Guinness recently launched what they call their “Discovery Series“, which is an attempt by the Irish brewing giant to respond to the ever growing craft beer market. Many other macro brewers have also made attempts to either invent beers or revitalize old recipes in an attempt to still be a player in the ever growing craft beer market.

The Guinness Blonde American Lager is not only brewed in the states (Latrobe, PA, home of Rolling Rock) but will be heavily marketed over here as well. Guinness plans on releasing a West Indies Porter and Dublin Porter across the pond in this same series. Personally, I’d rather try a porter inspired by the description of taste from a sea log from 1800 than another cold brewed American Lager.  I think we’ve got quite enough of those over here. Though in their defense, it isn’t a style micro-brewers are rushing to make.

Having lived in the Midwest all of my life and having been through that “having almost no money for beer” portion of college, I’ve had my fair share of the well known American Lagers.  The Guinness variety of American Lager, however, did not taste like the typical stuff you’ll see on tap at any chain establishment.

For one, this beer had a bit of a bitter bite to it.  This was especially surprising, given both the style and the fact that Guinness doesn’t usually manufacture beers with bite.  The bitter taste was almost off putting as it’s not expected.  This could’ve been due to the fact that the beer wasn’t kept on ice for very long during the tasting at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival over this last weekend in September.

In older times, this is how beer samplings were conducted with Lords and Ladies. Good thing we have ice and modern refrigeration… 

In terms of its color and appearance, this beer will look exactly like you’d expect it to; a light golden blonde coloring with a small amount of foam on top. It resembles the appearance once would expect from the most popular beers here in the states. Besides the aforementioned bitter taste, the beer also has a mouth feel resembling that of other popular Adjunct Lagers found in the United States as well. Considering this beer is an American Lager, the people at Guinness have made nothing too terribly surprising or unique with this brew.

If this Blonde American Lager was an attempt to win back some micro brew fans, the longstanding Irish stout brewer missed their mark dearly.  This beer feels like its meant to insert Guinness’ name among the Miller and Budweiser crowd, rather than those who flock to their local tap rooms to try something distinct and different.  For those who enjoy a lighter variety beer, the Blonde American Lager offers that same “soda like” beer quality while also giving you a bit of a bitter taste that some may enjoy.  Consider this beer something that goes better with tailgating than something you’ll want for a quality tasting.