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La Crosse Lager - City Brewing Company, LLC

Not Rated.
La Crosse LagerLa Crosse Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
71
okay

76 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 2.97
pDev: 25.93%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
City Brewing Company, LLC visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-21-2003

Brand possibly owned by Melanie Brewing Co.

 http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1422 
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 47
Photo of Brenden
2.81/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pale yellow color? Check. Crystal clear? Check. Pretty thin in the body? Got it. The white head is just tall enough and strong enough, and lacing plentiful enough, for this altogether typical AAL to hit average.
Dust, must, grains and a note of oxidation that isn't even trying to hide comprise an unpleasant aroma.
Pale malts are a little more substantial along with the grain and husk, and this one heads to the dry side of the style, particularly as a little hop leaf come into play. There's a bit of mineral, perhaps a touch too steely, before a grassy finish. Hops are enough to give it an average rating, and it helps that the off notes the nose can catch aren't as strong to the tongue.
Light and thin with a strong crispness and not too much graininess to the texture, it doesn't err too badly until the bitterness loses character and turns astringent.

Photo of CraftPro
4.18/5  rDev +40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

La Crosse Lager is a beer that underachieves, but not in the traditional sense. At $14 to $16 for a 30 pack of cans, it could be assumed that many potential beer drinkers are swayed from this brand due to its low cost and the risk that if it's a bad brew, one is stuck with 29 cans taking up space. The fact of the matter is that La Crosse Lager is truly an excellent beer.

In a recent double-blind taste test we conducted, La Crosse Lager scored higher than the vast majority of its "big brew" adjunct american lager counterparts (i.e. Budweiser, Coors, Pabst, Old Style, Leinenkugel's) and a number of "micro brews" from our region (i.e. Fitgers, Bent Paddle).

Reputedly, La Crosse Lager is brewed from the original recipe for Old Style. As most of us are aware, however, the Old Style product was greatly cheapened by Stroh's and Pabst after Heileman's got out of the business. Whereas today's Old Style has a noticeably stale, almost chemical taste, La Crosse Lager is spared from those unpleasantries. It's clean, crisp, and has well-rounded flavor.

La Crosse Lager is "krausened", the process that Old Style made a fixture of much of their marketing before turning to a cheaper brewing process. Krausening and the overall creation of La Crosse Lager is an expensive, old-fashioned process that is misleading, once again, by the beer's exceedingly low price point. Undoubtedly as City Brewery has 3 large breweries and derives most of their profits from contract brewing, they have the financial flexibility to bring this beer to market at a great price.

I would go so far to say that if this beer came with a Sam Adam's or Montana Brewing Company label that it would be the darling of "beer elitists" and command 3-4 times its current market price. But until that unlikely time comes, I will enjoy this taste of the Northwoods at a price that makes me feel that I'm getting an absolute steal!

Photo of guityler83
2.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Brilliantly clear, straw yellow color beer with lots of bright white bubbles shooting to the top of the standard pint glass. small finger tall head that quickly fizzed away when poured from the can.

S: Very faint bread with a hint of lemon, clean overall.

T: Low in flavor, just a hint of bitterness but not enough from keeping the beer from becoming sweet. A sweet corn like flavor overall with a light bready character. Very clean, crisp fermentation.

M: Light body with moderate carbonation. crisp finish is left on the pallet making it pretty refreshing.

O: Nothing special here, but it is a refreshing beer and I'd take this over a BMC any day just because it has a tolerable nose and some noticable flavor.. but not much.

Photo of tone77
3.14/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Another beer from the creator of the canquest, woodychandler. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts and grains. Taste is crisp, mild malts, light, a bit of metallic after taste going on. Feels light in the mouth and overall nothing offensive here, just your standard, run of the mill adjunct lager.

Photo of woodychandler
1.35/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

If memory serves me correctly, I bought a couple of La Crosse CANs at Riley's Wines of the World in Madison, WI during my annual trip to the Great Taste of the Midwest and search for CANned beers in support of The CANQuest (TM). If I am incorrect, local in-person trader, tone77, brought them by for me, but he has not reviewed them, so I am dubious.

From the CAN: "Fully Kraeusened"; "Double Brewed with Pure Artesian Water."; "Clean, Smooth Finish".

The Crack was nice and loud and I was ready for an inverted Glug, despite it being a tall boy, which CAN be tricky to maneuver. If you are trying it for yourself, the trick is to know when to begin to back off. Rarely CAN I get the entire beer into the glass initially, but I CAN get a lot of head from this style of pour. Here, I got just better than a finger of rocky, foamy, bone-white head with reasonable retention. Color was a pale sunshine-yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled of silage and I would like to know who's zoomin' who, here. APL, my Aunt Fanny's fanny! This is nothing more than another AAL. My first draught from the glass was all that I needed to reinforce my initial thoughts. Hell, it was damned close in taste to and one of its Wisconsin brethren's beers from the dreaded Minhas! I swear that I could taste PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC) in suspension in this beer. I began to hear the tromp of heavy footsteps in the alley as the Cybermen were coming for me. I began to weep because I have eluded them so often that it it is hard to count and now I was being taken unawares! It tasted like stale corn chips blended with old tobacco in the mouth. Finish was metallic, maize-y, and I swear that when I inhaled, I could smell cigar or cigarette smoke. OMG! This hearkens back to the early days of The CANQuest (TM), when the bulk of CANned beers that were available were AALs, but that has changed for the better of late. It was like nostalgia drinking, but without the nostalgia. Brrr. Oof.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Light golden color with a fairly full, foamy, bubbly, light, whispy, white head. Average retention leaving a very thin lace.

S - Very grainy and sweet. Also lots of apple in the back. Almost like a light/off cider. Some hints of bready malt. Overall it is pretty light though.

T - Similar to the nose. Pretty light with grainy, bready, and sweet malt being strongest. Very little grassy hop flavor. Again, plenty of apple notes given it a ciderish taste.

M - Light body with above average carbonation. Light, crisp, and a lingering sweetness.

D - About as drinkable as a macro light lager. Apple flavors make it slightly distinct, but I'm not sure how exactly I feel about it.

Notes: Interesting beer. Lots of apple that isn't too far off from some malt liquors. Grainy and bready sweetness. Ok but nothing to search for. Ok for a cheap beer but nothing impressive, even for the price.

Photo of MarathonManCL
4.1/5  rDev +38%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The thing that makes this beer better than your typical mass produced lagers is the spring water and how this beer is brewed.
The artesian spring water in LaCrosse Wisconsin is some of the purest water in North American. This beer is fully kraeusened which naturally carbonates the beer. The double brewing process takes longer and combined with the artesian spring water makes this beer special. I have sampled beers around the world and can honestly say that this beer is one of the best beers for the price. This beer comes from the City Brewery in LaCrosee Wisconsin. The appearance is good, a golden color with a semi sweet aroma. The taste is very smooth as a result of the kraeusening. The 30 pack 12oz can cases sell for about $13.99 in the Northwest Chicago Suburbs. The price is greast for a beer of this quality. I highly recommend it for a everyday beer at a great price.

Photo of hu5om
2.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

got a 30 in the LAX. As cheap beers go, this one ain't bad. I would rank it near PBR. If you are in Wisconsin looking for dirt cheap beer, conside this one. It actually has a bit of taste to it! Not worth pouring in a glass, but they do have it on tap at Bodega. Not a taster beer, but worth trying.

Photo of kilustration
3.68/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 30pack. What a pleasant surprise! Smooth taste, nice head, decent color. This may be my new beer of choice, just ahead of PBR and Hamms. Beats all the BMCs. Cant beat the retro looking can. May even try the Lacrosse Lager Light version too. Worth a try!

Photo of MNJR
3.85/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew costs about $16.00 out the door for 30 cans. So, it is exceptionally inexpensive. The rumor is these guys found the old 1960's Old Style recipe in an old file cabinet at the Lacrosse brewery. This is therefore supposed to be the authentic "old" Old Style in all but name. This is an very good beer for the price. It is light but has flavor, and is an excellent thirst quenching beer when you drink it really cold. The flavors are of slightly bitter grain, with an "almost sometimes" cross between banana and citrus poking its way through. Hops are light and not too noticeable. I can see where it might be a bit watery, but you don't buy this stuff expecting something that's not a bit light on ingredients. Hey, what they do with whatever goes into this beer for > $.50 a can is not to be scoffed at. This is way better than Milwaukee's Best, Stroh's or any other lowest of the bottom shelf brands. Buy this stuff and drink a lot of it - your wallet will thank you and you won't sacrifice much quality over big brand macro-brews. Of the cheap beers, this and PBR are my top two of all time.

Photo of NOOGIE
3.4/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Poured 12 oz can into pint glass. Medium foam, which stays with the beer for the full drink. Normal stained yellow beer color.

Smell: Lot of water in the smell, almost to much really masks the other smells. The only thing I can smell is some malted barley.

Taste: Really sweet, with some barley and yeast in the taste. Then the watery taste is also in the drink.

Mouthfeel: Lot of water in the mouthfeel, also a sugary residue is left in your mouth.

Drink: Easy going down, but it fills you up fast. Also this is one of the sweetest beers I have ever had that wasn't flavored.

Photo of biggred1
3.55/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear gold with a fizzy white head that quickly shrinks to a tight collar of foam and leaves scraps of sliding lace on the glass. Sweet malt,soft lemon and hay make up the nose. The flavor is nice, grainy and corny with a decent mild (cluster?) hop bite. Light bodied and seltzery. Finishes squeaky clean. Not a bad lawnmower beer.

Photo of tommywaddle
3.25/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is alright for a cheap beer . It goes down pretty smoothe. It was only sold in a 30 pack at my local Binny's. I tried this think that it was the OlD Old Style. It is definitelyy different and NOT Old Style. I recently tried the Old Old Style and I will highly recommend you giving it a try instead. Overall this is an alright beer that is easy to drink.

Photo of hopdog
2.95/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle acquire as part of the Mystery Beer Swap v2 from DocLock (thanks!).

Poured a lighter and see through straw color with an averaged sized white head. Aromas of grain, some straw/grass, and a touch of honey. Tastes of grain and lightly honey sweet. Thin and watery body.

Notes from: 2/7/07

Photo of morimech
3.85/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The Old Style beer of yesteryear.
Nothing sets this apart in the appearance or aroma. Typical macro straw yellow color with a short-lived white head. Some spotty lacing is left on the glass. Has a sweet malt aroma. Has a pleasant sweet macro flavor with a touch of apple. A little more hops in the flavor and bitterness than your typical Bud or Coors. Light body and fizzy but finishes nice and clean. This is superior to much more expensive macro beers at a budget price.

Update: After a couple of years, this has become my cheap beer standby. Cannot beat the price/taste point. I have upped the score.

Update 2: This beer deserves a spot in the top 50 in Pale Lagers. It is better than most that is listed at half the price.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ahh, the fully krausened Lacrosse Lager. Let's give 'er a go...

Appearance - pours the basic golden straw color, a thin white cover. Decent bead action in the glass.

Aroma - a mixture of grain and sour apple. That's a first for an all-malt. Starts to wear on me after a bit.

Taste - hmm. Grainy like I expect, and per the sniff, quite apple-ly too. It's kind of like a shot of apple cider in the beer. Unusual profile, I think I'd go for it more if I knew what to expect. A little strange outta the gate though. I'm undecided on this one.

Mouthfeel - thin and crisp per the style, no surprises here.

Drinkability - light, a bit sweet per the apple flavor, a little tasty and a little weird at the same time.

Photo of kinger
2.22/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Solid swill, had a couple at my wife's sisters house the other day. Aroma and appearance are nothing to write home about. There is a fuller mouthfeel and a maltier taste than most commercial swills. Nothing spectacular but decent on a hot humid day while hanging out on the front porch.

Photo of thartman
2.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured with a thin head that was gone in seconds, zero on the lacing. Smells of hay and corn. OK taste, kind of sweet and malty, with an oily, sweet aftertaste which is long on the palate. A little heavier than other macro-style lagers like Budweiser. Worth a try, but nothing special.

Photo of orangemoustache
2.6/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear golden with a thiner than thin bleach white head that leaves no lacing.The smells are not great,but are sweet and slightly fruity,I also detect some graham cracker within.This tastes much different than it smells.It's similar to many other macros,it has some underlying caramel flavors along with some semi offensive(to some)skunky flavors,I actually like these funky notes a little,I guess comparing it to a BMC this actually has some real flavor(not great flavor,but,flavor none the less).Light bodied,and average carbonation round off a pretty boaring,but better than an average macro.

Photo of tgbljb
3.83/5  rDev +29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium amber color with sparse white head. No retention, no lacing.

Smell is very light. Only a slight sweetness detected.

Taste is unexpectedly full bodied. There is a very strong malt presence that gives this beer great flavor and a refreshing character.

Great taste retention with a long lingering malty sweetness.

Very nice to drink, Refreshing. A very enjoyable tasty beer.

Photo of ChiTownHustler
2/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I have read on the internet this was the original old style recipe, Bullshit. This is an average beer that is scarcely on the shelves in Chicago anymore.
If you want old style buy old style.It is much better than this swill.
I could not even give this beer away.

Photo of plaid75
3.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light doughy malt and a smattering of flowery hop.

The taste was rather well balanced and consisted of some soft bready malts and light balancing hops. Pleasant residual sweetness.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side for the style with a touch of creaminess.

Overall a tasty lager. I enjoyed the simplicity of this beer.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
2.79/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can with "Brewed with pure Artesian Water" on the front so you know it has to be good. Poured this one into a nonic pint glass.

A: Quite a bit darker than the Bud I just tried so points for that, also pours a hugly bubbly liquid and head. The head is pure white and bubbles down to a barely there cap. The beer is a very light shade of amber.

S: The smell was a bit of a let down after the pour, this one does not smell too much different that a Bud, sort of a fruit twinge with ceral grains, not impressive so it scores likewise.

T/MF: This one is a bit more malty and a tad more hoppy than the Bud, but has sort of a strange sour fruit taste but finishes quite clean. Light to medium bodied but not much better than the Bud.

D: Again the fruityness sort of turns me off, but for some reason tastes better out of a can (and for some reason fells more natural to keep it in the container it came in) that being said I'd take this one over most other macros, and would make it the second or third choice if I were on a tight beer budget.

Photo of drpimento
3.1/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This recipe I've heard is based on an older version the Heileman's Old Style from the 70s. Not bad. Yellow gold color, slight head, no lace, beery aroma of some hops and malt. Flavor is basic world wide light lager. There is a bit of body to it. Carbonation is decent for this kind of beer. Get a good burp out of it. ok finish.

Photo of Mdog
3.58/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pale gold, fading head. But it's meant to be drank out of the can!

Smell: Sweet, maybe a touch of vegetable.

Taste: Grain sweetness, some crispness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light.

Drinkability: Very good, easy to drink.

This is probably my favorite "cheap" beer. I find it to be better tasting than the macro-brews. It has enough taste to be enjoyable, but it is light enough to have a bunch if you're drinking with a crowd. Supposedly this is the same recipe as Old Style. I like it!

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La Crosse Lager from City Brewing Company, LLC
71 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.