Beer Profile: Big Flats

Picture courtesy JakeParrillo.com

Profiled by Ken Carman

First impression: a corn nose. Not unexpected in this style. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they used corn in the brewing, since Miller uses it too. Bud is made with rice as an adjunct.

This is Walgreen’s generic brand, sold for a whopping 3.68 a six. Made by Brewmasters out of Rochester. They have pretty much become a hired gun brewer, which is not an insult at all. Someone has to do it. Just depends on how well it’s done. I’d be curious to taste the west coast version, if there is one. According to one site: “brewed by Winery Exchange Inc., a brewery in Novato, California.” I suspect not. Not only do the same sources conflate it with “Genessee Brewing,” but Winery Exchange’s site says nothing about brewing, only that they are a “company that sources beer.” And Genessee Brewing isn’t quite an accurate descriptive either. Brewmasters may brew the version of Genessee now on the market, but the original Genessee Brewery died a long time ago. If you saw the water in the Genessee River that they use fr brewing, you’d be thankful. Let’s just say you’d be all set for St. Patty’s Day before brewing begins, and it might double as a natural fertilizer-colored brown too. There are more colors, but why make you even more thirsty?

I’ve read a lot of nasty bouncing around the web in regard to Big Flats, but honestly I don’t see where this is all that different, or off, when considering the style: American Lager. A pale urine yellow, which is also normal. Clarity is good. Head doesn’t last as long as it should, but that’s minor and the head at first was, well, I hate to keep typing this but “as expected for the style.” Just about the right carbonation in the mouthfeel. Yes, Big Flats when it comes to long lasting head is a little “flat.”

The taste is light corn, light malt, the slightest hint of hops… German/Noble? Hallertauer? There’s really not a lot more. I suggest getting it real cold and use it whenever you would use what some call a “lawnmower beer.” And putting on my future telling hat let me predict, if you mow and drink you might find out you’re just not an idiot, but possibly a toe-less, eye-less or finger-less idiot.

Reminds me a bit of Matt’s: a past tense brew from Matt Brewing who makes mostly their own craft brand, Saranac, now. Yes, “Matt’s,” actually a slightly superior brew brewed back then, well superior to what damn near every brewery in America was putting out: almost exclusively, up until 30-40 years ago.

The problem with this beer is not style, or anything related to that, but that maybe, hopefully, America is moving away from this style and becoming educated to the fact that there’s far more to beer than extremely meek lagers: almost no malt, with a little corn or rice, and almost no hops that looks the same coming out as it does going in.

But considering it’s being sold on the cheap at Walgreens? Maybe, at least for a while, it’s just smart marketing. Have at it real beer virgins! Hopefully, some day, some beer education, or developing a better pair of taste buds, might turn you around.