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Old 03-05-2008, 06:05 PM   #11
Jan 2008
Burien, WA
Posts: 619
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I live in the Seattle are - 6 miles south - and I have to say that the Mac and Jack is alright, but not that good. But again, it is just one man's opinion.

The key in Seattle is that the Redhook and Alaskan flood, followed by this does just take the joy out of amber beers.

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Old 03-09-2008, 06:07 AM   #12
Mar 2008
Posts: 71
Liked 6 Times on 1 Posts

I personally think it's an excellent beer and you can't get it in grocery stores, they only distribute kegs so you can only get it at certain bars or if you buy a keg yourself. Call me crazy but that doesn't sound like they are in it for the moolah.

Did I mention it's damned tasty??
Kegged - Belgian Strong Golden Ale, Pumpkin Ale

Primary - Stout

on deck - Weizenbock, more Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Wit

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Old 03-09-2008, 06:28 AM   #13
AdIn's Avatar
Dec 2005
Sammamish, WA
Posts: 306
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I think it's a good beer. I've been to the brewery, they are friendly guys. I didn't know African was THAT popular. Seems like everybody here (NW) brew IPA, so it looked like a bit of fresh air.
Non-alcoholic beer is a first step to a rubber woman

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Old 01-25-2009, 05:49 PM   #14
Jan 2009
Posts: 1

Probably no one paying attention to this anymore, but having come accross this I had to put my 2 cents in.
Mac&Jacks Amber is a very good beer, the reason you see it so much has to do with lack of imagination on the bar owners part. They need to step out and put something else on. I have been to many a bar where your choice is beer water(bud and such) or Mac&Jacks of course we are going to go for the Mac&Jacks. There are some many good beers from this area, let's be putting some others on tap! Oh and pyramid Hefe does not count as a good beer, but you see it everywhere as well.

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Old 01-25-2009, 08:30 PM   #15
r2eng's Avatar
Mar 2008
Eagle, Idaho, Idaho
Posts: 1,476
Liked 33 Times on 28 Posts

But if no one drank it, it would not dominate the market. There are many ways to look at it... I do not like any BMC stuff, but those who like it leave the rest of the good stuff for me. They are obviously good at marketing, but someone still needs to drink the beer to keep them in business.

I have had M&J, and it's not a bad amber. Ambers aren't my thing, but I cannot fault the people who like it. I really like Stone and other brands, which some people say are "overrated"... GREAT! this means there is always the beer I like on the shelves at my local store.

To each his own.
Engineer, Animator, Brewer.

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Old 03-09-2010, 04:55 AM   #16
Mar 2010
Mercer Island, wa
Posts: 1

Have you people never heard of capitalism? Mac and Jacks is awesome, get over it. Although it pretty much left no room for improvement it does not mean that faithful mac and jack drinkers drink solely Mac and Jacks! Variety is the spice of life and it you should look at it as a good thing that it out sells everything else.... less people drinking budweiser.

For all the people who have never heard of Mac and Jacks or can not figure out how to get it..... GOOD. it's our beer and if it gets popular Budshmeizer will buy it and then i'll have to give up on it... like Redhook.

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Old 03-09-2010, 06:04 AM   #17
BakerStreetBeers's Avatar
Feb 2008
Petaluma, CA
Posts: 307
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I completely respect and understand brewtopia's position . . .

HOWEVER, when I am in Seattle, usually once or twice a year, I always have an African Amber. And I enjoy the hell out of that glass of beer.

HOWEVER, generally I have that beer at the airport on my way out of town. During the time I spend in the area, I am always looking to try something new or new to me. If I'm not attending a beer festival and then running wild through the streets, I hit Naked City, the Dog and Pony in Renton and/or as many of the other great breweries and beer bars in the area as I can manage. It is not lost on me that the better of these venues will not have any Mac & Jack handles. As one previous poster suggested, this indicates a proprietor who is working hard to find incredible and unique kegs for his customers. My local beer bar doesn't serve Pliny the Elder even though Russian River is 20 minutes up the road. This is fine with me as it leaves that handle free for another beer, hopefully one I can't get 20 minutes up the road.

Funny this thread popped up today. I have been having Mac & Jack cravings since a buddy texted me Saturday from Portland to let me know he was enjoying one. I've been planning a clone brew and scheming on a way to get a keg of the real thing down here. But even while doing this, in the back of my mind I fear that this will spoil the beer for me. I believe the African Amber is a singular beer, and a great beer, but familiarity breeds contempt and absence makes the heart grow fonder. Undoubtedly part of my ongoing affection for this brew is the fact that I can't get it every day, let alone in every establishment within a hundred miles.

Does my terminal A quaffing behavior mean that this beer should only be considered good for tourists? I don't believe so. Would Seattle beer culture improve if this tap handle was a little less ubiquitous? Damn likely. But I keep thinking of the numerous posts on various boards I came across yesterday when reading African Amber clone recipe threads: people who said that this beer was what turned them on to craft brewing, or what inspired them to start homebrewing. I have a hard time discounting that. SNPA and Anchor Liberty ale were those eye-opening, paradigm-shifting beers for me and it can be hard for me to find in them today what it was that blew my mind back then.

The other thought I keep having, and maybe it's a bit of a hope, is that I or someone else will be making the same criticism of Pliny the Elder in 10 years. Imagine a world where there were more PTE taps in the SF Bay Area than any other beer. Whatever your opinion of that particular beer, wouldn't this represent a big step forward for craft beer's inroads into the wider culture? And what would the cutting-edge beers that were being denied their spot on the tap lineup by PTE would be like? I can't wait to find out.
Primary: Apfelwein
Secondary: nada
Kegged: African Amber Clone
On Tap: Dunkelweizen, Strong Irish Red
On Deck: Agave Wit, DC's RyePA, Belgian Blonde

"Ale man, ale's the stuff to drink / For fellows whom it hurts to think."
- Housman

Reason: rewording

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Old 03-09-2010, 06:22 AM   #18
ChshreCat's Avatar
Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,533
Liked 542 Times on 434 Posts

African Amber is a damned tasty beer.

Is it my favorite? Far from it. I actually perfer their Black Cat Porter if I had to choose.

But it's nice to have a decent beer that I like on tap in most places I go to rather than just the usual BMC. Most places that only have one or two non-BMC beers will usually have African Amber and it's nice to have that to fall back on if nothing else is available.
"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

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Old 03-09-2010, 06:36 AM   #19
Aug 2009
Posts: 1,629
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Black Cat is quite nice.
The reason the Amber is so popular is they don't bottle it. You can get most brewery's beers in a bottle and can have it anytime. If you can only get a beer on tap it is quite likely you will get at least one every time you go out.

Wanna talk about a ****ty amber? Alaskan.

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Old 03-09-2010, 03:39 PM   #20
May 2009
Marysville, Washington
Posts: 181
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I remember when i first had Mac and Jacks. I thought it was so flavorful and delicious. That was when the Micobrews started really taking off. I drink it now and think that it is bland and watery. It's still a decent amber, but there are way better beers out there. I have made it before. I think that the stuff I made was better and more robust. It might partially come down to a freshness issue as they widen their distribution of it. The watery issue is another problem altogether.

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