Full Sail Session Lager
Got turned on to this the other night. What a great, simple beer this is!
It's a light lager, made with 100% barley. Very nice flavor. Not as hopped as the Prima Pils, but along those same lines in terms of clean taste and drinkability.
I found it at BevMo in La Jolla after calling around all over town looking for it. It's cheap too, $12 for a 12-bottle case.
Packaging is funny - retro-looking 11 oz. stubby bottles a la Lucky Lager.
Ah, the stubby bottle. Back when I first got into beer (1970's), the throw-away stubby bottle (in several slight variations) was far and away the most common beer bottle for premium, popular and economy-priced beers- the majority of beer brands used the package. (The standard deposit, reusable long neck “export” bottle was probably used by more breweries, but, in many markets was an “on premises” package only.)
The most common US stubby shape was probably this bottle:
altho’ many stubby bottles had this sort of shoulder:
And, especially on the West Coast, an alternatie stubby with an even more rounded shoulder (similar to the Canadian deposit stubby http://www.stubby.ca/ ) was also prevelent and used, at times, by two of the largest western brewers, Olympia and Coors-
and is best known today as the bottle used by Red Stripe:
Another bottle shape seemingly unique to the West Coast was used by a number of brands of the Carling Brewing Co., in Tacoma-
and were often referred to as a “barrel” shaped
, altho’ it had a long neck similar to those on returnable export and on the steinie (mostly an East Coast returnable) styles:
A different “barrel” bottle design was the “wide mouth” bottles, best known as a package for Mickey’s Big Mouth and Blatz (both products of Heileman at the time, altho the current Mickey’s- with a screw cap top, is a Miller brand):
The same “wide mouth” was also used in a straight sided stubby bottle- on the East Coast, by Rheingold, in both a labeled and embossed version, and, early on (not shown), in a clear glass, white painted bottle.
What happened? When the stubby was in it’s heyday, it was common for US brewers to put their premium and superpremium beers in long necked bottles of various (sometimes unique to that brand) shapes and style, (Michelob’s “vase” bottle the most extreme and obvious example):
to differenciate them from their “standard” beers and in imitation of imports, so a long necked bottle or tapered neck bottle came to be seen as a bottle for “premium” products (indeed, seems that as the changeover occurred, it was the cheapest beers that came in the package the longest).
At the same time, micros (especially contract brewed ones) tended to come in the old long neck export returnable bottles or throw-aways that duplicated that shape, so before long, it seems between the 70’s and 90’s, almost all US beers came in some type of long necked bottle and the true stubby designs were almost extinct.
Looks like I’m not the only one nostalgic for the old stubby variations:
(As you might note, I've been doing some casual research on the beer bottle lately, and the above is thrown together from some of those notes. What I've yet to investigate was how the 11 oz. bottle, in both long neck and stubby design, came to be used on the West Coast, often at the same time and by the same brewery, with the 12 oz. I recall a story where one brewer used an embossed "ring" around the neck of their 11 oz'ers, so employees could "feel" what size it was when sorting empties...).