You’ve probably never heard of Third Shift Lager. If it sounds like some fly by night, fancy dancy craft beer that sells for it’s weight in gold, you’d be wrong. You might be surprised to know it’s made by the brewing behemoth MillerCoors. It started out as a side project but it’s anything but an after thought. The idea was to create a beer to introduce the masses to a lower cost (under $8.99 a six pack) craft style beer. They must have been onto something as it’s already a 2012 World Beer Cup award winner. Originally sold exclusively on tap, it’s now available in handy take home bottles distributed with love from your friendly neighborhood distributors, Martins Distributing Co.
Here’s a exert from http://www.examiner.com
Alcoholic Strength: 5.3 percent by volume
Calories: 182 per 12 oz. serving
Third Shift Amber Lager pours to a golden amber hue with a nose that is sweet with light spice. A moderate pour results in a nice head of foam that manages to stick around, maintaining a thin, white layer as you consume.
Third Shift Amber Lager has a pleasant, malty flavor that combines some toasted notes, pale malt, caramel, grains, and a dash of nutty character, with a clean hop bitterness that is mild and agreeable. The beer is light to medium in body and its overall flavor leans toward the sweet side. It is a very agreeable beer with a taste that will appeal to traditional beer drinkers as well as those who consume craft beer exclusively.
Third Shift Amber Lager has some craft beer quality, but according to the beer blog Great Beer Now, Third Shift Amber Lager is not going to be promoted as a craft beer, but rather as an invitation beer. What this supposedly means is that the beer is intended more as a warm- up to craft beer; a product that has some qualities of a craft brewed product, but with less intense flavors and a lower price to widen its appeal. After sampling it, I can see what MillerCoors means. The beer doesn’t sport the forceful personality common to many craft beers, but it is definitely more flavorful and unique than the typical mass- produced American lager. In other words, it is like a training wheel beer for those who want to make the transition to craft beer but are not quite ready to take the leap.
Third Shift Amber Lager has only been around for a short time and is only available in a few markets, but the beer has already enjoyed its share of positive press. The product won a Gold Medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup and it has received good reviews from beer critics and others who appreciate the moderate yet enjoyable flavor profile.