DC Drinks

Reviews, rantlets and ribald on all things alcoholic.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Ubiquitous International Lager

Imagine a world in which the only wines were "dry" whites, distant, dumbed-down, derivations of a French Chardonnay. With the exception of Guinness (a stout) and Bass (an ale), all the widely known international beers are of the same type (very distant, dumbed down, derivatives of Pilsener lager, with little to distinguish one from another). - Michael Jackson

From Canada to China, India to Australia, every country short of Saudi Arabia seem to have their own home brew. The temptation to travel around the world in a pint glass is great. (I often wonder how many international beers I could put back in a day's worth of drinking.) The only problem is that as distinct as these countries are, with their great heritages, unique cultures and political differences, Molson and Tsing Dao, Kingfisher and Fosters all taste the f-ing same.

The BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) lists
this style as the "Standard American Lager," with "little to no malt aroma... light, spicy or floral hop presence... low levels of yeast character... very pale straw to medium yellow color... crisp and dry flavor with some low levels of sweetness... no fruitiness... [and a] slight carbonic bite on the tongue."

Don't get me wrong, these beers are easy drinking. They're also an excellent pairing to spicy ethnic cuisine, especially Chinese carry-out. But why the disguise of nationality? They should all have a plain brown label and read: The Ubiquitous International Lager.


At 10:34 AM, Blogger njc said...

I was just ruminating on that very subject. My theory is that there is one central brewry which then packages the same beer into 100+ different types of bottles and then sends them to each country where it is consumed by nationals proud to be supporting their country while they drink.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Washington Cube said...

There is not only national pride, but regional pride. How else can you explain why people in Baltimore drink National Bohemian (and it's not even made there anymore.)

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Washington Cube said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Issac and Lonnie.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...

You too! Cheers.

At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That fizzy, watery concoction never did anything for me. It always tasted like something went bad in a bottle. Judging from the wall to wall beer commercials on television, I'd say that beer is bought not because of the taste, but because purchasers have been brainwashed.

I'm willing to wager that the flavored vodkas are in the same category: all hype, nothing unique.


At 10:52 PM, Anonymous KCinDC said...

That's the main problem with Asian restaurants. The food is good, but there's almost no chance of good beer.

Of course, I had the same problem at the DC Olympic Committee party Friday, and that was at a bar.


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