The Brew Site

American Macro Week: Olympia

Olympia is another old-school brand revived by Pabst (and brewed by Miller); it was one of the most popular Pacific Northwest beers back in the day. The brewery was located in Tumwater, Washington, and their big claim to success: "It’s the water."

This is a classic, for sure, but they don’t package it in 24-ounce cans. Instead I picked up a six-pack of 16-ounce cans (like the Rainier I bought).

The beer is 4.73% alcohol by volume. "Oly" for short.

Appearance: Light "dirty gold" color, very clear and still after initial pour. White head is choppy and breaks apart quickly.

Smell: This is the first I’ve noticed a prominent hop aroma… at its base is a beery smell, slightly stale, moderately corny.

Taste: Swear to god, this tastes like 70’s Americana! Soft water profile accentuated by sweet corn notes and toasted cereal. The nose of hops I noticed is absent in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: A little rough on the palate, but it has a satisfying body even though it’s light.

The verdict: Another American/Pacific Northwest classic, this is the beer my father drank and that I have fond memories of… seemed like it disappeared for awhile, but you know what? I’m glad it’s still around. It’s a little rough, sure, but there are no pretenses here… it’s quite frankly better than most of the rest of these, and I’d place it near the top of my list.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores a grade of C-. On RateBeer, it scores 1.65 out of 5 and is in their 3rd percentile.