Beer of the Weekend #698: Kalona Classic

The beer of the weekend is a pleasant (and cheap) surprise that I found at the Co-op: Kalona Classic, brewed by the Kalona Brewing Company of Kalona, Iowa.

I can’t remember if Kalona Classic has been available in mini-growlers or 12-ounce cans before, but I have never seen it in 16-ounce cans!

Kalona Classic pours a bright gold into a pilsner glass. About a finger of head dissipates quickly — so quickly I did not even notice its color. It smells like a Kalona Brewing beer; perhaps it is a signature yeast or maybe the effect of the water in Kalona. It is difficult to describe — I really do not know where to begin — but it is an inviting and pleasant smell. It seems akin to something one would smell on a farm. All Kalona beers seem to have a touch of it. Or perhaps it is just malt. It could be, especially since there is not much more to the aroma. There is also not much more to the flavor. It is straightforward malt and nothing pretentious. I dig that. It is light and very drinkable. It’s good “straight-from-the-can” beer.

Fun facts about Kalona Classic:

• Style: The label only calls it “Light Lager.”

• Price: $7.99 per six-pack of 16-ounce cans (!) at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City.

• Alcohol content: 4.1 percent ABV.

• IBU: 9.4.

• Light beer from a local craft brewer? Why not? According to the description written on the label:

Many of the local residents in Kalona and the surrounding area enjoy lighter beer as their preferred beer of choice. Kalona Brewing Co. decided to bring its own unique take on the style by blending malted barley, water, Hallertauer Tradition hops, and lager yeast to craft Kalona Classic Lager; a beer that is refreshing, light in body and finishes with a toasty note. Enjoy!

I suppose that’s the nice way to say, “Our neighbors like Busch Light, so we thought we would brew something that they would be willing to drink.”

The Quiet Man’s grade: C.

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