Rolling Rock

Tasting: July 30, 2011
Style: Lager

Shangy’s posted a question on Facebook, “Does your opinion of Blue Moon, Goose Island or Red Hook change knowing that they are either partially owned or funded by the big 3 (Miller, Coors or Anheuser Busch)? That’s an interesting question. To be frank, I’m not a fan of the (Coors/Molson) Blue Moon at all — so I’ll focus on Goose Island and Red Hook. Neither brewer is directly owned by AB, but they gain distribution and investments from AB. Honestly, I don’t mind AB’s involvement as long as the push for bigger profits doesn’t interfere with the taste of the beer. I think AB is helping these brewers keep costs down by letting them ride on their trucks (since they go everywhere). If they suggest they cut costs by cutting back on hops – that would certainly show in the product. I’m sure the big 3 recognize the craft beer boom and simply want a piece of it — either with their own lines or as a hand in someone else’s pocket.

AB bought Rolling Rock several years ago and closed the Latrobe location. It’s just strange to read the label — Labrobe Brewing, St. Louis Missouri. It also still has the language about glass-lined tanks and mountain water. Some people claim that the beer tastes worse since AB took it over. I can’t say, I didn’t really like the old Rolling Rock — so I didn’t drink it that much. I had this one at a pool party, so it was hot and a lighter beer might hit the spot. However, it was really as expected…grainy and off tasting up front with no real finish taste. It AB made it worse — I can’t tell. I give this one 69.

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