Brew Blog: Left Coast Una Mas Amber Lager

I'll be perfectly honest about this. I picked up a bottle of Left Coast Brewing Co. Una Mas out of simple confusion. Even as I sat down to write this column, bleary-eyed from not enough sleep and still clearing the cobwebs from my brain, I confused myself. I penned an introduction all about New Belgium Brewing Company, before remembering that this was not a New Belgium beer. When I bought this, though, I was thinking of Left Hand Brewing Company.

I guess it's just a case of me not paying enough attention, followed by the beer not making enough of an impression to be truly memorable as what it actually is. Either way, it's still a bit embarrassing that I confused this beer with something else, not once but three times. I had to Google it just now.

I guess it comes as no surprise, now, that I found this one to be pretty uninspiring. It's not exactly a bad beer, just kind of ignorable. If offered one, I'd drink it again, but I wouldn't search it out. At the time, consumed with a few slices of generic takeout pizza while watching a movie with the kids, it served its purpose well enough.

Una Mas pours out a clear copper color, with a sudsy head that vanishes quickly, and without a trace. I knew from the beginning that this one wasn't going to wow me. I can usually tell if I'm going to like a beer from the first few seconds of the pour. As the liquid splashes into the glass, aromas are released and begin tantalizing the palate with promises of what is to come. Una Mas didn't tantalize. Hell, I had to stick my nose pretty much into the beer to discern any aroma at all. When I did, it was a simple and faint combination of light roasted malt and toasted corn.

The flavor was similarly weak. Very light bodied, a mild carbonation picked up some toasty flavor. The profile is ambiguously nutty, with just a hint of citrus, and just a hint of hops bitterness. The beer is clean and pleasantly bright, showing a surprising amount of booze for its 6.4 percent, but just doesn't offer much. The best I could say for this beer is that it's pleasant enough.

Fortunately, there are plenty of times when "pleasant enough" is just enough. Cold beer, hot pizza, and a Saturday movie with my kids? That's certainly pleasant enough. However, "pleasant enough" just isn't enough for me to bother buying another bottle.

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