I always told you we’re not only a craft beer blog! If it’s beer, The Brew Club will try it! Sometimes this works out, and sometimes I just have to take one for the team.
Case in point, the Latrobe Brewing Rolling Rock Extra Pale Beer. I was actually happy to review this beer initially because like the Bass Ale, Rolling Rock was my ‘go-to’ beer when I was looking to have a lager instead of a ‘fancy’ beer like Bass. 😉 (This was before my beer exploration days with The Brew Club)
Apparently Rolling Rock was owned by the brewing giant InBev, and it was purchased by Anheuser Busch in 2006 and the brewing process was moved from Pennsylvania to AB’s Newark, New Jersey facility. As we all know, InBev later acquired Anheuser Busch which brought the Rolling Rock label back into the InBev fold. It seems more recently, InBev is again looking to sell its Rolling Rock brand! Sweet story.
Speaking of labels… The Rolling Rock bottles were always a little different in that they are green which is less common than brown or even clear I think. The label, if you can call it that, is still painted on and it not a sticker. The interesting part of the label reads “Rolling Rock – From the glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe, we tender this premium beer for your enjoyment as a tribute to your good taste. It comes from the mountain springs to you.” … “33”
There’s lots of speculation what the ’33’ means. Some think it refers to the year prohibition was repealed, but others say it’s the number of characters in the quoted slogan above. Very mysterious indeed. Still, I feel like I somehow made a good choice picking the Rolling Rock to drink because of my good taste in beer – it says so right there on the label! It also says on the label its from Latrobe, but we now know its from Newark.
So, lets check out the beer.
Pouring the Rolling Rock, it looks like a regular pale beer, typical macro lager style. Very clear light golden color with a crisp white fizzy head that soon disappeared.
Regarding the smell, again, quite typical. If you’ve smelled a macro lager before, this will not shock you in any way. It might come off a little sweet and there is some faint hops in there, but its been so long since I’ve had a Bud or a Coors its hard for me to make a comparison for you. Still, nothing really special, but nothing horrible. Kind of how water isn’t offensive.
Drinking this Anheuser Busch Lager, there was some sweetness like in the smell, but overall the flavor was simply the bland beeryness that people have come to associate with American beer. At first I was thinking “OK, it isn’t so bad” but I found myself liking the beer less and less as I drank it.
So, there you have it. I admit Rolling Rock was my American Lager of choice before The Brew Club. I used to like the beer, but now I don’t think I’d have it again. There’s three reasons why I could be giving this beer 1.5 stars. A) It actually sucks? B) I’ve grown spoiled? C) Maybe it was somehow better in years past when it was brewed in Pennsylvania than it is in Newark?
Really. Is the water the same? What about the glass-lined tanks? Did they make the move? I remember liking this beer. Anyone else think the Rolling Rock was better years ago, or did it always suck?