Genesee Brewing Company makes beer that costs around $13 for a 30 pack. This review will continue as normal, but it’s unclear why you would even need to keep reading, unless you’re some kind of wealthy beer aficionado who doesn’t care about money and has all the finest microbrews shipped to you. But let’s be real — that’s super weird, and this is a college newspaper, so $13 for 30 cans of beer is a huge deal.
When I first let people know of this bottom dollar bargain, there faces twist into a mix of disgust and curiosity. Really, what’s in it that makes it so cheap? To college students, any chance at saving money on getting wasted seems as appealing as a snow day during midterms.
Genesee comes in a few different shades of bland, all about as uninteresting and standard as the next. Regular old Genesee has very little taste, Genesee Light is for people who like beer with even less of a taste to it but that is easier to drink faster, and the other two candidates — Genesee Cream and Genesee Ice — are so very slightly different in spite of their interesting names that there’s little point in even distinguishing between the lot.
All four variations of Genesee pour the same kind of gold coloring you would expect from cheap beer. They also all share the same kind of corn smell, again something you would expect from National Bohemian or Bud Light.
These four horsemen of the drunken apocalypse all share a kind of metallic and corny watered down taste, somehow better than most macrobrews. It revels in having the most generic of beer tastes I could possibly imagine, the differences between them boiled down to minor variations on a theme.
It might seem like I’m being hard on Genesee, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite things to drink. The core reason behind this is that drinking Genesee for the taste is going about it all wrong: you drink Genesee for its utility.
In 2015, Genesee redesigned their cans to reflect that view of what their beer is — the cans are all stripped down and have minimalist designs that are actually refreshing in a world where most products seem overly stylized and unnecessarily extravagant.
Genesee know they aren’t extravagant. If NASA were to send beer into space, I’m positive their can designs would look like a spitting image of Genesee. It’s meant to do a job, and it does its job well.
The four types of Genesee are all the same cost, around $13 for 30 12 oz. cans, and it’s worth trying each kind out to satiate your curiosity and develop a favorite.
I personally dig Genny Ice, as it’s got the highest alcohol by volume: 5.5 percent, substantially higher than Natty Boh and tied with the awfulness that is Bud Ice. Genny Light has the lowest ABV but it’s great for party games where chugging is involved, and the other two have slightly different enough flavors that it’s worth checking out to see if you prefer one kind of watery beer over another.
Genesee is cheap beer for people who don’t have money to waste, and as far as I can see, that’s as noble of a niche as any.