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Olympia Beer | Pabst Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
65
poor
101 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
101
Ratings:
266
Avg:
2.68
pDev:
26.49%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
31
For Trade:
0
Olympia BeerOlympia Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.78%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-28-2002

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Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 266
Photo of harrymel
2.99/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best by 04MAR13

Pale gold glass with a solid stream of bubbles from the bottom. No foam. Smells of light hay, lemon, grain and a little bit of apple. Taste is clean and corny, with some grain and a little light white grape juice. The feeling is light, crisp and moderately highly carbonated with a wet finish. All and all I'm not particularly disappointed.

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Photo of kflorence
2.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Thought this beer was a relic of the past until seeing it on the shelf in BevMo. Turns out it was purchased by Pabst Brewing Company and moved to Wisconsin. For a beer established on and advertised for it's local water source (Tumwater), I can imagine this brew has probably changed a lot since it was in the Northwest.

A: Pours golden in color with a good amount of foamy, white head. Lots of carbonation. Surprisingly, there is some lacing around the glass as you drink. A bit darker than your average American adjunct, but otherwise seems to fit the profile.

S: Sweet grains and grass with a touch of hops.

T: Very light and similar to the smell. Adjunct grains (corn), grass, some weak hops. Honestly, this tastes a lot like Pabst, but maybe that shouldn't be surprising.

M: Ultra light body with high carbonation. Almost like carbonated water. This is the low point in the beer for me, it's just not appealing at all.

O: I remember my dad drinking this when I grew up, so for nostalgia's sake I really wanted to like this one. But alas, it seems another classic American lager has been lost to corporatism. I'll never get to see what this beer used to taste like, so I can only judge it by what it tastes like now and I must say I'm quite disappointed. Being owned and operated by Pabst Brewing Company, it actually reminds me quite a bit of the flagship Pabst Blue Ribbon. The carbonation is probably slightly lower, but the flavor is comparable. I likely will not revisit this one.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +49.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Olympia beer has a thick, white head, a clear, bubbly, straw appearance, and a nice amount of lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is of sweet malt, grain, and a slight hop sting (stereotypical American-style lager). The flavor is likewise typical for American-style lager: sweet, mild malt, grain (corn), a kiss of the hops, and water. In other words, just "that beer taste". Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Olympia finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, and dry. Overall, I find it to be a good, pleasant beer.

RJT

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Photo of AllisonWunderland
1.35/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

"It's The Water" -- "Oly" as it's called is famous for it's water source, artesian wells, which are aquafers first named in Artois, France. Olympia itself carries the name of the town it's brewed in -- Olympia,
WA. The standard joke is that "it's the water" that makes you pee, and pee, and pee . . . along with the other jab, "You don't buy beer, you only rent it."

This stuff is pretty generic, unremarkable, macro-brew. Way back in the day (1950's) it was the women who drank Oly, and the men drank something with more body. It's as close to water as you can get and still be carded for proof of age.

On the bottles the labels used to have "dots" on the back. A "four dot" label was traditionally viewed as a sort of coupon for sexual favors. That's the tradition. Actually, the dots note which bottling line the bottle in the brewery rolled off of. There were four bottling lines.

Now, some family history:

ALL my relatives, and there were a lot of them, drank Oly. There was once the remark at a family gathering, circa 1964, that when my family stops drinking Oly, the brewery will go out of business. Ironically, most of my family has passed on, and the Olympia brewing company was bought out by Pabst.

When I was in the military, 1960's, Oly was offered at the PX on the west coast bases. I associated it with "home" and so my brand loyalty grew out of family association and nostalgia.

It's still nostalgic. The brewery in Olympia, WA actually has preserved and maintained the waterfall and bridge depicted on the label.

It passes for beer. But mostly it's all tied up in a lot of family memories.

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Photo of superdavex
2/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is about as generic as beer can get. When I see those cans of beer on old episodes of Roseanne that just say "BEER" on them, this is what I'd imagine those would taste like. There is nothing to gain or lose from drinking this. Not the kind of beer that makes you happy to drink it unless it's a hot day.

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Photo of Converge
2.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

355ml can poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Over two fingers of fizzy white head that rapidly recedes to a paper-thin cap. Typical golden-yellow.

S - Sweet cereal grains upfront with a surprisingly pleasant hoppy character as well. Grassy and grainy, but not terrible.

T - Grains, kind of stale and musty. Pretty mild overall. Slight hop finish, but not a lot. Adjunct grains, cereal sweetness, and a light grassy flavor.

M - Definitely over-carbonated. The fizz is unenjoyable. Light body. Bad.

D - Not very good. Compared to some others in it's price range, it's not awful, but this just isn't a very good beer.

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Photo of LWG1970
3/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a 12 pack of cans at Jungle Jims, for 6 bucks.

Looks a Darker yellow than straw, smells like corn, taste is sweet, very carbonated. Slight aftertaste.

Honestly taste a lot like Pabst. Very east to drink.

For the price not a BAD choice, but there are better.

Worth a try if you never have, and can find it.

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Photo of Halcyondays
1.97/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.41/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of OneLowChevy
3.13/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty average beer to me. Its smooth and easy to drink. Price is right and it beats going with bud light. Its a great beer if you can find it. I can usually get it at bevmo. Its nothing special, but i do like it. The added bonus is the retro style of the can. Im not sure how long its been since they changed the design, but it sure does bring people back in time.

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Photo of dangerpint
4.03/5  rDev +50.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Havent had this one since 1999 when they quit selling it here va. Iam from washington state, born and raised there. back when it was mostly oly or rainer. oly or rainer was the beer we drank. i had wanted to try the ca version since the famous tumwater brewery has been closed for years to see how it stacked up to tumwater brewed version, so had some sent on dry ice by a freind liviing near inwindale ca were oly is now produced. pours bone white head,retention low to average not flat by any means golden pale color some adjunts"to be expected in this style" ,barley,fruit note, light hop note no offensive smells or tastes, light tasting crisp good finish, for a standard amercian beer not too bad (good price) its alot better beer than most over priced and over advertised swills. not a bad beer when you want to knock a few back.inwindale cal version not quite as good as the tumwater made olympia but still is a solid classic beer that stands up and beats most swills. has got many accolades and awards. 2010 world beer cup GOLD MEDAL winner. more states and better availability like in the past would be nice.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
2.96/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light yellow color. Decent head on pour that evaporates quickly. Pretty clear, looks like it may have some substance.

Smell: It has a faint, sweet vanilla smell. Not much from the malts.

Taste: Doesn't taste bad. It's a bit sour. The hops are faint but pleasant with some bite. Its not super watery. It doesn't linger in the back of throat and finished better than other macro lagers.

Mouthfeel: Despite the can saying, "It's the water," it isn't the most watery beer i've ever had. The beer is light and doesn't have a ton of character. The brewers made up by putting some serious carbonation in this beer.

Drinkability: Olympia is my favorite macro american lager at the moment. It has more flavor than PBR or MGD and it's hoppier than both. It's also cheap which makes it a good deal if you are on a budget.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
2.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Continuing my tour through "sub-premium" beer territory.

Pours a light yellow that might be half a shade darker than PBR. White head recedes quickly.

A suggestion of malt aroma with a good helping of DMS.

The flavor has the characteristicly vague maltiness that seems to define adjunct lagers. Then things get a little funky with a bit of tartness (green apple?) and a vegetal flavor before a rush of carbonation overtakes the palate.

Crisp, highly carbonated, thin bodied.

At first glance, it seems easy to cast asside all adjunct lagers and say they all taste the same. While there may not be a large difference between them, Olympia is proof that they are not all created equal. Schlitz and PBR are clearly superior. Olympia exhibits several off flavors and aromas. Though some are acceptable for the style, not all are. And in a beer with this little flavor, a few minor off flavors can take over quickly.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.18/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the can light golden yellow color with the standard finger or so of fluffy white head. Pretty standard macro fare here, cereal, grains, corn, carbonation, drink ability, a whisper of hops (maybe?). This one was a tad darker than some of the other Pabst products I've had, and seemed to be a little more full bodied and flavorful; not a lot, but a little. Pretty decent.

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Photo of brewnic
2.64/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Cheap and after that first sip that seems like this beer was left in the sun will taste like water. Don't know if it was because this was served ice cold so their couldn't be a taste or really if that's what they were going for. You know what you are going to get even before you try this one.

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Photo of crossovert
3.1/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can, why even bother pouring it, I already know it is a light pale gold with a soapy looking white head.

This is a lighter adjunct lager, and to be honest, one of the most unoffensive ones out there, the corn doesn't blast you in the face, it is also cheap, but don't drink it unless you are broke. For an adjunct lager, this is about as unoffensive as you will get.

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Photo of msmezher
3.65/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Olympia is one of the first beers I drank at home, my dad's friend brought a 12 pack over, and as my dad doesn't drink beer, I helped myself to all of them over the course of a few weeks when I was an 18 year old car salesman. Obviously not a craft/microbrew beer, but Olympia is the kind of affordable beer I think (positively) of when I think American macro lager. Olympia isn't out there to be the best, but damned sure it's the averagest, and sometimes, isn't that best?

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Photo of Ottertude
3.43/5  rDev +28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was a beer that I remember my Granpa drinking in California in the late 70's. It was also a cheaper and tasty alternative to BMC in my college days as well. I hadn't seen this brand around in a long time but had to buy the 12 pack for $7 when I saw it in a grocery store in Missouri recently.

The beer poured a golden yellow into my pint glass with a well carbonated 1 inch white head that left in no time flat. Minimal lacing on my glass.

Not much smell at all here which is okay for me when it comes to adjunct lagers in my book. Maybe some slight corn or tart apple perhaps.

The taste was of some corn, a hint of malt and a little lemony tart hop flavor to balance this. No nasty bitter aftertaste here, pretty smooth and clean. I like this better than BMC.

The mouthfeel was pretty watery but that helps this go down pretty easy. A good thist quencher on another miserable hot summer day. It is decent for what it is. The price is nice and it is a suitable lawnmower beer for a hot day.

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Photo of ChrisCage
3.16/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

The 2nd in my series of cheap beer reviews for an evening!

A- Pours a light grassy color that is, once again, very clear. There is lots of big carbonation rising in many columns. There is some mild sticky lacing that clings to my glass The foamy white head quickly disappates into a thin ring around my glass. Not much else here.

S- The primarly aromas here are of sweet corn and malt. There is also some notes of dry yeast and unprocerssed grains. I don't really detect any hop bitterness, but rather some skunked aromas.

T- This is another adjunct laden lager. It is quite sweet, primarily of corn and some clean, bland white rice. There is also some mild citrus fruit notes and a very clean finish, which contains some metallic/astringent overtones that linger on the palate. Not an offensive tasting beer for a cheapy!

M- Again, this is a watery, thin bodied beer, which is to be expected. The carbonation isn't as zingy as I would have thought. It's smooth and somewhat creamy, which I didn't expect!

D- This is a highly drinkable beer I have to say! The corn sweetness hides the alcohol well and there's no real bitterness to detract any novice beer drinkers. Good hot weather beer....it's clean and crisp and I'd say one of the best values for a buck a beer you'll find.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.53/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Glass - Pint

A - Classic BMC appearance, clear yellow with ample Co2 rapidly rising to the top, and a fizzy 1-finger head that dissipates in a snap. A thin ring stuck around the top of the beer but no lacing here.

S - Typical sweet corny aroma with some other grainy notes underlying, a bit of fruity grape or apple as well. Some cracker, mild hop when swirled.

T - Mildly sweet corn & grain flavor dominate, around the middle I get a bit of soft citric hop character, it's very soft but helps balance this beer well. Finishes with just a bit more bitterness than your average for the style.

M - Moderately crisp & pretty thin feel. Goes down fast.

D - Hmm, not bad at all. Most of it is average but the taste is a little better to me, as it doesn't have an intense grainy flavor like Budweiser, and drinkability is through the roof as it should be for the style. I'd buy this again over Most other BMC brews, but competes against my favorite for the style, Schlitz! Recommended.

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Photo of JosiahS
3.28/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this from a what looked like a faded labeled can, into a standard pint glass. Color is the typical straw, about the same as any other light lager. Lots of carbonation bubbles floating to the top. One finger of fizzy white head that dissipated within 20 seconds.

The smell is of sweet malt, tart grape or apple and some graininess.

The taste is surprisingly clean. A little grain followed by some tartness and finishing with just a little hops.

The mouthfeel is watery through and through and the carbonation is lighter than one would expect out of a adjunct, light lager.

This beer is extremely simple, clean and refreshing. A bud has more flavor but this doesn't have anything undesirable in my opinion. It's nice, for what it is.

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Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of rednrag
3.65/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thought this beer was no longer with us. Saw it at the sto' for about 10 bucks, felt kinda nostalgic so I bought it.
Now, I always considered this one to be middle-of-the road when it came to AAL's. It was actually one of my friend's favorite beer, I thought it was OK, but certainly not the best of it's style.
See that Pabst owns the label now.
You know what? This is pretty good for what it is. Clean, refreshing, tasty with no off-putting flavors.
I like it, and will probably buy it again, if it doesn't go extinct.

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Photo of wordemupg
2.43/5  rDev -9.3%
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

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.68/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Olympia Beer from Pabst Brewing Company
65 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.