Northern Light | Royal Oak Brewery

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14 Ratings

Brewed by:
Royal Oak Brewery
Michigan, United States

Style: American Light Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 8
Photo of todesengel135
3.5/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of amalburg
3/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of brutusmuktuk
2.5/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of leadahmer
3.75/5  rDev +24.2%

Photo of TheBrewo
3.75/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

This brew was served from the tap at Royal Oak Brewery in Royal Oak, Michigan. It arrived in a generic pint glass, showing a watery pale straw coloring. It held a half finger tall head of cream white bubbles, giving quick retention, and leaving tiny wisps of lacing around the glass. The beer showed extreme clarity, with no haze or sediment noted. Carbonation appeared to be very light. The aroma gave strong pilsner maltiness, coppery metallics, bright yeast, flour, and surprising zest of grassy hops. With warmth came faint vanillas, corn, and chalky dryness. Our first impression was that the flavoring was nicely refreshing, but a bit brash on the back. The latter calmed as things progressed. As we sipped, the taste opened with big grassy dryness, straw, mineral, zinc bite, orange rind zest, well water, toast, light butters, and more of a caramel malt the longer you held it in your mouth. The middle came to a peak with lime and orange zest and soured sulfuric air, for the bitterest moment of the swallow. Washing through the finish were notes of burnt popcorn, pale malts, bitter straw dryness, foamy plastics, mineral water, and the starchiness of white rice. The aftertaste breathed of strong bitterness of flour, pale and pilsner malts, crisp grassy hop bite, citric rind, lemon juiciness, and brassy yeast. The body was light, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave okay froth and cream, but with nice smack, slurp, and finishing pop. The mouth was left crisp, with chalky dryness and light pucker in the absence of any creamy or cooling coating. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its ease of drinkability, and how refreshing it was. The flavoring was actually quite bright with a variety of authentic malts through its grain base, and a surprising hoppy bite to balance. The nicely soured and bittered citric components added yet another layer of freshness, helping to keep the palate awake. The aroma, on the other hand, was standard, and so was the sip. This beer was definitely well done for the style, and represented a nice attempt to satiate the casual or light beer drinker.

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Photo of JVoyager
3/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of melissab318
1/5  rDev -66.9%

Photo of WwRGSwW
2.86/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This could of been better.. I tried the Wheat, and should of went with that. It had a light beer mouthfeel, but that was it. Strong citrus like taste, that is moreover powering then anything else. Little to no head on the beer. It needs more boldness in the flavor. It did not go well with the Pasta that I had.

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
2.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I wasn't a fan of this one. It seems to be suffering from an identity crisis. It wasn't really a light beer, and had more of a citrus-like wheat feel to it. It looked a little more wheaty too. Maybe it's how they filter it? A definite step up from mass produced American lights but I'll end it there.

Other people I was with seemed to enjoy it enough. There's a lot of other beers at the place that I'd rather stick with, especially the wheat and porter.

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Photo of berserker256
3.13/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold appearance with a nice white head. Doesn't smell like anything special. Maybe a hint of hops and malt but not a whole lot... But way more than any of the macrobrew light beers. Tastes very similar to the smell. A bit heavier than Bud light, Miller light, etc. and definitely a better taste. It tastes like it's brewed from the real beer ingredients as opposed to rice or corn or hay or whatever. It tastes like it's brewed from hops and barely but just less of it. It's a good light beer. But I'd rather have a beer that concentrates on taste instead of reduction of calories. It's quite decent considering its purpose.

 629 characters

Photo of schusterbauer
3.83/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is actually not a light lager -- just a good lager with an unfortunately confusing name.

cloudy yellow pour with a thin foamy head that persists. smell is even and smooth, aromas of grassy hops, malts, corn, grains. smells exactly how it tastes. well blended, with a surprising amount of hops, but hops aren't the centerpiece by any means. grains, malts, corns -- all very robust and earthy. fresh tasting.

i didn't know what to make of this beer years ago, when i first started drinking it. the more i return to it though, the more i appreciate it. not showy at all, just a very solid flagship beer.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice. Pours out to a medium golden color with vigorous carbonation, and a larger head of white foam. Aromas of fresh and light hops are immediately noted. Some hints of malt and wheat as well. Taste was light bodied and very enjoyable; light malts and subtle hops blend well on the tongue, offering a refreshing mouthfeel and smooth taste. Drinkability is good. This is a good summer lager. Worth trying.

 404 characters

Photo of walleye
2.03/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

from the tap, at the brewery. poured yellow with a little white head. aroma, corn, straw, and not much else. flavor, hops, grainy . not a bad beer. was outside in the patio area and I think the beer sat too long at the bar before it was brought out so it was not as cold as I think it should have been.

 302 characters

Photo of ahking
3.57/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On an off day I might be fooled into thinking that this was a full bodied lager. The first thing that shocked me about this "light" beer was the strong hops presence. Not sure what the IBU is here, but is was sufficiently high for a light lager. My brother, being a BMC man, did not completely enjoy this beer, so that must be a good sign that it is not a true light beer. Appearance was a semi-cloudy gold with decent head. Not sure if I found this beer very refreshing. Would probably chose a nice hefewiezen over this on a summer day. Overall, however, I was pleasantly surprised with this beer.

(ABV listed on the board is 4.0%)

 636 characters

Northern Light from Royal Oak Brewery
Beer rating: 3.02 out of 5 with 14 ratings