Olympia Beer | Pabst Brewing Company

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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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Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 275
Photo of PintOHops
3.53/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Glass - Pint

A - Classic BMC appearance, clear yellow with ample Co2 rapidly rising to the top, and a fizzy 1-finger head that dissipates in a snap. A thin ring stuck around the top of the beer but no lacing here.

S - Typical sweet corny aroma with some other grainy notes underlying, a bit of fruity grape or apple as well. Some cracker, mild hop when swirled.

T - Mildly sweet corn & grain flavor dominate, around the middle I get a bit of soft citric hop character, it's very soft but helps balance this beer well. Finishes with just a bit more bitterness than your average for the style.

M - Moderately crisp & pretty thin feel. Goes down fast.

D - Hmm, not bad at all. Most of it is average but the taste is a little better to me, as it doesn't have an intense grainy flavor like Budweiser, and drinkability is through the roof as it should be for the style. I'd buy this again over Most other BMC brews, but competes against my favorite for the style, Schlitz! Recommended.

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Photo of JosiahS
3.28/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this from a what looked like a faded labeled can, into a standard pint glass. Color is the typical straw, about the same as any other light lager. Lots of carbonation bubbles floating to the top. One finger of fizzy white head that dissipated within 20 seconds.

The smell is of sweet malt, tart grape or apple and some graininess.

The taste is surprisingly clean. A little grain followed by some tartness and finishing with just a little hops.

The mouthfeel is watery through and through and the carbonation is lighter than one would expect out of a adjunct, light lager.

This beer is extremely simple, clean and refreshing. A bud has more flavor but this doesn't have anything undesirable in my opinion. It's nice, for what it is.

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Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz glass.Poured a clean, clear yellow with a tall, fluffy, white head that had very good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was the expected grainy, grassy, scent typical of the style. The flavors were also grain and grass with a slight trace of hops at the back.

The body was typically thin. Drinkability was good, for a style that I generally find to be nearly undrinkable. Overall, a decent version of the style, if forced to, I would drink this over Peeber or Buttwiper.

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Photo of rednrag
3.65/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thought this beer was no longer with us. Saw it at the sto' for about 10 bucks, felt kinda nostalgic so I bought it.
Now, I always considered this one to be middle-of-the road when it came to AAL's. It was actually one of my friend's favorite beer, I thought it was OK, but certainly not the best of it's style.
See that Pabst owns the label now.
You know what? This is pretty good for what it is. Clean, refreshing, tasty with no off-putting flavors.
I like it, and will probably buy it again, if it doesn't go extinct.

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Photo of wordemupg
2.43/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

355ml can poured into pint glass April22 2010

A clear golden yellow with lots of tiny bubbles floating up to a fingers worth of head that has surprisingly good retention and leaves a couple partial rings of lace

S honey a little lemon and some adjuncts

T a little sour with some skunk and some corn perhaps not very nice

M thin and well carbonated pretty average

D what can I say this beer leaves something to be desired, it's hard to enjoy a beer if you don't like the taste

I doubt I'll ever drink this again well I won't be paying for anyways

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

120z can, best by June 7, 2010.

Pours a straw yellow with an inch of foam and no lacing.

Big nose of grain and corn that brings a nasty kind of smell.

The taste is actually kind of bitter but not in that good of a way. Some grain and corn though not big in the taste which is a good thing. The aftertaste is harsh and not enjoyable.

Usual body and carbo for the style and an ok drinker.

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Photo of soju6
3.1/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a light golden color with a light head and decent carbonation. It has a light grainy aroma. The taste is light and refreshing. It is very smooth and goes down easy. Definitely drinkable.

I was suprised that this beer is still being made. It brought back memories of when this was few of the alternitives to BMC back in the 70-80's.

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Photo of Wasatch
1.5/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a light yellow color, nice carbonation, small white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, slight caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, slight hop note. Light body. Not drinkable, would not buy again.

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Photo of chadjulius
3.18/5  rDev +17.3%
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 TheQuietMan22
2.7/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a light straw yellow. Very pale. Two fingers of white, billowy foam developed and dissipated quickly to leave a ring around the outside edge.

Smell: Dishwater. That's the first thing that comes to mind. There's a metallic overtone, likely from the can. Otherwise corn dominates the smell. Reminds me of, along with washing dishes, a real dive bar.

Taste: Not much taste, but there a basic floral presence -- much more than I was expecting from the smell, but still nothing close to spectacular. There is zero bite.

Drinkability: "It's the Water", eh? I think they used too much of it. But whatever. It's a decent, inoffensive beer, and easy drinking.

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Photo of colts9016
3.13/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really can't believe that I have found this beer. Way back when I was little boy I remember stealing sips of this beer from Grandpa. It was my first beer and I swore I would never drink this beer again. I never knew that it would come full circle and try this beer.

Poured into a pint glass at 38 degree.

Appearance: A foamy white head that lasted all about a few moments. The body of the beer is a medium pale straw color. The clarity of the beer is clear and brilliant. There is a lot of effervescence in the beer.

Nose: This beer has a malty toasted corn aroma with a hint of flowers.

Taste: A thin light beer with a light malty toasted corn flavor with a very mild hop flavor of flowers

Overall: The mouth feel is crisp. The body of the beer is very light and the finish is nil. This isn't too bad of Adjunct lager. I can drink a couple of this on a very hot summer when you don't want o ruin a good beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.96/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I CAN't believe that this is still being made. When my server brought it out, I was suddenly transported to the mid-1980's in New London, CT and Annie Newsome's El 'n' Gee Club. Monday nights were Oly Night and she always had a local punk band playing (unless a band was touring and needed to fill a night between BOS and The Living Room in Providence).

I poured some into a bucket glass, producing a finger of bone-white head with poor retention. The color was a light lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity. The nose had that cereal/ lightly sweet lager taste that is so prevalent in CANned beers. Mouthfeel was medium with a slight sweetness that I have grown to expect. Finish was lightly sweet, but overall just kind of pedestrian. I'll stick with my memories.

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Photo of hockeyhead
3.95/5  rDev +45.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured in a guinness tulip pint glass
A: pours golden with a nice head unlike other american lagers and this one i can say stays on the beer for a little bit as welll
S: strange corny barley smell up front more assertive not like other macro lager smell
T: this beer starts off little corny but then you taste alot more barley then other adjunct lagers also you get a nice spicy almost sazz like hop bitterness out of it
M: lite and crispy but still has more body than other macro lagers out there and is still a very smooth beer
D: this i can say is the best american adjunct lager i highly recomend this brew also its only 7.99 a twelve pack where i live

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Photo of clay003
4.19/5  rDev +54.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a big fan of olympia. Of course it is not an artisan crafted small batch lager, but I have to agree with other reviewers notes talking about perfect summer back yard days enjoying this satisfying AAL (the kind of beer dad drank) all afternoon. Put the biases and prejudice on hold for a day and reach in the cooler and crack open a beer we might not see around for too much longer.

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Photo of BigBry
3.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Great Western Brewing brews and distributes Olympia Beer in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Label lists Oly Brewing Company, Saskatoon. White can with golden horse shoe label that has been the same since the 70's.
The beer pours a gold yellow with a bit of foam, but no real head. There is not much smell at all, very mild grains. At least it's not sour or metallic. The taste was typical macrobrew, as expected. It is slightly sweet and nutty, nothing offensive, or adjunct flavors. Just as you expect for a easy to drink lager. Mouthfeel might be a bit watery, but true to style, good carbonation, not flat but not too fizzy either.
Drinkable, refreshing, great for a hot day after working in the sun (that was when I had it). Ok to drink straight from the can. An OK beer at a good price, better than many other 'buck-a-beer' choices.

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Photo of TeamSeinfeld
3.86/5  rDev +42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Olympia is a classic macro beer, looks like beer, smells like beer and tastes like beer with a crisp thirst quenching satisfaction, all the key ingredients of a good American Macro. This is another one of those beer drinkers beer. It's pretty much on par with Schmidt beer which in my book is a compliment. The can says "it's the water" but Milwaukee, Wisc is not exactly Tumwater, Washington anymore, at the same time the beer does not possess a bad flavor (ie milwaukee special reserve)

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Photo of hreb
2.74/5  rDev +1.1%
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 Wetpaperbag
3.28/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I guess since I live were this used to be made, I want to give it a try.

A- The beer itself looks like a pale straw yellow, with a good amount of activity in the glass itself. The head is very white, came to about a finger and a half width and is disappearing quickly now.

S- There is a sweet clove smell coming through the beer. A good amount of grain smells, almost as if you were grinding up wheat. I'm also getting that traditional adjunct lager smell.

T- This is different from other AALs out there. This has a darker nuttier taste. The more I drink it the more I want to say corn, but its hard to tell. The taste isn't too bad for a AAL.

M- Feels like a beer, but a little thin.

D- Easy to drink for sure. I could see this being a great hot day, working hard type beer.

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Photo of Vito
3.74/5  rDev +38%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I've always wanted to try Olympia Beer. When I was a kid it was my dad's second choice (along with Burgie) if he couldn't get his hands on some Brew 102, the Los Angeles-area regional favorite. I haven't seen Olympia for years, so I bought it when I saw it at my local beverage chainstore. The price was $6.99 for a 12-pack.

Appearance: The can has the vintage Olympia emblem and artwork, very retro. The beer poured a beery-yellow with an almost non-existent head.

Smell: There was hardly any smell at all, good or bad. It's probably the mildest-smelling beer on the market. At least it's not offensive.

Taste: The taste was typical macrobrew, with extra amounts of water. The finish is slightly sweet and nutty. Again, it's inoffensive.

Mouthfeel: Like I said, it's a watery beer. So the mouthfeel is a lot like drinking a glass of ice water: Refreshing, but flat. I would have preferred a higher amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Drinkable and reasonably smooth, good for a hot day or a long (six to 12 beers) drinking session.

Overall: Olympia is an OK beer at a good price.

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Photo of zeff80
1.99/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Poured out a bubbly, straw-yellow color with a large, pillowy, white head that actually left a little lace.

S - It smelled of corn and grain adjuncts.

T - It tasted like a macro lager. Corn, water, adjuncts with no hops or spices.

M - It was fairly crisp and somewhat sharp. A light-bodied beer.

D - Really got worse as I drank more of it. Not something that I would try again.

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Photo of barleysandwich
1/5  rDev -63.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I bought a 24 pack of this beer for $12 last time I went to the USA. I wish I had not bought it. I nearly poured it down the drain.

I waited until the beer was ice cold, then had my first one. I wasn't expecting much, but I thought at least it would be like your typical American beer, you know, low on flavour, high on carbonation, etc. This beer had enough flavour, its just that the flavour was horrible, it was like corn or something, the mouth feel was not pleasant either and the pour and apperance was not working for me either. It was pale yellow with little to no head that if there was a head it lasted all of 5 seconds.

I guess I got what I paid for! :)

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Photo of bort11
2.96/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into an over-sized pils glass. Thin foamy head but has some solid legs. A small cap stays on the surface. Color is a clear straw yellow with very active carbonation.

Smell is slightly astringent. Taste has a husky grain malt body with a hint of grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is light with a scrubbing bubbles quality to the carbonation. Another good choice for the 4th of July

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Photo of hwwty4
3.21/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Onward through my summer attempt of drinking at least a 12 pack of every major Retro beer. This would be number 3 in the series. I poured this 12oz can into my New Belgium pint glass. It poured a straw yellow with a huge white foamy head. It actually reminded me of those keg parties in college where everyone would pump the keg till hearts content and then complain that all that was coming out was foam. It left minimal lacing that just slowly slid down the glass. It poured a mildly straw yellow, not as golden as a lot of Macro lagers with really just a slight bit of carbonation. The aroma of the beer is mostly corn, but hints of candy sugar and grass (it could be that I just mowed) are also found. The taste is just like most every other Macro lager. Sweet corn and nothing else, buy hey, its par for the style. The mouthfeel isn't as carbonated as I would have liked. Not even enough to make your tongue tingle. While easily quaffable, the mild carbonation gets some points taken off.

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Photo of creeperjones
3.53/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Ahh, Olympia Beer. I remember witnessing my father's scary grizzled friends sucking back a few of these in the summers when I was a little kid. I also recall it's many appearances in the film Every Which Way But Loose. Olympia is one of those beers that you know deep down inside sucks but you keep coming back to it. Probably because your job sucks worse than Olympia and you hate your life. To me it symbolizes a simpler time in the Pacific Northwest, when little breweries like the one in pleasant Tumwater were king. I never had a chance to experience real Olympia (note: this Pabst/Miller version is not the same, I'm told), so unfortunately I'll never know if it really was indeed the water. But today, I hold a can of Olympia in my hand as a time warp back to 1977. Here we go.

It pours what all standard cheap American Lagers pour - a dense, golden color with a head that disappears almost instantly. I cannot smell too much aroma from the glass. When you smell from the can it smells like beer, cheap beer, which is exactly what it is. Go figure.

The taste has that tinny, corn-syrup taste that good bad beer is known for. It's light-bodied and crisp and there is a slight (very slight, probably tin and corn syrup) kick to it once it goes down the throat, but when it's cold and the sun is ablaze, this is the beer that I want to have. It was made for mowing the lawn on hot summer days, sitting by the pool on hot summer days, having a barbecue with loved ones on hot summer nights...there's a reoccurring theme here. Hint: think hot summer. Now think wet hot America summer and go drink some bad beer.

Overall, this is my favorite cheap American Macro Lager. I've had many sessions with it in the past and I do believe I shall have many more in the future. For the cost and the taste it's better than the big three, and it's always fun to support the little man, even if he was swallowed up by the machine decades ago.

The can is pleasing to the eye as well. Good luck! Good luck indeed.

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Photo of CrazyMike
1.92/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very bland yellow appearance with moderate head. Smell is almost non existent besides a hint of corn.

Taste is a bit malty and grainy, but overall non existent. creamy with . Very light bodied and high carbonation, kind of like flat pop, aftertaste is sour.

Very cheap excuse for a beer. Almost fit's into the "pounding 12 back like water for only $12" category but the aftertaste is horrible.

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Olympia Beer from Pabst Brewing Company
2.71 out of 5 based on 275 ratings.
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