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“We’re largely unconscious. You know, we operate half awake or on autopilot and end up, whatever, with a house and family and job and everything else, and we haven’t really stopped to ask ourselves, ‘How did I get here?’.” ~David Byrne

“Didn’t I open this place to get away from these beers…?” ~Phil “Brewdaddy” Bannatyne

Ironically named indeed, as in this case to remain in light would be to perpetuate appreciation of perhaps the most maligned beer style in the craft brewing world, the American Light Lager. Further, its name is an obvious reference to one of the late 20th Century’s greatest albums by Talking Heads. A groundbreaking record, it pushed musical boundaries by blending American punk, funk, and early rap with Afrobeat’s polyrhythms and lyrical inspiration from African literature, improvisation, and the cut-up method developed by Brion Gysin and Gil Wolman. Psychoanalyst Michael A. Brog called its front cover a “disarming image, which suggests both splitting and obliteration of identity” and which introduces the listener to the album’s recurring theme of “identity disturbance.”

Lest you fear the CBC Brew Crew is suffering a similar identity crisis, rest assured that we have full control of our faculties. The simple truth is that these beers are remarkably easy to drink and perfect for enjoying as we ride the cusp of summer-into-autumn weather. Moreso, while light lagers may be easy to create in the purpose-built industrial breweries across the land, they are very challenging to produce on a small-scale system like ours. And we are always up for a challenge.

Remain In Light is brewed with pilsner malt and flaked rice, hopped with Styrian Goldings, Saaz and Hallertauer, and fermented cold and lagered with the famous lager yeast from Augustiner. Bitterness and body are intentionally higher than typically found in those beers made by our macro contemporaries. Clean malty cereal grain sweetness is delicate but noticeable, while spicy herbal hop notes spread across the palate and linger through a bracing bitter finish. Our choice of serving glass, a 12 oz. flute, serves to keep the beer colder while preparing you for the second round. Hold this beer up to the light and ask yourself, “Where does that highway lead to?”

Original Gravity: 1.044
Final Gravity: 1.006
Alcohol by Volume: 5.0%

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tmongoose (1672) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - JUL 30, 2015
Can shared crisp clean and flavorful is the best way to describe this beer. It’s a clear yellow with a white head. For the style this is a very good. Overall I can understand the ratings very drinkable and flavorful.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Suttree (5543) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JUL 23, 2015
Really? A pale Lager? Seems really full of character and flavor. Yellow, with a thin, sloppy white head. Taste is grainy and toasty. Taste is also grainy, toasty, with a subtle peppery, grassy finish. Nice stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1420) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 19, 2015
There are two prominent styles of pilsner: Czech and German. Though, according to the BJCP there is a third style: Classic American. Beers of this type are allowed to use adjuncts and pretty much any hops they want, but so few breweries actually make them. Cambridge Remain in Light is a good example of what can be done with the style as it has the basic makings of a pilsner, but uses different hops and a bit of rice to change it up a bit. It doesn’t define or re-invent the style, however it does demonstrate what else can be done with it.

I poured a 12oz can into a pilsner glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.65 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale lemon skin yellow color; mostly clear body with light fogginess but carbonation is always clearly visible. Pours to a large, white, soapy head which laces and retains fairly well.

Smell: Spicy European hops are noticeable as it slight graham cracker sweetness; mild overall though.

Taste: A light spicy hop character right away. Not as intense as many Continental pilsners, though it’s not of modern American citrus or pine flavor. A bit of a graham cracker sweetness through the middle followed by a light lemony zest on the finish and sweetness in the aftertaste. The rice adjunct is not nearly as prominent as in macro brews, though it does give the palette a bit of a cereal taste. I like the hop selection (Styrian Goldings; Saaz and Hallertau); though I suspect either this is an old can or they’re used sparingly as this is not quite as intense as other pilsners (nor does it live up to the “hoppy pilsner” hyperbole on the label). This works fine as a standard pale lager or no-frills American pilsner. Approach it as such and you won’t be disappointed.

Drinkability: The name – “Remain in Light” is both a pun and a marketing gimmick. Though I don’t think any beer that comes in at 5% ABV can be considered light by anyone (“sessionable” is another story). This brew does have the light body and crisp mouthfeel you expect in want in a “light” beer (whatever that means). Refreshing while in the mouth and mostly clean aftertaste. It seems to be a little inefficient as it feels closer to a sub-4.5% weight. Can’t the brewery drop it down to that without losing anything?

Score: 7/10

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
AirForceHops (4521) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 19, 2015
Draft @ CBC. Clear gold color with thin head in the 4 oz sample glass. Aroma is cereal grain and rice. Flavor is light and refreshing. The flavor is pretty much standard for the style, sweet grain and lager yeast. Thin body, with the yeast showing in the finish. I ordered this just to see if it was any different from a Macro, it was not.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Finhead (1351) - OFallon, Illinois, USA - JUL 17, 2015
A hazy, yellow pour with a small, white head. The aroma has some mild hops and light grain. It has a light body with slightly oily texture and lively carbonation. The taste is mildly bitter with a quick finish.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
BeerdedDave (816) - - JUL 14, 2015
bright gold color; mild floral hop aroma; a very light lager; mild hops and light, earthy malt; very light and not a whole lot of flavor

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
thegreenrooster (3537) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - JUL 8, 2015
Pour is a clear bright yellow with a large white head. Aroma is a nice pils malt with definite hop presence. Flavor is a clean dry lager malt with some grassy notes toward the end. Kind of a beer for summer drinking when you don’t want to think about what your drinking. Still a kind of a watery lager only slightly hoppier than the average lager.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
TATE (370) - Lubec, Maine, USA - JUL 1, 2015
Can. Pours a straw color with a thin white head that lingers. Aroma is difficult to describe, some grain mixed with citrus maybe. Sweet malt up front that isn’t great but the flavor is saved nicely by the clean crisp hop bite at the end. An okay beer for the summer time.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jow (2705) - New York, USA - JUN 18, 2015
Split a six pack with my buddy shawn while hanging ta the apartment. normal golden pilsener pour. nose is hops and herbal. tastes bready, some hops, herbal, florals, and cereals. fine crushable brew which is what I was looking for since my buddy is a macro drinker so just wanted to get closer to that line for the hang.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dlovell2 (1219) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JUN 16, 2015
Pours a hazy pale yellow with a foamy white head. Aroma is light biscuit malt, grass, citrus, floral hops and yeast spiciness. Flavor is biscuit malt, orange citrus flavors, floral hops, herbal and spicy yeastiness. Nice hoppy pilsner.

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