Rock River Lager | Minhas Craft Brewery

Rock River LagerRock River Lager
Liked This Beer
2.92 w/ 77 ratings
Rock River LagerRock River Lager

Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TastyTaste on 12-04-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of afinepilsner
3.15/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle

Rock River Lager Beer was light golden in color with a white head. The head was large at first, but was soon reduced to a thin layer that remained until the beer was nearly gone, leaving a little spotty lace behind. The aroma was light, but malty. The taste was mostly malt as well. The body was just shy of medium with medium carbnonation. Good drinkability. It's a pretty average, easy drinking lager.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corn silk gold with a fair number of jaunty bubbles leading up to a lightly lemon-accented ivory head. Three fingers to start, the cap is slow to deflate and leaves an acceptable amount of splotchy lace on the glass as it does so. Not a bad start.

This is what lagers from the Big 3 should smell like: cereal grain fresh with just a hint of spicy German hops. Simple, clean and effective. It's hard to make a nose like this one exciting, but it more than gets the job done.

Rock River Lager reminds me of a quality American Macro Lager; what Budweiser, Miller et al would taste like if high quality ingredients were used in sufficient quantity. It would seem to be an easy transition to make since this beer has the same general flavor profile (multiplied several-fold) and eliminates any trace of adjuncty nastiness or off-flavors.

A light pale malty sweetness is a bonus. It's clean, but is definitely not crisp or quenching. Nothing wrong with that; I actually prefer it as long as I'm only having a few. As in the nose, noble hops are at a low ebb while providing a counterpoint to the sweet grain.

Due to the relatively generous amount of ingredients--especially malt--the body is on the full side of medium for the style. It's somewhat fluffysmooth with a restrained amount of soft carbonation that goes a long way toward enhancing drinkability.

Rock River Lager isn't outstanding beer, but it is a perfect example of what lagers from BMC would taste like if I was king of the world. If the vast majority of Americans had the opporunity to directly compare RRL with their usual dreck, I would like to believe that they would taste the error of their ways.

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Photo of mynie
3.38/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My 7th grade Consumer Education always used to say something. He'd stand up in front of the class, up in front of all us kids, and he'd say "Caveat Emptor." I forget what that means; I think it's German for something about what you should do when you're buying a horse.

Anyhow, I was at the liquor store the other day, and on the way out I spied a collection of retro-looking bottles that were quaintly packaged together in a cheap wooden crate. What's more, they were priced down to a mere fifteen bucks for twelve bottles (two each of six different beers), *and* I got to keep the wooden case as a free gift. Well I just sat down my bag and walked right up to the counter and spent even more money, is what I did!

Come to find that these beers are made my Huber. Shit. All I've had from Huber are a few selections from the mediocre Berghoff collection and the abhorrent Fat Cat Lager. How easily I get suckered in by these things!

Now I have to be a big boy and review these beers objectively. That is, without thinking about how I paid premium money for Huber brews. Put that out of my head.

First up is Rock River, and I really have to give a props to Huber for the label; it looks like something you would have seen posted in an Irish slum circa 1868, enticing starving people to come to this fine country and get treated like slaves. I doubt this is how beer was actually packaged back in the days of our forefathers, but it's still nice and purty.

The beer pours darker than a dark macro, darker than most German pils, actually. Big head that dies down to a respectably-retentive cap. Pretty nice.

Smells like an above average German pils! Deep fruity grain and simple hop dryness. Not too complex, but free from any metallic adjunct imperfections.

Tastes light and fruity—maybe a little old, but not showing it too much. Fruit grain starts things off, very crisp, and it ends on a simple, dry hop. Nothing special, but solid for the style.

Nothing wrong with this beer. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever. Oh lord how I hope Huber keeps this up.

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Photo of zeff80
3.05/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours out a golden yellow color with no head, but highly carbonated.
It smelled (like alot of lagers) like corn.
It didn't taste too much like corn. There was a slightly sweet malt flavor to it, but not much else.
Mouthfeel was very average. I would call it smooth, though.
It is fairly drinkable but it's not my favorite.

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Photo of ikats
2.9/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This may be the case of mistaken identity. There is no mention of Joseph Huber Brewing. It only says "Brewed & Bottled by MDII, Rochester, NY". There is also a small copyright "MDII Chicago" in the corner. Yet, it matches the bottle picture and it also came from the Beers of America pack from Costco (like so many reviews point out). Accompanying booklet did not clear any confusion. Smells like a contract brewed gimmick.

Yellow in color with some amber highlights. White fluffy head disappears in exchange for a nice white cover. Aroma is not bad - malty base with citrusy hops. Taste is not very pleasant - nothing substantial to bite on and not balanced. Hops are all over the place. Drinks almost like hop flavored water. Very light body.

For me the value of this beer is that it came from a pack that my dad picked up as a gift because of my interest in beer. It really is from the "it's the thought that counts" category. Not terrible, but nothing to miss once it's gone.

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Photo of ihscout426
2.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one is labeled a German Pilsner, but is more accuratley an American Pilsner. The color was golden and it poured clear with a small head. The smell was slightly sweet and almost of corn. No real hop note and the malt never develops beyond the initial sweet characteristic. This is a plain old american lager that does not stand out from the crowd.

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Photo of MSchae1017
3/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was tasted in a Pilsner glass from the bottle.

This beer pours a golden color with a white foamy head with average retention. The beer smells of faint hops and barley malts. The taste is very similar to the smell in both content and the fact that it is rather weak. There is a slightly thin mouthfeel with a decent carbonation. Overall this is not a bad beer, it just seems like it could use a bit more soul to it.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
2.51/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

All around.
I think there's something just not right about the water that this brewery uses. There's a crappy tap water taste to the brews I've tried.
As a pilsner this a C- student. Very mild, slightly lemony.
The best thing about this beer is its appearance, but the sad part is that this is probably tastier straight from the bottle.

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Photo of scooter231
3.08/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale straw color. Simple. Smells sweet and floral, malty. Not terribly delicious or intriguing. Taste is mostly a sweet maltyness and a bready backbone. Again, nothing special. Mouthfeel is thin and watery with a hint of lively carbonation. Fairly drinkable. Light and easy, a simple brew, not offensive, but nothing spectacular. For the style... eh. This is not Prima Pils.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.08/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Medium golden in color, with a bit of haze. The head is large, coarse, and off-white, and retains well; there are a number of small, slow-rising streams of cabonation.

Aroma: Predominantly sweet aroma of apples, pears, and candied pineapple, the expected hop presence seems to be absent.

Taste: Opens with a light, sweet honey-like note, this soon turns to light fruityness, at the close the taste becomes a bit grassy. The finish is dry, with a faint hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, fairly full, with a taste that is softer than many macro lagers.

Drinkability/notes: Overall, not bad, a pleasant example.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass longneck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of cokes
3.53/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sparkling clear golden dofted with a tall and grabby eggwhite foam.
Hay bale nose with a gentle pear fruitiness and traces of raw sugar.
Graham crackers up front, then it veers even sweeter, with notions of gummied pineapple and heavy-syruped canned pears. It gives way to a lilting floral perfume, and later, the dryness of dead leaves.
Light bodied, with a fleeting carbonation. This is a bit fruit for a true German-style pils, and generally not the cleanest lager I've had. But it is drinkable, and, thus, fairly respectable.

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Photo of shirfan
3.8/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the Beers of America sampler:

A nice dark and clear gold with decent lace, aroma of light malt and a faint whiff of honey chewable cough drops.

Taste: Someone bothered to not churn out an average lager with a minor "historic" gimmick. Medium-light malt body carries the beer, with a touch of grassy hops. It's just a plain american lager in fact, but a *good* plain american lager. Reminds me of John Labatt Classic but a bit dryer. I'd actually buy more if it wasn't a one-off in a gift pack.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.53/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A stand-out lager in a sea of mediocre and boring beers. From the Beers of America gift pack. Pours out to a clean golden color with a long lasting white foam head of about 1/4 inch. Some lacing. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas of sweet malt, some very light yeast and subtle grain. Not bad. Taste was nothing amazing, but a definite step up from many other Lagers; flavors of malty sweetness mixed with smooth grains and the slightest bit of hops. This has a distinct flavor that is not of the "cheap beer" category. Mouthfeel was was slightly grainy, and accentuated by the solid and consistant carbonation. Just north of average drinkability. This is a well made all-malt brew. If this were available on a regular basis, i'd keep it in the fridge for when I want a solid lager. Recommended.

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Photo of WesWes
3.41/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a pale malt and lager yeast aroma that musty and dry. The taste is decent. It has a malty flavor that suggest that it is indeed an all malt lager. It also is mildly bitter and a bit grainy. It smooth on the way down, but dry on the finish. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average lager, but nothing I would spring for again.

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Photo of oelergud
2.15/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Clear pale golden body, low carbonation, retention and minimum lace.
Sour nose with some malt notes coming through, taste is largely the same. Aftertaste is abit too sour but mercifully short.
Good mouthfeel and minimum coating.
Low on my drinkability score.


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Photo of tgbljb
3.35/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My final selection for the Beers of America Collection. Poured a pale yellow color with attractive white puffy head. Smell is slightly sweet, but not much else. Taste is suprisingly enjoyable with a bit of crisp maltiness present. Finished cold and refreshing. Not a bad beer, better than the rest in the collection, and more enjoyable.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.48/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out clear golden yellow with a thin white sticky head that held a little better than I expected. Some nice little columns of carbonation, too.

Smell is subdued, toasted grains, no real hoppiness to speak of, and a bit of malty sweetness.

Flavor is pretty nice, if not all that complex: a light toastiness, fresh, clean toasted grains, and a bit of sweetness. It's not a flavor powerhouse, but it's a good clean beer with a nice grain flavor and not too much sweetness. A tiny little bit of hoppiness would settle things out nicely, but it's solid overall.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp.

Overall: This American beers of history twelve-pack was a gift, and I had low expectations. This is pretty tasty, though.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
2.08/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Part of the "Beers of America" package. "Bottled expressly for household use" printed on the label, whatever that means.

Noisy, large-bubbled, bone colored head that dissipates quickly. The color is a bronzed gold. The smell is slightly sweet, but of something almost chemical. The taste is also on the sweet grain side, maybe some corn in there as well, but with minimal hops. Extremely light body, soft mouthfeel. Not overly distinct, not overly satisfying.

For the money, there are significantly better lagers available.

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Photo of sabrills70
2.9/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer number 4 of my "Beers of America" 12 pack. Pours a medium light amber with a quickly fading 2 finger head and OK lace. Smells of a an all malt lager - slight caramel and a hint of hops. Again I detect some macroness. Yes there is a fair amount of malt but I also get some rice and corn coming through. There are much better examples out there, but this one does go down easy and would probably make a decent lawnmower beer. Its not bad, just get rid of the macroness.

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Photo of granger10
4.25/5  rDev +45.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My final beer from the "beers of America" pack I received. Just when I was ready to give up entirely on this thing, I get this wonderful lager.

Pours a honeyish orange color with a medium white head. The head lasts for only a bit then comes down to a one inch layer above the liquid. Lots of bubbles rising to the top. Not much lacing.

Aroma was citrusy, slightly fruity, and sweet.

Taste begins with a full sweetness. Not a cheap sweet flavor like many American lagers have but a full malt laden sweet taste. Body is really thick for the style and heavy on the palate. Hops come out a bit, more than they were in the aroma, and provide a drying effect and acidity to the beer. Taste almost like there's some orange peel in here but I'm pretty sure there's not. Finish is dry. Very well attenuated imo.

This beer is really smooth and well made all around. Not near as sugary or adjuncty as almost any other lager I have tried, but more flavorful and smoother. A really good beer here, I think people need to come to this beer with a more open mind and they will like it a lot.

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Photo of karst
2.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this all-malt lager in a pint glass and watched as the 1 fingered white head fell in 30 seconds and disappeared in another 1/2 minute. Faint aroma of sweet malt and possibly some hops.

The flavor was very similar to the aroma. Hops are stronger in the flavor but offer little as far as bitterness. Finishes with malt sweetness, but that's it. Thin mouthfeel. Not a session beer - maybe a lawn mower beer.

Beats an Adjunct Macro Lager - (Coors) but not by much.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.13/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden color with a small head that falls to a very light coating over top. The nose is okay, with some honey-touched sweetness and slight graineyness. Not ofensive. Its pretty nice. The flavor is much the same as the nose. Honey-coated grains. Not very inspiring. The feel is actually nice, with a moderate thickness and a moderate carbonation. More than expected in the feel. Overall, I'm still not impressed much with this beer. I would take it over others, but its still not something I would sit down to given the chance to have something else.

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Photo of clvand0
3.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was shared with me by a fellow brewer from his Beers of America package. Pours a copper color with a small head that quickly fades off and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet and grainy, but very subdued. The flavor is much the same as the aroma. Slight grassy flavor from the hops and a little bit of sweetness, but that's it. There's really nothing to this beer. Thin mouthfeel, decent drinkability. Just not interesting.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.03/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received the "Beers of America" gift set for Christmas (from Sam's Club or Costco, I think). Labelled as "Brewed and Bottled by MDII, Monroe, WI. Yellow label with red-brown printing featuring an old time lithograph of a river scene, with notes such as "brewed with high grade malt and hops" and this one I love- "Bottled Expressly for Household Use".

Pours a medium yellow- almost gold, darker than the macrobrew lagers. Lokks heavier and fuller too. A small head (from a vigorous pour) quickly fades to nothing.

Aroma is very hard to find. I get some slight notes of sweetness and malt, but it's very hard to find.

Flavor is actually pretty decent for a lager, but it's mostly based on maltiness and sweetness, with minimal hop profile. Makes it easy drinking, but not terribly interesting.

Mouthfeel is nice and full, not overpowering (as lagers tend to be).

Can be a decent yard beer, I would think, but not anything I am excited to have frequently.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.45/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from the Beers of America Collection. Apperance is a medium golden color with an average-sized, soapy head. The smell is sweet and grassy, very standard for simple lagers. Taste is sweet and grassy. More full-flavored than most golden lagers out there. A light crispness adds to the flavor. This is a very good beer for the classic american lager style, however this is still a style that doesn't get me too excited. An excellent lawnmower choice.

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Rock River Lager from Minhas Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 6.5% out of 100 with 77 ratings
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