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: Genesee Cream Ale
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Humble Origin: From the upper west corner of upstate New York comes this beer, the very brew of our childhood (so to speak). Genesee started out in 1878 making various beers, but Genny Cream Ale, introduced in 1960, with its longer aging process with a top-fermenting yeast, quickly became their signature brew. Somehow or other with Rochester mainstays Kodak and Xerox mostly becoming afterthoughts in the business consumer world, humbly mediocre Genny remains the seventh largest brewery in the U.S.
'70s Era Branding: With the '70s era slogan "Our One Brewery Makes It Best," (now, actually, One Brewery, One Great Taste, but same idea), Genny attempted to align itself with unique and singular things, but for some inexplicable reason, their advertising company thought connecting it to the great outdoors and nature videos really hit the sweet spot (see below).
Sample Commercial: We have two beauties for your viewing pleasure: The aforementioned Genny/National Geographic-style ads, which, frankly, just confused everyone back in the day, and something slightly more modern, involving hoola hoops and some dude who looks a little like a middle-aged Ted Levine.
Tastes Like? Hoo-boy. Well, it's hard to play it straight on this one, given our history with this particular brewery. Let's just say when we were just barely of drinking age (hedge, hedge), Genny Cream seemed like a fine and reasonable thing to quaff. It certainly has bubbles and alcohol in it, that much we can assure you.
Bonus Fun Fact: If, for some peculiar reason, you want to sound like you come from Rochester, call 'em Genny Screamers.
Genny Cream Ale 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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