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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
82
good

162 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(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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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Grebdioz
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Mscarpen
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of u2carew
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz skinny can.
A) Pours with a big white and creamy head that slowly settles. Clear bronze colored body.
S) A pleasant hop aroma with caramel malts but not too aromatic.
T) Caramel malts. Toffee. Subtle grainy-ness. Hints of citrus fruits and flowers. Mellow hops in the finish.
M) Medium light body. Dry in the finish. Clean throughout.
O) A delicious brew - proof that the "big boys" are capable of producing quality beer.

Photo of StonedTrippin
2.8/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

this is not a craft brew, and it doesnt taste like one. pours slightly darker than the industry standard corn beers, decent white head. smells a bit metallic or something, malts in the nose, no hops to speak of. taste is pretty weak, cerealy a bit, with a slight metallic tinge. not as bad as a silver bullet, thats for sure, but a poor attempt to capture the craft beer drinker by a big company. still, when next to budlight at the hockey rink for the same price, ill get a native every time. credit for all colorado ingredients, but this just doesnt taste real good

Photo of Tone
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, hint of sweet malt, and a hint of pale malt. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of earthy malt, slight pale malt, slight grain, and hops. Overall, great appearance, good feel, and good blend.

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 BarleyStud
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On touring the Coors Brewery in Golden, and getting a tear in my eye when told I was standing in the world's largest room of beer, I knew I had reached my Nirvana. The tour ended in the tasting room (actually it ended in the gift shop à la Disneyworld) but the tasting room is where I tried their newest brew, Colorado Native.

I was told it was a lager. It was nicely golden in color and topped with a small head with bubbles noticeable in size. The head disappeared in half a minute. The scent was powerful, like a sharp IPA. First taste reminded me of an IPA with strong but generic citrus and hops - not that there's anything wrong with that. It went down ok and I did want another, but I couldn't sense any of the lagering throughout the 2 glass session. I felt like I was having an IPA throughout.

If the objective is to bring hoppy, IPA-like beer to the masses and call it a lager, they've succeeded. But to review this as a lager doesn't seem fit the requirement. I liked it, however, and will buy it again if it gets to my state.

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 tone77
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

woodychandler comes through with yet another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. This beer almost exploded out of the can and settled down with a caramel color and 1.5 inches of head. Smell is rather mild, some hops are present. Taste is also hops up front, some grains, a tad bitter at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall was a refreshing and enjoyable beer.

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 rawfish
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the can into a shaker pint a rich amber color to form 4 fingers of eggshell white head, retention is decent leaving many small spots of linked lacing on the glass.

Despite the darker color the aroma is very musty and of grains and grain husks, very raw. In the back ground is a the faint aroma of floral grassy hops with a apple sweetness and lager yeast notes.

Very sweet brew brown suger sweetness that doesn't have much depth, followed up by grain husks and raw adjunct grain feel, very coarse. Hops come in faintly, grassy and they are felt more in the way this lager dries. Sweet corn mash seems to also have made it's way into the aftertaste as the beer dries.

Average carbonation and fuller body for a lager. Dries really well, not very crisp but still well done.

Pseudo BMC-craft product but it really is pretty good, they have the amber lager part down pretty well, malty yet refreshing and drying. Flavors are rather sweet, coarse and grainy but it's a large step up from Coors.

Photo of mactrail
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber in the tall Weizen glass. Plenty of head. Carbonation dissipates more rapidly than most beers. Very hoppy. Some touch of malt with a hint of roasting. Pleasant aroma of biscuit.

I don't find this very drinkable as an American Amber. It's about as hoppy as a Pale Ale. But I don't know what else to call it, since it represents this increasingly chaotic style of random recipes.

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 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 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 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 kojevergas
2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into real pint glass in high altitude Denver, Colorado.

A: Pours a clear rosy-gold/copper with a three finger head of moderate thickness lacking in cream. Generally appealing but nothing special. Head retention is poor.

Sm: Notes of fresh barley, hints of citrus, maybe some estery hops, no yeast.

T: Slick open fades to double note body of light barley and some hops with an off-crisp finish. Poorly built for an amber. Not bold.

Mf: Too smooth, too wet - until the finish, which is slightly more refined but still lackluster.

Dr: At this price range, better beers can be had - especially in the Colorado microbrew scene. Save yourself the money and buy a better beer.

Photo of Durge
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear rosy amber color with a fair white cover and decent lacing. The aroma is nice and malty with a tasteful bit of skunk. The flavor brings more mellow malt with citrus/grass highlights. This stuff is very smooth with a healthy effervescence. The musky quality comes through to make it interesting. Some sweet toffee in there too. Highly drinkable and easily recommended as lagers go.

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 SkeeterHawk
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Unfortunately I am not able to really see this beer as I am not able to drink it out of a proper glass right now...so I am drinking it out of the bottle. I don't imagine that it will make a heck of a lot of difference on this one, but my appearance comments will obviously be a little weak.

Appearance: Looks really clear in the bottle with no noticeable sediment on the bottom or anything. When I popped the top, there were a couple bubbles rising to the top, but nothing to write home about.

Aroma: Before the sip I am picking up a bit of hops in the aroma along with a very subtle sweet honey malt.

Taste: The flavor is really dry and the hops are very noticeable in the finish on the back of the throat for a while after the sip. It is so well attenuated that the hops are practically standing in a field all by themselves. I really can hardly tell that the malt is there except for a faint toasty honey-like thing going on somewhere in the finish, but is muddled by the hops.

Opinion: Well, this is an OK beer. I will drink the whole thing which is something to say for one of the big three. I am glad that I only got this one bottle in a "build your own six-pack" deal at the local liquor store. It might be OK for someone who has been brainwashed by the big three and is starting to think for themselves...otherwise there are a whole lot of better beers out there.

Photo of ToddT
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Clear orange tinted brew topped by a fluffy off white head. Head has legs and leaves lots of lace on the glass.

S- Sweet malt and mild notes of hops. There might be a hint of corn adjuncts in there as well, but it's hard to pick it out.

T- Nice pop of hops at first, I wasn't expecting that considering they were hidden in the aroma. The middle is a malty sweetness that fades to a nice slightly bitter hop finish. The finish is clean and dry.

M- Medium in body and well carbonated a nice refreshing beer.

D- Pretty easy to take down a bunch of this one, a good session candidate, and at 5.5% ABV it could work.

Not a bad lager, like a macro but with a little more.

Photo of emsroth
2.42/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle

App: frothy off-white head. Nice amber with hues of ruby

Smell: a touch of bready malt but dominated by dank, Fruity hops. Perhaps cascade? Because I smell grapefruit.

Taste: similar to the smell. Decent bready and biscuity malt with a touch if honey. Fades into some grapefruit rind bitterness.

Medium body with decent carbonation.

Tastes like the second runnings of sam Adams BL.

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall thin glass. No freshness date on bottle.

Pours with one finger of quickly disappearing head that is made up of large bubbles that rise through the pale, washed out amber body. Despite the receding head, there is some good lacing.

Some mellow pine-like hops and alcoholic malts. Smells reminiscent of a large-scale produced amber or bock. Not much complexity and no subtlety. Not a promising sign.

Slam, bang, done. This flavor isn't waiting around. A shot of slightly bitter astringent hops swoosh through the mouth followed by a bit of sweeter pine and floral hop notes mixed with some roasty malts, and then it all goes away leaving a slightly bitter generic hoppy aftertaste to linger. I feel like there wasn't enough oomph to make any real impression, and not enough breadth to cause me to consider anything about it beyond "this is alright".

Medium mouthfeel and relatively smooth carbonation. It does fine here, but not outstanding. To much hop to caress the mouth with malty goodness, but not enough hop to wash the mouth with smooth, bitter and juicy hoppiness. Not quite like a reg lager or like an APA. The deeper into the bottle I get the better it is, but it never reaches outstanding.

Conclusion: This is a good beer, but it barely makes that status. There are many other red lagers and American ambers that surpass this brew. I am a native of Colorado and it makes me sad that a beer calling itself "Colorado Native Lager" would be so mediocre. Shouldn't it be wild like the tops of the mountains, rugged like the cliffs and lush like the roaring rivers?

Edit- As I finished the last few gulps of this beer I found I really enjoyed it more than I had as I wrote this during the first half of the experience. I bumped up my drinkability and mouthfeel marks.

Photo of GilGarp
3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When I first saw this beer, I assumed it was a marketing ploy by one of the big 3 to make something that looked like craft beer while hiding it's true identity. My bad.

12oz. long neck brown bottle with a twist off cap. Opens with barely a hiss.

CO Native is a nice redish amber color with perfect clarity. The slightly off-white head is smooth but settles fairly quickly.

Aroma is pretty standard/average fare. Slightly sweet, malty, and fruity but overall very mild. Little to no hop presence.

Flavor is more of the same. Not very remarkable in any particular way. It has a malt-forward taste meaning it's very low in hop bitterness. There is a little roast to it but basically forgetable. I keep going back for another small sip and nothing really sticks.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with appropriate carbonation.

Overall a very average beer in a state full of exceptional ones.

Photo of Rayek
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Nonic.

A: Straight up amber, with a very light chill haze. A small. but foamy cream tinted head has OK retention and lives just a touch of lace.

S: Lemon, toffee and pepper come out in equal measure to produce a light, yet balanced nose.

T: After a quick burst of toasted sweet bread, a pepper bitterness comes on that dominates the beer's flavor. The bitterness level fairly light, however. The beer finishes with a lingering pepper bitterness and a slight bit of metal.

M: The light body is semi-dry and had about the right level of fizz.

D: This is an OK amber. It carries more flavor than most Coors offerings, which was a nice change of pace. The lightness makes it an easy drinker.

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