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Northern Light Lager - Granite City Food & Brewery

Not Rated.
Northern Light LagerNorthern Light Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
70
okay

89 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 2.95
pDev: 17.97%
Wants: 2
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Granite City Food & Brewery visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Light Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed to the American standard of a classic lager, this light golden beer is our mildest offering with a creamy, smooth taste.

(Beer added by: BuckeyeNation on 05-23-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled 10/9/2010 at the brewpub.

Pours clear yellow, white head, not much lace or retention. Lots of bubbles coming up.

Aroma is malt, water, booze, and that's about it. Maybe a splash of honey.

Flavor is very light, slight malt, low bitterness, maybe a splash of rice. No hop flavor present.

Body is light and highly carbonated, as it is supposed to be. Drinkable, nothing inherently wrong with it other than the lack of flavor.

t0rin0, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Northern Light Lager will be going up against Rock Bottom's Heartland Light in the '(One Time Only) Greater Des Moines Light Lager Face-Off'. Actually, I don't have brackets, but will rank all four beers after I've reviewed Court Avenue's Two Rivers Light and Raccoon River's Tallgrass Light tomorrow.

Pale yellow that was a fraction lighter than Heartland Light, but was still an appropriate and attractive color for a light lager. I got the same pure white cap that faded to the same thin film in several minutes, despite a bottom of the glass bubble factory that was working overtime. Minimal lace was expected and that's exactly what I got.

The nose was waaay too weak. It might have been okay if I had been able to smell it, but no such luck. While I could pick up a hint of barley malt, it was as if I was attempting to assess the beer with cotton balls up my nostrils. A lack of offensiveness kept the score from a free-fall.

Northern Light Lager was pretty decent beer, all things considered. Unfortunately, it was a bit too light and contained almost no hoppiness. Actually, the biggest reason I've granted an average taste score is that this beer had the misfortune of following immediately on the heels of the best light lager that has ever come in contact with my taste buds. I would still take it over Bud Light, Miller Lite or Coors Light in a New York minute.

The mouthfeel couldn't help but let the flavor down. It wasn't bad in terms of girth (light lagers are supposed to be anorexic), but it was too bubbled. Letting the beer sit for a spell wasn't an option since I had no desire to drink it warm.

So far, I'd have to say that I'm impressed. I've always shied away from ordering light lagers at local brewpubs, but these two have shown me the error of my ways. I'd like the brewpub to fix the mouthfeel before I'd drink this one again, but if they do, I'll have no trouble using it to wash down most of the lighter dishes on the Granite City menu.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Gold Medal: Heartland Light (Rock Bottom)
Silver Medal: Northern Light Lager (Granite City)
Bronze Medal: Two Rivers Light (Court Avenue)
no medal: Tallgrass Light (Raccoon River)

BuckeyeNation, May 23, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
2.75/5  rDev -6.8%

jaydoc, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of emerge077
2.18/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

"Brewed and bottled by Granite City Brewing Company, Monroe, WI". Minhas... great :S Julian date code "1020" on the bottom of the bottle.

Picked up this single for the hilariously bad label (a 2-D illustration of what looks to be a young Bette Midler-esque cabaret singer raising a shiny beer, behind a crappy banner with two different typefaces outlining the beer name). Little did I know, the beer is hilariously bad too...

Bright straw gold, one fingers width of white foam that has a soapy, creamy texture to the surface suds. Clarity is sharp, retention is average, with a slight amount of lacing present.

Smells like skunky noble hops at first, then puffed wheat, and creamed corn. Borderline gross as it warms and the creamed corn crashes the party.

Cooked vegetables in the flavor, red flag of DMS. Mellow and buttery, buttered corn and husky grains. Pretty bland with enough off flavors to dump the last bit of the glass. Not recommended, even for the dumb label. This is junk.

emerge077, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of zeff80
3.03/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear golden orange color with a small, short-lived head. It left almost no lacing.

S - It smelled of caramel and grassy notes.

T - It tasted of caramel, grains and grasses. It had a mild spiciness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied lager with a clean finish.

O - This is an okay light lager. It is certainly better than most mass produced light lagers.

zeff80, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of MarkyMOD
3/5  rDev +1.7%

MarkyMOD, May 18, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
2.25/5  rDev -23.7%

XmnwildX12, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was feeling pretty thirsty and figured this was worth a try during happy hour. I was pleasantly surprised, though, not that much. It is a light lager, but it resembles a nice all-malt lager. The malt profile is mellow and smooth with a lightly roasted barley taste and a bit of sweetness. Bold it aint, but it does a good enough job at having personality for a light lager.

tempest, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of LXIXME
2.75/5  rDev -6.8%

LXIXME, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of dmorgan310
3/5  rDev +1.7%

dmorgan310, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of Tone
2.8/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, pale yellow color. One inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of yeast, pale malt, grain, slight citrus, and slight pale hop. Fits the style of a Light Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of grain, pale malt, yeast, and slight sweet malt. Overall, a clean beer but rather average light lager.

Tone, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of harpus
3/5  rDev +1.7%

harpus, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.75/5  rDev -6.8%

BeerFMAndy, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of WoodBrew
2.83/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Northern Lights Lager had a bit of a bite to it. The beer pours a clear golden yellow with thin white head that dissipates quickly and did not lace. The scent included hop and subtle sweet malt. The taste I thought carried a bit to it. There was some sweetness...but not for very long, the hop really took over and left a sligth aftertaste. I thought the mouthfeel was light body, failry easy to drink. I preferred there IPA for a session to this however.

WoodBrew, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of Haybeerman
3/5  rDev +1.7%

Haybeerman, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of RBorsato
2.88/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Standard light straw color with nice carbonation. Light grainy almost adjunct type aroma and flavor with no hop character to speak of. Light bodied and a bit watery.

Not much there but decent enough to wash down some spicy wings.

Tasted On-Tap 05/11/05 at the Cedar Rapids, IA location.

RBorsato, May 18, 2005
Photo of Brenden
2.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had reviewed this beer, and BA lost the review within seconds of my leaving it. The finer points:

Pale yellow. Pure white head, moderately sized, pretty good patchy lacing.

Difficulty drawing out a faint aroma. Pale malts, grains, bit of sweetness, touch of grass.

Flavor is malty, pale with some caramel sweetness, grass, light grains undertone, faint hops bitterness.

Mouthfeel is overcarbonated, obviously light-bodied, crisp and clean.

Brenden, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: Sampled at the Granite City Food and Brewery in Fargo, North Dakota.

Listed on the Beer Menu as "Brewed to the American standard of a classic lager, this light golden beer is our mildest offering with a creamy, smooth taste." - 4.5% ABV. 20 ounce Pint.

Appearance: Pale straw with some slow streamers and a thin whispy white head. Sliding crown cap was barely noticeable when the pint arrived, yet this soon races away to leave a rather flat looking brew.

Nose: Feint nose, a very low strength clean hop with a mild spice. Ebbing aromas and at times they seem non-existent.

Taste: Trite bitterness, soft weak hops with a citric edge and finish. Immensely clean with an unfettered very smooth profile. Pale flavors with a watery feel. Some toasted malt too, but then it dies quickly.

Mouthfeel: Thin and insipid at times, lighter than most with a feel that is let down overall with a depressed carbonation level.

Drinkability: Not one I would wish to try again, but I figured I would give it a whirl. Nothing surprising really, I hoped for more but expected nothing less than I got.

Overall: Northern Light Lager is a very appropriate moniker for this brew. Run-of-the-mill pale lager that obviously fills the BMC macro gap for those that need it, I didn’t.

TheLongBeachBum, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of enelson
2.5/5  rDev -15.3%

enelson, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of FosterJM
2.68/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1430th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
12oz

No bottle date
Thanks to my co-worker for bringing this back from Fargo

App- Standard gold lager colon with some dark colors throughout. A small 1/2" white head. No cling.

Smell- Not sure why, smells like my daughters finger paints, grass and dough.

Taste- It's a standard lager. Not very tasty. Retains the dough flavors and like description says the creaminess. It's crisp, just not very good.

Mouth- Light bodied and med/high carbonation. Residual grass and biscuit.

Drink- eh, only for the state tick. Never again.

FosterJM, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Now bottled and labeled Northern Lager.

Clear pale golden color with one finger of head that quickly settled to a film. Light lacing is left on the glass. Aroma consists of dry, cracker malt and some grassy hops. Very low bitterness which is not really surprising. The malt is dry and gives some decent flavor for a light lager. Just a little grassiness from the hops. Light bodied with lower carbonation than what is typically found in this style. Not as prickly and easier to drink. A nice beer but at this price I would prefer one of their other offerings.

morimech, May 01, 2011
Photo of Whiskeydeez
2.75/5  rDev -6.8%

Whiskeydeez, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of TastyTaste
2.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I never saw this coming, a chain brewpub featuring a light lager! Can you believe that?!?!? (end sarcasm) Clear gold color with a failry sizable head. Smell is clean, slightly malty, grassy in a way. Taste is very bland, good for the stomach ulcer crowd, maybe a little more flavorfull than BMC, but maybe not. Very well carbonated, and drinkable enough. Granite City sure let me down...

TastyTaste, Mar 14, 2005
Photo of Rayek
3/5  rDev +1.7%

Rayek, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of Herky21
2.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Herky21, Mar 06, 2013
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Northern Light Lager from Granite City Food & Brewery
70 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.