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Rainier Lager - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rainier LagerRainier Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

68 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 68
Hads: 209
Avg: 2.78
pDev: 45.68%
Wants: 9
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-05-2003

Rainier beer brings together nature’s bounty from the great Northwest. Pure spring waters combine with golden barley and verdant hops to produce a beer rich in taste and texture. Fermented slowly with a pedigree yeast culture under tightly controlled conditions, Rainier comes forth with a satisfying malty flavor over a slightly fruity background, spiced with Chinook, Mt. Hood, and Willamette hop notes.
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 209
Photo of NWer
4.2/5  rDev +51.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Warm sunny afternoon quaffing a cold beer and watching the world go by.
Strictly a thirst quencher but what adjunct beer isn't?
Ratings are based on how it is within its style. Certainly much better than Coors, which is piss.
Of course they would be much lower if compared to a quality craft beer.
In its place, it's not bad and more flavorful than most adjunct lagers. You can even taste some hops.
I would definitely enjoy another. And another. And another.

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Photo of captainwerd
3.96/5  rDev +42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

When I was getting ready to move to Seattle one of the first things I looked up was the cheap mass-produced beer of the area. I think an important part of getting to know a city is familiarizing yourself with the cheap beer that the locals drink. Vitamin R is the local beer of Seattle, and it certainly gets the job done. Some drink it ironically, some drink it for historical reasons, some drink it for its price, and some drink it for a combination of those three reasons.

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Photo of Docer
3.85/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Nice to find the classic once again in test market. To me it brings back old memories of playing quarters and slamming pounder bottles of Rainier...not into macros.. but I just had to bum one off a bud inbetween a Hop Czar and Deschutes Cinder Cone Red...

- Very light color like I remembered... very clear... white foamy head died down quick...

- Grain, Barley.. alcohol.. and a bitter hop blast...

- Bit bitter... alcoholy.. barley, grain..

- Watery and grainy mouthfeel.. bit dry but not really... kind of only in the flavor..

- Super drinkable... goes down easy.. not too bubbly that it makes me belch half of it up in foam.... easy drinker for those that want to attempt a 12-pack again for old times sake lol...

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.78/5  rDev +36%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Clear golden yellow. Light very white head that is very light, yet dissipating quickly.

S- A sweet banana smell, with a grain earthy smell. The alcohol smell is there as well.

T- The taste is grains up front with a slight sweetness. Then as the taste goes away there is even more of an earthy grainyness. It isn't too bad, easy going and smooth, great beer for football watching.

M- The carbination is there and average for beers of the style.

D- Easy to drink.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.67/5  rDev +32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 16oz can I found being sold singly, and this one is brewed at Rainier brewing company, Irwindale CA. Appearance has a light golden yellow with nil head. A clean smell of light hops and grain. Taste has a light grainy sweetness with the yakima valley hops. Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. Takes me back to the good old days in high school when Rainier was brewed in Seattle.

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Photo of vkv822
3.64/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz tall boy into a nonic pint.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a thick foamy white head.

Grainy, sweet adjunct aroma and taste.

Medium body, foamy carbonation.

A solid American adjunct lager. Nothing fancy, nothing upsetting, easy drinking.

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Photo of beertunes
3.43/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured enough into a small glass for the visual components, drank the rest straight from the can. Poured the bright, clear yellow that was expected. A bright, white head was fuller than expected and had better retention, although almost no lacing.

Not much aroma, what there is, is the sweet corn scent usual for the style. The flavor was surprisingly good for the style, but without any standout aspect.

Typically thin and smooth body, and of course this beer has the drinkability of water.

Overall, an above average example of the style, if you're going for fizzy, yellow beer you could do worse than Vitamin R.

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Photo of Foyle
3.37/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: 3" sudsy white head recedes slowly. Moderate lacing, clear straw appearance. Significant carbonation present.
Aroma: Corn husks, lightly roasted barley, clean water, a hint of hop spice.
Mouthfeel: crisp, light, and watery. Has a dry finish.
Flavor: corn and lightly roasted barley sweetness, a bit of hops in the middle and finish.
Overall: excellent and refreshing.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.3/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Who can venture west to the Pacific Northwest and not enjoy a Rainier at least once? I comes in pounder cans, which are great for camping and hiking; and when you wander into a small town with just one even-smaller bar (that offers only video poker, T.V. Keno, three menu items... all deep-fried!, and a 'limited' selection of beers) what are you to do???

So... golden, crystal clear, "mountain fresh", and pretty much just as you'd expect it to be. Smooth and clean with no rough edges. There's some obvious use of adjunct but it's not overdone, and there are at least a few hops involved in the brewing process. It's an average mass produced beer.

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Photo of ericj551
3.3/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Rainier Lager pours a bright gold with a foamy head that doesn't linger. There isn't much more than a mild graininess in the aroma. The flavor is slightly sweet, with a bit of graininess and some very light (not quite unpleasant) sulfur. The finish is clean, with just a bit more graininess. Overall there is nothing offensive here, I would say this is definitely one of the better adjunct lagers.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.29/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a light golden color with a small fizzy white head. The head fades very fast leaving only a trace of lace on the sides of the glass

Smell – The aroma of the brew is light overall, but consists mainly of corn and a little bit of a caramel smell. Along with these smells comes some lighter notes of a citrus smell as well as some lighter fruity aromas.

Taste – The taste begins with a mix of a caramel and fruity sweetness with a hint of a corny taste. As the taste advances the corniness fades all while a little bit of grain and some hop of grassy nature come to the tongue. These flavor tastes take the flavor profile to the end, and leave a somewhat crisp and easy drinking mildly sweet taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer on the slightly lighter and crisp side with a carbonation level that was average. For the style it was rather decent but a little higher of a carbonation may have been a bit better for the style.

Overall – A pretty nice American style adjunct lager with an easy drinkability and a rather nice flavor overall. Nothing fantastic, but nothing really all that bad.

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Photo of Spikester
3.27/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours golden with a one inch white head. Some very modest lacings.
Aroma is very mild floral hops.
Taste is sweet light malts with a nice bitter hop flavor. Mildly bitter semi-dry finish.
Mouthfeel is about average for a macro lager.
Very drinkable cold on a hot day. Not sure the brewery data is quite up to date. I think my can said brewed in Illinois. Anyway this is a pretty fair beer when you have few choices.
A bit of personal history regarding this beer. Back in the 1960's this was the hoppiest and most bitter of the Northwest lagers. Even their "light" beer was quite well hopped for a 96 calorie beer. This version pales in comparison to the original. But maybe the can that I drank being two months old was enough to diminish the hop bitterness. I will buy another 24 ounce can later and look for a fresher example. Also if possible, bring back Rainier Light please. Low calorie, and big hops. (for the style)
Edit: 10/25/2013.
Just bought a sixer of tall boys in a "winter jubilee can 1963" Same beer now this pack says brewed in Irwindale, Ca. Best by date is Jan 13, 2014.
My previous review covers it pretty well.
Edit: 11/7, 2014. Drink by date is Jan. 12, 2015. Good hop taste is this sample. Upgraded score smell, feel, and overall.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.26/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 16 ounce can decorated for the holiday season with a retro look (I'm a sucker for these old timey cans). A moderate pour into a stolen PBR shaker glass produces a brief one inch head that reduces to a thin lace coating. The beer is an extra pale golden with moderate carbonation.

The aroma has a strong DMS character, suggesting cooked corn. The taste is a bit more mellow, with a slight note of lemon. Light malt flavors suggest crackers. Light and spritzy on the tongue. A little sourness is detectable in the after taste, but not bad.

Overall, this is a flavorful enough beer and easy to drink. I would pick this over most of the so-called "premium" macro lagers out there. I would say it compares favorably with some of my other macro favorites, such as Oly, PBR, Hamms, and Coors Banquet. I paid $5.99 for a six pack of pint cans, and am enjoying this during the Lions-Cowboys playoff game, which seems appropriate somehow.

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Photo of doom_deluise
3.25/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

it's cheap and refreshing.

ps: i'm only writing this review because it's making me. granted, it's how i feel, but i don't think this qualifies as a review. more like a blurb related to my opinion. beer blurb.

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Photo of quaybr
3.25/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Standard golden body with white bubbly head. Leaves a short trail of lacing that doesn't last too long.

Smells like slightly skunked malt with a faint whiff of corn and alcohol. The very front-end of the nose has just a bit of citrus.

Taste is crisp and simple with an obviously light body.

This is a tasty adjunct that easily beats the big three.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Straw yellow, but lively with a nice pristine white head on it. Cool. Nice corny aroma that is pleasant and not chock full of alcohol.

More light corn taste, light bitterness, above average hopping for an adjunct lager. Light body, light on the palate, good stuff for the outdoors. Pretty enjoyable for what it is. Went well with wiffle ball.

Yo thanks to john for bringing this to the cabin 2 weeks ago, really hit the spot after a long drive.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
3.2/5  rDev +15.1%

16 oz tallboy. Holiday packaging so you know this baby is fresh.

I'm going to dim the lights in the room so it feels like I'm in a dive bar in the Pacific Northwest. Set the mood a little bit.

Good carbonation. Has that cereal medley taste like wet cardboard that you'd expect. Chinook hops? Sure. I guess.

All in all a pretty non-offensive brew, which is exactly what I wanted. For an AAL, this one is fine and damn cheap. I'd pick it up again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.19/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A fair macro offering from Pabst. Pours out to a medium yellow color with a head that looks like someone spit in my beer. Aroma of corn and hay mixed with sweet hops. Not bad. Taste is your typical middle of the road macro; light malt, adjunct corn and grain, sweetness is a touch on the strong side, little if any hops. Mouthfeel was refreshing and zesty. Drinkability is average. Special thanks again goes out to Dubbercody for the sample.

THE BLOODHOUND FACTOR: Both hounds enjoyed this one immensely. These dogs identified this as a positive choice for cheap beer on a hot summer day.

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Photo of plaid75
3.13/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the Tug Boat Brewery, Portland, Oregon.

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell featured a touch of adjunct sweetness and subtle grassy hops.

The taste consisted of an adjunct sweetness, grainy malt and flowery hop.

The mouthfeel was full for the style.

Overall a good macro.

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Photo of erikm25
3.12/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pale yellow with a slight gold tint. Head is full at first, after a quick pour, but quickly vanishes. Lacing is pretty much non-existent.

S: Grainy and earthy. Maybe a hint of light colored fruit at best. Says it is made with Yakima Valley hops so that gets an extra point in my book.

T: Wheat grains with a subtle candy corn sweetness. Overall not that offensive and it reminds me of PBR which is no surprise (and which tends to be my go to beer in a pinch). All things considered it is not too offensive and has a slight malt taste towards the end.

M: Light but with lots of carbonation. Smooth like water.

D: Overall this beer is probably not worth your time. However it is drinkable on a dime and considering the competition in this style I would consider buying it again. I didn't grow up in WA but if I did this would have probably been the beer my friends and I jacked from the old man's garage fridge on a Friday night.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.1/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a tall 6-pack for under $5.00...can't go wrong. Also new can with classic/vintage feel for the "Vitamin R"

A: surprisingly a little more depth than I was expecting for AAL. The color has some shine of deep golden versus the usual glowing pale straw colors. Coarse bubbles right after the pour and one of the quickest foam vanishing acts around, no lace

S: grains, light vegetables, a blade or two of grass with a sweet sugary whiff all around

T: dried cut corn and thin malted barley with a few teaspoons of honey. Some grassy/vegetable flavors might be pulled out of the mix, mostly towards the finish. Finishes clean, which is pretty nice
This beer has me happy. It hit 90 today and this beer was in order, it did the trick. One of the more satisfying Adjuncts I have had in a while

M: the usual macro-adjunct-type of feel. Maintains a fizzy caliber with light airy body. For the style it hits right

D: man, this is a decent Adjunct Lager. I will get this again when I am short on cash or throwing the Frisbee on warm day like today. One of the "betters" on my short list of light beers

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Photo of Chaz
3.1/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale golden-Straw in color, and topped with a billowy, barely off-white head. There's plenty of lacing here, and plenty of carbonation to boot. Rather brilliant in appearance, with perhaps a touch of chill haze.

Big adjunct-y cereal grain goodness on the nose. Smells a lot like "Carling's Black Label". Hmmm. No real hop presence to speak of, but a touch of dry, biscuity malt.

Not much going on here: the first sip is wet and somewhat sweet/bitter/tangy, but all of those distinct flavors come off as ephemeral and fleeting rather than having any real presence. On the second, longer sip there's a brisk mouthfeel and a touch of bitterness along with a lightly-metallic character and some ever-so-slightly citric tang to go along with the metallic character. Dry is the word that comes to mind . . . biscuit malt character from the nose is here and seems to linger quite nicely, but there's no real lingering bitterness so it seems like almost an odd profile.

The cereal grain (corn grist rather than syrup?) character is much less evident on the sip than it was on the nose, making this one fairly tasty for what it is. That said, this here Rainier is at least as tasty as a Hamm's or the aforementioned Carling, though a different recipe to be sure.

Though I haven't enjoyed myself a Rainier since 'round about the time I turned legal drinking age, not much has changed with this beer, and the folks at SAM/Miller are doing a fine job for Pabst at keeping this one the way I remember it being.

Best-by Oct 18 10.

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Photo of chadjulius
3.09/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I always enjoy this beer, but as usual, it is far better from the bottle than from the can. Plus, the bottles are a significant part of experiencing Rainier Beer; each bottle cap has a "puzzle" on it. These are fun, but sometimes difficult to figure out. The more Rainier's you have had, the harder the puzzle, showing how alcohol does impair the brain.

The beer itself is yellow, and fairly straw-pale. It tastes fantastic; like a light beer, but with flavor. My only complaint is a faintly odd aftertaste. The bottle says hops from the Yakima Valley, which is, from what I hear, a great place to grow hops. It shows in this beer.

It's not exotic, but it is a safe, inexpensive option.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.06/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Formed a finger and a half of head, but quickly down to a covering. The body is golden with lots of bubbles coming up.
The smell has a good dose of grain, but too much metallic comes through too.
The taste is mildly bitter with some honey sweetness in the middle. Descent flavor for the style.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
Not too bad.

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
3.06/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Straw yellow with a good head, that then just evaporates. Clear and bubbly looks like a typical American Lager.

S- smells like DMS and a little bit of citrus hops? weird for a lager.

T- no flaws, light easy to drink, no hint of malt or hops. Tastes like an American Lager should, tastes like water.

M- no body, and just disappears after it leaves your mouth. Exactly how it should. Would be nice to be surprised.

D- in terms of a American lager I kind of like it. Will be drinking this instead of the other Macros for my once a year epic Beer pong game.

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Rainier Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
68 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.