Beer of the Weekend #809: Hamm's

Last week, my sister’s friend and her husband from Australia were in town. He wore a Hamm’s logo t-shirt one day and I offered my compliments. He said he liked buying cheap, beer-related shirts while in the United States and mentioned that he didn’t even know if Hamm’s was a real beer.

“Oh, it’s real,” I told him.

Later on, after they had left town, I began to wonder: Has Hamm’s ever been the beer of the weekend? To my surprise, it hasn’t … until now.

The beer of the weekend is Hamm’s, brewed by the Hamm’s Brewing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a subsidiary of MillerCoors.

The color is clear, clean light gold. A little more than a finger of white, fluffy head, ideal for a TV commercial, leaves an even skim and thick ring around the edge. The aroma is mostly grains and features a light zest. It has that classic, dive bar beer scent, the kind that is served in a tall, handled mug that should never be used to serve beer. The flavor mostly mirrors the aroma — grainy with a touch of zest. It also features a light, pleasant bite. It doesn’t taste like corn, but it could be brewed with rice and maybe actual malt. Overall, it is light, tasty, easy drinking, classic American beer.

Fun facts about Hamm’s:

• Style: American adjunct lager.

• Price: I forgot to grab the receipt, but I think it was $9 for a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans at the Drug Town on First Avenue in Iowa City.

• Alcohol content: 4.7 percent ABV.

• Calories: 144 per 12-ounce can.

• Hamm’s was originally brewed in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

• Hamm’s is famous for its advertising jingle and mascot, the Hamm’s Beer bear. A YouTube search for Hamm’s will give you a number of old commercials featuring both. It’s pretty catchy stuff — which probably explains why the bear and song are forever etched into the memory of my parents, aunts, and uncles. I suppose the Hamm’s bear is like the Spuds MacKenzie for Midwestern baby boomers.

The Quiet Man’s grade: C.

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