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Rainier Lager - Pabst Brewing Company

Rainier LagerRainier Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

125 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 2.6
pDev: 24.62%

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.72% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-05-2003)
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of utopiajane

New York

2.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours pale and with exceptional clarity. A fate white head that falls fast and leaves a bit of lace. Nose is just a hint of sweetness. That's it. Really no nose. The taste is very close to water. It had a bit of cereal grain in it and a touch of sweetness but it's very thin and even though it uses three varieties of hops, there's no grass and no taste form hops. It finishes dry and with no aftertaste. The carbonation does not bite until the finish.

Serving type: can

03-21-2014 15:21:44 | More by utopiajane
Photo of BVukelich


2.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Yes, being from Seattle, this is a NW icon...too bad it is so mediocre. Gold color, ok on aroma, taste and mouthfeel. My grandpa always drank this beer when he took us fishing on his boat. For some reason I still feel compelled to always bring a 6-pack of the 16 ouncers on my boat too. I guess it is tradition at this point. So happy they put the big, red, neon "R" back on top of the old Rainier Brewery (Tully's Coffee now) building. Please don't judge Seattle brews on this old school beer but it's worth a try for nostalgia-sake. Raaaiiiniiieeer Beeer....

Serving type: can

11-09-2013 01:21:29 | More by BVukelich
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I guess if I'm gonna live in the Northwest, I can't get by without drinkin' this:

Stamped on the bottom of the can: Dec 09 13:

Into a pilsener:

A: fairly light yellow somewhat golden colored body with less than a half finger white foamy head that dies immediately, lacing is fairly thick and white somewhat ringy, carbonation is seen rising in the body

S: sweet corn/rice adjuncts, light matliness

T: mainly sweet, malty aftertaste and finish

M: light, sessionable - very much so, carbonation seems to be smoother than most AAL's I've had

O: well, I live in Southeast Alaska and on Beer Advocate, I'm considered part of the Northwest, therefore, this one bleeds everything about the area I live in, do I drink this - well pretty much only after my hockey games other than that, well, I really don't think I'd pay for this.

Serving type: can

11-04-2013 03:35:36 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of chugalug06


3/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Rated to style - Best by: 7/22/13

Piss yellow in color. Head rises fast and falls almost just as fast.

Extremely light and corny. Next to zero hops and tons of sweaty yeast. Dry, crisp, refreshing, with a easy finish. Slightly fruity.

I'd like to know what "Yakima Vally Hops" are added...? It serves as an easy drinking, affordable, "4th of July party" type beer. Recommended for the price point.

Serving type: can

07-15-2013 03:36:00 | More by chugalug06
Photo of LiquidAmber


2.8/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a pale golden amber with a thin film with ring around the glass. It's been a long time since I had an adjunct beer and forgotten how sad these look. Aroma of light sweet malt with faint grassy hops. Flavor follows with very attenuated sweet malt and a slight hint of hops in the finish. Lots of carbonation, giving the impression of sparkling water with light sweet malt added. Hints of biscuit malt in the finish. Very light bodied. Well, fairly close to expectations, very light and innocuous. Thought I was going to tick a brewery; forgot Rainier was bought out a long time ago by Pabst. Uninteresting but harmless.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 00:39:05 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of Fatehunter


3.11/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

Serving type: can

03-11-2013 02:37:41 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of Braz


3/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear gold color. I can't remember seeing a clearer beer. Sudsy snow white head that sustains for some time. Stale metallic skunky smell. Slight malt sweetness at first, then kind of taste like old coins smell. Very dry with an abrupt finish. Overall it's drinkable and certainly better than some beers in the same class. Can says Rainier Brewing Co. (Irwindale, CA) on it. Not sure if this is supposed to be listed under Pabst.

Serving type: can

12-24-2012 02:14:08 | More by Braz
Photo of mdaschaf


2.98/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a two finger, foamy white head on top with low retention, but some decent lacing for style.

S: Light grain and a slight sweetness. There is some faint grassy hops at the end.

T: Again, a slight malty sweetness with some faint grassy/lemon flavor from the hops.

M: Light to medium bodied with high carbonation.

O: Not a bad adjunct. Not a beer I will likely get again, but glad I tried it. I guess.

Serving type: can

11-13-2012 04:33:20 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of DCon


2.73/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought a 16 OZ. ONE PINT can of this from The Trap Bar & Grill in Alta, WY for $3. Poured from the White labeled can w/ Red/Gold writing into a 16oz Pint Glass. Has APR 09 12 on the bottom of the can.

Aroma- A good amount of malt and grain hang out in this one. Nothing else happening... Average for the style.

Appearance- Pours a 3 finger, bubbly head that has average retention. A golden, clear colored body is in here. Leaves barely suds behind.

Flavor- A crisp, nicely malty flavor starts this one out. Then without warning, an overpowering grain taste stirs up commotion. Not very favorable and has no hops or bitterness (of course).

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, Smooth, but then finishes a bit rough with a slight carbonic bite on the palate.

Overall Impression- After coming off the slopes, refreshing but would rather go for a PBR or better yet one of the Grand Teton brews on-tap. I have NEVER seen this brew before, so sought it out and didn't mind. Put down 3 more after this first one (can't be that bad of an adjunct!).

Serving type: can

01-23-2012 22:05:19 | More by DCon
Photo of velosuds


2.2/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My son brought a few 12 oz. cans home from a bender last weekend. Been a long time, probably more than 30 years, since I last had this beer. Just loved the old TV commercials from when this was brewed just south of downtown Seattle, especially the motorcycle ad where the shifting of gears corresponded with the three syllables of Rai-neer beer. Enjoyed this much more in my youth when I didn't respect beer, or myself, than I do now.

A-Pours a clear, pale golden hue with a two finger bright white foamy head that slowly recedes into a scant lacing.

S-Grainy malt, corn, slight grassiness, and sake.

T-Revolting actually. Tastes like what I remember from the last time a dog's drool met my lips. Bitter and bland with a nasty, adjunct lager aftertaste.

M-Extremely thin, almost watery, but the bad aftertaste lets you know it is not water.

O-Not worth drinking again, and not nearly as good as I remembered it from my youth. But, how many things are? I loved Quisp cereal as a kid, but it was not nearly as good when it was reintroduced. Rainier lager was a better choice 30 years ago than Olympia or Hamms. Very glad there has been a micro-brew Renaissance the last 20 years.

Serving type: can

11-19-2011 08:06:03 | More by velosuds
Photo of kickapoodude


3/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Many people hate on this beer, but if you know what you're getting yourself into, this beer will present no suprises. It clearly falls into the genre of shwill. Straw colored and bubbly, it is your classic american lager. Milder than PBR or Hamms, it is great for a day of ice fishing and lawn mowing when you want to drink several brews without getting drunk. Or even a buzz for that matter. Up here in Alaska it's one of the cheaper choices, so it will forever be popular.

Serving type: can

11-14-2011 20:57:58 | More by kickapoodude
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.25/5  rDev +25%
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.

Serving type: can

11-04-2011 00:00:37 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

2.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

355ml can poured into pint glass 14/10/11

A very pale straw yellow with lots of bubbles that feed a short lived thumbs width of foam that leaves no lace

S not much really some sweet grains

T I'd complain about the flavor but there would be nothing to complain about, some soggy rice cakes and hay maybe, quite faint for sure

M watery and over-carbonated, I'd say it had a clean aftertaste but that would imply flavor of some kind to begin with

O there's just nothing going on here, it's a lawnmower thirst quencher and nothing more

this is cheap beer good for one thing

Serving type: can

10-15-2011 02:02:02 | More by wordemupg
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

2.8/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml can, Canadian version, 5% ABV. Just saw a fair bit of Mt. Rainier as it looms over the greater Seattle area last month, and it's a holiday weekend, so time for some cabin-worthy bevies...

This beer pours a clear, very pale straw colour, with a multitude of thin puffy, foamy bone-white head, which settles more slowly than expected, leaving some splotchy lace around the glass. It smells metallic and skunky, with some sweet corn graininess and fusel alcohol lurking below. The taste is thankfully devoid of most of the aspects of the nose, for better and for worse - this is one neutral 'tasting' beer - very light, hard to typify malt, and a slight drying character - perhaps the full complement of alcohol asserting itself. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body medium-light in weight, and smooth, the sugar quotient fairly low. It finishes off-dry, and pretty clean.

Don't take a big whiff of this, and you can enjoy its cheap, inoffensive, and easy 'drinkability'. Who knew.

Serving type: can

08-01-2011 03:05:20 | More by biboergosum
Photo of beerandcycling88


3.08/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at grants pizza.

A a pale straw color with little head.

S a lot of sweet grain.

T taste follows the nose, lots of grain and some sweetness.

M light with a lot of carbonation.

Overall this is my favorite adjunct lager. While it is not great, it is a good choice for a night of hard drinking on another persons dime.


Serving type: bottle

06-09-2011 03:25:30 | More by beerandcycling88
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance. Pours a pale yellow with a finger of white bubbly head.

Smell. Some grassy hops, light grains and corn.

Taste. Slightly sweet light grains and a little grassy hops. Corn in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel. Light body with medium, bubbly carbonation.

Overall. Not as bad as I was expecting. Light and easy to drink but not too much going on.

Serving type: can

04-23-2011 22:37:31 | More by Rutager
Photo of lawlerj


2.9/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a pilsner glass.

A - straw/golden color w/ a one figure head that dissapates quickly. Leaves a ring around the edge of the glass and a bit of froth on the top. Nothing too exciting but, hey, it's a cheap beer.

S - corn and cereal grain - some malt, but not much. Some strong sweetness to the smell for sure. Definitely the strong part of this beer.

T - again strong on cereal grains, a bit of malt, and some slight hops. Nothing complex or overly intereesting, but at the same time, nothing offensive either. This is a good beer if your just in the mood for a straightforward adjunct lager, which can really hit the spot on a hot summer day.

M - medium for an adjunct lager, can be at syrupy when it warms up. Ok.

D - ok, full disclaimer, I have a sentimental attachment to Rainier beer - as a Pacific Northwest transplant to the Midwest, I can't every come by this beer (relatives brought it out to me on a roadtrip). So, I find it hard to be objective. I really do enjoy drinking in it, but it's not a great or even a good beer when viewed objectively. But I love it all the same and I could drink it for hours. Also, it was featured in the Twilight movies.

Serving type: can

04-08-2011 00:55:41 | More by lawlerj
Photo of DoctorStrangiato

Alberta (Canada)

2.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 355-ml can into a pint glass.

Appearance - pale yellow with a bright white 1/2-inch head that reduces to a thick sustaining surface foam. Heavily carbonated, this beer has a decent and unexpected ring of lace that creeps up the side.

Smell - faint grainy smell with a tinny/skunk aroma. Ultra-light malt/hop/alcohol aroma. I anticipate it will be sweet.

Taste - very rounded taste with minimal flavour, seems to be all flushed out. A very sweet adjunct taste comes up the back before the mediocre finish.

Mouthfeel - I will give it to this beer that it is very smooth. Fairly active carbonation, but not really an issue - quite neutral.

Drinkability - this is a very cheap beer and at a low cost one could put away quite a few of these if on a budget. On the other hand the quality is lacking so to go through a night of a number of these would fall short.

Serving type: can

03-12-2011 05:27:11 | More by DoctorStrangiato
Photo of EgadBananas


2.65/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to woodychandler for the CAN!

Clear, yellow, bright white head that goes in an instant. Pretty typical.

Crisp, cold, wet grains and dried corn.

Slight corny sweetness, hints of malts and some aluminum aftertastes.

crisp, light in body, not much substance, and pretty plain overall.

Naturally, easily chuggable, but not something to search for.

Serving type: can

01-27-2011 23:12:15 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev +26.9%
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.

Serving type: can

11-29-2010 04:46:20 | More by ericj551
Photo of ELN


2.25/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

They put this back on the shelf in about late 2007. I started buying it because I wasn't sure how long it would stick around. Now that it's been 3 years it seems so standard. It is better tasting than Pabst who also makes this beer. Not that bad warm. Pretty tasteless cold. I pick up 18 packs every now and then for $11.47. Since Pabst makes this it's usually the same price as Pabst but sometimes it's a dollar more. It's okay. Once you get over the regional love it's kind of boring. I like beer in cans and cheap beer though and there are only so many at my local Wal Mart or Winco where I generally do my grocery shopping. I'm sure it looks yellow in a glass. I always drink out of the can though. Smell is oretty light, mouthfeel is watery. Drinkability is alright. C-... cheap but ok

There's a video on YouTube of Kurt and Krist of Nirvana in Aberdeen buying this beer and the rest of the video is them practicing at Krist's mom's house which is kind of cool and special.

One time I was buying some of this late on a Friday night and an older dude like mid-30's saw me buying it and said he didn't know they made it anymore. He said he used to buy Lucky Lager which was the cheapest beer when he was younger. I wish I could try Lucky. They used to make it here in Vancouver, Washington according to Wikipedia. :(

I don't know of any other beers being made in my town ever.

Serving type: can

11-26-2010 07:17:57 | More by ELN
Photo of Chaz


3.1/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

Serving type: can

10-19-2010 21:32:31 | More by Chaz
Photo of tone77


2.85/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to resi for the trade. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a pale yellow color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, a bit of grains. Taste is also very mild, some grain and malt, a slight bitterness at the finish. Feels light in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a mediocre beer.

Serving type: can

10-16-2010 16:06:43 | More by tone77
Photo of captainwerd


4/5  rDev +53.8%
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.

Serving type: can

10-15-2010 05:43:01 | More by captainwerd
Photo of woodychandler


3/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I CAN't believe that they are still making Rainier Beer! I had some as a young sailor in the late 1980's and if memory serves, even toured their Seattle plant. Now, it is made in Irwindale, CA and who knows if it the original recipe or not. Nothing like nostalgic beer drinking, though.

From the CAN: "Made with Yakima Valley hops", "Naturally brewed Mountain Fresh Beer", "All Aluminum Recyclable CAN"

Following the Crack & Glug action, I was looking at a rapidly fading finger of rocky, bone-white head. Color was a pale sunshine yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had the typical scent of lager sweetness overlain with cereal. Mouthfeel was medium with a typical AAL sweetness on the tongue. Finish was semi-dry and quite refreshing on a hot, humid afternoon in late September. Really, it was an average beer for the style, not much more, but no less, either. I have drank enough AALs on The CANQuest (TM) than I care to think about, but this was not bad. I am glad that I got to try it, but it would not be worth actively seeking out unless you have some strange desire to drink CANned beers.

Serving type: can

09-24-2010 21:40:44 | More by woodychandler
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Rainier Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
63 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.