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La Crosse Lager | City Brewing Company, LLC

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La Crosse LagerLa Crosse Lager
80 Ratings
La Crosse LagerLa Crosse Lager

Brewed by:
City Brewing Company, LLC
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brand possibly owned by Melanie Brewing Co.


Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-21-2003

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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 47
Photo of Bater421
5/5  rDev +68.9%

Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.5/5  rDev +52%

Photo of icefisherman
4.22/5  rDev +42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

for the price bout $7 a 15 pack here you can not go wrong. when comparing this beer to the big 3 i think it winns hands down. as for the aperance i didnot have a glass to poor it in so im gunna guess that it is yellow as hell. it smelled like beer from a can. taste like the best beer ive drink in a long time. and i could drink this beer doing any thing.

 355 characters

Photo of CraftPro
4.18/5  rDev +41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

La Crosse Lager is a beer that underachieves, but not in the traditional sense. At $14 to $16 for a 30 pack of cans, it could be assumed that many potential beer drinkers are swayed from this brand due to its low cost and the risk that if it's a bad brew, one is stuck with 29 cans taking up space. The fact of the matter is that La Crosse Lager is truly an excellent beer.

In a recent double-blind taste test we conducted, La Crosse Lager scored higher than the vast majority of its "big brew" adjunct american lager counterparts (i.e. Budweiser, Coors, Pabst, Old Style, Leinenkugel's) and a number of "micro brews" from our region (i.e. Fitgers, Bent Paddle).

Reputedly, La Crosse Lager is brewed from the original recipe for Old Style. As most of us are aware, however, the Old Style product was greatly cheapened by Stroh's and Pabst after Heileman's got out of the business. Whereas today's Old Style has a noticeably stale, almost chemical taste, La Crosse Lager is spared from those unpleasantries. It's clean, crisp, and has well-rounded flavor.

La Crosse Lager is "krausened", the process that Old Style made a fixture of much of their marketing before turning to a cheaper brewing process. Krausening and the overall creation of La Crosse Lager is an expensive, old-fashioned process that is misleading, once again, by the beer's exceedingly low price point. Undoubtedly as City Brewery has 3 large breweries and derives most of their profits from contract brewing, they have the financial flexibility to bring this beer to market at a great price.

I would go so far to say that if this beer came with a Sam Adam's or Montana Brewing Company label that it would be the darling of "beer elitists" and command 3-4 times its current market price. But until that unlikely time comes, I will enjoy this taste of the Northwoods at a price that makes me feel that I'm getting an absolute steal!

 1,906 characters

Photo of MarathonManCL
4.1/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The thing that makes this beer better than your typical mass produced lagers is the spring water and how this beer is brewed.
The artesian spring water in LaCrosse Wisconsin is some of the purest water in North American. This beer is fully kraeusened which naturally carbonates the beer. The double brewing process takes longer and combined with the artesian spring water makes this beer special. I have sampled beers around the world and can honestly say that this beer is one of the best beers for the price. This beer comes from the City Brewery in LaCrosee Wisconsin. The appearance is good, a golden color with a semi sweet aroma. The taste is very smooth as a result of the kraeusening. The 30 pack 12oz can cases sell for about $13.99 in the Northwest Chicago Suburbs. The price is greast for a beer of this quality. I highly recommend it for a everyday beer at a great price.

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Photo of Redrover
3.95/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown longneck. No freshness date.

This beer pours a very light yellow (kind of the European Pilsner color). Minimal head and lace. Smell is decent. You pick-up some hops & grain.

This beer surprised me. Given the moderate price and the initial appearance when poured, I really didn't expect very much. I was pleasantly surprised with taste. Well balanced with hops slightly in the forefront. There is some grain that adds sweetness, but it was a good sweet. Excellent carbonation. Very small and active bubbles. Very good with spicy food.

I really picked this up on a whim when I was picking up some of this brewery's very fine pale ale. However, the taste made sure that I will buy more in the future. Truly an unexpected find!

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Photo of morimech
3.85/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The Old Style beer of yesteryear.
Nothing sets this apart in the appearance or aroma. Typical macro straw yellow color with a short-lived white head. Some spotty lacing is left on the glass. Has a sweet malt aroma. Has a pleasant sweet macro flavor with a touch of apple. A little more hops in the flavor and bitterness than your typical Bud or Coors. Light body and fizzy but finishes nice and clean. This is superior to much more expensive macro beers at a budget price.

Update: After a couple of years, this has become my cheap beer standby. Cannot beat the price/taste point. I have upped the score.

Update 2: This beer deserves a spot in the top 50 in Pale Lagers. It is better than most that is listed at half the price.

 728 characters

Photo of MNJR
3.85/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew costs about $16.00 out the door for 30 cans. So, it is exceptionally inexpensive. The rumor is these guys found the old 1960's Old Style recipe in an old file cabinet at the Lacrosse brewery. This is therefore supposed to be the authentic "old" Old Style in all but name. This is an very good beer for the price. It is light but has flavor, and is an excellent thirst quenching beer when you drink it really cold. The flavors are of slightly bitter grain, with an "almost sometimes" cross between banana and citrus poking its way through. Hops are light and not too noticeable. I can see where it might be a bit watery, but you don't buy this stuff expecting something that's not a bit light on ingredients. Hey, what they do with whatever goes into this beer for > $.50 a can is not to be scoffed at. This is way better than Milwaukee's Best, Stroh's or any other lowest of the bottom shelf brands. Buy this stuff and drink a lot of it - your wallet will thank you and you won't sacrifice much quality over big brand macro-brews. Of the cheap beers, this and PBR are my top two of all time.

 1,104 characters

Photo of tgbljb
3.83/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium amber color with sparse white head. No retention, no lacing.

Smell is very light. Only a slight sweetness detected.

Taste is unexpectedly full bodied. There is a very strong malt presence that gives this beer great flavor and a refreshing character.

Great taste retention with a long lingering malty sweetness.

Very nice to drink, Refreshing. A very enjoyable tasty beer.

 391 characters

Photo of BarrelBrother
3.8/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I agree with most of the "positive feedback" reviews on LaCrosse Lager. For an inexpensive, easy drinking, do the yard work type of brew LaCrosse is a cut above. Crisp & clean with no aftertaste and a nice,bright, straw yellow appearance make this a nice brew for deck parties or picnics, especially at $10-11 for a 30 pack in my area. I'll take this any day over the usual Miller or Budweiser beers that usually fill a backyard cooler at a party. I'm not saying this is a great brew, but a nice easy drinkin' session beer that your guests will find pleasing with burgers & brats.

 580 characters

Photo of matjack85
3.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of Localdrinklax
3.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of kilustration
3.68/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 30pack. What a pleasant surprise! Smooth taste, nice head, decent color. This may be my new beer of choice, just ahead of PBR and Hamms. Beats all the BMCs. Cant beat the retro looking can. May even try the Lacrosse Lager Light version too. Worth a try!

 265 characters

Photo of Mdog
3.58/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pale gold, fading head. But it's meant to be drank out of the can!

Smell: Sweet, maybe a touch of vegetable.

Taste: Grain sweetness, some crispness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light.

Drinkability: Very good, easy to drink.

This is probably my favorite "cheap" beer. I find it to be better tasting than the macro-brews. It has enough taste to be enjoyable, but it is light enough to have a bunch if you're drinking with a crowd. Supposedly this is the same recipe as Old Style. I like it!

 506 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.56/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a darn good American Macro. Screw all you beer snobs who can't drink a Mass-Made Beer from a can. You don't know what you're missing. Pourd out to a nice clear golden yellow color with a nice head that stayed to nearly the bottom of the glass. No lace noted in the glass. Looked like a classic beer with a foamy white head. Medium carbonation. The aroma was a little weak, but traces of hops and corn were noted. The taste was really good for a macro. Pronouced flavors of hops, malt and corn, with a smooth overall flavor. Very good. Felt good going down, leaving a crisp, slightly sweet and malty aftertaste. This is an excellant beer for the money. Highly recommended for lager fans.

 694 characters

Photo of biggred1
3.55/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear gold with a fizzy white head that quickly shrinks to a tight collar of foam and leaves scraps of sliding lace on the glass. Sweet malt,soft lemon and hay make up the nose. The flavor is nice, grainy and corny with a decent mild (cluster?) hop bite. Light bodied and seltzery. Finishes squeaky clean. Not a bad lawnmower beer.

 331 characters

Photo of Ricochet
3.5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is Strohs 101. If I had a Strohs to compare it with, it would be pretty close, but Strohs has a little less of the follow through of this beer. Poured with no head, mild carb, darker yellow, so a notch above average. Smell also above average with the hops and the malt of this sticking out, like a Strohs. This is okay in my book. Taste was, a better than average American lager. Almost like Yuengling's premium, there was a thickness to this which gave the mouth a plus, mostly the corn flavors were noticeable, but they blended with the alcohol and made this a plesant drinker.

Well, it was the first time I saw this at my regular, thought I would give it a try for no other reason than City buying the Latrobe brewery and putting those peeps back to work. This isn't bad at all and if I see it more around Cleveland, it is cheaper than Strohs and when Yuengling runs dry, it will make a good carry over until I get to PA.

 933 characters

Photo of bootsdomino
3.5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of KC9LDB
3.5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of musicjustintime
3.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent, affordable, American lager. At $12.99 for 30 of these puppies, how the hell COULD you go wrong?! It's got 'nuff hoppiness, yet it's not TOO bitter. Very smooth and probably a wonderful summertime brew to just pound. Why pay a ton of money to help beat the summertime heat, to burp, and to piss....when you can pay $12.99 for THIRTY of these bad boys and beat the summertime heat, burp, and piss???!!! (In all honesty..don'tcha git da same effect and results from ALL SUDS?!?!) I'd recommend this to any Bud drinker...or any macro-drinker....'cause it's CHEAPER AND PROBABLY A LITTLE BETTER THAN THE BIG SWILL SHIT! AND, you're not paying for the advertising. Yeah...in fact...I HIGHLY recommend this. Bottoms up, my beer-loving pals!! Nice job, La Crosse Lager brewers.

 779 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.42/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear pale golden. A fizzy white head forms and dissipates with the same speed. Moderate carbonation is noted. Aroma is better than average. Some soft maltiness, corny sweetness and flowery hops are all found. For a macro, not too bad at all. Soft malts on the palate as well with some adjunct-like sweetness blending in. A little hay and straw. And a slight bitterness lingering after the swallow. Light bodied and moderately carbonated. Average brew. Drinkable, but average.

 484 characters

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.41/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The folks at City Brewery worked hard to keep the yeast active at the brewery after Miller bought out the Old Style name and closed them down. In fact, this is a very decent American pilsner. Pouring from the can gives a nice fluffy head that remains for most of the drink. The usual straw color is no surprise. Can't find anything wrong with the taste, which is okay considering its Wisconsin-cheap price. Definitely recommend this as your basic lawnmower beer. I taste-tested this with some homebrewing friends against the current Old Style, now brewed in San Antonio and LaCrosse won hands down.

 598 characters

Photo of NOOGIE
3.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Poured 12 oz can into pint glass. Medium foam, which stays with the beer for the full drink. Normal stained yellow beer color.

Smell: Lot of water in the smell, almost to much really masks the other smells. The only thing I can smell is some malted barley.

Taste: Really sweet, with some barley and yeast in the taste. Then the watery taste is also in the drink.

Mouthfeel: Lot of water in the mouthfeel, also a sugary residue is left in your mouth.

Drink: Easy going down, but it fills you up fast. Also this is one of the sweetest beers I have ever had that wasn't flavored.

 590 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.38/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear, yellow/straw-gold body is topped by a decent-sized head of bright-white froth. The retention is fair, and although it eventually drops to just a collar, it does leave some minimal spotty lace. The nose is clean and fresh with a bit more malt than your standard "generic" beer aroma, although no hops are detectable. Hops do appear in the flavor, however, even if they only play a walk-on role. It's malty, and not over-done with adjunct; and very finely balanced with a slight hop flavor and a noticeable touch of bitterness. The median carbonation is quite fine, and appears softer than it actually is, leaving it gently crisp in the mouth. It finishes short and mostly-dry with just a minimal maltiness in the mouth. Not bad at all!

 743 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.38/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light doughy malt and a smattering of flowery hop.

The taste was rather well balanced and consisted of some soft bready malts and light balancing hops. Pleasant residual sweetness.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side for the style with a touch of creaminess.

Overall a tasty lager. I enjoyed the simplicity of this beer.

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La Crosse Lager from City Brewing Company, LLC
Beer rating: 2.96 out of 5 with 80 ratings
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