Perusing through the craft beer section (however small it is in my local municipal liquor store), I see a beer I hadn’t heard of before. No immediate marking that I could find, the bottle and six pack say Batch 19 Pre-Prohibition Style Lager. I wondered what it would have been like, the beer back then, so I bought a six pack. I finally got to trying it tonight.
As I pulled a bottle from the pack I read the label. Batch 19 Pre-Prohibition Style Lager. 5.5 percent alcohol by volume. Banned, defiantly bold beer. Back from the lost archives. Then in fine print I see “Coors Archive Brewing, Golden, CO”. Oh boy, here it is, Coors thinking it’s a craft brewery.
The bottle’s neck has a unique shape, though. There are two rings giving the impression of an old barrel. The label looks pretty cool, too, but we all know labels can be deceiving. I poured the beer into a glass so I could examine the color. It was darker than I expected; more of a dark copper color. While it didn’t produce a very big head, the foam didn’t fade away, either. In fact as I’m typing this there is still a thin coat of foam. The aroma smells of hops, but not overly strong.
The taste of this beer reminds me of what beer smelled like from the seventies, when my dad drank beer. It’s definitely an American lager style beer. It’s pretty straight forward without much of the nuances that make a craft beer truly a craft beer. What it does have is full flavor and full body. It’s well balanced with malt and hop not leaning much one way or the other. There is some lacing as you drink it and there is a slight hint of aftertaste sweetness. It’s not a sweet beer, but as the after taste lingers in your palette you know it’s there. If you spilled it on your hands they would be sticky after it dried.
I don’t like light beer. Never have and I doubt I ever will. I figure if I have to drink carbonated water, I’ll drink club soda. I’m also not a huge fan of American lagers lately because there are so many flavorful beers out there right now, why waste time in drinking a regular beer. Plus, the American lagers of today have changed and are basically yesterday’s light beers, in my opinion. But this Batch 19 is what an American lager should be. Bold taste, full bodied, and a hint of sweet aftertaste. This is what a “regular beer” should taste like.
I don’t know if it will become a mainstay recipe because so many people have gotten used to the watery American lagers of today. But if it did and I drank regular beer, this is the beer I would gravitate toward.
Beer Guys TV rates beers from 1 to 5 steins in its category. Batch 19 seems to be a great beer in this category. I think Coors did a great job with this one, and even though American lagers aren’t my favorite, I would have to give this one a solid 4. This beer would go great just about any time, at a ballgame, with a hot dog, after yard work, playing cards, or just about any activity. At 5.5 ABV, you know the alcohol is there, so you should pace yourself.
If you like a full-flavored American lager, like to get a little buzz going, but don’t like to drink a whole six-pack doing so (let alone running to the can every 10 minutes), I can recommend Batch 19. Pick up a six pack and try it yourself.
Beer: Batch 19
Brewery: Coors Archive Brewery, Golden CO
Rater: Shane Z
BGTV Rating: 4