If there was ever a time to bring back a budget beer, it's right now. And fans of the Cincinnati Reds will be sure to appreciate the return of Burger Classic
beer. The hoppy helper not only supported the local Reds back in the day -- gaining a following that would be difficult for most small companies to match in today's marketing-choked culture -- but it was also one of the few beers the U.S. shipped to overseas troops during World War II. After many years in retirement, Cincinnati-based Christian Moerlein Brewing is reviving the once-famous Burger -- launching it, The Cincinnati Enquirer
reports, at the Reds' Hall of Fame on May 29.
While the beer won't be brewed in Cinci -- it's actually made in western Wisconsin -- it will be available in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky soon, with a 12-pack costing just $5.99. Beer snobs may turn their noses up, but the price gives Miller High Life a run for its money, and Moerlein clearly hopes nostalgic locals will return to the Reds' house brand -- and bring younger drinkers with them. (Although not too
young, of course.)
So how does Burger Classic taste? A colleague of mine recalls the flavor, perhaps charitably, as "an everyman's brew"; reviews on BeerAdvocate.com
rate it slightly higher than Budweiser, giving it an overall C- but applauding its drinkability.
As someone who appreciates another everyman's beer -- Yuengling, the pride of Pottsville, Pennsylvania -- I can't wait to try out a can of Burger when the beer hits shelves of discerning stores in northern Ohio.
With the help of price-conscious shoppers, Burger stands a good chance making it into coolers throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky this summer. Many locals' fond memories of enjoying a Burger while watching the Reds -- and their desire to support local businesses -- may be enough to restore the brand to its former stature as a local favorite. Moerlein has already had a base hit once, bringing back Little Kings
to half the states in the Union after a decline in sales from the 80's. So expect to see this classic at the ballpark this summer. At least, that is, if your ballpark happens to be Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.