As part of an ongoing promotion dubbed "Throwback Tuesdays" at McGillin's Olde Ale House, each week the venerable bar will serve a single keg of one of your grandpa's favorite brews. None of this fancy craft brew made with honey and aged in whiskey barrels, these beers hallmark to a time when all American beer was thin, watery and cheaper than RC Cola, with manly names like Schlitz, Genesee and Narragansett. In celebration of this brilliant idea and because some of us at the Feast are just nostalgic SOBs, we offer this weekly primer on the throwback beer selection of the week, so you know just what's in store for you should you take McGillin's up on their offer.
Tonight's Beer: Rolling Rock
Hometown: Latrobe, PA
Humble Origin: A pale ale launched back in 1939, Rock started out quenching the thirst of the coal miners and steel mill workers of Western Pennsylvania but eventually branched out into a national brand.
Mystery: What is the significance of the number "33" is, prominently displayed on every bottle since the dawn of its inception? Many theories abound, including the year prohibition was repealed and the birth year of the fledgling Steelers NFL team. Just because the former CEO of the brewery explains that it's the number of words in their company pledge (also on every bottle), doesn't mean we can't have many more exotic theories about it. We're pretty sure the Masons are involved.
Throwback Era Branding: As with many beers of this caliber, Rocks were for working men who wanted to cool off after a long day of busting their hump.
Representative Commercial: Nothing vintage we could find, sad to say, but we did get a good giggle out of this banned ad from way back in 2007 ("Stripey! No!").
Tastes Like? Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but Rocks always maintained a slightly skunked out flavor to us. Not at prominent as Molson, but slightly sour nonetheless. It goes without saying you want to drink them as cold as humanly possible: Room temperature Rocks are as unpleasant as a tepid bath, and about as flavorful.
Rolling Rock is available tonight at McGillin's for $1/glass, $5/pitcher, staring at 5 p.m. The throwback beer of the week will be announced on their twitter stream Tuesday mornings.
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