Asian Lager Showdown

Lagers of Asia

Lagers of Asia

With my worldwide lager challenge winding down, it was time to attack the Asian lagers. Although you may not think of Asia as a beer culture, it was not difficult at all to round up 6 examples of beer from that corner of the world.

One of the difference to the other regions is that I’d actually had several of these before. The Japanese contenders–Kirin, Asahi, and Sapporo–I’ve liked in the past. I had also gotten some Tsing Tao as a gift from a Chinese coworker a few years ago. How will they stack up when the proverbial blindfold is on? (I say “proverbial” because, alas, I don’t actually do this blindfolded because that would be messy. I just have Amanda distribute the beer into our pint glasses and then I don’t know which is which.)

The only beer from this grouping that was truly vile was Singha. It just really had an off flavor that got it dumped into the sink

Tsing Tao had a surprising and distinct molasses flavor, which added a pleasant sweetness to an otherwise blandish brew. Sapporo was also on the sweet side but had a better overall profile. Kirin had a rich hoppiness that landed it close the top. But in the end the honey profile of San Miguel gave this Filipino beer top honors in the showdown, even though it was moderately lighter than the others. The final rankings were:

  1. San Miguel – Philippines
  2. Kirin Ichiban – Japan
  3. Sapporo – Japan
  4. Tsing Tao – China
  5. Asahi – Japan
  6. Singha – Thailand
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