Archive for the 'Beer' Category

More Beer Tasting

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

So we’ve been behind a little with our beer tasting… or at least with our posting of the long-awaited results of our taste trials. No matter, here we present the verdicts on several beers that we tasted a few months ago. It was an adventure, maybe not in exotic tastes, but perhaps of our own personal tolerance of new beer tastes… or lack thereof. To the beers!

Beer #2: Sandpiper

Right away, I break away from the foreboding introduction with this pleasant Indian brew, which I would say up until now is unanimously our favorite Indian beer. Sandpiper follows the nice bird theme begun by Kingfisher, adding a sensation of “the natural” to this beer. And what sort of images do sandpipers- coastal wading birds that spend their days hunting bugs on the tidal flats of the sea- conjure up? Well for one, the beach, and by association palm trees. In short a serene natural scene whose beauty might just make you melt on the spot. Well, true to these images, Sandpiper beer was just as pleasant for us. A smooth, refreshing, slightly fruity beer with a long pleasant after taste, Sandpiper helped us cope with the hustle and bustle of Delhi’s screaming auto-rickshaw and clunky Ambassador taxi-choked streets, as well as the relentless Indian vendors we had to endure through the day. We agree with the Sandpiper’s claim that it is a “Premium beer”, and officially give this brew a very big thumbs up!! Also, we liked the label and thought that simple was better!! After all, you can’t tell a book by its cover!

choose your poisonNow begin a series of beers we tried one sweaty night in Balasore, feeling like some cold ones would be the key to surviving the heat. Well, we did survive the heat, but unfortunately, the beers had no hand in that, rather a cold shower did the trick. The beers… well… just read below…

Beer #3: Maharani Blue Label Super Strong Beer

In the above photo, you can see Marte chosing Maharani Blue Label as our first beer. It gives me shivers to even think about it!! This “Super Strong” beer is made for the purpose of not enjoying a beer, but almost soley for getting drunk (7.5% alcohol). According to some friends in Balasore, people usually drink if they’re really sad or if they are just totally immoral, and it seems Maharani is the path many of these desperate souls chose. It comes wrapped in clear plastic shrink wrap, giving it a sort of pseudo luxurious appeal.

I’ll let the following quotes from our taste test speak for the quality of this beer:

Marte: “It tastes shocking! It’s going down the toilet…”

Romy: “It smells like yeast.”

Armando: “A terrible beer”.

This particular bottle had a sweet, smoky taste that was, as Marte said, simply shocking. To add to the dramatic taste, it was dark-piss colored, which actually made us suspect that someone in the factory played a trick on the consumer in this one bottle. Our bad luck, I guess…

Beer #4: Royal Challenge

Take the Our luck didn’t improve when we boldly took the Royal Challenge. Our first mistake with this beer and the following is that we drank them warm. This, however, could not be avoided as the temperature of our room was so hot that the beers heated up at an exponential rate. In any case, no good or even decent beer, even if drinken warm, should not taste that bad.

Like Maharani, Royal Challenge was a super strong 7.5% alcohol beer, meant for the drunk, not the enjoyment of the drink. It was strong, sharp, and had the strange effect of drying out our tongues. The beer makes many claims on the label which, after tasting it, were outright laughable. For instance: “Taste the difference extra time makes”. In the case of Royal Challenge, they must mean staleness! Second: “Brewed longer… brewed better”. I think they left this batch out in the sun and it got filled with dead leaves, frogs and bugs… that would account for the beer’s sharpness. Lastly: “Extra time, extra smooth”. A flat-out lie as this beer is very malty and not very smooth, but rather sharp and strong. Romy stated interestingly about this beer: “A very difficult beer to drink… not exactly a thirst-killer”.

Beer #5: Hayward’s 5000

Haywards 5000By the time we got to this beer, we were not exactly jumping out of our seats. While very similar to the other two, but not as bad as the Maharani Blue Label, it was very thick, according to Marte, and in addition was sharp, very bubbly and kinda stomach warming. We didn’t take heart to this beer, as our beer tasting excitement had already been crushed! Hayward’s was simply no consolation, and so it faded into the oblivion of bad beers, just as Maharani and Royal Challenge.

India Beer-tasting: Keeping Our Side of the Deal

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

Before our dear friend and blog administrator, Bjorge, graciously allowed us some space to have a travel blog linked to his website, beerfoot.org, we came up with the proposition that in exchange for some webspace, we would post some personal reviews of Indian beers during our travels through the subcontinent.

You see, part of the founding principle of Bjorge’s website ‘beerfoot.org’ was that during his travels through South America in 2003, he, while travelling BAREfoot through the continent, would post reviews of the various BEERs he encountered on his way. Are you seeing a connection now? Does ‘beerfoot’ make a lot more sense now? Good.

Well, despite Romy, Marte and my own ‘covered foot’ condition, we will still keep the tradition alive by tasting beers on our tavels.

So far, India has not proved to be either a beer-diverse nor a beer-plentiful society, despite the country’s mammoth size. However, despite this, we have been able to sniff out a few brews, and you can find their reviews right here:

Beer #1: Kingfisher

Kingfisher beer

This is the first beer that we tried while at the Embassy restaurant in the smack-dab front-and-center of Delhi: Cannaught Place. On the outside, the tall 1 liter bottle (the standard beer size of India) is graced with a picture of a colorful, graceful Indian kingfisher (a type of bird) in midflight. We all thought this was rather handsome. The beer claims to be “The King of Good Times”, and apparantly is “For sale only in Delhi”, which we found to be a right out lie later on when we found the beer in Varanasi.

Mando Kingfisher  Armando taking the first sip…
This “Premium Lager Beer” accoording to our own impressions is light, only slightly bitter, smooth, and mild.  It is “awarded internationally for its widely-acclaimed taste and quality”.  Well, I guess it also gets our award of approval too.  As “India’s Best-selling Lager”, Kingfiher was a refreshing start to our India beer endeavors.