#69b. American Amber/Red Lager
Entry: Schmaltz Brewing’s Coney Island Lager (5.5%ABV, New York)
The idea of this being a catch-all style rings fairly true. This beer tastes very little like the last (and I’m not sure that I enjoy this). The maltiness is in there, but it’s fighting for tongue-time with a decent hop bitterness. It also feels like, even at 5.5%, this beer is struggling to hide that alcohol content, with the malt being blended in with a syrupy sweetness (I read elsewhere that this beer had a 6.6%ABV, which would make sense with this flavor, but the website lists it as 5.5, and it isn’t listed on the bottle, so…). There’s also a dark fruit taste in there, as well. And burnt flavor? What the hell is going on in this beer? It’s like a goddamned alcohol prism, but instead of reflecting light, it’s reflecting “tastes you find in beer.” And it’s not a glorious rainbow. It’s a sweaty, brown-red glass of “meh.” It’s not so much “complex,” like a Trappist Belgian ale can have a bunch of different blended flavors, so much as it’s just schizophrenic and maybe trying to shoehorn as much attention-grabbing sensation as possible (perhaps living up to its Coney Island boardwalk sideshow image). I’m gonna go ahead and declare the American Amber/Red Lager a fairly avoidable style. Don’t trust a style that has no examples brewed in California (represent, fuckers).