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Rainier Lager - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rainier LagerRainier Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

157 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 2.63
pDev: 26.62%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kylle
2.5/5  rDev -4.9%

kylle, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of DCon
2.73/5  rDev +3.8%

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!).

DCon, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of edwardkersh
1.5/5  rDev -43%

edwardkersh, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of Huffaroma
2/5  rDev -24%

Huffaroma, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of cdwil
2.5/5  rDev -4.9%

cdwil, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of papawu76
3/5  rDev +14.1%

papawu76, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of velosuds
2.2/5  rDev -16.3%

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.

velosuds, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of rrock44
3/5  rDev +14.1%

rrock44, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of kickapoodude
3/5  rDev +14.1%

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.

kickapoodude, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.25/5  rDev +23.6%

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.

Beerandraiderfan, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of wordemupg
2.08/5  rDev -20.9%

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

wordemupg, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
2.43/5  rDev -7.6%

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

This beer pours a clear, very pale golden straw colour, with a multitude of thinly puffy, foamy, and fizzy dirty white head, which settles more slowly than expected, leaving some splotchy lace around the glass.

It smells quite metallic and skunky, with some sweet corn graininess and fusel alcohols lurking below. The taste is thankfully mostly removed from the aspects of the nose, for better or for worse - this is one neutrally flavoured beer - with some very light, and difficult to typify adjunct malt, and a slight drying character - perhaps the full complement of alcohol asserting itself - it sure ain't the hops, baby.

The carbonation is quite sedate, just a meek frothiness abounding, the body a certifiable light weight, and smooth, but rather cloying, even though the sugar quotient remains fairly low. It finishes off-dry, bland, and yet pretty clean.

If you don't take a big whiff of this, you too can enjoy its cheap, more or less inoffensive, and easy 'drinkability'! Uh huh. Very much like tainted river water flowing down from the titular peak, you don't know until you taste it, and even then, cognitive dissonance can screw you over, i.e. this offering no longer has anything whatsoever to do with the Pacific Northwest's outdoor splendour.

biboergosum, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of beerandcycling88
3.08/5  rDev +17.1%

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.


beerandcycling88, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of Rutager
2.98/5  rDev +13.3%

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.

Rutager, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of lawlerj
2.9/5  rDev +10.3%

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.

lawlerj, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
2.78/5  rDev +5.7%

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.

DoctorStrangiato, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
2.65/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

EgadBananas, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of ericj551
3.3/5  rDev +25.5%

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.

ericj551, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of ELN
2.25/5  rDev -14.4%

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.

ELN, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of Chaz
3.1/5  rDev +17.9%

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.

Chaz, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of tone77
2.85/5  rDev +8.4%

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.

tone77, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of captainwerd
4/5  rDev +52.1%

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.

captainwerd, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of woodychandler
3/5  rDev +14.1%

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.

woodychandler, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of chadjulius
3.09/5  rDev +17.5%

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.

chadjulius, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of blackc5
2.6/5  rDev -1.1%

Meh. Overall this is a pretty meh beer at this point. Never drank the 'original' so hopefully this is not representative of what it once was.

Overall, it seemed to be a pretty typical higher-end BMC-like product with no exceptional qualities worthy of note. Completely predictable in taste and watery body. I guess on a bright note, it did have a bit of lemony hops and decent head retention.

blackc5, Jul 30, 2010
Rainier Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
63 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.