MillerCoors is getting the creative juices flowing with a new brand straight out of the company think tank. The Band of Brewers, a collaborative group of brewers spanning across the MillerCoors network, have joined together to release to release Third Shift, an amber lager within the Märzen style. While February marks the first month that this beer is available for distribution and release to the masses, it has enjoyed success in the past by winning a gold medal at the Great American Beer Fest in 2010. It also has seen limited, tap-only allocations in the past year, of which Chris had the pleasure of testing last August.
Third Shift is dedicated not only to the brewers who worked throughout the nights to create this beer, but to all those who put in the effort and long hours in their pursuits and careers. And to these workers go the spoils, as their reward comes in the form of slightly buttery and toasted malt, a light honey-like sweetness, and earthy, spicy hops. An obviously German influence permeates throughout this beer, both in malt and hop selection, and everything is tied together with a crispness that leaves a smooth aftertaste in the finish.
The appearance is a sight to behold as well, displaying a light golden amber with a crystal clear body. The head retention is meager, but a dusting of foam settles as a cap. A soapy-looking trail of lace briefly sticks to the glass before quickly slipping to meet the beer once again.
Whether it be after a long day of working around the house or punching out after working the eponymous third shift, few things hit the spot better than crisp, refreshing beer. Third Shift delivers on that front and balances a toasted malt profile with a subtle hop bite without coming across as overly heavy.
B- / $8 per six-pack