The Brew Site

American Macro Week: Rainier

Rainier is an American classic, there’s no two ways about it—one of the Pacific Northwest icons. Whether you remember the great commercials of the ’70s, or the giant "R" on top of the brewery itself, it’s hard not to look fondly upon this beer.

These days, Rainier is a product of Pabst (which in itself is a beer marketing company… its beers are contracted elsewhere).

I wasn’t able to find this in 24-ounce cans, but I did find it by the six-pack: six 16-ounce cans for $3.99 at a local supermarket. It’s 4.72% alcohol by volume.

Appearance: Pale golden yellow, though a bit darker than the others. Head—white and a bit thin. It’s fairly still—there’s no "bubbly" effect.

Smell: Toasted corn, barest hint of soap. A little mineral-y.

Taste: Cracked corn grains—not cooked corn indicating DMS though. A little grassy wheat and something that’s puckery (but not sour)… a dry note.

Mouthfeel: A bit harsh in the mouth, an unrefined pucker factor. Sharp edged. Otherwise it’s light-bodied with a prickly carbonation.

The verdict: More of a bite that the others so far, but that’s not necessarily a good thing… cheap and rough in a "roadhouse" kind of way, which does have a certain appeal but it’s not the first of these that I’d reach for (without a sense of irony)—but certainly not the last either.

"Roadhouse beer." I like that.

On BeerAdvocate, there are 19 reviews grading it D+. On RateBeer, it scores 1.77 out of 5 and is in their 4th percentile… the highest so far from them on these beers.