Ranking all the cheap tallboys at PDX's Macro BrewFest
After a Summer of 1000 microbrew fests, it's about time somebody held a fest dedicated to cans of beer you can readily shotgun, then smash on your forehead. That's why glorious Foster/Powell dive O'Malley's brings us the great Macro BrewFest: for three days (Aug 22nd-24th), the joint'll offer a beer pass where $7 gets you your choice of four tallboys from a finely curated selection of 14, plus live music and comedy. But how will your discerning palate decide which boy stands tallest? Well... we've gone ahead and ranked them for you, so you can use your head for crunching cans, not thinking.
Though brewed up in Rochester, NY, there's a sneaking suspicion that Genesee's brewers ship water up from the Hudson River to brew this odd-tasting concoction, which is usually on sale at the Plaid for less than $1 for a 24oz can. And let's not even imagine where the ingredients for the cream ale come from.
A favorite of tailgate parties and domestic violence-based episodes of Cops, Icehouse utilizes a method of fractionally freezing the beer in the brewing process, kind of giving it the taste of a beer that somebody put an ice cube in then forgot about for a while.
12. Iron City
The good folks at the Pittsburgh Brewing Company are also responsible for American, Old Frothingslosh, Old German, and other beers that are considerably better than this blue-collar drank that pays tribute to the city's industrial roots by crafting something that tastes a bit like a smelting plant.
People have been going Hamm since 1865, so Jay-Z really owes a debt of gratitude to the stalwart Midwesterners who created this serviceable lawnmower beer that's characterized by a slight bite and an overwhelming blandness... Come to think of it, it may have inspired Magna Carta Holy Grail, too.
Portlanders' distaste for California transplants runs deep, but they're easy to trick. Case in point: Olympia, which everyone thinks is from our neighbors to the north, is actually brewed in SoCal. And there's a reason it tastes like off-brand PBR, too -- Pabst totally owns it. They own eeeeeeverything here.
9. Miller Genuine Draft
At 4.7% ABV, the cold-filtered, unpasteurized MGD is apparently pretty much the same as High Life but somehow has a heavier taste and a slight bitterness not found in the champagne of beers. It represented a new generation of Miller beers when it was originally released in the '80s, meaning you can go ahead and blame it for those Miller 64 commercials you hate.
8. Old German
OG's worth buying just so people can ask you about zee little German in zee little lederhosen on zee can. A mainstay of the $5 shot & tallboy deal all around town, OG's got an unmistakably musty aftertaste, which is why you should just keep firing them back, because the beforetaste is generic perfection.
Another Washington classic that's totally not in Washington anymore, Rainier has long been considered PBR's more rustic cousin, both in image and flavor. That makes even more sense since it's now brewed by Pabst & Miller. Regardless, this is Portland's favorite Blue Ribbon alternative, the beer of choice for those who consider the "ironic" consumption of a mass-produced beer to be too mainstream, and, thus, flock to another mass-produced beer.
Any beer sold in 30-packs of tallboys for under $12 knows its target, and Busch's is people who want to drink 30 beers, probably in one afternoon. To that end, it's endlessly drinkable, with very little in the way of actual flavor but a lot in the way of refreshment... especially after number 30.
5. Rolling Rock
Wanna have a fun night? Drink Rolling Rock with a Pennsylvanian and start up a convo about what the "33" on the label means... then sit back, listen to wild conspiracy theories, and sip this super-refreshing session lager that tastes even more crisp when you're having that debate on a hot patio.
4. Miller High Life
The unmistakably classy Champagne of beers -- if by "unmistakably classy", you mean "I'm a cheapskate and am going to drink this whole six-pack" -- High Life's crispness and corn-ish flavor actually taste like Summer, even when it's not being used to boil brats. Best of all, there's no weird aftertaste, making it one of the cleanest tastes out there.
3. Pabst Blue Ribbon
There's a reason that, in a place renowned for its endless breweries, PBR is the best seller by a huge margin: it's cheap, it's tasty, and it's friggin' everywhere. The flavor's consistently decent -- they don't give out them there blue ribbons for nuthin' -- if boring, but who cares? When you find yourself in times of trouble in PDX, reach under a seat, and there'll be a PBR waiting for you.
The King of Beers gets a lot of flack from purists for its non-traditional brewing process (they use rice?!), but there's really no easier-drinking beer out there. The mellow taste, the slight bitterness, the ability to make frogs talk... it's good to drink the king.
Coors Heavy. The Banquet. Sam Elliot Blood. Stache-juice. When most people think of Coors, they think of the Silver Bullet. But Coors Original is the most full-bodied, yeasty, Rocky Mountain-y, satisfying, and bold of all the tallboys on the list. Dude... abide.