I was at the highly acclaimed, world renowned Morris Beer store Thursday. I passed the craft beer shelves and opted to check out the big coolers in the back. That’s where all the domestics are housed. This visit was to choose a brewski for the Friday Brew review, namely a well-known, cheap, mass produced beer typically under a buck a beer.
Jeeze, it was like a Budweiser convention in there. Then there were the Coors and Miller constituents taking up flanking positions. Nope and nope. Maybe some other time. I did notice some refrigerated Michelob craft beers which I’ve had and reviewed.
I slowed down my scanning and started spotting singularities which interested me. Should I go Canadian? Or should I… wait, I spotted an old familiar name. Latrobe Brewing Company, St. Louis, Missouri. I grabbed the sixpack of Rolling Rock and checked out the label. Hmm. Rolling Rock Extra Pale. Man, I really hope this isn’t some bastard cousin of the India Pale Ales. Nah. I don’t think most blue collar working stiffs would tolerate that after a hard day at work. I had hoped that the words were there to describe the color of the beer.
At the checkout, I paid a paltry $5.29 for these six ugly green bottles of pale fermentation. I had some qualms about the green bottles knowing and experiencing what light can do to beer. But, ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.
I took a personal day off from work on Friday to take a trip to the nearest homebrew store which was about 32 miles away (I got lost only once on the way there.)… (And once on the way back.) I had received a deluxe home beer brewing kit for Christmas and I needed a few things for the big homebrew debut next Saturday when I make my first batch of homemade beer in the kitchen. This homebrewing experience will afford me the luxury of tasting each individual beer ingredient first hand and also provide me with an education into the science of zymurgy. And it just may give me tons of stuff to write about and post right here.
Friday night came and the clock on the menu bar signified beer time. I felt the digital telepathic time suggestion at precisely the same moment my tongue flopped out onto the keyboard. I went grabbed the first Rock out of the fridge before my tongue dried out completely.
I poured the green bottle contents into the clear mug. The head came up and settled to about a half-inch and it was nice and thick but dissipated rather quickly, in about a minute. The liquid was a very yellow color with a moderate amount of slow rising mini-bubbles. It was like watching an upside down snowfall. There was hardly any smell at the rim of the glass and I knew right then this wasn’t a pale ale or anything like that. I wondered just how good can this cheap beer be? Let’s try it.
Hmm… it’s a little odd. Not a bad odd nor a good odd. It just tasted different. The beer is light and had a pleasant feel in the mouth with just a tinge of flavor going down. But then it was gone! Just like that. It was as if I hadn’t tasted any beer at all. It’s so hard for me to describe in text this taste sensation. In the middle part of the sip, the flavor tantalized the tongue, but as the beer went down, there was a definite lack of what was there before. Almost like a bait and switch. My Old Milwaukee Light housebeer has more flavor than this.
Man, what a disappointment. Each sip started out tasting like it’s going to be good and then Blap! There’s nothing in the end. It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s just nothing. Like hot dog water. It’s neither soup nor hot dog. That’s it. Rolling Rock is the hot dog water of beer. It’s neither water nor beer. It’s in between.
If offered a Rock at a party or festive gathering, I’d certainly not turn it down and would drink one of these over a Bud Light if that was all there was. But later, when the host wasn’t looking, I’d surreptitiously steal a glimpse of the fridge contents to see what, if any other choices there might be. You may want to try one. Go ahead; it’s certainly not bad. Just don’t expect a whole helluva lot. It’s cold, yellow, foamy and bubbly so it’s beer. However you want to spin that.