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RATINGS: 55   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.16/5   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
This is our American version of a UK “Premium Bitters.” Historically, UK Bitters have been ales made with local malt, moderate amounts of hops, lightly carbonated, and contained larger amounts of alcohol. Because of the balance of residual maltyness and hops, this beer is full-bodied yet very drinkable. Something that gents could put down a few of and still make it home to the Missus and kids with out too much trouble.
In some respects we have patterned the Lightning American Amber Ale after the classic Premium Bitters, but in other respects it is more malty, more bitter, higher in alcohol content, and at the same time smoother and more drinkable with a prolonged and enjoyable finish.
This beer has been made by the head brewer since his graduate school days with very few changes. If you think back to the early 80s when hair was big and beer was little, there was a need for something more enjoyable. Being fed up with the available beer styles and trying to save a buck, a recipe was developed that made an American version of classic UK Premium Bitters. Using literally buckets of hops from homegrown hop plants in the backyard and a well stocked homebrew shop, the resulting beer was big, malty, hoppy and enjoyable. You might even say like a “bitters” but bigger and better.
We have taken this beer one step further at the brewery by adapting the original recipe to make optimum use of our brewing and fermenting equipment. We include selected British malts in our recipe to bring out the beers’ hoppy character and carbonate naturally to smooth out any possible rough edges. We like to sat this beer is great at a backyard barbecue, but when served in a wine glass it can be enjoyed at any sit down dinner.

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rhys_mavis' rating

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
rhys_mavis (11) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 26, 2010
Not a bad beer but not a great beer. Had a friend bring it over for a Chargers game last season and we both agreed that as a local beer it seemed to fit in but not stand out on its own. Looking forward to trying out a few other beers by this company...I’m and optimist!

slowrunner77 (12043) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 11, 2016
Bottle. Both lightning beers to open the NFL seasonal foamed like crazy and didn’t dissipate. Dark Amber. This one had a nice deep malt aroma and flavor, but the hops were off. Slight unpleasantness and sharply bitter.

bergstaden (2978) - Røros, NORWAY - JUL 11, 2016
Amber with off white head - Good malt aroma with some caramel - Good malt body with some caramle flavours and there is olso some hops in the back - The malt and hop bitterness goes into the finish - This was nice

GT (10000) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 22, 2014
[ Keg ][ 4oz ][ Lightning ][ $1-2 ][ Plastic Cup ][ 7.19.14 ]
>> Chill hazed amber pour, okay weak foam. Artificial cherry nose, soy, amber IPA like, sticky. Taste is tannic, harsh, dry, chemical. Harsh mouthfeel, all chemical.

DedicatedToFun (4000) - Santa Monica, California, USA - JUL 19, 2014
Tap, amber pour, off white head, nose is caramel, taste is sweet, amber, cloves.

thome50 (1295) - Morro Bay via Orange County, California, USA - SEP 20, 2013
Draft at an overpriced SD Gaslamp district restaurant for a friend’s bachelor party. Pours a deep brown/red with no head. Assumed it was because of the craptastic pour. Aroma is sweet vanilla, mandarin, some oats. Taste is actually a really nicely balanced amber with some good hop bitterness, some rye notes and a nice bitter finish. Overall, this pairs very well for a big meat meal.

maxwelldeux (4374) - Snohomish, Washington, USA - MAY 13, 2013
Bottle. Pours a hazy brown color with a moderate off-white head. Nose is very malty and seems like it has some hoppiness that has gone really bad. Taste is fizzy and malty with that spoiled hoppiness. Not very good.

BrewDad (5328) - Olympia, Washington, USA - JUN 19, 2012
Craft Brewers Conference 2012
Nice amber ale with a good malt and hops balance. Had a good solid finish.

TheBeerGod (6221) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - MAY 18, 2012
Bottle. Rufous colored with a short ring of tan foam on the surface. Aroma is caramel, malt, soft grains, floral hops and mild citrus. Taste is big grains, caramel, light toffee, soft citrus, iced tea and floral hops. Body is soft overall but medium with a light, creamy carbonation. Ends with more citrus, grains, floral hops, tea notes and caramel.

byrumj (16) - South Carolina, USA - APR 9, 2012
Drinking this right now. For all the hop heads just grabbing IPA after IPA. This is a solid change up. Malty nose, bread. Beautiful color...amber with a light haze. Lightly carbonated and a strong hop finish on it. The bitterness is offset a bit by malts but man this is a really solid bitter offering.

Tycho52 (65) - California, USA - FEB 17, 2012
Pours to a dark copper, with a very thin head (but amazingly more lacing that the appearance would portend). Like the commercial description says, this is drinkable and not overly charged. The beer has a nice malty aroma and flavor. It’s got a slight strong aftertaste that lingers, but is pleasant tasting.

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