Tuesday, June 5, 2012

International Lagers From Around the World

International lagers are a constant in the world: travel nearly anywhere in world and someone (seemingly often owned by InBev) will be brewing a bland, yellow, fizzy beer. In this post I review four of them all of which except for Polar Bear are available in beer stores pretty much everywhere.

Sol (Mexico) 4.5%

Gold in a glass. Smells quite malty, a little skunky probably because the clear bottle doesn't protect the beer from sunlight like a brown bottle would. Taste is very mild, quite sweet, fairly malty. Essentially no aftertaste.  A nice bottle cap and label. If you are just looking for something yellow, fizzy, refreshing with very little flavor Sol beer does the trick. On the other hand if you are looking for a beer with an interesting flavour look elsewhere.

Red Stripe (Jamaica) 4.7%

Sweet, not very bitter. Not as carbonated as most international lagers, smoothly malty and with a slight metallic and umami finish. Not much to it but a distinctive bottle. Because of this bottle and especially the country of origin I'm always disappointed when I remember Red Stripe isn't a ginger beer, oh well.

 Sapporo (Japan) 5.0%

A very light gold colour in a glass, this Japanese beer (brewed in Guelph, Ontario) is very, very light tasting. Slightly malty, slightly hoppy aroma. Slightly malty flavour but it somehow manages to not come across as watery, which is nice. Eminently drinkable: you could pound back a ton of these with ease and I'm sure it would go with just about any type of food because it's so bland. Sapporo must be popular with Japanese salary-men as it makes such a nice after work beer because it's so refreshing. However, there just isn't much to Sapporo other than being yellow and fizzy: a typical international lager but a good one if that's all you are looking for. The can is also really cool with a raised logo and Japanese characters stamped into the side of it.

  Polar Bear (Iceland) 4.7%

A really normal international lager: not overly malty, sweet or bitter. Distinctly indistinct.

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