Rainier Lager - Pabst Brewing Company

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Rainier Lager
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BA SCORE
69
poor

69 Reviews
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Reviews: 69
Hads: 200
rAvg: 2.86
pDev: 20.98%
Wants: 6
Gots: 28 | 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: 69 | Hads: 200
Photo of Rutager
2.98/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (350 characters)

Photo of lawlerj
2.88/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (1,198 characters)

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
2.79/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (870 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
2.64/5  rDev -7.7%
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. (355 characters)

Photo of ericj551
3.3/5  rDev +15.4%
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. (397 characters)

Photo of ELN
2.26/5  rDev -21%
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. (1,383 characters)

Photo of Chaz
3.1/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (1,530 characters)

Photo of tone77
2.87/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (297 characters)

Photo of captainwerd
3.96/5  rDev +38.5%
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. (475 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3/5  rDev +4.9%
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. (1,100 characters)

Photo of chadjulius
3.09/5  rDev +8%
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. (688 characters)

Photo of blackc5
2.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (393 characters)

Photo of NWer
4.2/5  rDev +46.9%
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. (460 characters)

Photo of bondjedi
2.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The picture of the can accompanying this section is out-of-date. The current can has a classic look.

They make this stuff in Illinois or Milwaukee now, I think. The container says that the brewers are still using Yakima hops, though. Too bad they can't use water from the Cascades.

The beer has a gravelly finish, which I like. Otherwise, it's unremarkable. No head, no lacing. Well carbonated, however. (407 characters)

Photo of appenzeller
2.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Figured I should give this a try after a decade of living in the Pacific Northwest. Since I'm not a native, however, I have no nostalgic emotional attachment whatsoever to this brew, so I'll call it like I see it.

Pours light yellow, modest white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is slightly sweet and malty, surprisingly pleasing. So far so good.

Taste is bland, some nice malts but not very perceptible. Fair bitterness and balance. Sort of an unpleasant metallic aftertaste, goes down watery.

I expected this one might get the old "flunkeroo" but honestly, it's not that bad. Far better than some of the cheap midwestern swill I quaffed in college. If I were sentenced to drink macrobeer this might not be a bad choice. (729 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
2.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, brewed in Irwindale CA...Miller

A clear straw coloured pour with about an inch of foam and no lacing to speak of.

The smell has some grain and some hop bitterness.

The taste has some slightly lemon like zest up front but that turns down somewhat replaced by a grainy note and plain hop bitterness.

Usual body and carbonation for the style, light and brisk, repectively.

Drinkability? It's been many years since I had this last and though it is pretty drinkable and not really offensive at all, it'll probably be more years before I have it again. (562 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.13/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (368 characters)

Photo of erikm25
3.12/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (934 characters)

Photo of Bookseeb
3.67/5  rDev +28.3%
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. (385 characters)

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.78/5  rDev +32.2%
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. (469 characters)

Photo of njmoons
1.7/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Back in my college days out west, we used to get kegs of Rainer Beer, for house parties etceteras. It was on tap at all the local bars, and cheap at the market.

In all that time I can honestly say I never enjoyed a single one.

Pale adjunct lager with almost no malt taste, and a terrible finish that made me think they must not ferment at lager temperatures.

There are worse beers, but not many. (399 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.3/5  rDev +15.4%
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. (650 characters)

Photo of Magpie14
3.1/5  rDev +8.4%
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 (1,093 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.43/5  rDev +19.9%
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. (616 characters)

Photo of Docer
3.85/5  rDev +34.6%
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... (722 characters)

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Rainier Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
69 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.