The Brew Site

Genesee Beer

I’ve still got a backlog of beer reviews that I may yet get around to posting (even though straight beer reviews simply contribute to the sorry state of beer blogging) but I thought this review would dovetail nicely in with the latest Session regarding regular beer: it hits two of my three markers for “regular beer” because in some parts of the country it’s a canned lager, absolutely “regular,” while for other parts (like Central Oregon) it’s definitely an unusual find.

Of course I’m talking about Genesee Beer, which you already knew from the title of this post and that picture on the right. Genesee Brewing hails from Rochester, New York, and while I’ve long been aware of it’s somewhat iconic (ironic?) status (Genny Cream being held as a long-time example of the American Cream Ale), I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Genesee of any kind being available in Oregon.

How and where I found it is completely random, too: back in November my father, brother and I made a quick day trip to Portland to visit an ailing family friend. On the way back, we stopped in Madras for a restroom break, at the Chevron gas station and minimart at the south end of town. While waiting for the restroom I was idly eyeballing the beer case, as I do, and was stunned to see those 24-ounce cans of Genny Beer. And for only 99 cents, no less! I couldn’t let an opportunity like that pass me by, so I bought two.

This is a pretty standard light American lager: 4.5% alcohol by volume, brewed with corn. The Genesee website says this was first brewed in 1878. In the end, it did not disappoint: who can argue with finding a New York beer at such an affordable price that (for all I know) cannot be found anywhere else in Oregon?

Appearance: Clear, golden yellow, decent white head that piles up nicely.

Smell: Clean, minerally, barest hint of grain huskiness.

Taste: Light, thin, clean, with a sweet corn character and minimal grassiness.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp and fairly smooth.

Overall: Better canned pale lager than most macros I’ve tried out there.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of C. On RateBeer, it scores 1.75 out of 5 and is in their 2nd percentile.