From the official brewery of the American outdoors comes Mama's Little Yella Pils, a 5.3% ABV pilsner lager. Yella is right: a brilliant glaring gold, shot through with just a slight haze and topped by a stiff white foam.
I'm sure a brewery of integrity like Oskar Blues brews this from an all-malt recipe, but there's a certain corny quality to the taste; a sweetness I normally associate with the cheaper 'n' nastier sort of lagers. The aroma is dry, grainy and not entirely pleasant. So where's all the Saaz at? There's a tiny bitter bite -- no more than a nibble -- in the finish, but none of the lovely grass notes you get in good pilsner. At this point I looked at the bottom of the can and noticed that this was packaged nearly seven months before I opened it. Perhaps that explains some of the problem, though I'm positive that the likes of Pilsner Urquell is more robust than this, distance travelled notwithstanding.
A bit of a disappointment then. It's even a little too fizzy to be properly refreshing. If I were hiking up the Rockies (don't laugh; it could happen) I'd be packing Dale's Pale Ale instead of this.
And staying in Colorado but flipping to the other end of the calendar, I recently acquired this unseasonal can of Euphoria, the winter pale ale from Ska Brewing. It pours the brown-amber of a twiggy English bitter, and it's fairly malt-forward, a warming 6.2% ABV with smooth chocolate flavours infused with oily mandarin and a classy touch of rosewater. While it's far from fresh at this time of year, there's still a lovely sharp citrus aroma, though that's where the big hop action starts and ends. Still, good in any weather, and very much preferable to the elderly pils above.