Worldwide Lager Challenge – Latin America

Shortly after my Great American Beer Challenge post, I realized the problem was bigger than previously thought: there are countries worldwide that are brewing yellow lagers! I subsequently set out finding all the examples of mass-produced and widely distributed beers, regardless of country of origin. I then organized them into groups of 5-6 by region for their regional showdowns. The winner of each region will proceed to the final tasting.

Here are the regions and their beers:

  • United States: Coors, Budweiser, MGD, Busch, Rolling Rock, PBR, Olde English 800, Mickey’s
  • Latin America: Quilmes, Red Stripe, Dos Equis, Pacifico, Tecate, Corona
  • Asia: Sapporo, San Miguel, Sinha, Kirin Ichiban, Asahi, Tsing Tao
  • Germany: Beck’s, St. Pauli Girl, Spaten Lager, Hofbrau Original, Paulaner Lager
  • Europe: Heineken, Baltika, Stella Artois, Pilsner Urquell, Czechvar
  • UK + ex-UK + Italy: Harp, Steinlager, Foster’s, Birra Moretti, Peroni

I had already done the US group. I disqualified Olde English and Mickey’s because they are “malt liquors”, a different style. So the winner from the US is: Coors.

Beers of Latin American

Beers of Latin American

Next up was Latin America! So on a warm auspicious San Diego November night I began to get these beers out of the fridge when tragedy struck: the Pacifico leaped from my hands, tumbled down the fridge shelves, and landed with a resounding splat on the tile kitched floor. There was beer and glass everywhere. The kittens came over to investigate and started licking the beer (they apparently were doing their own taste test) so we had to lock them in the bathroom while the cleanup continued.

Once that was done, Amanda did the single-blind pouring of the beers and I set about tasting them. One observation was that, as a group, these were all better than what I could remember of the US beers. Even the worst of this group was still quite enjoyable. But in the end the final rankings emerged:

Blind Tasting of Latin American Beers

Blind Tasting of Latin American Beers

  1. Tecate
  2. Corona
  3. Red Stripe
  4. Quilmes
  5. Dos Equis

This was actually quite surprising to me. I had thought Dos Equis would win based on those really good commercials they run regarding “the most interesting man in the world”. And I’ve had tecate before and was not particularly impressed. Nevertheless, when putting them side by side under blind conditions, I could pick my favorites without being biased by former experiences or advertising. That’s why they play the game, as they say!

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