I like to call myself a beer snob, but sometimes I’m at a place that only serves macro and I still want a pint. In those situations I’ll skim through the menu and hope that there’s that saving grace; Labatt 50.
Almost any bar will carry 50, though perhaps it’s only available in bottles. It’s comforting to know that when the prospects on the tap list are bleak that you can get a bottle of old reliable 50. While it’s produced by a massive brewing company, it still has a lot of characteristics that make it enjoyable to drink. Actually, I’ll legitimately search it out at a baseball game because it’s both the cheaper option (still it’s 10 bucks!) and has more flavour than the beer I can get right beside where I’m seated.
50 is also a bit of an exception when we look at Labatt’s lineup of beers. Almost everything branded as “Labatt” is a Lager of some sort; so they are crisp, clean and refreshing. 50 on the other hand has a lot going on for it in terms of flavour. There’s more character that you can reach at, even though it’s pretty mild on the hop side. I honestly can’t even identify what hops are in the beer and I wonder whether or not I would be able to tell if they ever made a switch. For me it feels like a lot of the character in the beer simply comes from the higher temperatures that ale yeasts like. I can drink an ale when it’s a bit warmer and still enjoy it, and that’s something that 50 makes possible. I don’t drink a lot of lagers, but I don’t have any fond memories of them being warm.
I’m not an extremely fast drinker, so often my beers will reach that “just a bit too warm” state, and having beers that are still enjoyable when they get there is a wonderful side effect. Hence, why I’ll hunt this guy down at Blue Jays games. I’m able to grab a can and have it for a number of innings and still enjoy it even though I’ve been holding it in 30 degree weather.
It’s good to know that there’s that one beer you can rely on to be easily available, no matter where you are.