Crank Tank Lager
SweetWater Brewing Company

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Lager - Helles
3.72 | pDev: 9.68%
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: We cranked the fermentation temps down to a chilly 11 degrees celcius and went with a longer lagering on this Helles prior to filtration. Bright and balanced with the clean and crisp finish of traditional Munich style lagers, Crank Tank is very quaffable after any long ride.

Malts: Pilsner, Carapils, and Munich
Hops: Mt. Hood, Saaz
Yeast: German Helles
ABV: 5.8%
IBU’s: 25
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 46 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Excellent clarity with a medium body. Covered by a good head that lacks retention.

Crisp feel from the carbonation.
Not strongly flavored but has a lasting aftertaste.

O: well crafted helles that is slightly more intense than the standard German version.

Jan 28, 2014
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Mojo from Alabama

3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> snifter glass

A - This offering pours up a slightly hazy medium gold with a frothy two finger head, patchy bits of retention foam, and very good lacing.

S - very one dimensional to my nose, mostly bready notes.

T - subtle grainy notes with a pronounced tart lemony/apples/pears finish.

M - good carbonation, a little thin

O - sort of an uncomplicated offering, but vey easy to drink.

Jan 01, 2014
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"To help support the amazing work being done at Camp Twin Lakes, SweetWater Brewery cranked up a knobby helles lager and hopped it to the spokes with Saaz and Noble hops." Brewed in the style of a Munich Helles Lager. This is the second entry in the crank tank series, following the 2012 absence of the Crank Tank Rye'd Ale, which served as inspiration for the 2012 release of Low RYEder Rye IPA. This beer will be available in 12 ounce 6 packs, but in far more limited quantities.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served north of 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) A vigorous pour yields a bright lemon-white head of a crisp frothy consistency over a pale straw yellow body with a faint haze. Carbonation is moderate. Retention is about average, lacing is light and stringy. 3.5

(Smell) A light and accessible aroma. Cracker pale malts with a pinch of caramel syrup adds a touch of thickness above a very light pilsner and a moderate sweetness. Hop choices are low alpha, great traditional European choices for a moderate balancing grassy hop character and a touch of lemon. Bitterness is mild yet substantial enough to counter the gentle malt build. Potency is medium. It's a very tempting aroma overall. 4

(Taste) The taste falls much in line with my expectations from the aroma. Light cracker pilsner malt is the majority of the malt build, expect a very light bready malt note in the background that doesn't contribute much to the body nor flavor. The hops are not overly bold unlike the Czech Pilsner but offer an enjoyable balance of zesty bitterness and grassy flavor to round out the malt profile. Some mild acidity is notable, especially the dash of lemon rind, pepper and faintly dry saltine on the finish that completes a nice, sessionable lager. If only this had come out earlier in the year, it would fall in favor for a fantastic German summer seasonal option, opposite of the fuller-bodied wheat styles. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is light, clean and mildly dry. Carbonation adds a moderate crispness and zest. Body is just short of medium for a Munich Helles Lager and light/medium overall. Alcohol presence is very well concealed and the balance is equally bitter to sweet, both are mild and work well for a light, sessionable body. 4

(Overall) I'm loving this Crank Tank beer line and really appreciate SweetWater's recent focus on overlooked German styles as a suitable option in place of full-bodied, thick American or Belgian styles. This beer was thoroughly enjoyable, well balanced and very sessionable. Like the previous installment, I could see this extending beyond a charity release, but hope it at least comes around again next fall for an encore regardless. SweetWater knows how to give the lagers some love too. Seek this beer out- at the very worst you can say you donated to a fine cause. 4

SweetWater Brewing Company's
SweetWater Crank Tank (Lager) (2013-)

Nov 10, 2013
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BeerDawgs from Georgia

3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sweetwater changed up the Crank Tank this year, serving up a lager.

A - Straw yellow, lots of clarity. Lots of head and lace stays on top of the brew and all over the glass all the way down. Extra points for that!

S - Lemon, malty grain, grass, etc. Smells like a malty lager. Nothing outstanding about it

T - Malty, grains. Easy to drink, true to the lager style.

M - Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

O - A good lager, highly drinkable. But not my prefered style. This beer doesn't do much for me. But easy to drink.

Nov 08, 2013
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rangerred from Tennessee

3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nearly clear, straw yellow with a thick, rocky nearly two finger white head. The head stays almost the entire time the beer is in the glass and the lacing is decent as well.

I wish the aroma was a bit stronger but it is a pleasant bouquet of lemon, hay, grass, and some light fruitiness. Not really any malt that I can pick up.

Lemon and grass is up front in the taste along with a strong noble hop character that is a bit floral/grassy. It is a bit sweet with a nice bready malt undertone that is appropriate for the style Mouthfeel is very soft and almost slick. Finishes with a bit of lingering bitterness and light sweetness.

Overall, a very good beer for the style. Nails it nearly perfectly and would be a very pleasant warm weather beer.

Nov 03, 2013
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have the brewers at Sweetwater lost their damn minds? After knocking them out of the park with their complete portfolio of ales, they tumble outside of their comfort zone with a lager; and a light one at that!

The highly un-Sweetwater-like beer pours with the crystal clarity to highlight is bright straw color and its abundance of champagne-like carbonation. Tall with its foamy white cap, its lacing is spotty and scattered.

Bright floral hops really show off their bouquet as it gives the grainy-sweet scent a nearly floral and honey-like note. Lightly grassy, the aromas of freshly kilned barley and hops intertwine for a pleasant straw or hay-like earthiness with a pep of mint.

Its light taste is fueled with the same grain sweetness that the aromas promise. As the sweetness quickly fades, its light malt starchiness carries the middle palate like light bread and water crackers. Its quick finish is spice-balanced with those zesty and noble German hops for a final impression of lemongrass and mint.

Equally light in body, the lager is crisp and clean right from the get-go. As the sweet grain taste is fast-fleeting, so is its malty structures. This allows the grain textures to rise to allow its light huskiness to assist hop bitterness in drying its finish. Only light astringency persists through its clean finish and light minty warmth.

Though not up in their wheelhouse, Sweetwater makes even lager-making look easy. Them crazy kooks!

Oct 28, 2013
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KevinandBeer from Georgia

4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, light gold. Light, thin, carbonated head. Pleasant aroma. Carbonation is noted at the first sip. Crisp. Refreshing. Mildly bitter. Bitterness increases after swallowing. Carbonation present throughout. Some bitter aftertaste but appropriate for the hoppiness. A great lager.

Oct 12, 2013
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Brilliantly clear golden hue, frothing is near perfection. Smells of lemon pith, fresh grass, floral hop, faint taffy, and a light breadiness. Clean graininess, bready, light grassy tone, ample hop bitterness, herbal, faint lemon zest, soft maltiness, touch of sweetness within, very clean aftertaste, finishes dry

Wow, Sweetwater should dabble a bit more in lagers ... tallboys, just saying. Back to the beer, this rivals most European lagers and is extremely drinkable ... everything you would want in a lager is here.

Sep 18, 2013
Crank Tank Lager from SweetWater Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 46 ratings