Rainier Lager | Pabst Brewing Company

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Rainier LagerRainier Lager

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Rainier beer brings together nature’s bounty from the great Northwest. Pure spring waters combine with golden barley and verdant hops to produce a beer rich in taste and texture. Fermented slowly with a pedigree yeast culture under tightly controlled conditions, Rainier comes forth with a satisfying malty flavor over a slightly fruity background, spiced with Chinook, Mt. Hood, and Willamette hop notes.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-05-2003

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 243
Photo of Bookseeb
3.67/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 16oz can I found being sold singly, and this one is brewed at Rainier brewing company, Irwindale CA. Appearance has a light golden yellow with nil head. A clean smell of light hops and grain. Taste has a light grainy sweetness with the yakima valley hops. Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. Takes me back to the good old days in high school when Rainier was brewed in Seattle.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.78/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Clear golden yellow. Light very white head that is very light, yet dissipating quickly.

S- A sweet banana smell, with a grain earthy smell. The alcohol smell is there as well.

T- The taste is grains up front with a slight sweetness. Then as the taste goes away there is even more of an earthy grainyness. It isn't too bad, easy going and smooth, great beer for football watching.

M- The carbination is there and average for beers of the style.

D- Easy to drink.

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Photo of njmoons
1.7/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Back in my college days out west, we used to get kegs of Rainer Beer, for house parties etceteras. It was on tap at all the local bars, and cheap at the market.

In all that time I can honestly say I never enjoyed a single one.

Pale adjunct lager with almost no malt taste, and a terrible finish that made me think they must not ferment at lager temperatures.

There are worse beers, but not many.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.3/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Who can venture west to the Pacific Northwest and not enjoy a Rainier at least once? I comes in pounder cans, which are great for camping and hiking; and when you wander into a small town with just one even-smaller bar (that offers only video poker, T.V. Keno, three menu items... all deep-fried!, and a 'limited' selection of beers) what are you to do???

So... golden, crystal clear, "mountain fresh", and pretty much just as you'd expect it to be. Smooth and clean with no rough edges. There's some obvious use of adjunct but it's not overdone, and there are at least a few hops involved in the brewing process. It's an average mass produced beer.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.1/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a tall 6-pack for under $5.00...can't go wrong. Also new can with classic/vintage feel for the "Vitamin R"

A: surprisingly a little more depth than I was expecting for AAL. The color has some shine of deep golden versus the usual glowing pale straw colors. Coarse bubbles right after the pour and one of the quickest foam vanishing acts around, no lace

S: grains, light vegetables, a blade or two of grass with a sweet sugary whiff all around

T: dried cut corn and thin malted barley with a few teaspoons of honey. Some grassy/vegetable flavors might be pulled out of the mix, mostly towards the finish. Finishes clean, which is pretty nice
This beer has me happy. It hit 90 today and this beer was in order, it did the trick. One of the more satisfying Adjuncts I have had in a while

M: the usual macro-adjunct-type of feel. Maintains a fizzy caliber with light airy body. For the style it hits right

D: man, this is a decent Adjunct Lager. I will get this again when I am short on cash or throwing the Frisbee on warm day like today. One of the "betters" on my short list of light beers

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Photo of beertunes
3.43/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured enough into a small glass for the visual components, drank the rest straight from the can. Poured the bright, clear yellow that was expected. A bright, white head was fuller than expected and had better retention, although almost no lacing.

Not much aroma, what there is, is the sweet corn scent usual for the style. The flavor was surprisingly good for the style, but without any standout aspect.

Typically thin and smooth body, and of course this beer has the drinkability of water.

Overall, an above average example of the style, if you're going for fizzy, yellow beer you could do worse than Vitamin R.

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Photo of Docer
3.85/5  rDev +36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Nice to find the classic once again in test market. To me it brings back old memories of playing quarters and slamming pounder bottles of Rainier...not into macros.. but I just had to bum one off a bud inbetween a Hop Czar and Deschutes Cinder Cone Red...

- Very light color like I remembered... very clear... white foamy head died down quick...

- Grain, Barley.. alcohol.. and a bitter hop blast...

- Bit bitter... alcoholy.. barley, grain..

- Watery and grainy mouthfeel.. bit dry but not really... kind of only in the flavor..

- Super drinkable... goes down easy.. not too bubbly that it makes me belch half of it up in foam.... easy drinker for those that want to attempt a 12-pack again for old times sake lol...

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
3.06/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Straw yellow with a good head, that then just evaporates. Clear and bubbly looks like a typical American Lager.

S- smells like DMS and a little bit of citrus hops? weird for a lager.

T- no flaws, light easy to drink, no hint of malt or hops. Tastes like an American Lager should, tastes like water.

M- no body, and just disappears after it leaves your mouth. Exactly how it should. Would be nice to be surprised.

D- in terms of a American lager I kind of like it. Will be drinking this instead of the other Macros for my once a year epic Beer pong game.

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Photo of mrkc
2.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It took me a few seconds to figure out what the beer aspired to be: a) cheap and b) easily drunk. It excels at both of these. The taste is watery, and inoffensive. There's a slight bite to the after taste, but nothing that remains for anymore than the most fleeting of instants. The beer is clear, straw coloured, and carries a high head long after its been poured. While I consider this above others that attempt the same qualities, such as `Miller Light,` neither its watery flavour nor its nondescript mouthfeel are much to brag about. It is definitely better when cold, so to lightly numb the mouth and prevent you from picking up on the corn taste.

Skip this, and try other macros.

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Photo of Spikester
3.27/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours golden with a one inch white head. Some very modest lacings.
Aroma is very mild floral hops.
Taste is sweet light malts with a nice bitter hop flavor. Mildly bitter semi-dry finish.
Mouthfeel is about average for a macro lager.
Very drinkable cold on a hot day. Not sure the brewery data is quite up to date. I think my can said brewed in Illinois. Anyway this is a pretty fair beer when you have few choices.
A bit of personal history regarding this beer. Back in the 1960's this was the hoppiest and most bitter of the Northwest lagers. Even their "light" beer was quite well hopped for a 96 calorie beer. This version pales in comparison to the original. But maybe the can that I drank being two months old was enough to diminish the hop bitterness. I will buy another 24 ounce can later and look for a fresher example. Also if possible, bring back Rainier Light please. Low calorie, and big hops. (for the style)
Edit: 10/25/2013.
Just bought a sixer of tall boys in a "winter jubilee can 1963" Same beer now this pack says brewed in Irwindale, Ca. Best by date is Jan 13, 2014.
My previous review covers it pretty well.
Edit: 11/7, 2014. Drink by date is Jan. 12, 2015. Good hop taste is this sample. Upgraded score smell, feel, and overall.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
2.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4

Rainier and PBR are basically the only macros i buy, and only when I am really poor (now). This brew pours a clear yellow piss color with white head that lingers for about a minute. Smells of grain and some corn. Taste is watery and grainy with some slight crispness on the finish. grains linger in the aftertaste. mouthfeel is ridiculously thin, very light feeling. Drinkability is good, because it tastes and goes down like water. It usually takes me about 12 of these babies to get buzzin hard. Obviously there are about 780,459,997,748,097 beers I would prefer to be drinking, but i will take this one time Seattle staple over Budmilloors.

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Photo of SargeC
3.03/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pale yellow with a soda pop head and large carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Grassy tone, corn.

Taste: Pretty tasty. Light malt flavor finishes with a decent hop bite.

Mouthfeel: Light, but has a full body. Satisfying finish.

Drinkability: Good, cheap brew. At least the name of this once proud regional brewery lives on.

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Photo of woemad
2.47/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12-pk of 12oz cans picked up for $7.99 at a Rosauer’s in Browne’s Addition about 10 minutes walk from my apartment. Yeah, I’m slummin’ it old school. This beer was a Northwest staple but now it’s contract brewed for the current owners of the name in Irwindale, California, many hundreds of miles from the Rainier Brewery, a true Seattle landmark, which is now home to Tully’s Coffee. I’m still pissed they took the famed giant “R” down that once greeted drivers on I-5.

Pale clear straw color. Moderate white head that dropped at high speed, yet left a small ring of foam that endured for the duration of this beer’s time in my Boundary Bay pint glass (which will probably have to go into counseling).

The smell is of sweet malt, corn (inevitable with this style of beer) and a crude, earthy, grainy scent. Not skunky at all, however, which already puts it ahead of many of it’s style-mates.

The taste of this, like the smell, is a cut above the BMC crowd. Just not a whole lot above. It's a pleasant yet unremarkable malty, corny beer that isn't bad but isn't good either. It just tastes like what most people think beer is supposed to taste like. There is a slight dry note at the end that can make one think of hops if one tries really hard.

The mouthfeel is again typical for the style. Moderate carbonation with a somewhat watery mouthfeel. I've certainly had much more water ("Paging messrs Keystone and Tsingtao...") than this.

If you are looking for a cheap warm weather beer or something to mindlessly consume while watching a game, you could do a lot worse than this, even if it is essentially a corpse of a one-time regional staple.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.19/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A fair macro offering from Pabst. Pours out to a medium yellow color with a head that looks like someone spit in my beer. Aroma of corn and hay mixed with sweet hops. Not bad. Taste is your typical middle of the road macro; light malt, adjunct corn and grain, sweetness is a touch on the strong side, little if any hops. Mouthfeel was refreshing and zesty. Drinkability is average. Special thanks again goes out to Dubbercody for the sample.

THE BLOODHOUND FACTOR: Both hounds enjoyed this one immensely. These dogs identified this as a positive choice for cheap beer on a hot summer day.

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Photo of jdhilt
1.81/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Served as a 12oz bottle ($2.50) at The Derby Steakhouse & Casino Butte, Mt. Pours with four-finger white head that goes slowly leaving some lace. Pale amber color. Very light carbonation and light bodied. Starts with a bland hoppy corn flavor, finish is insipid, good lawn mower beer.

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Photo of ReebShorts
2.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first beer I can remember paying for. Bought a case of this for $10 when I was around 14 (mom found em before I could drink em though...).

Appearance is not bad for a macro-lager, 1/2 inch soapy white head faded but left a full layer accros the top. Clear yellow in apperance, plenty of carbonation bubbling to the surface.

Smell is like molded bread and wet grass.. or something like that. slight hopiness in the aroma.

To me this is better than some of the more popular macro swill out there, even the self-proclaimed "king". It's easy to drink, maybe a bit watered down, but easily sessionable. Also I noticed it was better in a glass than straight from the bottle, maybe this one just needs to breathe a bit. Oh yeah, don't let it get warm.

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Photo of sockeye101
2.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Time to review this NW staple...."Since 1878, Quality Brewed ".

When you're looking for a cheap American Lager and are tired of the mainstream crap give the ol' Rainier a try, it's a great change of pace and even has a better flavor, imo.

Poured my 12oz can into a tall pilsner glass. Color is a golden yellow with a small head that lingers a while then all but disappears. Lacing is minimal at best. Aromas emit a bit of grain and touch of vegetable. The taste is rather nice, actually. Keeping in mind that this is to be compared to other beers of it's class, BMC, etc., it's pretty good. Touches of grain, very little malt and actually a bit of hops noticed on the back end. It's really pretty decent, for a cheap beer.

Rainier is also available around here in longneck bottles and on tap at several local watering holes, so perhaps I'll do reviews of those later.

"Raaaiiinnniiieeerrr Beeerrrr!!"

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Photo of RJLarse
2.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer has a pale yellow color and is clear. Well carbonated and fizzy.

Smell and is generally unremarkable. Perfect for drinking from a can or bottle.

The taste is light, watery, unremarkable. Perfect for drinking from a can or bottle, especially if you are thirsty.

I have had a lot of this beer in my younger past, when it was brewed in Seattle. It's avergage, not a quality beer.

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Photo of mentor
1.78/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Can provided amid a bunch of stuff given to me for volunteering at 2005 GABF. Uhm, thanks guys, I really appreciate the opportunity. Stamp on the bottom of the can reads 12195 B41029. "Mountain Fresh Taste" by " Rainier Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI" and brewed in Texas. They've pretty much got the US triangulated with this one.

Pours a one finger white soda pop head, yet it does have some stickiness. This beer is light in color. Wow, about the least color I've ever seen. Clear and dull very very pale straw colored. Smells weakly of wet cardboard and a hint of malt sweet that can be found with some searching. The absence of aroma is amazing. Tastes mostly of acrid carbonation with a malt sweet way below. Some floral hop flitters on the border of detection in the aftertaste, but the flavor is too weak for me to get an idea of which hop. If I had to guess, I'd say tettnanger. Thin body and highly carbonated. The carbonation burn is definitely the most distinct characteristic of this beer. Not much to this beer. Not an afront, just nothing to it.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.79/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

06/20/05- Purchased at The Red Door in Billings, MT.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, undated, poured into a typical pint glass.

Appearance- Decent golden color with a 1/2 inch foamy head and light lacing.

Smell- Cardboard stinky corn or malt....whatever...

Taste- Hmmm, much better than expected. A tad watery, but decent amount of fair tasting malt and grain. For a macro....not bad.

Mouthfeel- As said before, a bit watery and moderate carbonation.

Drinkability- If you don't smell it, this would work out pretty decent for a lawnmower beer or something. I knew I liked Rainier as a kid for some reason.

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Photo of MrNuggets
1/5  rDev -64.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The head was big at first, but turned to nothing very fast. it really doesn't get any more tasteless than this. the smells is up to par with your average marco, but there is amost no taste. Hard to call it bad, just bland. Drinkable? Well yeah, but why drink this when i could have a glass of water.

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Photo of misterscooter
1.05/5  rDev -62.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Probably the worst beer I've ever had flow over these gums. There wasn't one redeeming thing about this beer. The least they could do is reduce the amount of taste because at least some of the other fairly big (bad) breweries are easy to put away. This looks bad, smells bad, feels bad, and tastes worse.

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Photo of pootz
2.9/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is not the same Rainier I had in Seattle many years ago. The gauntlet of the Stroh-Pabst-Miller purchases has done something to the unique brewing recipie/process of this beer... it was a pale, tart, well hopped standard US lager without adjuncts. The Rainier I had in Glacier Park yesterday was weak tasting and the tart hop quality was nearly undetectable plus I detected something like a rice or corn sugars in the flavour. The aroma was weak....what a let down. I had been looking forward to this trip to the western US to reacquaint myself with their old standards (like Olympia, rainier Coors etc) and this was a foreboding start. All in all this New Rainier is probably one of the best US standards but it certainly has lost it's distinct character since miller bought the brand.

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Photo of beertaster13
2.63/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

You have to live in the Seattle area to really get a feel for Rainier. Rainier was the beer that all dads drank. It was locally owned and brewed, when they were taken over by Pabst in was heartbraking. Rainier pours a nice gold yellow with minimul head. The smell is of grain and hops. Taste is fresh and a hop blast with a little sweet tingle. Very crisp and fresh in the mouth. This is one of those macros that I keep around for a nice summer day.

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Photo of Reidrover
2.43/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Ok bought at the local cheapo canned food warehouse 99 cents for a 24 oz can..nice enough can..Mt Rainier all in silvers and white
The appearance is not great just above average for a macro..least its golden ( pale) in colour..and has a small white head.
Smell is sort of weird..like rainwater..and some chemicals..hard to place.
I have to say the taste ain't all that bad really for a cheap macro..sort of Like Miller High Life but a little less sweet.. a lot of corn..but I believe i taste a ghost of some hops in the end.
Mouthfeel is not so hot..too carbonated and watery.
Overall not a good beer but ok if you want a cheap beer to wash down the dust after some strenuous physical work.

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Rainier Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
68 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.
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