1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next › last »
Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alleykatking
3.05/5  rDev +3.4%

Had on tap at Granite City last night. Review from phone notes.

A- Poured a very light watery yellow. It looked like a basic BMC color. Came to me with a 2 finger white head that dies down to nothing leaving lacing that slides down the side of the glass into the beer.

S- Sickly sweet malts to this all over the aroma. There are some grassy earthy tones to it but those come and go with a grainy sweetness. No real alcohol is present in the nose. Aroma comes through very heavy unlike BMC which is why I knocked up half a point.

T- Big sweet malts in the upfront. Light skunked quality to this. The grassy notes in the nose come through and clash with the sweet malts throughout the beer. Light alcohol taste in the tail end of this beer. Flavir was kind of watery on everything too.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. I was glad to see this wasn't huge in carbonation and just enough. Sweet malts were left on the palate after the sip with light grassy notes in the aftertaste. Kind of a watery feel to this beer. Crisp and mostly clean tasting as well.

D- This was a drinkable beer. I think it drinks more like a german pilsner than a light lager but hey I'm not the one who makes up the signs at the brewpub. Nothing great but it's a good starter beer for the night or an inbetween beer to help cleanse the palate.

alleykatking, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of simmons
1.63/5  rDev -44.7%

Appearance: Bright yellow beer with not much head to it.
Aroma: Heavy malt & corn aroma with no hop nose at all.
Flavor: Nasty corn & malt flavor overpowers everything. fairly unpleasant no other malt characteristics shine through the corn flavor. Very light on hops almost non existing.
Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated. This is a smooth beer but as could be balanced out alittle bit more and more detail gived to the malt profile.
Overall: This beer is slightly better than Pabst but nothing special. As with almost all the beers I've had from Granite City Food & Brewery in Kansas city MO. This beer is hardly carbonated & unbalanced.

simmons, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of benteach
3.53/5  rDev +19.7%

Light yellow color. Good head retention, but not much lacing. Good carbonation.
Smell is not very strong. Light malt, some grainy scents.
Taste is light but well balanced. Very easy to drink. It is a good selection for someone who does not like to take risks with their beer selection.
Did taste a bit watery. The restaurant labeled it as "creamy and smooth." Smooth = yes, creamy = no.
Overall it was a good light beer.

benteach, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
2.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Pours a clear corn yellow with a little to no head that bubbles down to nothing in less than a minute. Tastes a bit watery and has hints of adjuct corn and rice, finishes very clean with little to no traces of what came before it. Was cool to try a growler for the first time though.

bluemoonswoon, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev +7.8%

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 BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev +2.7%

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 TheLongBeachBum
2/5  rDev -32.2%

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 SuperSpy
2/5  rDev -32.2%

The appearance was what you would expect from American light. Very light golden color, and incredibly clear. A white head but it died quickly. Not as many bubbles rising as I expected though.

A little straw in the nose but not much else. No hops at all.

The taste had a bit of bread but was mostly just skunky. Typical light beer fashion. I was told this was all barley but I'm not so sure. Maybe a little diacytal?

The mouthfeel left a lot to be desired. Very little carbonation. I expect a chapagne like tingle with an Amercan lager and I DID NOT get that in this beer.

I would not drink this again. I didn't find any diference in this and your typical light macro. Give it to a buddy that will only touch Miller Light.

SuperSpy, Oct 07, 2006
Photo of Oxymoron
1.88/5  rDev -36.3%

Granite City is a brewpub in a variety of different locations. I went to the Sioux Falls to sample their stuff.

The Northern Light Lager is an American Lager for the Bud drinkers out there. Very similar to most light macros, Northern Light has a lemony yellow appearance with limited head retention and lace to it. The beer was slightly cloudy as well. The smell was malty but nothing great.

The taste is all malt and corn and the strongest flavor of the beer. There is a bite to it from the hops that gives it a sweet and sour flavor to it. Much sweeter then you would see from a macro light lager. There really was no body to the beer and was lightly carbonated. I guess this was the beer to try if you like macros. Then why not just order a Bud Light?

Oxymoron, Oct 26, 2005
Photo of RBorsato
2.88/5  rDev -2.4%

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 TastyTaste
2.3/5  rDev -22%

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 BigRedN
2.7/5  rDev -8.5%

Fourth and final beer that was avaible at the Lincoln, NE location. Our waitress informed us that they would not be doing seasonals until next spring or summer due to limited capacity.

Appearance: Golden, bubbly, little to no head, no lacing. A macro in a pint glass.

Smell: First whiff - nothing. Second attempt - nothing. Stick my nose practically right in the beer - ah, slightly hoppy (or did I just get foam in my nose?).

Taste: Slightly better than a Bud Light (Does Bud Light have taste?). I can see where this would appeal to the the macro drinker.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light bodied, lightly carbonated. Little to draw one in.

Drinkability: High points as this was the purpose of the beer. I can understand why they would brew this. They get one to have this and the BMC drinker likes it, and hopefully will try one of the other beers. My Bud Light drinking friend did have one, and then ordered another Bud Light bottle. Idiot.

BigRedN, Nov 07, 2004
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a very clear, yellow with very little head or carbonation. A light, somewhat sweet taste, difficult to pick out any hops on this one. Watered down, but then again there is "light" in the name. Probably some marketing to get some crossover macro drinkers. Slightly above average.

GeoffRizzo, Mar 07, 2003
Photo of beernut7
3.4/5  rDev +15.3%

This light ale has a prominent buttery sweet aroma and flavor with almost no bitter quality and a bit of a watery body. Not a bad go at the becoming-more-popular-every-day micro-brewed light beer.

beernut7, Aug 01, 2002
« first ‹ prev | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next › last »
Northern Light Lager from Granite City Food & Brewery
70 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.