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Rolling Rock

About.com Rating 2 Star Rating


A bottle of Rolling Rock and its bottle cap
joey.parsons/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

The Bottom Line

The brewery that has produced Rolling Rock for many years closed last week. Before production was moved to New Jersey I found a bottle brewed at the Latrobe, PA brewery. So, for my first Light Lager style beer review I choose the last of a beloved tradition. Unfortunately, the story and controversy surrounding the closing of the brewery is more interesting than the beer itself.


  • Very nice dense, white head


  • Quite sweet


  • Very nice presentation
  • Slightly sweeter that many light lager style beers
  • Unusual silky mouthfeel

Guide Review - Rolling Rock

I must confess that I bring a great deal of prejudice to any of the light lager style beers that dominate the beer market world wide. Flavorless, no character, and watery are all characterizations that leap to mind when I think of any of the many beers that fall into this category.

My experience with this style is truly limited. (I began drinking beer in Germany and never looked back.) Because of this I found myself pleasantly surprised at the fine white rocky head that formed when I poured Rolling Rock. The color was as expected - a very pale straw. The beer has a pleasant, light hops aroma with absolutely no grain in the nose. The first impression in drinking the beer isn't the flavor so much as the mouth feel. The water used at the Latrobe brewery must be quite soft. The mouth feel has that faintly silky quality that I associate with homes with water softeners. For the first time I actually began to think that those bemoaning Anheuser-Busch's decision to close the Pennsylvania brewery might actually have a point. The flavor of the beer, however, is lacking. There is a quite a lot of residual sugar in Rolling Rock and virtually no hops bittering, only a hint at the end, so this beer is somehow both watery and cloying at the same time. Despite that there is enough character in Rolling Rock that I put it a bit ahead of the other light lagers that I've come across. Time will tell if A-B manages to maintain this quality.
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