The Cold One

Style: American lager
ABV: 5.2 percent
Serving: 12-ounce cans, available in six- and 30-packs
Hop Meter (1–10): 1
Malt Meter (1–10): 1

The Cold One, a new craft lager from Windsor’s High Hops Brewery, is unlike most—if not all—craft beers from local breweries. It’s low on hops, malts, and bitterness, so it has little in common with your favorite artisanal IPA or imperial stout. In fact, this beer was made more in the mold of a Budweiser, PBR, or whatever your inexpensive beer of choice happens to be.

That’s not meant as a dig. By producing a beer like the Cold One, High Hops provides Colorado drinkers with the option to support the local craft scene even when they want to drink the cheap stuff. (12-ounce Cold One cans are available in six-packs for $7.99 to $8.99 and 30-packs for $29 throughout the Centennial State). If you ask me, there’s value in light, drinkable beers that you don’t mind sharing with friends at a bonfire or tailgate party.

As far as how the Cold One tastes, don’t expect a flavor bomb. It’s an American lager, which is a ridiculously formal way to describe beers that are crisp, light, and tend to have a low ABV; the Cold One clocks in at 5.2 percent. Although the Cold One is a stronger beer than Coors Light, it has a similar mellow taste and is also best consumed very cold.

In a press release, Ashley Utley, a marketing representative for High Hops, wrote that, along with the beer’s lightness, it still maintains “high-quality, craft flavors.” I’m not sure I agree that the Cold One lives up to that description. If you want high-quality, craft flavors, I would suggest going with a brew created in that vein, such as an IPA, European-style lager, or stout.

The lack of intense flavor, though, is part of what gives brews like the Cold One such a high level of drinkability. Bring a 30-pack of it to your next gathering and I bet you’ll watch them disappear in no time.

High Hops began distributing the Cold One at liquor stores across Colorado on February 18. Click here to find out which liquor stores near you carry it and other High Hops brews.