ego pretends to tell you.
I’m in the process of moving. I’ll let you know once I dig down to that level.
Phillip J. Birmingham
Agreed on the divinity of New Glarus. So far as I can tell, their distribution is Wisconsin, full stop. They used to distribute into Illinois, but they fell afoul of the same stupid laws that drove Bell’s out of the state.
Fortunately, I live about ten miles from the border, so I can get hold of New Glarus fairly easily.
J. Michael Neal
No thanks. Anything west of your first sight of the Rockies is no good.
No one who thinks Samuel Adams red is a good beer is a beer snob.
Wisconsin has some other great microbreweries. I have to second the commenter who pointed out New Glarus (except the Spotted Cow…which is a micro-brewed american lager, so it’s still teh suck. Capitol brewery in Madison makes an outstanding amber lager. I always have some chilling. Grey’s from Janesville has some decent stuff.
I haven’t gone in years, but he Great Taste of the Midwest is in Madison the first weekend of every August. It’s worth a weekend.
You want to deprive yourself of Wisconsin cheddar, well that’s your own lookout. Enjoy your miserable cheddar-free life. :p
Oh for gawd’s sake. Until you’ve worked in the booze business, you have no idea what true beer snobbery is about.
True beer snobs don’t even notice the macrobreweries… Leinenkugels barely makes the cut.
True beer snobs even sneer a bit at those poor folks still chasing after the good-but-cheap stuff, like Fat Tire, Stella Artois and Yuengling.
No, a true beer snob is somebody who drinks Lee’s Harvest Ale from Laguvulin casks and doesn’t think it tastes like armpit. Who knows the names of Southern Tier, Three Floyds, Bells and Clipper City.
The truth is, we live in a golden age of beer, and sure, you can buy PBR if you’re broke, but don’t call yourself a snob until the guy at the liquor store knows you by first name.
That said, Big Butt is a pretty good Dopplebock.
Oh, and I want to third the shout out to New Glarus. Tyranena Brewing is another really good Wisconsin Craft Brewery. I don’t much care for Leinie’s now. They have a couple of inoffensive beers, but I’ll only choose one if the only other options are Anheuser Busch or other Miller products. However, the beer that made me realize that We really do have an embarrassment of riches beer-wise in the upper Midwest. You want hops? We got Bell’s Hop Slam and Surly Furious. You want a good Porter? Summit Porter and Tyranena Black Hawk porter are both really good. Nut Browns? Surly Bender and New Glarus Fat Squirrel almost make me forget I don’t really care for nut browns. Pale Ales? I’ll put Summit EPA, Flat Earth Element 115 and Lake Superior Special Ale up there with the best. Ambers? Rush River Amber and Bell’s Amber are as good as Amber gets. Cheap American swill? Grain Belt and Schell’s Deer are not sick making. Anyone up for an exchange program?
Whoops. I meant to say that Leinie’s Bock was the first beer that made me look beyond cheap American lagers.
Funny, I thought you stopped drinking after your drunk driving arrest.
Igrew up in the midwest and I don’t think I’ve had any of the beers you guys have been describing. Mostly for us it was MGD, Killians, or some craplike that. If you want shit beer, I had Old Style once when I was 15. Didn’t drink again until I was 20. That’s how bad it was. :-)
Now, in Oregon, I’ve been drinking dogfish, which has some really interesting stuff, but probably something a beer snob would thumb their nose at. The worst beer I had was some beer brewed in a bourbon cask. Gah. Bourbon and beer don’t mix. I felt sick after drinking it. There was some strange beer made from agave.
I don’t particularly have a fav beer I drink all the time. I randomly pick stuff I never tasted. But generally a good stout is the best.
I did work in the beer industry, and that was at Guinness at St. James Gate as a IT guy. Best. Time. Ever. Nohting like smelling hops in the morning. IT smells like a good day!
The Grand Panjandrum
Stone Brewing Company, San Diego. They have some goddamn fine beers. They are as good as any brewery in America.
Three Floyds! Dark Lord Imperial Stout. Last trip to Chicago I stopped by the brewery somewhere just across the state line in Indiana.
I don’t consider myself a beer snob or a connoisseur. I like what I like, and I don’t drink what I don’t like. Pretty simple.
That sounds interesting to me. More info?
Absolutely true. “Table wines” in Europe (this happens in Italy and Germany as well) are just that – a casual drink for lunch or dinner. The wines in Australia hit it big when their marketing focused on that image (something to take to the beach) instead of the idealized version of wine which hit North America.
If you ever get the chance, grab some Unibroue out of Quebec. Wonderful stuff. My personal favorite is Fin-du-Monde, but there is a time and place for Maudite, too (always and anywhere).
Anchor Steam (San Fran) is one of the best beers in the US
Look at the moniker.
Leinie’s Bock, which I don’t believe they make any more, was the beer that convinced me beer was worth drinking.
I can’t get their Original or their Red where I live now, and I yearn for it.
Their Honey Weiss is awesome on a hot day.
Now I’m homesick for Minnesota. Thanks.
I drink Coors Light when I’m out drinking. It stil tastes like beer and has enough water to keep me from getting drunk…and it’s cheap.
I honestly don’t care who makes Blue Moon. It’s a good wheat beer and those are my favorites. Sure, I could buy Hoegaarden instead, but 1) can’t always find it, and 2) why pay more for something that tastes very similar. Even Sam Adams unfiltered wheat is worth a try. Never deny yourself a good beer just based on the distributor. I’ve had many a beer just to find out that AB or Coors distributes it, but it was still damn good.
And why call yourself a beer snob? I, personally, am a beer hobbyist. I find something I haven’t had; I drink it.
As a midwesterner who has lived in a number of states throughout the nation and tried every type of wonderful beer this country has to offer, with notable shout-outs to Three Floyds, Bells, and Ommegang, among many others, I can say without any doubt in my mind that Leinenkugel is the worst large-distribution American beer not nationally advertised by Miller or Busch.
It is awful. So bad I even distinctly remember the first time I tried it. I was at the Minnesota state fair. Drunk. Like Minnesota-state-fair drunk. And yet, it was so terrible that after a sip I poured it out and bought something else for $8. It tasted like urine. I can only think of one other time when I turned down a beer, and it was Natty Ice.
Unquestionably the worst among their stable of terrible, no good, bad beers, is Sunset Wheat. It tastes like citrus Hi-C mixed with cheap beer. I might even try that some day with miller lite and see if I can’t do better.
It’s not snobbery. It’s using your taste buds and olfactory senses in lieu of nostalgia and cultural atavism to determine good v. bad. Lieni’s is worse than bad. It sucks. If its proof of anything, its that capitalism doesn’t work.
Not only am I not surprised by the general revulsion at Leinenkuegel’s crimes against humanity, I am similarly unsurprised by the tenor of those defending them.
As is so often the case with defenses of the indefensible, the posts here in favor of “Leinie’s” are fraught with appeals to tribalism and identity, with refrains of “In spite of everything, you can’t deny that ‘Leinie’s’ has done some good things for the beer drinking public.”
Perhaps so, but I hold that some offenses are unforgivable and I will not accept such apologetics as “their Honey Weiss is good” as an excuse for their Palmolivesque “Wheat Ale.” At some point, we, as a civilization, must draw the line.
Who knows the names of Southern Tier
A friend of mine was the original brewer there.
Wisconsin has some other great microbreweries.
Sprecher is pretty great. There’s another one… in Milkwaukee East Side something? Can’t remember the name. But that’s good too.
Hah, I may not know from politics but talking about liquor..
Lee’s Harvest is a pricey little set, in addition to their regluar ale, they also do up a couple of beers in various whiskey barrels, kind of like scotch whiskeys matured in wine barrels, for those of you who’ve had Balvenie 12yr or Glenmoranige Madeira cask, you know what I’m talking about.
They do a Bourbon Barrel Stout, which is actually a fairly common trick, it makes Imperial Stouts look like pikers, pitch black and choclatey burned flavors.
Their Laguvulin Cask is their star though, it’s something like $9 for a 12oz bottle (making it tied with Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA for most expensive longneck evah) and needs to be cellared before it’s really approachable.
Go find the best big liquor store in the state, or the snobbiest beer bar, (I like the Hop Leaf in Chicago.) and they should at least know where you can get it.
And yes Miller drinkers, there are some crazy people who buy beer to keep in their basement until it’s ready to drink. As I said, Michael D. You haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg yet.
Late to thread, but my .02 – I hate Leinenkugels. Always have. But I visited Wisconsin a few years back, and I can say with authority the Leinenkugels they drink from the tap up there is a great beer. It’s not the same beer-flavored Kool-Aid Miller is marketing.
This review looks pretty stupid on the main page when you can’t even spell the brewery right! Leinenkugels certainly don’t follow the Reinheitsgebot with the additives to their flavored beers, but I enjoy their Berry Weiss on a warm afternoon just as much as a Victory Golden Monkey belgian tripel or a Dogfish head Shelter Pale Ale. Dumping the stuff down the drain is a pretty radical step, especially since its well-made flavorful stuff compared to american-style light lagers (old milwaukee, natural, keystone, etc.)
And FWIW, SABMiller distributes the brand, just like Redhook is a true microbrew but distributed and minority-owned by Anheiser-Busch.
Eveyone’s a snob. Even those who look down on other people for being snobs are expressing their anti-elitist snobbery.
As for beer, just drink whatever you like without worrying about what other people like or what other people will think of you for liking it.
I’ve been a homebrewer for over 20 years and can make “better” beer than about 90% of microbrewery and brewpubs produce. A large number of microbrews are living off marketing ability rather brewers’ skills. (BTW, light lagers ARE harder to brew and less forgiving of imperfections. Bud is correct about that as far as it goes. Its beers are “flawless.” They are just intended to be bland so that isn’t a flaw.)
I prefer a robust brew but if a friend offers me a cheap macrobeer I don’t feel the need to chastise (even silently to myself) him for lack of taste or stinginess, or draw any conclusions about him based on the beer he drinks. But, I do draw conclusions about people based on other aspects of their behavior and attitudes and that is a form of snobbery when you classify or rank people. Snobbery is human nature; we all engage in it in one way or another. Beer is just one of the sillier ways (showing my snobbery against people I think act silly).
This much uninformed crap in one comment thread is as hard to stomach as a honey wheat.
The real story:
Leinie’s is brewed in Chippewa Falls in an exceedingly modern German brewery. Perhaps as modern as I have seen. Miller has dumped a ton of money into the place. That said, there are 40 workers in their gift shop and only about 20 actually brewing the beer. Shows the priorities. They also brew 80,000 bbl/year in the old Val Blatz brewery in Milwaukee. That brewery has only 10 workers, including the janitor. Leinie’s is all about automation.
Leinie’s does brew mostly chick-beer, but they have recently come out with the “Big Eddy” series that is pretty serious stuff. They have an Imperial IPA that is excellent and a new Imperial Porter that is also Hi-Taste and Hi-Test.The Big Butt Doppelbock is not in this series and is as mundane a doppelbock as I have tasted. Truth in labeling ought to apply to that beer…
The Great Taste of the Midwest is on the second Saturday of August, not the first. Tickets go on sale on May 4 and will sell out in less than an hour. There are no on-site sales on the day of the event. So, plan ahead and do it soon. http://www.mhtg.org
The Leinie’s from the tap is exactly the same beer as they bottle.
If your tastes run to Fat Tire, Spotted Cow (from New Glarus), and other low-gravity Kolsh and Wheat beers, you will probably love Leinie’s. Wisconsin craft beer fans tend to not drink the stuff very much, though, as it is not particularly tasty. There are too many great microbreweries and brewpubs in Wisconsin to bother with the major market imitation microbrews.
New Glarus beers are only available in Wisconsin now, but look for that to change. They just put a new 80,000 bbl/year brew-house on line and will no doubt be peddling their suds elsewhere soon. Probably not IL though, as the beer-distributor mafia is pretty strong there and very difficult to deal with. New Glarus makes some great beers. Spotted Cow, Fat Squirrel, Yokel and Totally Naked are not among them.
Point and Huber are the last vestiges of the American regional tasteless lager era in Wisconsin. Huber is just a name now. Ravindar Minhas bought the place recently and it is busy making rivers of ghetto-brew (named Mountain Creek), which they sell for 29 cents a can in case lots. It has been renamed “Minhas Craft Brewing Co.” Unfortunately the only craft in the place is in the name. The beer is the nastiest of swill.
It’s neat to see a few other folks got twigged to a world of better beer by Leinie’s Bock. That was the one that taught me that I didn’t hate beer–I just didn’t like light American Lagers!
It’s been a few years since I gave up drinking, and many years before that since I had leinie’s, but, as I recall their Creamy Northwoods Dark was pretty palatable.
I would add my voicce to the praise of New Glarus.
I really loved James Pages’s Amber Lager for downing on a hot summer’s day. Ditto for their Wild Rice Beer (which I don’t think they brew anymore).
I could go on and on, but y’all get the picture.
ParagonPark, that’s interesting that light lagers are so hard to make. I’ve noticed that even my favorite craft breweries’ lagers aren’t as good as the better European ones. I love almost all of Summit’s beers, but their Pilsener isn’t as good as even a middle of the road import like Stella Artois. I think American ales stand up to anything I’ve had in the UK. Lagers are a different story. I thought I was completely converted to ales, but a trip to Germany/Austria/Belgium showed me how wonderful really good lagers can be.
I have various vintages of Thomas Hardy’s in storage, along with Sam Adams Triple Bock, go out of the way to find cask pulled ales, and have recently consumed various odd beers such as the belgian tripel/ipa Chouffe Hoblon.
On the other hand, I drink PBR and high life and yuengling all of the time.
Anybody have opinions on Shiner products (Spoetzl Brewery)? I like some of their beers, especially the Shiner Hefeweizen. Any other good breweries in the South/Southwest?
I like Leinenkugels. I expect to be knocking back a few in a couple of months. Point as well. I thought there was an attempt to revive Chief Oshkosh … these are the beers you find in the upper midwest, plus a bunch of small microbreweries. Hey, a pitcher of leinie and a basket of fried cheese curds …
I think American brewers will eventually catch up with European lagers. Lagers are not only more difficult to brew well, they are more expensive because of the need to store (lager) them for long periods of time and they, according to some people, have shorter shelf lifes than ales.
So, since lagers are more difficult and more more expensive to produce, microbrewers mostly lack huge capital resources and topnotch transportation and distribution resources it makes sense most American microbrewers focused on ales. But, the market will change because of the glut of mediocre ales and the consumer’s never-ending esire for something “new and different” (even if it is not all that new). now that many microbreweries have succeeded they will be able to invest in the cold storage facilities needed for lagers (and the rising cost of hops if it persists might be another reason to look at lagers whicvh are generally (although they don’t have to be) less hoppy than ales (Of course, heavy-handed overhopping is probably the biggest sin in the American microbrew industry and it DOES hide flaws by overwhelming the taste buds, so maybe the hop prices will force some ale brewers to make better beers too.)
Here in Wisconsin we are blessed with a wide range of beer choices. So much so that it is impossible to give every beer a chance (two solid weeks of trying each beer in different settings such as with food or outside enjoying the three days of summer.) Most of us eventually settle for a few brands and stay brand loyal (which is important since Wisconsin has a healthy per capita beer consumption, possibly the highest in the States.)
My favorite right now is almost any product from New Glarus. Like a lot of Wisconsin breweries, New Glarus is run by owners who not only like beer, but have a sense of humor. They tend to name the seasonal beers with odd names (one of the beers used the words “Road Kill” in the name) and try to not only make them tasty, but distictive.
Yes, I know there are plenty of good beers out there. But so far, I have only had time to explore Wisconsin. In about ten years, after I have tried all the beers in the state, I will move on to Michigan.
Gerald Curl, Celis makes some decent beers. I recently had a pretty good beer at a spring training game while visiting Tucson, a Nimbus Brewing Company Red Ale. Other than that, I don’t know many Texas or Southwestern breweries.
Man, you said it. It seems to be most pronounced in the Pale Ale category and yes, IPAs. I’m aware that the origianl India Pale Ales were intentionally hopped up to beat the band, but I’m curious as to how much they mellowed after seven unrefrigerated months in the hold of some ship. I don’t think anybody has tried to market a beer which tastes like the IPAs the British Soldiers quaffed.
I’ll second that shout-out to Stone Brewery in San Diego. Arrogant Bastard Ale’s some pretty good shit.
In Phoenix, you’ve got Four Peaks and Sonora for good local microbrews, but not much else. Fun fact: The big, noisy beer joint right outside the D’Back’s ballpark (what’s it called these days? oh yeah, Chase Field) was originally a Leinenkugel’s (now it’s called something else, too). Only time I’ve ever drank Leinenkugel. Meh.
I know it’s elitist of me to say, but: de gustibus non disputandum, for the most part, anyway. My Midwest-raised mom only drinks stuff like Miller Lite, and dislikes the beers I prefer like Fat Tire and Anchor Steam.
Still — Michelob Ultra? That stuff is vile, like Hamm’s or Old Style, only worse.
My dear-departed dad (truck driver and factory worker) lived on cases of Carling Black Label, PBR, and Stroh’s (never like PBR myself — Stroh’s was good, and Carling ok). Dad never drank Coors cuz of the union thing. Good for him.
And DougJ: hailing from Cleveland originally, I’m well-acquainted with steel mills (father-in-law worked in one down in The Flats for 35 years) and factories of all sorts (many are mixed in on residential streets — worked in two of those myself in the old neighborhood, one that did plastic extrusion and another that made bolts and nuts) but I never heard tell of a “steel factory”.
My current countertops are granite — Verde in the kitchen and Juparana Gold in the bathrooms.
And right now my favorite lager is Steinlager, out of New Zealand, of all places. Don’t like it that they cheat you with those 330 ml bottles, though.
God, I just assumed this was a Tim post. We just had a Lieney tasting at my bar last Friday. It sucks.
Good point about the aging affect, especially since in those days it was transported in oak casks, but the bigger difference in hoppiness is probably due to the fact American IPA brewers usually use American hops (and more of them) such as Cascades and chinooks rather than British hops which tend to be less acrid and grassy. IPA is a high hop style because the hops are a natural preservative but traditional IPS were in the 35-60 IBU range and some of the American versions are well over 60 and the DIPAs even over 100. It’s that “American mindset” that more and bigger equals better that is the real culprit.
Also, with beer that is stored like that for a long time the alcohol level is increased more by the prolonged fermetation in the cask rather than the use of highly fermentable malts which will reach high attenuation much quicker prior to bottling. On the other hand, the long voyage and temperature fluctuations probably made “real” IPA a lot less consistent than what we get today
It’s gotten to be almost a contest as who can market the “biggest” beers in terms of alcohol and/or hops and/or outre weirdness rather who can craft a truly balanced beer. I figure it’s a phase as the industry is still relatively immature and the brewers who make it for the long haul will be (in addition to the best businessmen, for better or worse) those who realize consistent quality will survive when gimmicks come and go in quick succession.
There is definitely a big market for overhopped beers. I would guess you might find Surly Furious overhopped, but I love the stuff. My very favorite beers have very big flavors, but they have a decent balance between the malts and the hops.
Have you guys considered that Michael D is a parody troll? Think about it:
– He copped to trolling us once already, on the fair tax embarassment. (“Me and my coworkers were laughing SO HARD at you guys! Gotcha!”)
– He claimed a while back he stopped drinking (after recounting a barely-believable tale of woe), then started posting about beer.
– He claims to be a beer snob and then said he likes Sam Adams.
This may be the first major blog to let a parody troll actually post on the front page. JC, thank you, you’ve made blogging history.
You are soooo saying what I wished I would’ve heard before. As it turns out, alcohol and my system don’t get along to well, so I just stopped drinking a few years ago. No more inflamed pancreas = good times.
I do miss being a beer geek though (which I was more of than a “snob” per se I’ll give anything a shot).
I mentioned it briefly upthread, but my favorite “balanced beer” was James Page’s Amber Lager, enough malt and hops to satisfy the geeks, but smooth and rounded enough to not overwhelm everyday beer drinkers. It always went over very well even at keg parties.
I think James PAge is only about a third the size of Summit, so I don’t think they are too widely available outside MN and WI, but if you see one, I say give ’em a shot.
He claims to be gay but he drinks high-carb regular beer. A real gay man would spend those carbs on fruity mixed drinks, or just forgo the extra calories altogether.
Based upon over 30 years of intensive research, the following are the only criteria for a truly great beer. Since the two may be mutually exclusive, these apply whether you are a beer snob or a working man.
1) Over 5.7%.
2) Under 35 degrees F upon opening(pull tab).
3) Under $11 a case (used to be $10, adjusted for Bush-flation.
Anything else, you’re all just blowin’ Balloon Juice, if ya know what I mean, and I think ya do.
Boh Ice – From the Land of Pleasant Living. Nectar of the Gods. Cheers.
I like the Shiner brews. The Shiner Black is really good as well.
I have been a Shiner fan since I was in college many years ago, starting with the basic lager, which was a bit rough but distinctive with a taste of honey. Shiner Bock won me over for good.
I enjoyed reading the comments but must put in some love for the Pennsylvania microbreweries, particularly the Appalachian Brewing Company of Harrisburg PA. Still haven’t met a stout I like better than ABC’s Susquehanna Stout. Lancaster Brewing Co gets honorable mention; their Milk Stout and Strawberry Wheat are also favorites of mine.
What is it with fruity beers, anyway? Aside from the occasional shandy when it’s really, really hot, I just don’t get it.
Michael D you are not a beer connaisseur. Not even close. In fact I am going out on the limb here and saying you are a dumb ass. There I feel a lot better. By the way smart one it is spelt L E I N E N K U G E L S. It is not made by Miller but is owned by Miller there is a difference. Miller allows L E I N E N K U G E L S to brew by it’s family recipes under it’s supervision. Get a life!!!
leinenkugel’s creamy dark is the best beer i’ve tasted in a long time ! doesn’t taste like chemicals like bud or some of those other beers that taste like distilled alcohol .been to germany and all over and this beer meets the standards . in my opinion !!!