Yes, that’s Mickey Rooney in a Ranier ad.
Described on the can as a “naturally brewed mountain fresh beer,” and “made with Yakima Valley hops,” Rainier pours a crystal clear straw color. The light white head quickly disappears, and the nose is a grainy and slightly sweet malt—let’s just say it smells like teen spirit, and leave it at that. Flavors start dry and biscuit-y, with some graininess in the background; the middle is slightly sweet and even, and the finish has a bit more graininess coupled with a light bitterness and a clean, crisp finish. Some of this could be from the age of the beer—after all, Rainier is not a candidate for aging—but a lot of it is just straight up Rainier. Rainier has a light, fresh body (even after two years!) with a dry, clean mouthfeel—as American lagers go, this falls on the dry, crisp side, not on the sweet, malty side. The carbonation is medium, with a light bite that helps the beer finish crisp and light. Rainier reminds me of those younger, carefree days, and tastes like my youth—it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Nonetheless, I’d happily crack a Rainier any chance I can get—nostalgia is getting harder to come by when it comes in 12 oz. cans.
From the Rainier website: “Rainier beer brings together nature’s bounty from the great Northwest. Pure spring waters combine with golden barley and verdant hops to produce a beer rich in taste and texture. Fermented slowly with a pedigree yeast culture under tightly controlled conditions, Rainier comes forth with a satisfying malty flavor over a slightly fruity background, spiced with Chinook, Mt. Hood, and Willamette hop notes.”
Here’s to a good year!