Saturday, April 23, 2016

Grain Belt Lock & Dam Review

Name: Grain Belt Lock & Dam
Style: Amber/Vienna Lager
ABV: 5%

I'm a terrible Minnesotan. Despite having this blog for just over 3 years, I have never reviewed Grain Belt or Grain Belt Nordeast, which are staples of the Minnesota beer scene and though I've had them both before, I just never bothered to review them. I digress, there's no point over dwelling on the past, let's focus on the latest iteration of the Grain Belt Series (Can I call it that yet?)

I give you Grain Belt Lock & Dam, another nod to Minneapolis' history much like how Nordeast was a nod to Northeast Minneapolis. The name is a referral to the St. Anthony Falls Lock & Dam along the Mississippi River right by the iconic Grain Belt sign in Minneapolis. Also, I have seen a bunch of ads both online and in print regarding this beer since the start of this year. I mean, we're talking more so than New Belgium's Slow Ride, so you know that Schell's is obviously putting a lot of money into marketing this beer, so let's see if the hype is worth it.

Appearance - Clear orange color with a very high amount of visible carbonation. The head is fairly thin in appearance but is quite foamy and has some surprisingly good retention. The lacing is on the soapier side though and is rather sparse

Aroma - Pale and light Vienna malts with some light floral hops with just a touch of tastiness.

Taste - Vienna malts and light roasted barley notes followed by some light bitter & floral hops. The finish is quite dry, save for a bitter hoppiness that lingers on the back of the palate for a couple of moments.

Much like Nordeast when it first came out 6 years ago, I anticipate there will be a lot of people buying this because it's decent. However, the other thing Lock & Dam shares in common with Nordeast is that it's fairly unremarkable because it is a beer meant to appeal to the masses and frankly, that's fine. Grain Belt isn't supposed to be a thinking man's beer but just simply a beer you drink. It's inoffensive & it's good for what it is. That said, if you happen to see this, there's no shame in picking this up.

Grain Belt Lock & Dam - 7.5/10

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