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Land Shark Lager

by Robb Zerr
(Beer Delegate, FL, USA)

Land Shark Lager: do you speak 'fin-ish'? Warning: It bites

Land Shark Lager: do you speak 'fin-ish'? Warning: It bites

Land Shark Lager

I don't want to sound like a beer snob, but I had the pleasure, nay the honor, of growing up in one of the first bastions of microbrews: Seattle.

I came to love the hoppy, bold tastes of Redhook IPA and Hales, yet still appreciated a well-crafted lager or flavor-laden ale.

Since moving to Florida some years ago, I've had this unfulfilled dream of finding amazing, locally brewed beers here as well.

Sure, I could go to an Orlando Ale House restaurant and pretend to have a foamy first with one of the rotating taps. But what I truly covet and seek are those relatively undiscovered beauties that are both locally grown and owned. Continues below

So as a one-time fervent Parrothead, I was thrilled to find Land Shark Lager, a product of the Margaritaville Brewing Company in Jacksonville, FL. Ah, I thought, finally a worthy companion to Captain Tony’s Amber (a favorite of mine when I find myself drunk in Key West) or Ybor Calusa Wheat.

But I was also a bit wary. An authentic Florida microbrew in a Wal*Mart? At a Wal*Mart price? Alarm bells should have sounded in my head. I should have run for the door, screaming. But I'm a marketer's dream. I'll buy virtually anything at least once that has New & Improved scribbled on it or which is new to my overly stimulated retail eyes. I just couldn't resist picking up a six-pack.

Land Shark is served in Buffett's Margaritaville restaurants in Key West, Orlando and Las Vegas. There, it stacks up admirably with a Cheeseburger in Paradise. It doesn't overpower. It does its job well without bitterness or malice. And after you've had two or three or four, they begin to taste pretty darned good.
That said, Land Shark Lager does not fare as well in the comfort of your own home. Even with "Fins" blasting for the fifth time from your stereo system, it's just not the same as sitting in a Margaritaville, watching fake margalava pour from the volcano above on cue.

Now true, the bottle does grab the eye. My wife, who is not a beerophile, is the one who saw it in the chill case: it was the large fin that caught her attention. She usually has a good eye for offbeat brews to keep her hubby happy. But this one just doesn't fill the bill.

The bottle is very Corona-esque. The pour is crisp and golden, the foam pleasing, but not overpowering in a pint glass. But that's about where the pleasant experience stops.

The actual taste is clean enough, but so is tap water. Even a lime or an entire grove of them can't help.

While the bottle proudly hails it as "Original Island Lager", I would choose a Red Stripe over Land Shark any day. Geez, I'd probably even pop a Miller Lite if given a choice: it'll give you the same buzz for a lot less money. And I was so prepared to just love Land Shark Lager (sigh!).

Land Shark is supposed to be the product of the Margaritaville Brewing Co. in Jacksonville, FL. But enter the name of the brewery in Google Maps and nothing shows.

What? An invisible brewery?

No. A little more detective work and you'll find that it's actually bottled by the Anheuser-Busch Company, which, by the way, takes great pains to distance itself from Land Shark Lager on the official site.

More on Land Shark lager!
Land Shark beer is great! Rascalman
Land Shark vs Corona idiots, traitors Dee

You won't find a single mention of AB as the manufacturer. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

Now any beer at the right price is worth a try. And if you're a diehard fan of Jimmy Buffett, you'll probably love Land Shark Lager even though there are far better lagers out there.

The bottle is gutsy enough to say, "Fins Up!" But I give it a solid two fins down. Land Shark Lager. Warning: it bites!

Comments for Land Shark Lager

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Apr 10, 2012
refreshing, delicious!
by: Anonymous

I hesitate to write for fear that my comments will just reaffirm some serious beer drinkers thoughts about Land Shark Lager. But as a previously one or two sips (and only if it's really cold!) beer drinker, I'm thrilled I've discovered Land Shark. I can actually enjoy the entire bottle! It's fresh and subtle taste is so good with chips or pizza. It doesn't bully it's way around my taste buds for attention... and doesn't taste like dirty socks after the first few sips like so many other beers I've tried. Thanks!

Feb 23, 2012
great beer
by: haydn poore

today i had my first landshark, and i find it a tastfull and interesting beer.

Jul 23, 2011
by: iTip28

I am a home brewer. That being said, I like full flavor beers. I dont care for the overly hoppy beers, but I can go for a decent pale every so often. I'm NOT A FAN of A-B. I detest everything theyve done to mass-produced beer. Most A-B products taste like garbage, and most people dont realize what a truly GOOD beer (let alone GREAT beer), tastes like. However, I tried Land Shark and actually enjoyed it. It's a very nice "lawnmower" brew. Great at quenching that thirst on a hot summer day. You can have 2 or 3 and not be adversely affected by the relatively low ABV. Dont go by what others say. Go by what your PALATE says. If you like it, YOU LIKE IT. so what. But be warned, as I have found; if you begin to homebrew, you're going to be ruined, and completely turned off from ANY mass- produced beers. Truly fresh beer TASTES BEST.

Jul 17, 2011
new twist off cap and deminished flavor
by: steve

i noticed just recently that the new land shark has new twist off caps (i don't care) and diminished flavor (i do care). i don't know why Margaritaville Brewing Co. decided to change but i wish they would go back. i don't think JB would approve if he knew about the change in taste. the only taste that stood out was the lime we added, it tasted like i had bought land shark ultra lite (there isn't any that i know of, and i wouldn't buy it if there were). i was very disappointed and and if it continues, JB just lost a customer.

Jun 16, 2010
by: griffinrc

you are a complete idiot, it says who bottles it on the bottle.

Apr 23, 2010
you all have your sights set too high
by: chris

Like most others I enjoy the flavorful hoppiness of craft beers. This is a beer made to drink straight from the bottle with a little lime wedge, while laying on a beach somewhere. I have had the landshark at Margaritiville and the bottle has a different taste to me, or maybe it was just the atmosphere. For the craft beer enthusiest this beer will dissapoint, but for someone who just wants to sit with their feet in the water and their ass in the sand it is great.

Mar 05, 2010
More of the same swill
by: ducedoc

Just another example of A-B pushing mediocre swill onto the shelves and then marketing the hell out of it, except in this case its the Parrot Head marketing machine'instead of A-B. I challenge anybody to tell the difference between this stuff and Bud Light or Bush in a blind tasting. A-B by another name is still Advertise and Bore.

Feb 25, 2010
Are you kidding me?
by: Canadian

I can't believe the criticism on this post. I just recently found Land Shark while vacationing in your not-so-sunny south (Florida). Land Shark is a great beer by Canadian standards. Lack of alcohol? ... Try drinking some of our suds ... Lack of taste ... Who are you kidding? Price? Try paying $50.00 CDN (almost $50 U.S) for a case of 24? You guys are spoiled ... I would have brought a van load home if it wasn't for customs (and the wife and kids taking up space in the van) ... Before you 'beer snobs' start rambling consider yourselves lucky. At the U.S. pricing (Wal-Mart or not) you have ample budget to sample many beers ...

Bring the 'shark' to Canada I say ... I'll be the first in line to buy a keg.

Jan 09, 2010
Easy Drinkin' Thirst Quencher
by: Jakemeister

I had my first Landshark the day before New Years Eve. My first impression was that the beer looked great in the clear bottle and cool label. It's a fun beer, not to be taken too seriously. I lose patience with those beer snobs who make it sound like they've suffered a terrible disappointment after tasting it. The beer tastes fine, looks great with its bright creamy white head which lasts a long time in the bottle if you let it (not usually my problem). If I was lucky enough to be at the bar at a Margaritaville somewhere I wouldn't think of drinking any other beer.

Dec 28, 2009
TRIED TWICE - hoping it got better - Nope
by: Dadokidz

Gave this beer a try with high hopes for something cool and unique. I really wanted to like it and while it wasn't a "bad" beer, I was not impressed with the taste and body vs. cost ratio. Essentially, as a consumer, I don't feel the product is worth the price. No matter how hip you want to be tail-gating pre Buffet concert. I'll stick with Corona for that.

Dec 28, 2009
TRIED TWICE - hoping it got better - Nope
by: Dadokidz

Gave this beer a try with high hopes for something cool and unique. I really wanted to like it and while it wasn't a "bad" beer, I was not impressed with the taste and body vs. cost ratio. Essentially, as a consumer, I don't feel the product is worth the price. No matter how hip you want to be tail-gating pre Buffet concert. I'll stick with Corona for that.

Nov 05, 2009
Land Shark Lager ( :
by: Bartholomew Burpenstein

Land Shark Lager is a great swilling beer! Better than Rolling Rock & Pabst Blue Freakin' Ribbon! "Tastes great ! Less filling !"
The Buttwiper Beer Company is an old dog, but it's learning new tricks ! Arrgh ! Skol !

Oct 10, 2009
Love this phony Bud
by: Anonymous

Tell you what, I've only had a half bottle and I'm three sheets to the wind alreadt. Get your fins up, landlubbers!

Oct 08, 2009
it is a state of mind
by: Cathy

Much better in Margarettaville, but not as tinny as corona. It fills the "I wish I was on an island, but I am in Indiana in the Fall". I wish it had a bit more spice and body, but, all in all, not bad for the price. Lets face it. if it had more depth, than the drunk college kids wouldn't buy it.

Sep 28, 2009
Land Shark is cool!
by: BeerLady1

I really like it. It taste like there is mint or something in it. It feels cool going down even when it is not ice cold. I do wish that it was in a darker bottle though. A few times now I have purchased it and it was a bit skunky.

Sep 12, 2009
by: JWS

I too like every one who likes craft beer thought it might hit the spot.

At least the did not put lime in it. You are better off laying down your money for BUSCH tastes the same half the price.

Aug 31, 2009
Where's the alcohol???
by: Anonymous

Just bought a six of this stuff because there was a rebate. Normally, that would be a warning, but some decent beers (Bass Ale, Lowenbrau, Beck's) were also on the same offer at a grocery chain here in AZ. Well, just finished my second, buzz, no nothin'. I would have done better with Busch Lite....Taste OK, but that's it..crap!

Aug 29, 2009
Land Shark Lager
by: crabman

I found it to be a nice, smooth beer. I doesn't get as crappy tasting as most beers I'vs had, say around #4 or #5.

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