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Beer review: Third Shift Amber Lager

Nick Trougakos Modified: June 25, 2013 at 8:30 pm •  Published: February 21, 2013
I had samples of a new craft-style offering from MillerCoors sent my way, so thought I would fire up a quick review based on my tasting notes from last night.

(Blogger’s note: I call it “craft-style” because, make no mistake, this beer falls into the category of those made by mega-brewers in an attempt to win back a share of the craft beer market. But, I digress. Maybe you’ll be in a pinch on a Sunday and the gas station will be your only option?)

The beer is Third Shift Amber Lager. It’s labeled as being created by Band of Brewers — MillerCoors brewers who dabble in craft beer outside of their normal work shifts. For the record, I was told Third Shift is brewed in Fort Worth, Texas, but I suspect it’s produced wherever MillerCoors beers are made. It rolled out on a national level on Feb. 1, and is available all over the country, including several gas stations/convenience stores in the Oklahoma City area (at 3.2 strength).

Some Internet research shows that this beer has apparently been brewed for several years under the code name Flor Hosen. Some additional research shows that a beer named Flor Hosen won a gold medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival in the German-Style Marzen category. So, with all that being said, how did it taste?

For starters, I had a 5.3% version, as you can see in the picture. Would a watered-down 3.2% version taste differently? I’m sure it would.

This first thing I noticed was a lack of head/foam on the beer. It also lacked carbonation when I drank it. Perhaps an off bottle.

The color was orange/copper. It had a sweet and malty nose and a taste dominated by the malt. On the front, it had a heavy sweetness that bordered on a little too sweet for my liking. The malt flavor subsided quickly. On the back end, I got a hint of lingering bitterness that also faded quickly. Mouthfeel was average — nothing wrong with it, but nothing remarkable, either. Perhaps more carbonation would have livened it up a bit?

Overall, I would characterize this as a decent offering. Marzen-style beers are supposed to be weighted more toward the malt, per BJCP standards, and this one is. However the overly sweet character left me unsatisfied.

On a plain-speak level, I see this as a good option if you have to choose between several lite beer offerings at the gas station, but not a good replacement for the more refined craft beers you would find at the liquor store.

Daily Pints

-Wish we could see this offering from Flying Dog in Oklahoma. Alas, it appears it will only be in the northeast.

-Did you know that AB-InBev and MillerCoors own more than 200 beer brands?

-Here’s a link to another free homebrewing tips book.

-Reminder: Tomorrow is the ancho-chile Choc Biere de Garde Firkin Friday at McNellie’s OKC.

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