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Colorado Native Lager - AC Golden Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Colorado Native LagerColorado Native Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

162 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.56%
Wants: 9
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
AC Golden Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Domingo on 04-05-2010)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Borlando89
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of MaddDogg84
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of woodychandler
4.8/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I CAN't remember who sent this to me, but it makes another fine addition to The CANQuest (TM)! Merci beaucoup. The Old Lady lives in CO, but she isn't a native, nor did she send it to me. 8=( Miss ya, gal.

From the CAN: "Available only in Colorado" (hee hee); "Born Brewed & Shared Local"; "Discover an Amber Lager that is crisp, clean and unmistakably Colorado"; "Colorado Proud. Better for you. Better for Colorado."

The Crack & Glug produced two tawny fingers of rocky head with moderate retention. Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Nose was MUCH hoppier than I expected, very piney and very welcome. Mouthfeel was medium with a caramel malt and pine hops flavor intermingling on the tongue. Finish was more like an APA than anything else, malty, hoppy, the best of both worlds. Gimme some more! This definitely goes in my cooler if I CAN score some more. Do they have beaches in CO?

This is a lager?!? Made by the AC Golden Brewing Co. of Golden, CO, eh? Who's zoomin' who here, boys? I have long said that given their (unspoken) expertise and having tried some of the beers during the GABF at The Rockpile, like the (unnamed) Rauschbier, they should refocus on making quality craft beers, especially for a CAN.

Photo of TheOldMachines
4.75/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of Jkirk790
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of vosmith3
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of LittleDon
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was ready to hate on this beer, given its association with megabrewer Coors, but that was impossible to do after the first few sips. Great head retention and lace particularly for a bottled beer. The aroma is malty and honeyed, what you might expect from a cloudy amber brew. A surprisingly soft start, despite the amount of carbonation shown when poured. Chewy body and great balance between the malt and hops. Long bitter finish. I'm sorry for only having brought one bottle back from CO.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Colorado Native has been out for months now. Its success has been remarkable. It currently outsells Fat Tire 6pks in our store 3 to 1. I recently realized that after enjoying so many 6pks of Colorado Native, I somehow failed to review it. Maybe I was just avoiding a difficult subject, maybe I thought my friendship with the brewers of this beer meant I should remain silent, maybe I've had a few drinks and I'm feeling ornery. Regardless, tonight I've got something to say.

Colorado Native is a surprisingly unique beer. Two things seem to draw immediate attention from most drinkers. The first is that Colorado Native is brewed with 100% Colorado ingredients. I think this is a really cool idea and an excellent way to highlight the potential for hop production here in Colorado. The second is that Colorado Native is "brewed by Coors." This is an easy knock to apply to the beer. Beer geeks love few things more than ripping on BMC producers. While there are certainly valid reasons for beer drinkers to express frustration with brewers like Coors, this particular claim is both confused and irrelevant.

To say that this beer is made by Coors is a half truth that doesn't tell the whole story. MillerCoors owns AC Golden much like they own Blue Moon, Molson, Leinenkugel and others. They brew on a small 30 barrel system and hand bottle their beer...inside the world's largest commercial brewery, the Coors facility in Golden, CO. If Colorado Native and other AC Golden products are well received and consumer demand grows, these brands may try to go nationwide. If they do that, I would expect to see these beers truly produced by Coors on their much larger equipment. I think the best way to look at AC Golden is as a brand incubator for Coors. Brew unique beer on a small scale and see what people think.

But in the end, I feel that this is a moot point. It is irrelevant. Many Beer Advocates have animosity towards brewers like Coors because they have come to represent the big, bad, multinational corporation out to ruin beer as we know it. If that is how you feel, so be it. You are entitled to your opinion. Me? I only care about how beer makes me feel when I drink it. If I enjoy it, I enjoy it, no matter who makes it. I suspect that deep down this is how most people feel too.

If Bud made beer that more people liked to drink, they wouldn't be part of InBev, they would still be the largest American-owned brewery. But they did not adequately adjust their product mix to satisfy the growing and more profitable segment of the beer market that wants more from their beer. For generations, most Americans wanted a light, fizzy, and above all, inexpensive beer, so that is what brewers brewed. They may have helped drive our opinions with marketing, but in the end, they brewed what they thought most people wanted. If AC Golden is an attempt to brew a new kind of beer for a new and growing subset of the beer market and they brew beer that I want to drink, who the fuck cares who bank rolls them? Good beer is good beer.

Rant over.

Colorado Native pours a light copper body with a bone white head that leaves a patchwork of lacing on my glass.

The nose is unlike any lager I have experienced. It smells like an American Pale Ale, showcasing the Colorado-grown Chinook, Centennial, and Cascade hops it was brewed with. That's right, this is a lager brewed with citrus "C" hops. To me, this is what makes Colorado Native so special.

The flavor is equally as impressive. It opens with toasty, bready malt that leads to a fruity, citrusy, floral hop finish. Bitterness is not too high, it stays true to its Lager roots. But American hop varietals are still at the forefront.

The body is medium to full for the style, the finish long.

Colorado Native is a total session beer. It manages to, "combine the great hop and malt flavors of a pale ale with the soft, delicate features of a lager." This is hands down the best Amber Lager I have tasted. If more Lagers tasted like this maybe Lager wouldn't be the curse word it appears to have become in the Craft Beer community. And maybe if the big boys brewed more beer like this, we wouldn't care so much about words like Craft.

Photo of VFRAZ
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of pauldevay
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of hwwty4
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother in law for bringing me a sixer of this.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint. This beer pours a golden caramel with a decent 2 inch head that quickly disappears even though the glass has a nucleation point. Just a bit of wispy lacing is left as I drink the beer. The aroma is good. Up front is a nice malt backbone with caramel and toast. A nice hop aroma is also present. I'm surprised with a bit of grapefruit and lemon. The flavor is much the same. Straight forward with a nice bready background and hops up front. Nothing muddling, straight forward. Nice and clean. Really tasty. Coors has done a really good job with this beer. I'm looking forward to seeing what else they put out.

Photo of dhbiker0889
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of GFD400
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #40 (May 2010):

With crystal brassy color, this bold-looking brew has a head that reaches over the top of the glass. Delicate hops enter the nose with suggestions of lemon, wildflowers and mandarin oranges, and bump into a fresh-cut grass maltiness. This lager brings some body, smooth- ness and full-on clean graininess straight at your taste buds. Dry throughout, it's very malty with toasted bread and dried grass flavors. Hops not only balance, but also leave a signifi- cant level of flavor lingering in the dry, grainy aftertaste.

Clean, balanced, semi-complex and easy to drink. Yeah, they are walking the walk here. We live for exceptional lagers that jump out of the bottle and get all up in your palate.

Photo of indiapaleale
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - dark golden in appearance with nice orange, brown and yellow hues. Very clean and clear with small bubbles streaming upwards and forming a good inch of thick, creamy white and foamy goodness. Looks very inviting.

Aroma - bread dough, biscuity, malty, caramel and a bit of apple combine with some citrusy hop aromas as well.

Taste - plenty of malt characteristics come out at first, this is sweet with some brown sugar flavors on the tongue. The sweetness is then followed immediately by a sharp, dry and bitter finish. Very crisp and refreshing...which is what I'd like to have in a lager. Very smooth and well-rounded with no off flavors. Instead this hits all the marks and comes together extremely well.

Overall - very impressive. I had my reservations at first but the folks at AC Golden have done a great job with this lager. I can't help but think that the packaging only improves upon something that was already well above par. If you live in Colorado definitely give this one a shot.

Would I buy more of it? - yes. I would be happy to get a 12-pack of this from time to time to stock the fridge or cooler this summer. This is an easy drinking, refreshing lager that would make both the craft beer enthusiast and the casual beer drinker very, very happy.

Photo of mentor
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a half finger of off white (lightly tan) head over a brilliant orange-light amber liquid. Smells fruity hoppy with a mild biscuity malt character way underneath. Hop aromas were oranges, mild lemon, tropical punch, and cherry sweet-tart.

Tastes wonderful. Light malt, strong hop flavor, and clean hop bitter that is crisp at the end like you get in a good czech pils. Each of these dimensions is balanced with the others, though the carbonation makes too strong of an acrid sting (so, swirl the beer to address that concern). Malt is mostly bready sweet with a hint of light-colored caramel. Hop flavor is lemony, earthy, grapefruit pithy, and a light hint of basil sweet. The pith works quite well with the clean hop bitter. By the end of the glass, the beer is coming across as quite hoppy bitter, almost to the point of minerally. I wonder if the brewer added calcium carbonate during the mash. The aftertaste sees a reappearance of the malt sweet. Md light body and very drinkable (keep in mind that I'm quite a hop-head).

Photo of puboflyons
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served to me at a hotel bar in Colorado from a bottle marked Dec2412-B106113523. Sampled on September 7, 2012.

It pours a beautiful medium to dark amber with reddish hues and long lasting off-white to cream colored head.

Loads of sweet aroma on the nose including caramel malts and molasses.

The body about medium and smooth.

The taste is similar to the aroma with a significant upfront sweetness that evolves into a moderate hopped bitterness that lingers dryly at the finish.

Skeptics, don't let the name Coors taint your decision to try this beer.

Photo of weizenbob
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 12 ounce twist-cap bottle was received in a trade with jmkratt. Thanks John. I could not locate a bottle date or consume by date.

Yes, the AC Golden Company is another Coors smoke and mirrors brand, which makes it yet another beer brewed under the authority of the big three while masquerading as a craft brew. Still, I'm willing to give this the benefit of the doubt for a few reasons. According to the AC Golden website, all of the ingredients in this lager are local to Colorado, from the "rocky mountain" water to the barley, to the hops, to the supposedly oldest lager yeast strain known in the state. Also, as of now, this beer is only sold in Colorado. So it really does have a local feel to it, harkening back to a time when large breweries were large regional breweries. Plus I have to admit; Coors' Blue Moon brand is my favorite pseudo-craft brew.

This bottle was poured into a Pilsner glass. A standard pour gives me a huge four-finger off-white head. Head retention is not terribly fantastic. Lacing is spotty. The copper tint of this brew assures me that it's not simply a repackaged version of banquet Coors. The carbonation is very much visibly active through the glass. Dare I say it's the best looking lager I've seen from an American macro brewery?

Continuing the pleasant surprise is the treat that this beer is in the nose. Are those...hops?! Yup! Fresh hop aromas leap from the glass and greet the nose. I snickered a bit when I read the ingredients list online: Chinook, centennial and cascade hops. Against all odds, the hops are definitely accounted for. Aside from the fresh flowery hop aromas, there is a substantial maltiness in the nose as well as the strong essence of lager yeast. I remain impressed.

The flavor of this lager is quite interesting. It is grainy without the slightest hint of adjunct. It's a little sweet up front as well as mildly yeasty. There is an impressive hop presence providing some good bitterness to balance out the sweetness and finish off the brew. It is surprisingly full-flavored, resting comfortably between banquet Coors, and Sam Adams Boston Lager.

This beer is...wait for it...medium bodied! There is much more body to this than I was expecting. The carbonation level is also medium. It feels thick for the style, but goes down easy. The 5.5% ABV is virtually undetectable and this beer drinks so easy. This could be a very versatile American lager.

Every now and then a beer comes along that catches you completely off guard. I'm not a proponent of hating on a beer simply because it's brewed by one of the big industrial breweries, but I honestly didn't expect much out of another macro brewed lager. This beer is really exciting to me. I could share this with my macro-loving dad as well as my micro loving buddies. I would be ecstatic to see this beer locally. Way to go Coors!

---

The Two Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
Two Schlitz? If I could buy this in Michigan, it would replace Schlitz as my go-to macro lager.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger head foamy and nice lace. Murky crimson color.

S: malt and wheat.

T: sweet malt and lager yeast. Has a mild bitter/ sour citrus finish.

M: moderate to high carbonation and medium body.

Overall: a very good lager. Attractive appearance and solid lager taste. I wasnt expecting a macro brewed lager to be as good.

Photo of RayVB
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%

Photo of HattedClassic
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly off white and foamy head. The beer is a hazy amber color that is a little bit copper and leans towards the red side. The beer smell is a yeasty and caramel malty smell with a bit of alcohol on the nose. The hops are a slight note but still make an appearance. The beer has a much stronger hop presence than in the smell. The hop taste is balanced by the malt taste. Similar to the smell, the malts primarily consist of a sweet and light caramel taste. Additionally, the beer has a slight mineral taste as well as a bit of alcohol. The feel is crisp and lean with biting carbonation. A pretty good lager and shocking that this came from a MillerCoors subsidiary.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours, from the can, a dark amber color with a plentiful cap of foam. The lager has an inviting aroma with a wonderful mixture of clean barley malts and bittering hops. The accent on malt is a nice touch. A smooth and clean feel on the on the palate leads to caramel notes with a slightly bitter, nicely balanced, finished. A great refreshing beer to enjoy while at the ballpark.

Photo of BlackHoleBrew42
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had to try one for muhself, and I am actually impressed.

Beautiful amber color, head fades quickly. Wonderful malt aroma, munich and honey? Malt backbone, quick hop bite, finishes nice and smooth. Easily sessioned. Might... actually... buy.

Bottom line, I wanted to hate it, and I can't find much fault with it. Kind of reminds me of Boston Lager. Kind of octoberfesty as well. All and all, damn solid brew.

Photo of spoony
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 355 ml bottle (best by November 11, 2013) into a nonic glass.

A-An aggressive pour produces about one and one-half fingers of light khaki head. The retention is decent for a lager with a thick cap lingering for more than two minutes. The beer is pretty clear and medium amber in color.

S-The smell provides a nice balance between fruity (orange, maybe?) and lightly caramelized malt aromas and a drying, biscuity bitterness. The strength of the aroma is impressive for the style.

T-The taste provides a sharper, dryer, more hop forward experience that many beers of this style, but it works well here. I even detect some rye-like spice on the drying finish. That being said, there is still a nice caramel, fruity malt base.

M-The feel is medium to full body with lower carbonation levels. It is not heavy, but it provides some substance on the palate.

O-I tried this beer a few years ago when it first arrived and was less than enthused, but this second look was positive. The flavors are good and there is a great balance between malt and hop with a nice bite for the style. Setting aside the craft v. crafty issue here, I will drink this beer again.

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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Colorado Native Lager from AC Golden Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.