Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Red Oak Brewery Amber Lager

Not all things that are located on the side of interstate highways are good. An example of something good - any Sheetz right off of I-80 between Hermitage and State College. Something not so good (or just weird) - Wall Drug off of I-95 in South Dakota. Red Oak Brewery is located right off of I-40 between Greensboro and Chapel Hill in the small town of Whitsett, NC, and I will have to put their Amber Lager in the "not so good" category along with Wall Drug.

Founded in 1979 in Greensboro, NC, Red Oak Brewery obeys the 1516 Reinheitsgebot Purity Law (not made up), which originally stated that the only ingredients allowed in beer were water, barley, and hops. This was an actual law in Germany, which has since been repealed many times. That's like the U.S. government passing a law that only allows beef in Taco Bell beef tacos. Is that stopping Taco Bell's ginormous sales? Hell no. They have cheap delicious food. I am a big fan of the Crunch Wrap Supreme myself. Anyways, some breweries, including Red Oak, like to state that they still follow this 1516 "law" to show that they are pure and fresh. It even says "pure" and "fresh" on the bottle! This probably goes well with the organic, healthy, no preservatives, Whole Foods sponsored diet, which I will say is what attracted me to the beer. 

However, Red Oak's Amber Lager could maybe use some preservatives to help with its taste. It didn't taste like rat poison or anything, but it had a strong almost nutty taste to it, which my taste buds did not enjoy at all. It is dark like a traditional lager, and smells like a traditional lager too. A little heavy on the stomach, this lager is probably meant for sipping while enjoying a grass-fed local organic beef burger and not for getting gnarly drunk and making a late night run for MTOs. At 5% ABV, it will give you a nice buzz if that's what you're looking for (who isn't?). Since this is a local grass-fed preservative free wannabe organic lager, it costs a pretty penny too, clocking in at around ~$18 for a12 pack. 

So next time you're driving down I-40 in central NC and you see the Red Oak Brewery coming up, keep on driving. If you're going east there is a Sheetz at the RDU exit - stop there and pick up a MTO and a sixer of Yeungling instead.

Drinkability: 4/10
Taste : 5/10
Value: 3/10
Curb Appeal: 7/10

Overall: 4.8/10

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