Dog Tag Brewing Legacy Lager

I saw this in a bargain bin at Ace Beverage in Washington, DC. Tall-boys with a cause—terrific!

Except that it isn’t. This stuff is contract brewed by Pabst, and it is rough. It is bitter in that Oiels or Red, White, and Blue sort of way, with little malt or other flavors. Even a little salt did.not make it o.k. This was a rare instance where I dumped a brew down the drain. (Rating: Not good.)

Read more about Dog Tag Brewing at


Hollandia Beer…. Since 1758?

Editor’s note: We’re republishing this article from January 25, 2003 because the old copy still gets so much reader traffic.

Hollandia BeerAt the corner store I found 16 ounce cans of Hollandia priced at $1 a piece. “Well,” I thought, “maybe it is a real bargain like Ballantine’s Ale.”

So I nabbed a few cans and took it back to the office to share with another taster. Shared conclusion: if these guys have been making this since 1758, they sure lack skill and taste. This is a thin yellow beer. It’s not awful, but it has little taste and what little it has reminds one of Budweiser from a stadium tap. (Rating: Not Good)

Brewed and canned by H. West, Maarsen, Holland, and imported by Bavaria USA, Inc., Dallas, TX 75287. Read more at


Narragansett Lager

Narrangasett BeerWe really wanted to like this beer.

How could we not? It has a history going back to the late 19th century. (See here)

It comes in retro-styled 16-ounce tall boy cans.

Narragansett also has an apparently fiercely supportive local base of consumers, a bit like Yuengling does.

There also is the motto: “Made on honor. Sold on merit.” How’s that for straight shooting?

Lastly, there are the advertisements, which range from cartoonish to the raunchy (see below).

So, when we saw the local Whole Foods selling it during August, we snatched it up. “This will be great,” we thought.

Wrong. What a disappointment. No wonder Jaws’ crotchety old sea dog, Quint, was drinking this brew. It is wretched—an affront to an even faintly sentient palate. Even served bone cold Narragansett is thin and bitter—and not in a good way. We tried a can night after night, paired it with different food, and even pitched salt in it.  The same result—barely tolerable for the first half of the can, then ghastly as it warmed.

Perhaps on tap it is better. But we won’t buy any of this canned crud again. (Rating: Not good)

Narrangasett Beer Ad


Minott’s Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager

From Whitefish, Montana…  Wait, where?  Whitefish, Montana, which is located near Whitefish Lake.  Which is a bit west of Hungry Horse.  Got it?  No?  Well, have a peek at this map.

Black Star is a product of the Great Northern Brewing Company, which was founded in 1994.  This brand of beer has had an interesting history.  The Missoulian reported:

The reissue coincides with the 15th anniversary of Great Northern, the brewery once built around Black Star. When former owner Minott Wessinger sold the brewery in 2002, he took the Black Star brand with him and the beer disappeared. Now, the McKenzie River Corp., a San Francisco-based beverage company Wessinger owns, is teaming up with Great Northern to produce the beer once again.

We’re glad it has returned.  This is a fine beer—it has a nice malty flavor and a classic Pilsner biscuit note.  This is just the sort of brew we’d like to keep stocked as one of our house brews. (Rating ***3/4)

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest 2010

Quoth the brewery: “Our Summerfest® is a refreshing, pilsner-style lager. Its incredible smoothness comes from an extra-long lagering period. Lighter in body than our ales but just as complex in character, Summerfest® quenches your thirst with big aroma and a tangy hop bite.”

Sounds great, but we were not impressed. The hops struck us as too weak, and the pilsner biscuit flavor we craved also was wimpy. Of course, none of this kept us from draining our glasses. A couple times.

Summerfest 2010 is not a bad beer; it’s just not great shakes. Nor is it up to the usual Sierra Nevada standards. (Rating***)


Berliner Kindl Weisse Schankbier and Full Sail Session Lager and Session Black Lager

As mentioned earlier, we are SWAMPED with samples. So please pardon the review dump.

Berliner Kindl Weisse: Fat chance that you’ll find this funky German beer in the U.S. Our globetrotting friend, Baird, brought some back from his bicycling trip to Germany. (God, our lives are dull in comparison.) He enjoys it with a bit of fruit syrup, as did we, though straight up also is pleasant. Note: if you are thinking this beer will taste like the typical clove-y, nubblegum-y wheat beer, you are mistaken. KINDLE WEISSE is slightly sour, almost like Gueze, hence folks habit of putting raspberry syrup in it. (Rating ***3/4) For more information, see (Of course, you need to be able to read German.) Or you might also read a bit at

Full Sail Session Lager and Session Black Lager. The good stuff just keeps coming from FULL SAIL of Oregon. We liked the SESSION LAGER (Rating ***1/2) and loved the BLACK SESSION LAGER (Rating ****1/2). The latter had the body of a lager but toasty, chocolate-y notes. Awesome. For further information, surf to