SCENE occasionally runs valuable coverage of beer and the beer industry. This is not that. This is Cheap Beer Review, an occasional feature in which I extol the virtues (or bemoan the failings) of various cans of pale yellow swill. It is a dumb feature, and I love it.
■ The beer: It’s Rainier Summit, the lighter version of Northwest favorite Rainier Beer. I had to write about it because I recently wrote about the new, lighter PBR offering, Pabst Blue Ribbon Easy. I couldn’t do one without doing the other, even if they’re essentially the same. (I haven’t tasted them side by side to test this, but I doubt I could tell them apart.)
■ The stats: 110 calories, 8.3 grams of carbs, 3.8 percent alcohol by volume. Hey, those numbers sound familiar. Maybe that’s because every single one of those numbers is IDENTICAL TO THE PBR EASY NUMBERS.
■ Official description: “Rainier Summit Light Lager is the perfect beer to accompany all of your Pacific Northwest adventures. Stay on your A-game with our newest and lightest beer, which is best enjoyed in the outdoors and with friends.”
■ My description: Let’s see, what did I say about PBR Easy? Oh yeah: “It’s PBR but less so. Like if you took a regular PBR, poured out 3 ounces and refilled it with carbonated water, it would be this.” That’s true of Rainier Summit as well. The only difference is the can. In Rainier Summit’s case, they took a regular Rainier can and made parts of the design light blue. That’s in contrast to PBR easy, for which they took the regular PBR can and made parts of it — wait a minute — light blue.
■ Why don’t they just call it Rainier Light? Because we out-of-shape beer drinkers don’t like to think of ourselves as out-of-shape beer drinkers; we like to think of ourselves as mountain climbers. So “Summit” beats “Light.”
■ Overall rating: 7 out of 10, same as PBR Easy. They’re both fine examples of water-beers, thirst-quenching, almost flavorless and wholly inoffensive.