Big Rock Gopher Lager | Big Rock Brewery

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Big Rock Gopher LagerBig Rock Gopher Lager
28 Ratings
Big Rock Gopher LagerBig Rock Gopher Lager

Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery
Alberta, Canada

Style: American Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Clean and crisp with a nice hop flavour and aroma.

Added by Shadman on 06-17-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by CrazyMike:
Photo of CrazyMike
3.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden yellow appearance with decent head. Smell is hard to detect. It does have a grassy, citrus hint to it though.

Taste is also very light, picked up a grassy, grain taste though. There is a hint of corn. Body is a bit watery but clean with decent carbonation. Aftertaste is surprisingly very malty.

Overall this seems like a good summer beer. Nothing extraordinary, but refreshing. Would recommend a try.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of EsoxLucius
2.9/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

bought a 6 pack just to try, according the the SLGA worker, this beer is replacing XO Lager, which was a Czech style, this one is claimed to be a North-American-style all-malt lager with no adjuncts or additives...

A it's a light straw color with a fast fading head and minimal lacing.

S the beer is grainy, sweet, clean smelling... nothing distinct or 'above and beyond' here though, just not terrible.

T sweet with a bit of citrus and grains. quite pleasant and the best part about it, which is the most important.

M it's thin and has medium heavy carbonation, it's pretty fizzy and makes you belch like crazy.

D unfortunately, it falls into the yard work beer catagory. it's livable, but just not enough distinction to get me to sway away from my other top choices.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A malt liquor, really?

At a local English pub to watch the Yanks in the round of 16, and I see this, the only interesting (due solely to its newness) tap in the range. Apparently this is the lager that will replace the abomination that was XO on the lager scale for Big Rock.

This beer appears a clear light golden hue, with one finger of fast-disappearing fizzy white head - when the waitress brought this, and my gf's cider, we couldn't tell them apart. It smells of mild barley grain, and weedy, somewhat skunky hops. The taste is like musty, dead flowers - grainy, weedy, and lightly skunked cooked veggies. The carbonation is above average, the body light, airy, and forgettable, and it finishes a tad off-dry, and with more untended garden essence.

While this description may sound somewhat unpleasant, this is the kind of beer that acclimates well, when your attention is focused elsewhere, like the Americans falling to a surprisingly offensive Ghana side...and is still better than XO...

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Photo of ChrisCage
3.09/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- Well this pours a crystal clear pale yellow color and has a snow white fizzy head that vanishes very quickly, only leaving a thin ring around the glass. There are loads of big bubbly carbonation columns and there is no lacing to speak of. Not a good start.

S- Quite sweet smelling, as there is a fairly dominant malt aroma. Beyond this, there are some dry grassy smells and is somewhat skunked. On the finish, there are some faint hop aromas. Overall, a slightly better macro lager smell.

T- The flavor is dominated by dry grassy flavors, as well as some raw grain. It is slightly floral as's like a hint of herbal tea mixed in. The finish is somewhat bitter but nothing special. There isn't a lack of flavor here, but what is there is not that good.

M- It's thin and watery, which is what a plain ol' lager should feel like I guess. It's richly carbonated but as it warms, it loses some of the zing....however it isn't much.

D- It's easy enough to drink and I know I could drink as much as I could handle beer wise, but I think the overall flavors and body would make me want to move most macro lagers would do. I think Big Rock dropped the ball on this one. It's similar to XO but not quite as good IMO.

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Photo of evlu1441
2.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Nothing special. Pale straw colour. Looks like a typical pale lager: Canadian, Budweiser, etc. There is a thin head that quickly disappears.

S - Sweet. Kind of like roasted corn or something.

T - Starts out tart, and then turns sweet. Finishes on some light maltyness. The sweetness stays. Nothing special.

M - Really thin. The bubbles are fairly fine, lending to a sort of smoothness.

D - Pretty good. I could see myself slamming a few of these on a camping trip during the summer.

Overall, I'm not too impressed. I think I'll stick to Canadian or something if I want a decent bland lager.

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Photo of Alberta_Beer_Guy
4/5  rDev +28.6%

Photo of spinrsx
2.55/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance – Clear yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is a fair amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, bread, malts, corn

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste breads/grains mixed with light hops and some corn. There is also a touch of an apple or pear juice sweetness.. The beer finishes with a slightly spicy corn syrup aftertaste.

Overall – I wasn't expecting much with this beer.. and it met my expectations. It really is unremarkable and I have no reason to ever drink it again.

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Photo of RedAleMan
3/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of BigBry
2.97/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A new brand from Big Rock, need some new cans to trade. From the label - "No pesky rodent here! North-American-style all-malt lager. No Additives or adjuncts. A clean, sunny flavour, easy on the hops. Warning: may rapidly take over your fridge." (not sure what flavour the sun is?!)...

Pours clear, pale yellow color and has a thin, white head. Foam quickly disappears leaving a thin ring, then nothing. No lacing or retention.
A bit sweet smelling, slight grassy malt aroma, faint if any hop aromas. The flavor has some more grassy hay flavor, sweet, a bit floral or honey note. The finish is dry. No real hop bitterness or balance (oh yeah - "easy on the hops" they said). Mouthfeel / body is thin and slightly watery, lots of carbonation bubbles. It is easy to drink, but as a thirst quencher on a hot day.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of thehyperduck
3.19/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been leery of trying this because I was under the impression it was a typical adjunct lager, and probably never would have tried it if it hadn't come in a variety pack. I'm relieved that the style implies it's at least a step above the average macro, but we'll see.

Pours a deep yellow colour that reminds me of apple juice or urine. An aggressive pour produced a half-inch of head that vanished within a minute. No lacing to speak of; even the surface is mostly translucent except for a ring of foam around the edge. Not a lot of bubbles from the bottom either; this is the only thing that would allow me to distinguish it from most Canadian macro lagers. Smell is the dictionary definition of nondescript, maybe a little bit of malt. Not a great start.

Fortunately this beer is actually reasonably tasty. A little bit of sweet malt on the tongue, with a twinge of bitterness at the end. The description on the side of the can, which I didn't notice until I had already tasted the beer, describes it as an "all-malt lager" that is "easy on the hops". If nothing else, their assessment is fairly accurate. A clean-tasting lager, without any off-putting adjunctiness. Very straightforward, but refreshing. Mouthfeel seems watery at first but is actually a bit creamy. Carbonation level is surprisingly low and allows you to actually enjoy the flavour.

Gopher gets a thumbs-up, and at only a dollar a 6-pack more vs. your average domestic macro lager, it's at least worth a try. It's certainly a step above Bud and Canadian. The problem is that Gopher is still likely to get lost in the shuffle between craft beer enthusiasts, who are likely to go for more exotic offerings, and macro drinkers who are content to stick with something slightly worse for slightly less money.

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Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 341-ml bottle into a long tulip glass.

Appearance - pale yellow colour with moderate carbonation. Little to no head with only a thin ring of lace around the edge.

Smell - a steady, sweet malt aroma with some light cream.

Taste - thin and watery followed by a small breakthrough to some decent mild malt overtones. Low bitters on the end with a wet finish.

Mouthfeel - very inoffensive and well balanced.

Drinkability - this goes down easy with no effort. It is overpriced for what it is but can be consumed in quantity at a good pace.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A CAN of CANadian beer in support of The CANQuest (TM), if you CAN dig it! Thanks, BigBry.

From the CAN: "No pesky rodent here! A North-AmeriCAN-style all-malt lager. No Additives or adjuncts. A clean, sunny flavour, easy on the hops. Warning: may rapidly take over your fridge." "Simple ingredients. Extraordinary taste. Truly CANadian."

The Crack & Glug produced just better than a finger of bubbly, bone-white head with low retention. Color was a golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. I do not know what the sun tastes like, but it had a sunny cast to its color. Nose was refreshing in that it smelled like straightforward lager. It helps, as a consumer, to understand that all-malt means no-adjuncts. There simply are not enough non-adjunct lagers in a CAN to suit me. Mouthfeel was medium with a pleasant lager sweetness on the tongue. Finish was sweet with a honey-like flavor that reminded me of what lager should taste like. This was very pleasant, easily drinkable and a good CANdidate for the cooler.

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Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of bumchilly25
2.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of microwavabledish
3.1/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

new on tap at RATT on the U of A campus.

The beer arrives quickly with 1 finger of dense white head which fades quickly and leaves no lacing at all. The rest of it is just kind of... lifeless. pale yellow, although not quite the fizz bomb I was expecting. actually there isnt much carbonation at all. It just kind of sits there.

The beer smells very clean, as in very little going on. There is some sweet grassy notes and no hops to speak of.

The taste is very much the same as the smell. a little grass, a little hay, a little grain. no bitterness really. The nice thing is that its not ridiculously sweet or corny or...gross really. Big rock says that Gopher is an "all malt" lager, and this seems to be the case. nothing off-putting, nothing to knock your socks off either though.

The mouth feels a watery, but far less fizzy than expected. Finishes slightly dry.

Drinkability is high. It is pretty neutral in that it isn't life changing and it isnt bad. It would be really easy to put away a few of these without a second thought, cause really, there isnt much to think about. Its a summer bbq lawnmower beer and it suits its purpose.

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Photo of galluch
3/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of andrenaline
3.1/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Scored a bottle of this off my neighbour. I've had it once before in the summer, but it from what I recall it was pretty average.

A - Pours a crystal clear golden colour, with a thin film of head after an aggressive pour, no retention, no lacing with moderate body carbonation.

S - Grassy hops, sweet corn and sour lemon. Reminiscent of a pale Euro lager.

T - Much like the scent with the grassy hops coming off the top, followed by a grainy bready malt that lingers on the finish.

M - Medium body, not overly carbonated, but not too thin. No real complaints here.

D - Nothing memorable here. It's by no means terrible, it's just not all that memorable. I would never turn one down, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to get one.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.47/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale yellow, lots of carbonation and a thin white head. I haven't seen a beer this pale in a long time. Almost looks like yellow coloured water.

Smells sort of metallic at first. Some sharp zesty citrus notes, sweet grains, not much here.

Tastes like it smells. Somewhat sweet, finishes slightly hoppy. Pretty good for a lager.

This is an extremely drinkable beer, one of the best thirst quenching lagers I've had, but nothing special.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into pint glass june26 2010

A clear straw yellow with a fair amount of carbonation feeding a fast falling thumbs width of head that left no lace

S some hay and sweet grains and grassy hops

T not far from the smell but perhaps with a little lemon

M watery and enough carbonation to keep it from feeling flat

D easy enough to drink decent beer for a hot sunny day

I'm impressed Big Rock came out with a new product but not as impressed by the product itself. Not a bad beer but not worth looking for

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Photo of EskimoDave
3/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of Shadman
2.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pale,yellow, clear, bone white head. Pretty average looking for a 25 year anniversary beer.

Harsh, grainy malts..that's about it.sadly.

Watery, some sweet grains, touch of metallic malts, fair bit of grainy malts. Finishes towards dry, slightly bitter & slightly metallic.

Medium light in body. Carbonation fits the style

Like polictics in Canada, Big Rock attempts plays to the centre and ends up pleasing included.

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

If you saw a picture of Gopher Lager in an album, you'd probably flip right by it without a second thought. Its stock yellow colour and bubbly patch of head isn't unattractive, but it's all too familiar and, frankly, dull enough to stimulate only disinterest. Commonplace isn't inherently bad, but at least give me some bubbles, highlights or lacing to look at! Geez.

When it comes to lagers it's simple: there's a right way of brewing them and there's a wrong way. Most commercial brewers emasculate their beers by using adjuncts such as rice or corn and some even dilute them with things like corn syrup. True brewers, however, understand that a plain, pale lager must be, above any other style, irreproachably clean.

From what I can tell, Big Rock did things the right way. This doesn't exhibit much of a 'corny' taste or smell nor does it seem soiled by any syrups or extracts. The taste is agreeable, if only for lacking the aforementioned, and suits the bill for a thin, thoughtless, flavorless, mainstream kind of lager. For the brewery, that's likely all that counted.

And granted, compared to (some of the same brewery's own) heavily adulterated, low-budget, low-grade lagers this is a slice of cake. It doesn't have the cloying syrupy texture, the overly corny taste or the raw fusel alcohol. On the same hand, it doesn't have any of the toothsome malty flavour or the wholesomeness of a quality beer neither.

It seems Big Rock didn't dilute their beer any further because they didn't need to; instead, they just brewed a beer that was naturally tasteless and watery. And in some ways that's no better than brewing something completely unpalatable - either way, it doesn't really hit the spot, either way it's not really anything to proud or excited to drink.

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Photo of bylerteck
3/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of scott451
3.3/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A aggressive pour produced a bubbly one finger white head on a clear lemon yellow. The head soon diminished to a thin cap. Some patchy lacing stuck around for a while.

Grassy malt smells. Some metallic notes. The taste was surprisingly smooth and fruity with a very subdued hop finish. Some grassy metallic notes.

Light body. Moderate carbonation. A good refreshing summer beer. Better than I expected. A very drinkable version of a drinkable style.

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Big Rock Gopher Lager from Big Rock Brewery
Beer rating: 3.11 out of 5 with 28 ratings