Beer Review: KERN RIVER PUMPS, BUMPS, N ROLLERS

Beer Review: KERN RIVER PUMPS, BUMPS, N ROLLERS

Kern River Brewing’s Pumps, Bumps, N Rollers, housed in a nondescript 12oz can, offers no hint of its packaging or best-by date, a lack of transparency that doesn’t inspire confidence. Pouring into a glass, the brew presents itself as a clear pale straw with a somewhat underwhelming bleach-white foam that quickly dissipates. Its visual appeal falls short of making a lasting impression.

Aroma

The aroma of Pumps, Bumps, N Rollers is faint at best, with hints of applesauce, honey, and white bread wafting from the glass. Unfortunately, there’s not much to savor in terms of scent, and it’s suggested that one might be better off consuming it directly from the can. This lack of aromatic complexity leaves much to be desired.

Taste

Surprisingly, the taste of Pumps, Bumps, N Rollers manages to redeem some of its earlier shortcomings. It exudes a nostalgic quality reminiscent of an era preceding Prohibition, evoking comparisons to the beers our grandparents might have enjoyed. With a smooth, malt-forward profile that boasts flavors of sourdough and honey wheat bread, it stands out in terms of its rich maltiness and grainy undertones. It avoids the pitfalls of blandness or soapy notes that often plague mass-produced counterparts. The subtle acidity that gradually builds, akin to the sensation of wet sourdough, adds a unique dimension. While it maintains a slight bitterness for balance, it never veers into stickiness or cloying sweetness, thanks in part to its complete attenuation and low alcohol content. Pumps, Bumps, N Rollers finishes on a neutral note, making it exceptionally sessionable and an ideal choice for everyday consumption.

Mouthfeel

In this department, Pumps, Bumps, N Rollers doesn’t falter. Its mouthfeel is smooth, lending to the beer’s overall drinkability. With a focus on malt and a subtle acidity, it strikes a balance that doesn’t overwhelm the palate. The low alcohol content contributes to a refreshing and easy-drinking experience, making it a top-tier option for those seeking a go-to, uncomplicated beer.

Overall

Kern River Brewing has managed to craft a commendable offering in the realm of “domestic” tasting, blue-collar light beers. Pumps, Bumps, N Rollers distinguishes itself through its malt-forward character, achieved by balancing low overall sweetness with a subtle acidity reminiscent of sourdough. While it may not win any awards for its appearance or aroma, it shines where it truly matters—in the taste and drinkability department. For the best experience, it’s recommended to enjoy this brew directly from the can, making it the quintessential lawnmower beer.

Similar Beers

Kölsch is a somewhat rare style, and comparisons are inevitably limited. In contrast to Definitive Brewing’s Contee Kölsch, which leans towards a more dynamic, hoppy profile with heightened acidity, Kern River’s interpretation blurs the lines between Kölsch and macro pale lagers. It positions itself ambiguously as an “American Light Ale,” drawing parallels with non-hoppy blonde ales like Firestone Walker 805, Coronado Salty Crew, or Green Flash GFB Blonde Ale. On the pale lager spectrum, Pumps, Bumps, N Rollers shares similarities with non-hoppy macro contenders such as Sierra Nevada Summerfest, Firestone Lager, Great Divide American Lager, Hardywood Richmond Lager, Folksbier Old Bavarian Lager, Upland Champagne Velvet, New Glarus Totally Naked, and more.