Your favorite regional AALs

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by mambossa, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. mambossa

    mambossa Disciple (388) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    Narragansett Lager made its way to my LBS and I love it. It’s quite similar to Hamm’s, another regional AAL around here, but dare I say it’s a little less sweet?

    Either way, these regional brand AALs are such a great bang for the buck and it’s easy to see why they are still winning the hearts of so many within their distribution footprint.

    Everyone shout out your local/regional AAL!
    (Anticipating a lot of Spotted Cow responses)

    Cheers everyone
    Premo88, tzieser, dukeandduke and 9 others like this.
  2. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (1,996) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut

    Narragansett and National Bohemian.
  3. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,310) Sep 24, 2007 Vatican City

    So many of the old-school brews are now just "brands" owned by a larger company, that it's really difficult to pick one. Olympia, Rainier, PBR, and many more OGs are fundamentally the same beer, coming out of the same factory, but in different cans.

    Genesee will always have a soft spot for me, but even they're owned by a larger company now.
  4. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Savant (919) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    KentT, PatrickCT, Bitterbill and 4 others like this.
  5. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,267) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    If I had to pick a favorite regional AAL, I'd probably go with Hauenstein.
    You shouldn't get a lot of these, since Spotted Cow isn't an AAL.
  6. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,850) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Hamm's, owned and brewed by #2 MillerCoors, is pretty much national by now, isn't it? Of course, the Theo. Hamm Brewing Co. - once the 5th largest brewer in the US in the late '50s - hasn't existed since the mid-1970s, when what was left of it was bought by Olympia, only for Pabst to buy Olympia in '82. Miller then bought the Hamm's brand (along with Pabst's Olde English 800) when both were divving up the Stroh/Heileman portfolio in 1999.

    (I thought that was nuts - "WTF? Of all the great regional brands owned Stroh/Heileman, Miller wanted Hamm's from Pabst's portfolio?" Turned out, 2 decades later, it's working out for MillerCoors).

    My favorite quote in a recent MC blog entry discussing Hamm's success in Philadelphia (where the beer really should have little to no "retro/nostalgia" market - no "Hamm's Bear" commercials filled the airwaves during Phillies games or American Bandstand):
    "It’s got such a great price point, and when people see it, they see something different—something that’s not PBR—and they want to be a part of it..."

    Seems like MC is saying Hamm's selling point is it isn't Pabst Blue Ribbon :grin: (but as @beertunes notes above, it might just be or something very close to it, brewed in the same breweries, using the same corn syrup, maybe tweaked a bit with a different blend of hop extract...).
    #6 jesskidden, Oct 7, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
    MrUse, beertunes, Bitterbill and 2 others like this.
  7. TrouserSneeze

    TrouserSneeze Initiate (119) Sep 11, 2005 New York

    Straub in St Mary's, PA. You can buy their pounders in returnable bottles. Drink lots in a session, wake up refreshed in the morning. Can't beat that!
  8. JediMasterLenin

    JediMasterLenin Initiate (152) Dec 25, 2018 District of Columbia

    as a boy born and raised in New England, Narragansett is my go to budget buy, or if I'm looking for something simple.
    Living in DC, if I need something local and comparable, Peabody Heights Old Oriole Park is serviceable.
    And it's hard to argue with 12 cans of Natty Boh for $10.
  9. Peach63

    Peach63 Aspirant (204) Jul 17, 2019 New York

    Yuengling lager works for me. It actually has a bit of flavor.
  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    One of my favorite regional AAL beers is Yuengling Lord Chesterfield. I discussed this beer in a thread I started four years ago entitled “No love for American Adjunct Lagers?”.

    “I will start the discussion by reviewing one of my referred AAL beers which is Lord Chesterfield Ale (and yes it is an AAL despite the word “Ale” in the brand name).

    Served in my 17 ounce Pilsner glass:


    Gold color with fluffy white head. This beer has very good head retention and forms a Belgian Lace as the beer is consumed.


    The most notable aspect on the nose is a subtle but noticeable hop aroma. This beer is dry hopped using Cascade hops. There is not much malt/grain aroma on the nose.


    The flavor is not quite as notable as the aroma. There is some aspect of malt/grain there and the hop flavor is more muted than the hop aroma.


    Low-medium body with a medium-dry finish.


    Within the context of an AAL beer this beer is a joy to drink. The highlights are the hop aroma and nice head retention. If you are looking for a nice thirst quenching beer (like I was yesterday after an 8 mile hike) this beer certainly does the ‘trick’.”

    Premo88, PatrickCT, Peach63 and 7 others like this.
  11. Phoodcritic

    Phoodcritic Zealot (578) Jul 3, 2014 Michigan

    I haven’t detected it yet. I suppose it depends on one’s definition of “bit”.
  12. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,872) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I don't really consider Yuengling Lager an AAL ... But that would be one of my picks in the spirit of this thread.

    Here in the Midwest, I enjoy Stroh's, Hamm's, and Stag. All of them are nice AALs
  13. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (74) Mar 16, 2018 District of Columbia

    I’m looking forward to trying Senate Beer, a recreation of a pre-Prohibition beer from the DC area, when it hits distribution around the District
    JediMasterLenin likes this.
  14. Ranbot

    Ranbot Champion (875) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Straub is also still family-owned and independent since 1872. Not many legacy beer brands can make a claim like that.
  15. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,618) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Not sure what the distro for it is like, but Coors Extra Gold is a very slightly kicked up Banquet. It's my fave.
  16. Redrover

    Redrover Poo-Bah (3,359) Jan 18, 2003 Illinois

  17. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,306) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    My pick from the choices around here are PBR, Miller and Hamms. Of the three I go for Hamms though admittedly none of these are exactly local.
    Premo88, Foyle, miwestcoaster and 2 others like this.
  18. tone77

    tone77 Poo-Bah (5,651) May 20, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Another vote for Straub here in PA, and also a shout out to Duquesne beer, although it's listed on here as an "American Lager".
    StubFaceJoe and Bitterbill like this.
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Do you have any specific details here?

    I read the below linked article of Sept. 29, 2019 where it states:

    "We are hoping that after this round of the beer that’s only on draft and only available here we will be able to increase production and hopefully have it available in other locations around the city," Bender said.”

    The above reads like “hope” vs. a committed plan to produce Senate Beer.

    I watched the video of what does this beer taste like and the details provided by Tom Shellhammer sounds like this beer is closer to a contemporary AAL vs. an early 1900’s era Classic American Pilsner to me.

  20. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (74) Mar 16, 2018 District of Columbia

    I was going on some of the rumors that DC Brau was looking at picking up the partnership with the Heurich estate. I understand that the Heurich estate have a strong relationship with many of the regional craft breweries, and DC Brau is the largest and has lager-brewing capabilities.

    What exactly are those differences between a Pre-Pro Pilsner and a modern AAL? I still have yet to find an example of the style.
    #20 EmperorBatman, Oct 7, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  21. ForagedBudLite

    ForagedBudLite Initiate (18) Aug 11, 2019 Michigan

    I don't know how much this is distributed nationally, but in Michigan we now have Stroh's Bohemian-Style Pilsner, which is different from the more common Stroh's American Lager. The pilsner recipe is an authentic Stroh's recipe, provided by a brewer that worked at Stroh's when it was still in the Stroh family. It sells for around $8 and has no adjuncts, so I don't know if you want to count it.

    On a somewhat related note, I just found 24 oz Genesee Cream Ales selling for $1.10 a can! Can't beat that value. It looked like a tornado had hit the beer shelf. The cans flew out of the store.
    KentT, Foyle, dukeandduke and 2 others like this.
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I would recommend that you review the BJCP style guidelines for the two categories of:

    · 1B. American Lager

    · Historical Beer: Pre-Prohibition Lager

    Some snippets from the BJCP style guidelines (with emphasis in bold by me):

    American Lager

    “Style Comparison: Stronger, more flavor and body than a Light American Lager. Less bitterness and flavor than an International Lager. Significantly less flavor, hops, and bitterness than traditional European Pilsners.”

    Pre-Prohibition Lager

    Style Comparison: Similar balance and bitterness as modern Czech Premium Pale Lagers, but exhibiting native American grains and hops from the era before US Prohibition. More robust, bitter, and flavorful than modern American pale lagers, and often with higher alcohol.

    If you can find it I would recommend Straubs 1872 Lager to you. I discussed this beer in a past thread:


  23. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,850) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    "You can" but only if you're in a very small distribution region for the returnables (even smaller IIRC, that their small to begin with PA + NE Ohio market). Not that I blame 'em, some folks from out of the area buy the deposit bottles but can never find a PA distributor that'll take them back and wind up having to keep them for decades.

    Used to buy the T/A "greenies" when I drove through NE PA on my way to the Finger Lakes but even those disappeared for awhile (an newer employee a the Scranton-region distributor I used to get it at swore they never carried it :astonished:) These days, I can find it in the Phila. region sometimes, but almost never fresh.

    Well, any brewer in business for a century obviously had numerous recipes but Stroh's flagship beer was an adjunct lager for most (if not all) of the Repeal era. Up to the 1960s, they used rice but by the 1970s, they switched to corn (in some form)... "Processed corn is then added..." according to a circa 1970 promo book. They did brew an all-malt bock beer right up to the "craft" era, one of the few in the US by that time.

    Ha. Unlike many famous brewing families, the Strohs were right there up to end, driving their historic brewing company into the ground. Many other families got out just in time while the gettin' was good, only to watch the new owners take the fall...

    The Heurich brewing company was already "revived" once, in the late 80s, in the wake of the success of Boston Beer Co's Samuel Adams, even using Pittsburgh Brewing Co. as their contract brewery. Jim Koch accused a number of those PBC contract-brewers with making "Samuel Adams clones":
    That beer was called Olde Heurich Amber Lager (IIRC they made no claim as far as authenticity of the recipe) and IIRC later the brand was renamed Foggy Bottom.
  24. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (74) Mar 16, 2018 District of Columbia

    Typical DC, making a shameless copy of an idea from somewhere else and calling it original and authentic. Was there anything else in this portfolio?

    From what I understand, this plan with Senate Beer is seemingly less ambitious than entirely reviving the Heurich brand. We will have to see how it plays out though.
    JediMasterLenin likes this.
  25. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,363) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    This is the best one I have had in a while.
  26. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,850) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Looks like the "brewery" was revived by Gary Heurich, Christian's grandson,and, as noted, he eventually move the contract to F X Matt before throwing in the bar towel in 2006 - they also brewed an ale (as did the original in DC).

    Does Washington Lack Hometown Spirit?
    beertunes, Bitterbill and FBarber like this.
  27. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    They seem to be on the same decline as imports available locally.

    I remember drinking Old Style, Schaefer, Schlitz, Olympia, Strohs, Genesee(Cream Ale), Falstaff and I'm probably forgetting some. All were around when I first moved to Casper. All I see now is Hamms, Rainier, and 1 store has Lone Star.
  28. muck1979

    muck1979 Initiate (65) Jul 3, 2005 Minnesota

    dukeandduke likes this.
  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Because the majority of beer customers who purchase AAL beers prefer to purchase macro AAL beers (e.g., BMC)?

    Bitterbill and FBarber like this.
  30. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    I didn't list a non macro AAL.
    thesherrybomber likes this.
  31. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (2,577) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I've had the opportunity to travel a bit this year and so far:

    Narragansett is pretty nice, I'd certainly buy it if I could get it in Michigan.

    Yuengling is flavorless and I don't understand the appeal.

    Natty Boh is downright gross. Shame on you, Baltimore
  32. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,456) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Depends what you mean by "nice." :sunglasses:
    scootercrabb, FBarber and beertunes like this.
  33. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,872) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I think they're tasty for what they are, and I enjoy them, but to each their own. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  34. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,330) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I didn't know the whole story about this so your post made me look it up. I had no idea they were owned by a Costa Rican company.
    beertunes likes this.
  35. DW78715816

    DW78715816 Disciple (380) Aug 30, 2014 Kansas

    Where I live most are national but there is Life Coach Lager out of a tiny brewery in a tiny Town Washington KS that is a cheap 30 pack and good. I love Grain Belt whenever I go to Minnesota and August Schells Deer Brand is probably my favorite AAL but not available locally for me.
  36. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I can’t think of a regional AAL brewed here, but it’s tough to beat Gansett pounders for $5.99. Hamms if I can find it. Pa has a slew of beers I used to drink, Reading, Gibbons, Valley Forge, all very inexpensive all decent enough for what it is. I’d be lying if I said I preferred one over all others, but there’s a few I won’t buy, but the rest are all about equal.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    nc41 likes this.
  38. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    JackHorzempa likes this.
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    And my first bottle of Valley Forge beer was from a case purchased by my brother's best friend (Tim) and it cost him less than 4 bucks for a case of 16 ounce bottles (Brewer's Outlet - Woodlyn, PA). I was helping Tim out on a business venture and he 'rewarded' me with this bottle of inexpensive beer even though I was waaay underage.:flushed:

    nc41 likes this.
  40. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    The beer tasted pretty good back then as I remember it.