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Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cable Car Lager and the Brewery with No Name

Cable Car Lager is an American Adjunct Lager by the Cable Car Brewing Company of somewhere. I say somewhere because its actually hard to track down where this beer is from.

From what I can find, Cable Car use to brew through a contract brewery called City Brewing of LaCrosse, Wisconsin but then changed contractors to Genesee Brewing Company of Rochester, New York. However, the company that contracts with these breweries to make the beers is the Wine Exchange of Novato, California, but they are a distributor. Confused? I am too.

A growing trend in the beer industry is macros dressed in mico clothing. It's like Ikea trying to make furniture look aritsan. InBev bought Goose Island, a great brewer. They also bought the Kona Brewery which now makes all its beers in Washington. I can't tell if this is the case with Cable Car. Cable has a one page website, the smallest website I've ever seen for a brand of beer.

This would seem to be inline with their "small batch" story line. However, they have a very wide distribution. Wine Exchange touts itself as the leading corporate supplier of premium beers. I haven't heard of the other beer brands they distribute.

The beer also touts that it’s a small batch beer, which I have no idea what that means. I brew at home making 5 gallons, is that small? I cannot imagine that batches are too small, since they contract with a professional brewer and have a huge distributor. But I bet they’re smaller than what Miller or Bud brew, so there ya go.

I bought this at BevMo. It has an ABV of 4.8%.

The beers pours  a clear, pale yellow with thin fizzy head. The aroma is a weak with light sweet malts. The taste confirms it, there is corn in this beer. The taste is smooth, but weak and no distinguishing characteristics. It's light bodied with high carbonation.

Overall this beer is slightly better than a Bud or Miller. Skip It. I'm not a fan of marcos trying to be micro. Add "small batch" to the list of bullshit the macrco brews throw at you to sound like a well-made beer. 

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