InglesBräu – Column 3

WHO PISSED ON MY CARDBOARD?!?!?
(oh, and we’re moving to the other side)

Week 3. Suck it, left side.

All right – we’re kind of done with the left side of the cooler. I swear – if I have to drink one more freaking Highland crap (crapft?) brew or a Leinenkugel ANYTHING, I’m going to need to start drinking scotch to keep me from doing something rash, sans clothes, up and down Haywood Road. So, we’ve decided that next week, we’ll start on the right side. We might move back and forth – but, we’re taking a vacation from the left side. This week, with reasonably little exception, was a disappointment. And that Highland Pilsner? Jeebus…

Anyhoo – the list of liver-busters this week:

#1 – BeerGarten Tart, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Chippewa Falls, WI

#2 – Pacifico, Crown Imports, Chicago IL

#3 – Pilsner, Highland Brewing Company, Asheville NC

#4 – Torpedo,  Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico CA & Asheville NC

#5 – Blue Paddle, New Belgium Brewing, Ft. Collins CO & Asheville NC

#6 – Summer Shandy, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Chippewa Falls, WI

1 decent beer out of six isn’t bad, I guess. Really? Summer Shandy? There’s a wide, wild world of great beers out there – WHY, OH WHY does anyone want to drink some of this garbage? I’m ready to singe my tastebuds off in order to avoid having to drink more crap “beer.” Another week like this, and I may have to hang up my pint glass. Or – move to the other side.

Also – a side note. Cade doesn’t do the overall score the same way as James. James goes for a legit average of his scores, while Cade gives the final score as an overall score. It makes the math weird, but – hell, we’re kinda drunk.

Cheers!

Asheville North Carolina Beer Reviews
1

BeerGarten Tart

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Chippewa Falls, WI

2

Pacifico

Crown Imports

Chicago IL

3

Pilsner

Highland Brewing Company

Asheville NC

4

Torpedo

Sierra Nevada Brewing

Chico CA & Asheville NC

5

Blue Paddle

New Belgium Brewing

Ft. Collins CO & Asheville NC

6

Summer Shandy

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Chippewa Falls, WI

#1 – BeerGarten Tart, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Chippewa Falls, WI

James Says

This 4.8% ABV “beer” tastes like an over-the-hill, chilled and brought a boil in a microwave and then cooled again beer.

One time, me and my buddy The Injun helped clean up the coolers at a convenience store where his cousin worked. We found several beers that had rolled under the racks and sat for many moons. I seem to recall a couple of Black Labels that were probably manufactured the last time the Islanders won the Stanley Cup. Stale, pissy, sour and gross. We were 15, maybe – so we had an excuse. This stuff, though – I paid good money for this stuff.

In it’s defense, the Beergarten Sour WAS smooth and easy to drink – so you could drink a lot of them. Not sure why you’d want to, though. Packaging is as dull as the content is bad. Pass.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 30
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 20
Overall Drinkability - 40
Packaging Appeal - 30
Overall Score - 30

Cade Says

An anomaly, a glitch in the Matrix, whatever – this stuff doesn’t feel like it should exist. There’s some sort of dark aura to it underneath the sunshiney, piss-yellow label. It’s unlike anything I’ve tried before, and I’m not too sure I’m a fan. It smells a bit more like cider than beer, but a cider that has been sitting out for a few days in the hot sun. It tastes almost like watered down cider with a dash of citric acid, but it’s unmistakably a beer. It’s drinkable, it’s smooth, but it’s not particularly pleasant. It’s not terrible, but it almost feels sinister. This beer’s the kind of beer to jump you at an ATM. Don’t trust it.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 40?
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 0
Overall Drinkability - 50
Packaging Appeal - 10
Overall Score - 30
30

Combined Score

#2 – Pacifico, Crown Imports, Chicago IL

James Says

To the one true God above, here is my prayer. Not the first you’ve heard, but the first I wrote. Not the first, but the others were a long time ago. There are two beers here, and I want you to kill them.

Shellac references aside, this one is only slightly better than Corona. 4.5% ABV, so you can’t even play the “I’m just drinking it to get drunk” card. I guess if I had the choice between a six of this and a six of Corona, I’d go for Pacifico. Blagh! Packaging is as dull as a curling iron.

Please, Lord – save us from crappy beers. Amen.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 8
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 10
Overall Drinkability - 20
Packaging Appeal - 35
Overall Score - 18.25

Cade Says

It’s like Corona without the skunk. It’s not good. I’m starting to get curious if these beers are created solely to be paired with Mexican cuisine, because they really aren’t doing it for me. Am I missing something? It’s marginally better than the Corona, but I don’t think I’ll be touching this one again.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 5
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 0
Overall Drinkability - 5
Packaging Appeal - 10
Overall Score - 5
11.6

Combined Score

#3 – Pilsner, Highland Brewing Company, Asheville NC

James Says

Weighing in at 5.5%ABV, this beer was a massive disappointment. First thing that came to mind was piss and cardboard. Not a good combo, unless that’s your thing. I’m not judging – people do weird stuff all the time.

The packaging – and this is hard to do – is easily the worst I’ve seen. Come on Highland. I mean, maybe they’re giving this one the redheaded step-child treatment and giving it the absolute worst wrap they can imagine. Highland, are you angry with this beer? Are you punishing it with this label? I can’t say I’d blame you. This beer deserves abuse.

Really, Highland? Is this the best you can do?

Highland Pilsner
How Tasty is the Stuff? - 15
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 15
Overall Drinkability - 20
Packaging Appeal - 2
Overall Score - 13

Cade Says

A swing and a miss. After trying Highland’s IPA, my hopes for their later offerings were at an all-time high (still fairly low). But, man, this stuff’s foul. I honestly don’t know how to put the taste of it any better than piss-soaked cardboard. It’s gross. Maybe we got a bad batch. Maybe my tastebuds are backwards. Maybe I’m just bad at beer. All I know is, this is one of the worst craft beers I’ve had. I’d rather buy a sixer of PBR. Eugh.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 10
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 0
Overall Drinkability - 10
Packaging Appeal - 5
Overall Score - 10
11.5

Combined Score

#4 – Torpedo, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico CA & Asheville NC

James Says

NOW WE’RE TALKING! 7.2%ABV, so it packs a little bit of a punch – but not at the sacrifice of drinkability. VERY hoppy (you’d expect that from a double IPA,) with pine and citrus notes. Medium-bodied so you know you’re drinking it, and tasty enough that you’re going to want another. The packaging is so-so, but I can easily see myself picking this stuff up on the regular. I really dug the Rampant and the Kona Castaway IPA, but this one is now positioned above those 2 excellent beers.

See? I’m not just a dick writing bad beer reviews!

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 90
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 100
Overall Drinkability - 95
Packaging Appeal - 70
Overall Score - 88.75

Cade Says

Hell yeah. This stuff rules. I honestly think this is the best beer I’ve had from the Ol’ Ingles Cooler yet. Piney, fruity, crisp, hoppy, and delicious. It’s SUPER drinkable – I almost drank half the bottle in one chug without realizing it. I love this shit. 7.2% ABV, too, so it’s good for gettin’ your buzz on while not being strong enough to push you over the edge of sloppiness. This stuff makes me wanna hop on the mower with a bottle (or two (or three)) in hand.

But I won’t.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 100
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 100
Overall Drinkability - 100
Packaging Appeal - 90
Overall Score - 95
91.1

Combined Score

#5 – Blue Paddle, New Belgium Brewing, Ft. Collins CO & Asheville NC

James Says

Well. It’s certainly a beer. Almost completely unremarkable. Not bad, not great. 4.8%ABV “Czech Style Pilsener.” Malty and clean – with a little bit of a berry note. Not sure what’s up with the name. I’m sure I could look it up, but – frankly – I don’t have near enough interest. If this was served at a party, I’d be plenty happy – but I’m not going looking for this stuff. Smooth and very drinkable – but that also sort of means “devoid of flavor” in this case. In it’s defense – this is WAAAAAAAY better than Pacifico or Corona. Packaging is meh, but I’ve come to see that as New Belgium’s brand.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 50
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 30
Overall Drinkability - 85
Packaging Appeal - 50
Overall Score - 53.75

Cade Says

It’s beer! Drink this if you don’t like anything but Blue Paddle!

In all honesty, it’s not bad at all. It’s just not even remotely remarkable. It tastes like what the inside of a taproom smells like. Beer. I wouldn’t be at all offended if someone gave me a bottle of it, but I don’t think I’ll ever find myself desperately searching for this beer. It’s aight.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 60
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 10
Overall Drinkability - 80
Packaging Appeal - 60
Overall Score - 60
56.5

Combined Score

#6 – Summer Shandy, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Chippewa Falls, WI

James Says

OK, real funny, guys – who pissed in my lemonade?

I mean, I guess it’s all right for what it is – but is this a beer column or a funky lemonade column? 4.8% ABV (although I actually suspect WAY less,) so you’d have to drink a gang of these to be drunk enough to forget that you drank a gang of these. It IS super-drinkable, which is good. I wanted this one over fast.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 30
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 10
Overall Drinkability - 60
Packaging Appeal - 30
Overall Score - 32.5

Cade Says

What’s up with Leinenkugel’s? Why do their beers taste like their focus groups are comprised of children who only drink Kool-Aid? NONE OF THESE ARE BEERS!! They’re impostors! Frauds! Phonies! And I can’t even say that I hate them!

This is a great drink if you really dislike beer but don’t want to feel left out at a party. It tastes like watered down, malty lemonade. I don’t know It’s not bad! It’s just.. not what I want from a beer! At all! No thanks.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 45
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 0
Overall Drinkability - 70
Packaging Appeal - 30
Overall Score - 40
36.25

Combined Score

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