In the sea of MillerCoors offerings, Hamm’s might get lost in the shuffle amid the waves of better-known offerings. But in the eyes of experts and brewers alike, the beer is in the midst of a unlikely resurgence.
This year, Hamm’s took bronze in the American-Style Lager or American-Style Cream Ale category of the World Beer Cup as judged by the Brewers Association. In 2017, a group of craft brewers tabbed Hamm’s as the best macro beer in its blind tasting. It’s not just those in the know praising the beer most known for catchy jingle from the 1950s complete with a cartoon bear—Hamm’s sales were up nearly 75 percent in 2017, when Nielsen ranked it as the No. 10 growth brand in beer.
I mentioned a few of these articles to a friend I knew drank Hamm’s, and even he was surprised he was suddenly drinking a popular beer. Even though I was pretty set in my ways, a Hamm’s never slipped into my orbit. I was curious about what could possibly set this beer apart from its mass-produced brethren.
I finally arrived on Hamm’s being the beer equivalent of splash of a beer with a splash of grape juice and another dash of water.”
That depends on personal preference, but, to me, Hamm’s is the beer of no extremes. No pour is necessary because Hamm’s is made for consumption by can. For the sake of this review, I poured anyway, revealing a liquid that was clear, straw yellow. There’s no overpowering, signature smell or taste, save for a subtle saccharine quality—a sweet aroma that doesn’t linger for long.
Hamm’s errs on the sweeter side because of the addition of corn syrup, but isn’t a sticky mess. It isn’t particularly crisp, making it a beer that, on a hot day, could easily be consumed in fewer than ten swigs. In fishing for greater depth in taste throughout the 16-ounce tallboy, I finally arrived on Hamm’s being the beer equivalent of splash of a beer with a splash of grape juice and another dash of water.
We all have our macro beer standbys. Change is hard for some people. Regardless of your macro preferences, I couldn’t see Hamm’s being a beer that anyone would avoid after giving it a try.