Olympia Beer | Pabst Brewing Company

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Olympia BeerOlympia Beer
295 Ratings
Olympia BeerOlympia Beer

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.78%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-28-2002

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Ratings: 295 |  Reviews: 113
Reviews by Spikester:
Photo of Spikester
3.48/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Don't know if this is 95% malt any more but they are using a can similar to it. No 95% malt label though. From a 24 ounce can labeled as "The Bigfoot" 24 oz.
Pours clear gold with a huge long lasting white head and plentiful lacing.
Smell is pungent spicey earthy hops with more than enough bready malt.
Taste is a bit too sweet for the OLY of memory but a tasty but less crisp than the beer of old. I think the older version used more of a Cascade hop flavor where this has some type of euro hop character now. More malt or malt + corn syrup than I like in a macro style beer.
Mouthfeel is medium and a slightly wet finish. Carbonation is robust or flaccid depending on how it is poured.
Over all if you want a good tasting malty macro beer for the hot weather give it a try. It was $1.79 for the 24 oz. can at a local gas station. Plus it has a shaded Bigfoot walking through the fir trees!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of rodbeermunch
2.91/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I call this fun time beer, because every time I drink it I'm usually having a fun time outdoors and not thinking about beer or attenuation or ibus or whatnot.

Pours a straw yellow, good clarity, but weak appearance, good 1/2" white head. Aroma of grain.

Taste, highly carbonated sugar and grain, mild hops, decent bitterness. I mean, for adjunct lager, its pretty decent, mild corn notes. Good palate cleanser or just hot weather active outdoors type of stuff going on here.

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Photo of chadjulius
3.18/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is ridiculous. This beer goes down like water, yet has a good taste that goes great with any meal. It tastes good regardless of the season, temperature, weather, or people around you. It always goes down with a chew in, or just as a pure beer to get you drunk. Its not flawless, but it's the jack-of-all trades that always works.

It's definitely not a fancy beer, nor is it particularly impressive. But it is a solid beverage at a "cheaper" price.

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Photo of chrisms86
1.92/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After years of being a loyal Rainier drinker, I had only seen Olympia in Clint Eastwood movies. Ever since the Pabst takeover both brands have lost their appeal, but I saw a half rack of this at the market the other day and couldn't resist.

First of all, don't expect the finest beer in the world to come from a $7.99 half rack of cans. With that in mind, Olympia is not a bad beer for the college student on a budget. A bit watered down, Olympia still feels like beer in the mouth (same can't be said for other Macros), and the taste is not completely revolting.

The alcohol content leaves a bit to be desired, but beggars can't be choosers as they say.

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Photo of AllisonWunderland
1.35/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

"It's The Water" -- "Oly" as it's called is famous for it's water source, artesian wells, which are aquafers first named in Artois, France. Olympia itself carries the name of the town it's brewed in -- Olympia,
WA. The standard joke is that "it's the water" that makes you pee, and pee, and pee . . . along with the other jab, "You don't buy beer, you only rent it."

This stuff is pretty generic, unremarkable, macro-brew. Way back in the day (1950's) it was the women who drank Oly, and the men drank something with more body. It's as close to water as you can get and still be carded for proof of age.

On the bottles the labels used to have "dots" on the back. A "four dot" label was traditionally viewed as a sort of coupon for sexual favors. That's the tradition. Actually, the dots note which bottling line the bottle in the brewery rolled off of. There were four bottling lines.

Now, some family history:

ALL my relatives, and there were a lot of them, drank Oly. There was once the remark at a family gathering, circa 1964, that when my family stops drinking Oly, the brewery will go out of business. Ironically, most of my family has passed on, and the Olympia brewing company was bought out by Pabst.

When I was in the military, 1960's, Oly was offered at the PX on the west coast bases. I associated it with "home" and so my brand loyalty grew out of family association and nostalgia.

It's still nostalgic. The brewery in Olympia, WA actually has preserved and maintained the waterfall and bridge depicted on the label.

It passes for beer. But mostly it's all tied up in a lot of family memories.

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Photo of DESTRO
3/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

come on who even poors this stuff out of the can. this is 4.99 a 12er, hell yea! this and hamm's is the beer for bbq backyard skate sessions on the ramp. its cheap, when its ice cold it has a pleasent semi sweet taste and goes down like nothing. when its 120 degrees outside, expensive strong man beer isnt always the most appealing idea. olympia will do me fine when im thirsty.

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Photo of CJanders
3.1/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

More of a malt taste than most adjunct lagers, not as dry as Pabst, but without the full taste of Schlitz. I'd rather have a Schlitz or Miller high life, but this will due when they aren't available.

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Photo of kittycatsnake
4.9/5  rDev +89.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Funky Butt loving this Beer has changed my life. I used to only drink ALES now its all about the bottom fermented beers. Stop wasting your time on IPAs and thick stouts... lagers is the way to go!!!!

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Photo of beerhunter13
1.75/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of Mustela_Man
2.37/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of ThePostmaster
1.53/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours with very little head retention. Smell is like grass, a little burnt. Color is light pale straw. Taste is bitter, with only a slight hint of hops. Taste is mostly played out grains (corn/oat). Not a very pleasant beer but very cheap. I could get a 12 pack for $3.99 in California. Overall, I would avoid this in cans. I have heard on tap it's quite a bit better.

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Photo of wattoclone
3.5/5  rDev +35.1%

Photo of pat61
3/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: Brilliantly clear straw, white ½” head, multi-sized bubbles, low head retention, delicate, light lacing.
S: Slight apple and corn sweetness, no hops
T: Dry, slight apple and corn sweetness, no hops, crisp, grainy corn sweetness, no fruitiness, no alcohol warmth, dry finish.
F: a little slickness on the tongue, lightly carbonated, light body
O: Refreshing but bland. I first had this nearly 50 years ago when it was brewed in Tumwater Washington and I remember it as much better, but then 50 years ago I probably was too.

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Photo of Sauron13
2.99/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's my parents beer, trips to the brewery in Olympia with samples. With it stayed true to the original, and the brewery is shut down? What happened to the malt?

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Photo of OldSchoolMike
3.9/5  rDev +50.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I could get this around here, back in the day, though even then, I had to hunt it out. Better than average AAl for a decent price. I wish to find it again, hello, Pabst!

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Photo of HoppySeb
2/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The beer is light and crisp as you'd expect for an adjunct. Flavors and aroma's are very faint and the finish for the beer is poor (unlike those AAL with bready/caramelly malt finish). Way better options for the price range.

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Photo of hydroplaner
2.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of acurtis
1.5/5  rDev -42.1%

Photo of InfernoBoss
2.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of biboergosum
2.41/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

355ml can, the made in Canada, by 'Oly Brewing Company' version (aka Great Western Brewing, of Saskatoon) - so I don't see how the same claim to water superiority or consistency can still hold true.

This beer pours a crystal clear, medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of weakly puffy, bubbly, and thinly soapy bone-white head, which leaves a few streaks of low-lying cloud lace around the glass as it rashly settles.

It smells of mildly sweet cooked corn, a touch of biscuity malt, middling warm plastic notes, and astringent dead grassy, weedy, and somewhat skunky hops. The taste is sweet corn and rice husks, a further tame graininess, weirdly perceptible saccharine alcohol, and mildly weedy, but not at all bitter, hops.

The carbonation is on the soft side, so only a rickety frothiness, the body fuller than the average light weight for the style, but that's mostly due to an airy, sugary cloyingness. It finishes still sweet, in the clammy sense, that lager-soaked barroom floor experience starting to tighten its unholy grip.

Hard to say how truly this local-ish version complies with the Cascadian original - this one is pretty blah, but serviceable enough for its place just above the canned 6-pack dregs at yer typical booze emporium, which seems about right, given the actual brewer here.

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Photo of AlexChillton
1.25/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of TheSixthRing
2.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and straw yellow in color with a white, one finger head that fizzes away to leave a mostly barren surface save a few suds clinging to the edge.

Smell - Typical adjunct aroma with malt and vegetal sweetness; slightly grainy.

Taste - Follows the nose. Bland malt, corn-like sweetness, and just a touch of hop spice in the finish. Nothing completely off-putting, except the boring flavor profile.

Mouthfeel - On the heavier side of light-bodied with crisp, bitey carbonation. If there's one plus to this beer, it's that it's an easy drinker.

Overall - Drinks like your average adjunct. Not much for flavor but easy to chug if one so chooses. Nothing I'd buy again, but there are worse adjuncts out there.

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Photo of hreb
2.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found a can of Olympia "It's the Water" beer in the way back of the fridge at my ski condo at Big Sky, Montana. I have heard about this beer "the PBR of the Pacific Northwest" but never before sampled it, so this was quite an exciting find. The beer pours into my mug a pleasing, clear yellow amber with a fat white had which rapidly falls.

It's hard to find much to say about this beer. It has a pleasant sharpness in the carbonation, which helps to counteract the slightly caramelly malt adjunct flavor. It's not particlarly dry, but it's not so sweet that it doesn't serve its purpose as a refreshing beverage.

As macro / adjunct lagers go, it's relatively inoffensive. Not as good as the Japanese lagers to drink with sushi, but better than most American macro.

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Photo of seakayak
2.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of fthegiants
1.75/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

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Olympia Beer from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.59 out of 5 with 295 ratings