If you had to pick: Which AAL is the best?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by JZH1000, May 9, 2022.

  1. JZH1000

    JZH1000 Aspirant (243) Nov 7, 2021 Colorado

    I've been in a weird AAL phase recently, and hey sometimes they do have their place. They're cheap, plentiful, and we've all had at least one and probably many more, so what is your favorite American Adjunct Lager. Mostly looking for any of the variables of BMC beers.

    Honorable mentions may include mexican imports, as well as aussie and euro pale mass market lagers, but these aren't really what I'm interested in for this post. For the most part I dont care about craft american lagers, unless they are really damn impressive.

    This post was inspired by how much I've surprisingly enjoyed some classically trashy bad beers such as rolling rock and miller high life, plus genuine draft (much better kept in the can however). Easy to drink with nice light but present malts, with as few off notes as possible, and a cheap price tag is certainly appreciated.

    And yes I expect plenty of people saying hamms, and squire to say Bud, but hey theres a surprising number of AALs out there.
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  2. Rollmeaway2loadout

    Rollmeaway2loadout Disciple (328) Jan 30, 2016 Illinois

    I have drank many over the years. Here is my 6 pack of drinkable and enjoyable AAL's . Founder's Solid Gold , Leinenkugel Original, Old Style , Olympia, Hamms , Coors The Old Style classic lager is the favorite. Bud and Miller have a great following. PBR is a popular lager and has seen renewed interest .I find it too sweet.
    #2 Rollmeaway2loadout, May 9, 2022
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
  3. bret27

    bret27 Poo-Bah (1,970) Mar 10, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    Stone Light is pretty good.
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  4. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,399) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    Miller High Life gets my vote. Though admittedly I have not yet tried Hamm's.
  5. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,736) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    Hmm, let me think, ah, I vote Bud.
  6. BigIronH

    BigIronH Meyvn (1,364) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Excluding craft AAL’s which seem to be popping up left and right, Busch Light, High Life, Coors Banquet, etc. are all good options. As I’m pondering my choices here, I remember I actually like quite a few of these beers. Cheers.
  7. barrybeerdog

    barrybeerdog Initiate (163) Aug 17, 2012 South Dakota

    Hamms and/or Grain Belt Premium:grin:!
  8. JayORear

    JayORear Meyvn (1,434) Feb 22, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    For me, Yuengling by a mile.
  9. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,024) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Coors wxtra gold was good
  10. ericwo

    ericwo Initiate (76) Aug 21, 2008 Pennsylvania

    My vote would go to Pabst Blue Ribbon.
  11. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Poo-Bah (1,780) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    Of the 16 AALs I have rated:

    Gold: Schlitz
    Silver: Budweiser
    Bronze: Coors Batch 19

    Beer classified as “American Lagers” on BA:

    Gold: Moosehead
    Silver: Anchor California Lager
    Bronze: Michelob

    In terms of craft, I really enjoyed Upland Champagne Velvet. It’s reasonably priced, but I don’t believe they distribute far beyond states bordering their Bloomington, Indiana brewery. It is a pre Prohibition American Lager.

    Hamm’s is my lowest rated of the bunch. Nominal if any flavor.
  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,426) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    "Best" ? That ain't up to me. Over the many years, living close to the border with PA in both the Southern Tier of NY and central Jersey, I've probably bought more Straub's than just about any other AAL - but that ain't alot. "Rarity" probably plays into my choice (heck, it's rare even in the western half of PA and freshness is a problem when I do, too), as does support of true "local" breweries of the pre-Craft era. If I lived upstate NY, I'd say Utica Club, in the mid-west, it'd be Schell's Deer Brand or Point Special.

    Is this a punctuation/capitalization error or are there 2 different "(Heileman) Old Style" beers these days?

    Yeah, of course, 80% (est.) are labels owned by Pabst, brewed by Molson Coors and usually have little in common with the original beers from the originating brewers but lots in common with each other.
  13. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,880) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    My six-pack would be:
    Narragansett Lager
    Founders Solid Gold
    Upland Champagne Velvet
    Santa Fe Pepe Loco

    Dishonorable mention: Bud Light Platinum.
  14. Providence

    Providence Crusader (790) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Just looking at the beers listed as adjunct lagers on this site, I like these:

    Unicer Uniao Cervejeira Super Bock
    Narragansett Lager
    Founders Solid Gold
    Birra Peroni
  15. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (3,111) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    Genesee Cream Ale was my go to but I can't find it anymore.

    I do enjoy an occasional Coors Light or Coors Banquet. Both easy drinking, inoffensive beers.
  16. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,475) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Way back when I drank AALs I would rotate between Schmidt's, MGD, and Stroh's (the original, not the new one). Nowadays I'll choose a craft AAL, if available, if I'm in that mood. Otherwise, I'll choose original Stroh's if I can find it.
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  17. jonphisher

    jonphisher Meyvn (1,205) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    If I'm at a wedding or something and AAL is all there is I usually go Bud, so that gest my vote.
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  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,430) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    The following are my top three favorite AAL beers:

    Reading Premium (brewed by Sly Fox)
    Yuengling Lord Chesterfield

    I don't drink AAL beers too often but they are a nice 'Lawnmower' beer.

  19. Premo88

    Premo88 Poo-Bah (2,106) Jun 6, 2010 Texas

    From my ratings FWIW:

    Old Milwaukee
    Lone Star
    Rolling Rock

    If you can find it, Live Oak's Pre-War Pils also ranks up there.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,430) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    In the past I have seen Champagne Velvet at my local Retail Beer Distributor (in PA). I thought about buying that 12-pack it but is was quite old so I passed.

  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,430) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    A few beers mentioned above are Lagers brewed with adjunct (and within that context, technically AAL beers) but I personally would classify them as Classic American Pilsners (CAP):
    • Upland Champagne Velvet
    • Live Oak's Pre-War Pils
    Other examples listed from the below linked article:

    "Examples of Classic American Pilsners
    There are few examples of commercially brewed CAP beers. They tend to be only available in limited regions and sometimes on a rotating basis: Straub 1872 Pre-Prohibition Lager (Pennsylvania), Fort George 1811 Pre-Prohibition Lager (Oregon), Short’s Pontius Road Pilsner (Michigan), Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. Rocket 100 (Texas), Upland Champagne Velvet (Indiana), and Fullstream Paycheck Pilsner (North Carolina)."


    #21 JackHorzempa, May 9, 2022
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
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  22. Cstamp3084

    Cstamp3084 Initiate (76) May 3, 2020 Maryland

    Schlitz is the best one I have tried.
  23. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Meyvn (1,456) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey

    Although I’m not a hipster, I pick PBR as my favorite AAL.
  24. Mortal_Wombat

    Mortal_Wombat Initiate (121) Jul 7, 2020 Texas

    Close tie for Yuengling and original Budweiser for me. I still go to Bud almost every time when eating wings.

    It's technically not an AAL but shoutout to Little Kings as well.
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  25. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,726) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I take low-IBU American lagers as seriously as any other beer type. My favorite is the one I posted in WBAYDN last night:
  26. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Poo-Bah (1,780) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    I still remember our discussion of this beer after I posted my review. I haven't had a chance to try Live Oak at this point, but I've only rated a single Pre-prohibition lager slightly higher.

    Hope you can revisit with a fresh 6 pack soon!

    What do you like about Hamm's that you rate it among your favorite AALs?
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  27. beer_beer

    beer_beer Zealot (595) Feb 13, 2018 Finland

    None easily around, but guess it would be Bud NA.
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  28. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,772) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    I would've said Coors Extra Gold up until last year, but they finally killed that one off. Right now I'd say it's probably a toss up between any of the "big 3." I like Banquet the most, but depending on your tastes I think any could work. If Mexican imports count, I'd say Modelo Especial is probably better than any of 'em. Tecate has a pretty unique flavor profile (which I like), so it would be a contender, too.
  29. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,391) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    AALs seem to be very person by person specific so it’s hard to get opinions from craft beer nerds on what you may like.
    - Hamm’s is one of the cheapest.
    - Natural Light I find very drinkable and seems to be gaining increased popularity when I’m out in bars/taverns of late. Seems to be next cheapest behind Hamm’s.
    - Rolling Rock and Coors Light and Coors Banquet I really liked decades ago but lately these 3 don’t hit my taste buds the same.
    - High life has been one of my favorites last few years but the last one I had tasted “off”, so not sure what’s going on there.

    My advice is buy a few sixers and do some blind taste tests and see what you prefer.
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  30. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,724) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Genny Cream Ale. Or regular Genny.
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  31. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,391) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Avoid Old German and Iron City unless you like the taste of watery carbonated metal with a touch of sulfur.
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  32. Providence

    Providence Crusader (790) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I'd like to do a side-by-side with Miller High Life and Bud. When my brain hears "High Life" it thinks, "I'll have one, if I'm in a jam, it's pretty good and I used to crush them in college." When my brain hears "Bud" it thinks, "Fucking gross, I never drank that shit and in the handful of times I did I remember it being putrid."

    I'm guessing it's the emotional connection to college years that has me think positively of Miller High Life and my absolute hatred for Bud commercials and bullshit Americana-horse shit that has me thinking negatively about Bud. It also may be because I drank High Life way before I got into craft and I actually don't have any distinct memories of drinking regular Bud until well after I got into craft (not saying I never had a Bud somewhere prior, but my memory suggests that while there was a lot of Bud Light drinking I never actually reached for a Bud at any point). In any event, I am curious. If I did a blind side-by-side, which would I prefer? Would I like either? Would I love both? Perhaps I'll do it.
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  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,430) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Yes, they way to approach this side-by-side is via a blind tasting so that you can mitigate bias.

    If you choose to do this please post your thoughts in the side-by-side thread.

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  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,430) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    If this is reference to Champagen Velvet those beers were quite fresh. I was fortunate that a generous benefactor shipped them to me. I enjoyed drinking those beers but within the context of the CAP beer style I though they were lacking. Within the context of AAL, Champagne Velvet is very good. The whole 'rating to style' thing.
    I suppose I should caveat that I have only drank Hamm's a handful of times but what I enjoyed in those beers is that while they had a subtle flavor in comparison to non-AAL beer styles I felt this beer was 'right on' for the contemporary AAL beer style; the subtle flavors that were there 'hit the mark' for me. I also very much appreciated the economical price.

    To borrow a comment from @bubseymour: "High life has been one of my favorites last few years but the last one I had tasted “off”, so not sure what’s going on there."

    I have never perceived anything "off" in any of the Hamm's beers that I drank.

    It seems popular on BA (and other places) to belittle AAL beers. And while the AAL beer style is by no means my favorite beer styles, as a brewer I admire how well some (most?) large scale breweries can consistently make these beers. These beers are so subtle that any little thing (e.g., ingredient variability, unintentional process change, etc.) will be noticeable in the resulting beer. Also, since these are subtle beers other aspects (e.g., improper storage, improper handling, etc.) will have impacts. In this later case, I suppose I have been 'lucky' with my Hamm's purchases?

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  35. JayORear

    JayORear Meyvn (1,434) Feb 22, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I feel pretty sure that Shaun Hill has expressed similar appreciation for this consistency in Budweiser.
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  36. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,345) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Yes, and to eliminate (or reduce the impact of) guessing - even if subconscious, perhaps consider doing a triangle test.
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  37. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (4,366) Oct 14, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    Is their Pre-War Pils year-round or seasonal? Or just available in Austin? When I had it last year I thought it was fantastic.
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  38. slander

    slander Poo-Bah (2,342) Nov 5, 2001 New York
    Moderator Society

    me thinks Michelob.
  39. Premo88

    Premo88 Poo-Bah (2,106) Jun 6, 2010 Texas

    I think it's a summer seasonal. I'm almost positive I've seen it distributed throughout Texas. I can't speak for outside of Texas, but my guess would be if you see any Live Oak in your area, you likely will see their seasonals.
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  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,430) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania


    Michelob is not an AAL:

    "Michelob Original Lager is brewed with pale, kilned two-row barley malt and noble European hops."


    Have you had a 'regular' Michelob lately? I have not seen this beer in any of my local beer retailers' in a loooong time. Plenty of Michelob Ultra stacks though.

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