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Olympia Beer - Pabst Brewing Company

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Olympia Beer
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216 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 216
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 2.59
pDev: 27.8%
Wants: 10
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.78% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 216 | Reviews: 87 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djrn2
2.25/5  rDev -13.1%

djrn2, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of spycow
2/5  rDev -22.8%

spycow, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of acurtis
1.5/5  rDev -42.1%

acurtis, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.98/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This can of Olympia Beer ('the pride of the states') will be going up against a can of Molson Canadian Lager ('the pride of the provinces') in today's Macro Smackdown XVI. I just made up those nicknames on the spot. I'm not even sure the brewers are proud of these two.

As is often the case, the colors are almost identical. Using sunshine as a backlight allows me to appreciate a little more banana yellow in this beer and a little more dark amber in the Molson product, but the difference is slight. The heads are close as well... and they're both impressive.

There's more of a difference when it comes to the aromas. Olympia Beer is more musky and its competitor is slightly sweeter. Really, though, I like the fresh graininess that is the base aroma of each beer. These two are putting on a good show so far.

As in the nose, the flavor of this Pabst product is slightly more musky and husky. I keep using the word 'slightly', but there isn't a huge difference between these two pale lagers. This beer has a more forceful personality (more hops, I wonder?) and is probably my slight favorite as a result.

The mouthfeels are virtually identical. They're both light and lightly fizzy. Actually, I'm not sure that I'd want them to be any more full and any more or less bubbled. If you don't like these mouthfeels, then you don't like macro lagers. And who could possibly have a problem with macro lagers?

I've had close calls in Macro Smackdowns before, but this is probably the closest call yet. It isn't that the beers taste the same, it's that I don't really prefer one over the other. It looks like I'll have to use drinkability to produce a winner. And the winner is... Olympia Beer. The caveat is that it must be kept cold at all costs.

BuckeyeNation, May 16, 2007
Photo of ygtbsm94
1/5  rDev -61.4%

ygtbsm94, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.25/5  rDev -13.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of zeff80
1.98/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Poured out a bubbly, straw-yellow color with a large, pillowy, white head that actually left a little lace.

S - It smelled of corn and grain adjuncts.

T - It tasted like a macro lager. Corn, water, adjuncts with no hops or spices.

M - It was fairly crisp and somewhat sharp. A light-bodied beer.

D - Really got worse as I drank more of it. Not something that I would try again.

zeff80, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of biboergosum
2.43/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

355ml can, the made in Canada, by 'Oly Brewing Company' version (aka Great Western Brewing, of Saskatoon) - so I don't see how the same claim to water superiority or consistency can still hold true.

This beer pours a crystal clear, medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of weakly puffy, bubbly, and thinly soapy bone-white head, which leaves a few streaks of low-lying cloud lace around the glass as it rashly settles.

It smells of mildly sweet cooked corn, a touch of biscuity malt, middling warm plastic notes, and astringent dead grassy, weedy, and somewhat skunky hops. The taste is sweet corn and rice husks, a further tame graininess, weirdly perceptible saccharine alcohol, and mildly weedy, but not at all bitter, hops.

The carbonation is on the soft side, so only a rickety frothiness, the body fuller than the average light weight for the style, but that's mostly due to an airy, sugary cloyingness. It finishes still sweet, in the clammy sense, that lager-soaked barroom floor experience starting to tighten its unholy grip.

Hard to say how truly this local-ish version complies with the Cascadian original - this one is pretty blah, but serviceable enough for its place just above the canned 6-pack dregs at yer typical booze emporium, which seems about right, given the actual brewer here.

biboergosum, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Slatetank
3.25/5  rDev +25.5%

Slatetank, May 26, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
1.98/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. can,

A: Pours a very pale yellow, with a soapy frothy sudsy head with very good head retention for the style, very limited lace.

S: Carbonic acid, very mild.

T: Very mild malt, with a hint of hops. Still very seltzery.

M: Light-bodied, light carbonation (though well overcarbonated on the first sip), very watery.

D: Really nothing going. One of the cheapest beers around, and I can see why.

Halcyondays, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
2.75/5  rDev +6.2%

InspectorBob, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
2.95/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I CAN't believe that this is still being made. When my server brought it out, I was suddenly transported to the mid-1980's in New London, CT and Annie Newsome's El 'n' Gee Club. Monday nights were Oly Night and she always had a local punk band playing (unless a band was touring and needed to fill a night between BOS and The Living Room in Providence).

I poured some into a bucket glass, producing a finger of bone-white head with poor retention. The color was a light lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity. The nose had that cereal/ lightly sweet lager taste that is so prevalent in CANned beers. Mouthfeel was medium with a slight sweetness that I have grown to expect. Finish was lightly sweet, but overall just kind of pedestrian. I'll stick with my memories.

woodychandler, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
1.75/5  rDev -32.4%

Georgiabeer, May 12, 2014
Photo of wrightst
2.25/5  rDev -13.1%

wrightst, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of Wasatch
1.5/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a light yellow color, nice carbonation, small white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, slight caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, slight hop note. Light body. Not drinkable, would not buy again.

Wasatch, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of Mebuzzard
1.25/5  rDev -51.7%

Mebuzzard, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of BillRoth
3/5  rDev +15.8%

BillRoth, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of harpus
2.5/5  rDev -3.5%

harpus, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz glass.Poured a clean, clear yellow with a tall, fluffy, white head that had very good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was the expected grainy, grassy, scent typical of the style. The flavors were also grain and grass with a slight trace of hops at the back.

The body was typically thin. Drinkability was good, for a style that I generally find to be nearly undrinkable. Overall, a decent version of the style, if forced to, I would drink this over Peeber or Buttwiper.

beertunes, May 23, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
2.38/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

355ml can poured into pint glass April22 2010

A clear golden yellow with lots of tiny bubbles floating up to a fingers worth of head that has surprisingly good retention and leaves a couple partial rings of lace

S honey a little lemon and some adjuncts

T a little sour with some skunk and some corn perhaps not very nice

M thin and well carbonated pretty average

D what can I say this beer leaves something to be desired, it's hard to enjoy a beer if you don't like the taste

I doubt I'll ever drink this again well I won't be paying for anyways

wordemupg, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of GraduatedCashew
2.75/5  rDev +6.2%

GraduatedCashew, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of Bitterbill
2.68/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

120z can, best by June 7, 2010.

Pours a straw yellow with an inch of foam and no lacing.

Big nose of grain and corn that brings a nasty kind of smell.

The taste is actually kind of bitter but not in that good of a way. Some grain and corn though not big in the taste which is a good thing. The aftertaste is harsh and not enjoyable.

Usual body and carbo for the style and an ok drinker.

Bitterbill, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of ZAP
3.38/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had to give this oldie but goodie (maybe?) a try after seeing it's strong silver place finish at the 05 GABF.

Light straw color....initial head fades quickly...nose is sweet cooked corn, just a hint of cheapness to it....medium bodied....I expected a lighter bodied beer from it's old reputation, (or at least that's what I thought it was supposed to be like.)

Nothing offensive at all about the taste...sweet...almost sugary sweet....adjunct notes abound but there is nothing wrong with the taste.

Overall I could drink this easily after playing hockey...I think this beer could surprise some people (particularly macro drinkers with an open mind)..no bad off flavors or bad finish...nice sweeter taste....not bad at all for the style...

ZAP, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of cdwil
2.5/5  rDev -3.5%

cdwil, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of Vancer
3.13/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Farewell to Falstaff..

Well, now had the Olympia on 2nd Falstaff farewell at the Tin Can. MY college beer. Geez, actual more malty, sweet and drinkable than the Falstaff. Like a Schlitz, has no aroma at all. Used to buy it $3 for a 12 pack of bottles. This one wasn’t bad at all, I could see having a couple while cutting the grass, but I don’t think it’s even available anymore at store.

Vancer, Jun 10, 2005
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Olympia Beer from Pabst Brewing Company
62 out of 100 based on 216 ratings.