20 December 2009

Atwater Block Brewery Michigan Lager

Atwater Block Brewery Michigan Lager (bottle)
Detroit, MI
Unknown ABV

So I'm trying to drink some beers that aren't necessarily in my normal range of enjoyable styles, just trying to stretch the palate a little. Atwater Block Brewing is best known for making Kid Rock's branded beer, so needless to say I wasn't exactly excited to give this one a whirl around the tongue.

I looked it up on BA prior to tasting it, and found it's a Vienna Lager. Since I've got a homebrewed Vienna Lager in my garage right now (it's, er, lagering at the moment) and Sam Adams Boston Lager is a Vienna, the style has mostly positive associations for me. Viennas tend to have more caramel and malt complexity than an adjunct lager (or even an all-malt lager like Brooklyn Lager), and they tend to be a bit more layered in aroma and overall character.

How does this one stack up? Well, as a Vienna it seems a bit weak. You can taste the corn adjuncts (especially as the beer warms) and there's none of that delicious caramel maltiness that I expect from the style. But as an answer to the big macros, this is actually pretty nice: it has a citrus character in the nose and the flavor that was unexpected but far from unpleasant. It finishes clean and has a bit more hoppy complexity than you'd expect from a general-issue lager.

Would I buy this again? Actually, yeah -- it's far from amazing but it's a decent beer that proves Detroit can make a lager that stands up next to anything the macros can offer. It's not a beer-geek kinda beer, but I'd hand this to someone used to macros knowing that it'd at least be consumed.

But as a replacement for Sam Adams... are you kidding me?

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