TMS Beer Project: Old Style Lager

April 08, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

With the name Saloon included in our moniker, one could surmise that we here at TMS like to drinky drinky. One that would make such an assumption would be correct, thereby throwing out the whole, 'when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We also like to plagiarize each other. In the same vein as the Wrigleyville Bar Project, we are proud to bring you another installment of the TMS Beer Project. The premise is simple: we review beers. Each rating will feature a variety of scores from 1-10 and comments from the bartender. This is a public service damn it. We don't want you to be the sucker who pays $15 for a six pack of some overrated Belgian cat piss. Now, we all drink massive amounts of beer so we know what we speak of. Each of us seem to have a favorite style of beer though. Will we be reviewing macrobrews like Bud and Coors? Oh you bet your Aunt Susie's ass we will. For purposes of this science experiment, and it is in the name of science, those will be the "control" group. Use them as a base line for when we review lesser known imports and microbrews. Without further ado, I bring you our next beer:

Old Style

Brewery: G. Heileman Brewing Co.

Type: American Adjunct Lager

Receptacle: 12 ounce bottle

Drinkability (1 being Jim Jones' kool-aid, 10 being the nectar of the gods): 10, Earlier this Spring when I heard that Old Style went back to the kraeusening process, I was absolutely giddy. Back when it was really brewed by G. Heileman (the brewing company now only exists in name only) kraeusening was an aging process that was used to make Old Style. Originally developed by the Germans as a means to carbonate beer, it also served as a second fermentation process. In the mid-90's when Stroh's took over the Old Style label they discontinued the kraeusening process.

So is the new/old kraeusened Old Style good? You're god damn straight it is. I can't really explain it fully but, as strange and disturbing as this may sound, it tastes like my childhood. In a good way, not in a sad "daddy drinks because you cry/this is what happens when you spill paint in the garage (shows cigarette burn in arm)" way.

There's just something nostalgic about it. I grew up with friends joking about Old Style and beers like it as "crap my dad drinks." Well if this is how it tasted back then, can you blame them?

Did any of that make sense? No? Let's just move on....

Heartiness (1 being fresh mountain spring water, 10 being a pureed British steak infected with mad cow disease): 6, Being that it's a traditional lager, one shouldn't expect this to be real heavy and slow-drinking. Granted the folks drinking their Michael Bolton Light will find it a bit jarring to them. Don't worry, that's called flavor. Flavor is a good thing.

Intoxication (1 being your friend's weird pentecostal grandmother high on Jesus, 10 being Boris Yeltsin on a week long bender in the Crimea): 6, Old Style is only 4.7% ABV, but it's so damn tasty you'll be pretty well shitfaced by the time you've had your fill on this delicious nectar of the blue-collar gods.

Celebrities You May See Drinking This Brew: Cadwallader C. Washburn, the cast of any John Hughes film from the 1980's, Jake the Neighborhood Guy, your dad.

Affordability ($ being chicklets in Tijuana, $$$$ being diamond encrusted braised lamb shank from a trendy cafe on the Champs d'Elysee): $$, This one would've been just one $ a few months ago, but with a new taste comes a new price and unfortunately it's a higher one. $10 for a 12 pack of bottles.

Overall: 10, I've made it quite known in the past that I hate pretty much all light beer. Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite? They're the adult contemporary pop music of the beer world. Watered-down, unoriginal, manufactured to appeal to the masses. No thanks, I'd much rather have a PBR, Schlitz, High Life, and of course, Old Style. With the revival of kraeusening as well as Schlitz returning back to it's 1960's formula (a beer project on that is forthcoming) it seems like the old school American lagers are seeing a bit of a renaissance, and I for one welcome it.
This guy enjoys Old Style. He also thinks Bud Light is for Communists and wonders why his wife can't learn to cook better.