Archive for the ‘lager’ Category

Pirate Beer

Figure 1. Pirate Beer

A note to all you scurvy knaves: Due t’ Halloween festivities, this week’s article will be dressed in a pirate costume complete with a wooden leg, a hook for a hand and a scruffy parrot on its shoulder. Gar, Where can I find a bottle o’rum? (All pirate-talk translations be provided by the landlubbers at talklikeapirateday).

Introduction

Arrr, think o’ Dutch beers and brands such as Heineken, Amstel and Oranjeboom sprin’ t’ mind. Howe’er, thar be plenty o’ other less-well known beers t’ be had. United Dutch Breweries boast an extensive range o’ beers includin’ Weidmann Lager, Phoenix Strong Lager, Three Horses Dark Malt Beverage and Pirate Beer (UDB products, 2010). Pirate Beer is an 8.5% alc. vol. strong lager originally from the Breda Brewery.. A pence for an old man o’de sea?

Aye, pirates seem t’ have a tenuous connection with beer and a more common association with rum feels both more traditional and comfortable. Little information is available from either Breda Brewery or UDB, and this may be due t’ the questionable link between the product and brand mentioned previously. Gaarrr! They should be keel hauled!

Aim

Aye, this experiment was designed t’ investigate numerous characteristics o’ Pirate Beer includin’, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.   Yarrgh!

Method

Aye, a 500 ml can o’ Pirate Beer was obtained from a local supermarket for NZdoubloons3.99. The can was refrigerated t’ 4oC before the integrity o’ the can was breached under controlled conditions usin’ the supplied puncturin’ device. The contents o’ the can war decanted int’ a clean glass vessel. Aroma was evaluated by smellin’ the beer. Flavour was analysed by tastin’ the beer and discussin’ it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. Aye, me parrot concurs.

Results

Ahoy, results for Pirate Beer be shown in table 1 below. Ye’ll ne’er get me buried booty!

Table 1. Characteristics of Pirate Beer

Characteristic Result
Aroma Aye, sweet caramelly and fruity on the nose with an almost cider-like quality with a suggestion o’ ash tray lin’erin’ in the surroundin’s. Overall, the aroma be faint
Flavour Cloyin’ with a pungent lacquer aftertaste. The heinous taste o’ the beverage caused the researchers t’ abort the experiment and dispose o’ the sample responsibly. Garrr!
Colour A deep yellow colour, bordering on orange
Satisfaction The researchers struggled t’ identify a situation which would befit imbibing such an offensive brew
Vessel Design The can be illustra’ed with a clichéd pirate image, replete with parrot, wooden leg, cutlass, tricorn, eye patch and a cannon in t’ background (see figure 1)
Head A disappointin’ white foam emerges upon pourin’, but recedes to almost nothin’ within 39 seconds. Yarrgh!
Drinkability 2

 

Conclusion

Aye, havin’ sampled Pirate Beer, the researchers now understand why it is not a prominent Dutch beverage. Pirate Beer succeeded in offendin’ on almost all scales. The researchers war reluctant t’ award drinkability scores or 1 because it is not inconceivable that thar be worse be’erages a’ailable. Ye’ll ne’er get me buried booty!

Aye, it is possible that, if pirates had consumed Pirate Beer, this could be the reason behind their frequent use o’ strange noises such as Yarrgh and Garrr and the incorrect use o’ the verb ‘be’. Howe’er, it is beyond the scope o’ this study t’ confirm this hypothesis. Gar, Where can I find a bottle o’rum?

References

http://www.talklikeapirateday.com/translate/

http://www.udbexport.com/EN/products

Figure 1. Asahi Black

Introduction

Asahi Breweries control Japanese beer consumption with a staggering 40% of the market share (Wikipedia, 2010).  Asahi have been producing beer for well over 100 years and have recently started dabbling in beer styles beyond their usual Super Dry offering (Asahi products, 2010).  One member of this diversifying range of beverages is Asahi Black (黒生, Kuronama), a 5% alc. vol. “Munich-Type” black lager (Asahi kuronama, 2010).

The English version of the website contains useful information, however, it is the Japanese language website which provides a host of information for the bored imbiber.  Aside from the usual downloadable wallpapers, there are additional delights such as “after 9 stories”, history of black lager and black lager cocktail recipes (Asahi kuronama, 2010).

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Asahi Black including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 350 ml can of Asahi Black was obtained from a specialist Japanese bottle store for NZ$3.80.  The can was refrigerated to 4oC before the integrity of the can was breached under controlled conditions using the supplied puncturing device.  The contents of the can were decanted into a clean glass vessel.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardised light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

Results for Asahi Black are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Asahi Black

Characteristic Result
Aroma Presents a strong roasted malty nose with a chocolatey undercurrent mixed with buckwheat groats and Kiwi brand shoe polish.  A slight hint of sweet smoke hides in the background
Flavour First taste is overpowered by considerable fizziness.  Once prepared for the carbonation onslaught, the flavour is low on the tongue with bitterness reminiscent of coffee or dark chocolate.  A remainder of burnt caramel lingers long after the liquor has been swallowed
Colour Deep shade of brown resembling an iced long black (Americano) coffee with the ice removed, or even a globally renowned cola beverage
Satisfaction Surprisingly drinkable, however the excessive carbonation guarantees that bloatation would determine the final quantity the drinker is able to consume
Vessel Design A gold, black and red can with an interesting crossover of English and Japanese informing of the beverage’s German origins (see figure 1)
Head A fizzy cream-coloured head dissipated within 54 seconds
Drinkability 5

 

Conclusion

The overriding carbonation of Asahi Black tainted the drinking experience and resulted in an uncomfortable, distended-stomach feeling for over 90 minutes after the single can had been finished.  It is beyond the scope of the current study to evaluate the performance of Asahi Black when incorporated into the suggested cocktails such as “Fruit Original” or “Moon Stone” (Asahi kuronama, 2010).

Finally, the researchers were left with a nagging question about the paradox which arises from the naming of the product.  Asahi translates to rising sun, but when coupled with ‘black’ an uncomfortable illogicality of the rising sun delivering blackness occurs.  However, rumination surrounding this troublesome absurdity was frequently interrupted by severe bouts of eructation.

References

http://asahibeer.co.jp/

http://www.asahibeer.co.jp/english/index.html

http://asahibeer.co.jp/kuronama/

http://asahibeer.co.jp/products/beer/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asahi_Breweries

Figure 1. Budĕjovický Budvar

Introduction

Breweries from the Czech Republic city of České Budějovice started producing the original Budweiser beer in 1785, and Budĕjovický Budvar is one of those breweries (Wikipedia, 2010).  The naming of the beer as Budweiser (which, in fact, originates from the city in the Czech Republic) has been the cause of many a legal wrangling between the Czech breweries and Anheuser-Busch, USA, over trademark rights (Wikipedia, 2010).  Budĕjovický Budvar is a premium strength (5.0% alc. vol.).

The Budĕjovický Budvar brewery boasts a host of interesting attractions for brewery tourists, including a Brewing Pan, an Enjoy Centre, and, most intriguingly, the Stargate.  The Stargate presents you with the possibility of “being suspended above a beer river. This river flows to metropolises worldwide that have been conquered by our unique lager” in a Ghengis Khan – Willy Wonkaesque manner (Budvar website, 2010).

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Budĕjovický Budvar Beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A six pack of 0.33 litre bottles of Budĕjovický Budvar was obtained from a Countdown supermarket in Napier for NZ$14.99.  By the time the bottles had been transported to the laboratory, they had heated up to room temperature.  Five of the bottles were placed in a refrigerator to cool them to 4 oC.  The cap of the sixth bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device.  The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels containing between 8 and 10 small cubes of ice.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

The results of Budĕjovický Budvar are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Budĕjovický Budvar.

Characteristic Result
Aroma Floral hoppy burst which hints at a reminder of fruit salad dressed with citrus
Flavour A tsunami of hoppyness assaults the senses with zingy, floral, citrusy, bitter tastes give way to a sweeter aftertaste with a suggestion of rolling tobacco
Colour A strong yellow, bordering on the pale orange
Satisfaction A proven performer in a range of conditions.  Budĕjovický Budvar would be acceptable in all seasons, but would be particularly pleasurable in a beer garden on a hot, sticky summers evening.  Budĕjovický Budvar has also confirmed its versatility by being suitable when faced with, perhaps the most testing of beer conditions, Vietnam-style, ice-in-glass cooling
Vessel Design Gold, red, white and black label with some jolly knights shown subtly in silver behind the brand name.  A gold foil adorned with a ‘wax’ seal tops a standard green bottle with a fancy ‘B’ in a shield on the shoulder (see figure 1)
Head A fine, fizzy white head disappeared rapidly, possibly due to the presence of ice
Drinkability 8

Conclusion

Budĕjovický Budvar is a pleasing beer which can be enjoyed straight from the refrigerator or even over ice.  It is a cruel coincidence that Budweiser from the Czech Republic, and which is a very fine brew, shares the same name as the primary fare from Anheuser-Busch and it is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate the relative merits of each of these beers.  Despite the shared brand name, Budĕjovický Budvar has something that Anheuser-Busch doesn’t have, and that is a Stargate with a river of beer.  What more could a thirsty research scientist ask for?

References

http://budweiser-budvar.cz/en/o-nas/predstaveni.html

http://budweiser-budvar.cz/en/navstevnicke-centrum/multimedialni-expozice/stargate.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budvar

Figure 1. Kingfisher Premium

Introduction

Kingfisher beer dominates the Indian beer market with a range of products including Kingfisher Premium, Strong, Ultra, Blue, Red and Bohemia (Wikipedia, 2010), and it’s parent company, United Breweries, has been producing beer since 1915 (see United Breweries website, 2010).  In addition to being loved by the Indian public, Kingfisher beers also appear to be loved by judges at international beer exhibitions as they have won no less than six international awards.  It is possibly this popularity that has led Kingfisher to adopt the slogan “The king of good times” (see Kingfisherworld website, 2010).

The target audience of Kingfisher beers is clearly aimed at young, wealthy males as the website displays cornerstones of maleness in swimsuit calendars, a model search, sponsoring a soccer team and a Formula 1 motor racing team.

Aim

This experiment was designed to compare numerous characteristics of Kingfisher Premium with Kingfisher Strong beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

Six 330 ml bottles of Kingfisher Premium (5.0% alc/vol) and a single 650 ml bottle of Kingfisher Strong (less than 8% alc/vol) were obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$12.00 and NZ$8.00 respectively.  The beers were chilled to approximately 6 degree C.  The stoppers were removed under controlled conditions and the contents were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beers.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beers and discussing them with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glasses were held up to a standardized light to evaluate colour, and aesthetic aspects of the vessels were considered.

Results

The results for Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong.

Characteristic Kingfisher Premium Kingfisher Strong
Aroma Significant citrusy and appley hoppy odour with a smidgen of white grapes Clean fresh scent reminiscent of lying in a field of wheat which has been drying in the searing heat of a late spring day
Flavour Initially, bitter and slightly floral hops rush onto the taste buds and linger pleasantly high on the palate.  This is complemented by an underlying malty sweetness. Slightly sharp taste that bites down the sides of your tongue finishing with the aromatic taste of lemon. Cumbersome flavourings become a little muddled.  Leaves the palate tasting as if spearmint chewing gum has been taken 10 minutes prior
Colour Deep yellow, reminiscent of a pale caramel Clear amber liquor similar to apricot infused honey
Satisfaction A premier candidate to accompany almost any Indian curry, particularly nice with papad Palatable, but high alcohol content could leave the consumer with impaired faculties
Vessel Design Uncomplicated white, red and gold label with an image of a kingfisher (see figure 1) Maroon, gold and white label induces imagery of a Victorian bordello or the flocked wallpaper seen in Indian restaurants across England in the 1990s (see figure 2)
Head An effervescent fizz produces a thin white veneer on the surface which disappears completely within 29 seconds A thin white spume rapidly disperses exposing the beer beneath within 36 seconds
Drinkability 7 6

Figure 2. Kingfisher Strong

Conclusion

This comparative study has uncovered several interesting features of Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong.  Firstly, both beers consisted of considerable amounts of flavour which directly led to substantial satisfaction.  Secondly, Kingfisher Premium appears to be a good candidate for a session beer, perhaps best consumed in the early evening on a balcony, while Kingfisher strong would not be unpleasant shared with friends and accompanying a meal.  Finally, the inextricable link between Kingfisher, India and curry could not be avoided by the researchers and the consumption of the samples was accompanied by palak paneer and dahl makhani with garlic naan.  It is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate whether the presence of curry influenced the experience of consuming the beverages, but it all went down without complaint.  When considering the outcome of these two heavyweights of the beverage world locked in a fight to the death – the agility and zippyness of Premium against the raw strength of, erm, Strong – the beer left standing at the end would probably be Premium, albeit with a bloodied nose and a broken limb or two and perhaps a large patch of hair missing, gripped in the dying hand of Strong.

References

http://www.kingfisherworld.com/index.aspx

http://www.theubgroup.com/index.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingfisher_(beer)

Figure 1. Harbin Beer

Introduction

The production of beer-like beverages in China has a long history dating back to around 7000 BC (Wikipedia, 2010), although rice and wheat has often been used in place of barley.  This information questions the claim by Harbin Brewery, which was founded in 1900 AD, that it produces “the earliest beer brewed in China”, creating a 9000 year discrepancy (Harbin Beer label, 2010).   Harbin Beer (哈尔滨啤酒) is a weaker (3.6% vol.) lager-style beer made from “water, malt, rice, hops” (Harbin Beer label, 2010).  Harbin produces several types of beers including Hapi, Hapi Golden, Hatepi Heart Beer 10o and Harbin Wheat King 10o (ratebeer, 2010).

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Harbin Beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 610 ml bottle of Harbin Beer was obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$4.50.  The cap of the bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device.  The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

The results for Harbin Beer are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Harbin Beer

Characteristic Result
Aroma Sweet scented, like freshly bailed hay, with floral, hoppy undertones
Flavour Watery, with a distinct lack of flavouring.  Inoffensive aftertaste due to the almost complete absence of tastebud stimulation
Colour Pale yellow, evoking memories of a visit to the doctor’s to produce a sample
Satisfaction Having consumed the beverage, researchers were found wanting (beer with real flavour)
Vessel Design A crudely embossed, large green bottle adorned with a mainly white, gold and green label (see figure 1). Three gold “medals” at the bottom of the label promise award-winning achievement, but on closer inspection informs that it is “the earliest beer brewed in China” (see figure 2)
Head A thin fluffy head dissipates in 54 seconds
Drinkability 4

Figure 2. Harbin Beer ‘Medals’

Conclusion

Harbin Beer managed to underwhelm the researchers in the majority of tests.  This disappointment led to a protracted discussion as to whether the remaining liquid should be consumed or discarded.  The presence of rice in the ingredients may explain the final product being almost completely devoid of flavour.  The over-riding deduction from the analysis is that Harbin Beer is disappointing, and the almost complete nonexistence of flavours means that it will only be purchased again if nothing else is available.

References

Harbin Beer bottle label (2010)

http://www.ratebeer.com/brewers/harbin-beer-company-anheuser-busch/2951/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_and_breweries_in_China

Gosser Beer

Figure 1. Gosser Beer

Introduction

Austria evokes images of mountains, Mozart and The Sound of Music, but it is not globally renowned for its beer varieties and production, which may suggest that Gosser’s claim that Gosser Beer is ‘Austria’s finest beer’ may lack substance in the beverage world.  Gosser Beer (Gösser Bier) is a premium-strength (5.2% vol.) lager brewed by Brau Union Österreich in Graz, south-eastern Austria (see Gosser website for further information).  Other beers in the Gosser range include NaturRadler and Gösser Dark.  Gosser Beer is available in 0.33 and 0.5 litre cans and bottles.  The Gosser website is full of beautiful images of natural vistas which leads them to claim that ‘Gösser[‘s] … highest quality, purest nature and living brewing tradition conventionalize Gösser a myth with legendary character’, whatever that means.

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Gosser Beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 0.5 litre bottle (see figure 1)  of Gosser Beer was obtained from a local supermarket.  The cap of the bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device.  The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

The results for Gosser Beer are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Gosser Beer

Characteristic Result
Aroma Reminiscent of ‘old beer’, perhaps experienced the day after the beer was poured, a hint of citrus with a notes of cigarette ash
Flavour Initially, significant malty flavours which are replaced by a tangy hoppiness
Colour Similar to apple juice yellow which has had no more than 1 medium-sized ice cube melted in it
Satisfaction Served below 6oC, it would provide considerable refreshment on a day which exceeds 24cC
Vessel Design 0.5 litre bottle sits comfortably in the hand.  The label is an unfussy ,lustrous, dark green, gold and white design with classic European elegance
Head A thin , gassy head which disappeared after 156 seconds
Drinkability 6

Conclusion

It is beyond the scope of this experiment to confirm Gosser’s claim that their product is ‘Austria’s finest beer’ (Gosser Beer bottle label, 2010), however, the results indicate that Gosser was certainly inoffensive to the researchers and would be an above average choice on a hot summer’s day when in need of beverage based refreshment.  It is even conceivable that Maria and Captain Von Trapp may have shared a Gosser before fleeing their humble abode.  The highlight of the Gosser experience was the complementary green glass bottle and lustrous green label.

References

Gosser Beer bottle label (2010)

http://www.brauunioninternational.com/default_e.asp

http://www.goesser.com/

Figure 1. Arsenalnoe Strong

Introduction

Arsenalnoe Strong (АРСЕНАЛЬНОЕ КРЕПКОЕ) has only recently arrived on the shelves of New Zealand supermarkets, although this emergence may have occurred earlier in other locations.  Arsenalnoe is a Strong lager-style beer (7.0% ABV) produced by the Baltika breweries in various locations throughout Russia (see Baltika website) and is available in sizes ranging from 0.5 litres to 2.5 litres.  Other beers in the Arsenalnoe range include Gold, Traditional, Classic and Live.  Although the Baltika website provides interesting information about the company’s products, the Arsenalnoe website exhibits an alarming array of information relating to guns and tips on selecting “travel” axes and saws.  Arsenalnoe beers claim to be beers which are “beer with a male character, is brewed for real men who value honour, strength, patriotism, family, Motherland”.

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Arsenalnoe Strong beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 1 litre can of Arsenalnoe Strong (see figure 1) was obtained from a local supermarket.  The top of the can was cleaned under running tap water and opened under controlled conditions.  The contents of the can were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

The results for Arsenalnoe Strong are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Arsenalnoe Strong

Characteristic Result
Aroma Slightly floral and malty
Flavour Floral with a ‘fuzzy’ feel at the back of your throat.  Not malty, not hoppy – run-of-the-mill
Colour Deep hay with a slightly cloudy tinge
Satisfaction Substantial alcohol content ensures rapid progression towards insobriety
Vessel Design Intimidating 1 litre can with pleasing Cyrillic script and a no-nonsense logo.  The printed ‘rivets’ suggest an industrial background and reinforces its manlyness
Head Forms a ‘fizzy’ head, which disappears within 2 minutes
Drinkability 4

Conclusion

It is clear from the results that Arsenalnoe Strong does indeed have a male character (mainly due to its strength), but could also be enjoyed by females.  The beer has an uncomplicated flavor which would neither excite nor offend the palate.  The highlight of the Arsenalnoe Strong experience, except for the alcohol content, would be the can which could make an interesting talking point for guests stuck for conversation.

References

http://eng.baltika.ru/brand/0/4/arsenalnoe.html

http://guns.arsenalnoe.ru/main.html

Disclaimer:  The researcher and research collaborator do not condone the use of firearms in any situation.