Beer of the Weekend #656: Rolling Rock

Yesterday afternoon I walked down to John’s and bought a sixer of Rolling Rock. Later that night, after noticing it in the fridge, J-Rod said to me, “Rolling Rock, eh?”

“Yeah, it’s been a while,” I responded, pausing before going into detail. But before I could say anything more, J-Rod joked, “It’s been a while since you visited the bottom shelf?”

I smiled and said, “I guess.”

Yep, the beer this weekend is a blast from the past: Rolling Rock, formally brewed by the Latrobe Brewing Company of Latrobe, Pennsylvania (it is now an A-B InBev brand brewed a some regional brewery, probably St. Louis in our case.).

Serving type: 16-ounce can. A code is printed on the bottom of the can but there is no discernable freshness date. I wanted to get the classic bottles, as we did back in the day, but the only Rolling Rock bottles available at John’s were in a 12-pack. Screw dat.

Appearance: Pours an “extra pale” gold color into a pilsner glass. A finger and a half of tight, lightly buttery, eggshell-colored head leaves an even skim and narrow ring around the edge. A couple streams of carbonation rise from the bottom.

Smell: Adjunct grains. I peeked at the ingredients and it is supposedly brewed with rice and corn, and it does smell like a mix of both. There is a splash of lemon, too.

Taste: Lukewarm canned corn. It fades a little as the beer warms and the rice becomes noticeable, as well as a little lemon zest. So it is like a plate of lukewarm rice and corn. (Smother them in ranch dressing or warm gravy, and I would scarf down!) Some actual grain comes into play after a while.

Drinkability: This was my favorite beer, but my how the times have changed — me and probably the recipe. It’s drinkable and not offensive, but it’s not much. It is definitely “extra pale.”

Fun facts about Rolling Rock:

-Style: The beer’s website calls it “Extra Pale American Lager Beer.” It is classified on BA as “American Adjunct Lager.” According to the beer’s webpage, rice and corn are ingredients.

-Price: $5.99/sixer of 16-ounce cans at John’s Grocery in Iowa City. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

-Alcohol content: 4.5 percent ABV. A 4 percent ABV version is available in “select states” (which probably include Minnesota).

-Calories: 130 per 12-ounce serving. The 4 percent ABV version is 116 calories.

-“33” is printed on the back of each bottle and can. Why? What’s the meaning? Nobody really knows for sure but there are many theories. The beer’s webpage lists 11 and a number are outlined on the beer’s Wikipedia page.

The Quiet Man’s grade: D+.

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