Asian beers, homebrews and low alcohol lagers rated in March -98

Under this headline we have lumped together a number of rating sessions we've had during a cold, gray and snowy month. The range of new beers available was minimal at this time, but we were fortunate enough to recieve four more samples of Lars Stjernestam's homebrew and some beers carried home from SE Asia. The beers we were able to find at home were mostly low alcoholic lagers, but we also picked up some nice US microbrews, along with some Danish and Swedish lagers.

The Swedish lagers were mostly solid lagers, the best being like the malty and decently hoppy Munktells Stark&oumkl;l from Åbro. None of them overly exciting though. Another brewery you can trust is Pripps. Their new effort, the 8.0% adjunct lager Bulldozer goes as the probaly the worst beer I've ever tried. The five of us stood no chance of finishing a 0.5l can of this chemical swill.

Somebody has started importing beers from the Danish brewery Thisted Bryghus under the name Bison to Sweden. Please stop doing that. It occupies precious shelf space in the stores,space that could be filled up with anything else than boring adjunct lagers. Their Ekoöl was at least a half decent beer though, but on the other hand Guldö Extra Strong is a disaster. Send us Danish porters instead!

Of the four Asian beers we rated Kirin Ichiban brewed under license in the UK was our favourite. As most Asian lagers it wasn't very distinct and exciting, but at least it was quite creamy and had soome flavours which qualified it to a position in the middle of our rankings. Also Anchor Beer Pilsener from Malaysia were at least half decent, while the two Indoesian beers is nothing we'd like to recommend. Still given a choice between Bali Hai Pilsener Bir and Anker Pilsener Bir chose the first. Both of them have disturbing off-flavours, but Bali Hai has more body.

The arrival of a number of new US micros is something I enjoy. Among the five we tried this time were two distinct and enjoyable brews from Sea Dog Brewing Company in Maine. Their Blonde Ale proved to be one of the groups favourites. A balanced refreshing ale with tones of vanilla. If their Blonde Ale was a fairly "easy" beer their India Pale Ale was the opposite. Heavy malts, quite a lot of alcohol and hops, hops, hops made it somewhat controversial, but at least I enjoyed this flavour overkill. From Spring Street Brewing Company in Minnesota we got Wit Amber Ale, an excellent Belgian style wheat beer, and from Pete's Brewing Co. we got two flavoured ales which I personally weren't too fond of, but others enjoyed it.

The low alcohol lagers were as unexciting as usual, the best being a weaker version of Kaltenberg Pils, and the worst a weak version of the already dreadfully tasteless Oranjeboom, so no surprises there. The only interesting bottle among these were LionKing Special Pils. The bottled did not state anything about the brewery or even the country of origin... We suspect that this is a German label, but we don't really know. Can somebody help us?

Over to the homebrews. This time we had recieved four lagers, and as usual I was very impressed by how rich and complex they were. The two darker ones ended up as our overall favourites of the four with Uddala Kalasöl way up in 28th place.

Beers rated at St. Patricks day 1998
28Uddala Kalasöl, homebrewSweden4,214544 4  4,9%Lager, Dark
40Sea Dog Blonde AleUSA4,085444  344,7%Ale, Brittish style
61Uddala MuncDunk, homebrewSweden4,0045434   5,6%Lager, Dark
77Wit Amber AleUSA3,97444   445,3%Wheat beer
106Lobkov SvetléCzech Rep.3,8245 33   4,4%Lager, Dark
143S:t Benoit BlondeBelgium3,7135  3   6,3%Ale, Belgian style
193Uddala Razors Best, homebrewSweden3,6344532   5,3%Lager, Light
308Uddala STÖL, homebrewSweden3,3734433   5,0%Lager, Light
346The Tanner's JackEngland3,3234 3    4,4%Ale, Brittish style
445Pete's Wicked Strawberry BlondeUSA3,1742 34   5,1%Special
470Kaltenberg 3.5%*Germany3,14424   333,5%Lager, Light
491Sea Dog India Pale AleUSA3,113443  316,8%Ale, Brittish style
648Munktells StarkölSweden2,94333  3335,2%Lager, Light
660Åbro Original MellanölSweden2,93333  3244,3%Lager, Light
735Germania BeerGermany2,81432  2333,5%Lager, Light
758Kirin Ichiban*Japan2,77324  3235,5%Lager, Light
809Bison EkoölDenmark2,7033  2   4,6%Lager, Light
908Pete's Wicked Winter BrewUSA2,6032  3   4,8%Special
945Kulturöl '98Sweden2,54233   324,6%Special
982Rekorderlig StarkölSweden2,47233  3225,2%Lager, Light
996Anchor Beer PilsenerMalaysia2,44233  2325,0%Lager, Light
1076Spendrup's Original, klass ISweden2,2932 31   2,1%Lager, Light
1159Lion King Special PilsGermany2,13222  2333,5%Lager, Light
1236Faxe FadølDenmark1,9612 3    3,3%Lager, Light
1237Bison MellanölDenmark1,9622 22   4,6%Lager, Light
1266Banco Guld 2.8Sweden1,91222   312,8%Lager, Light
1272Original CrocodileSweden1,89222   222,8%Lager, Light
1311Bali Hai Pilsener BirIndonesia1,72222  1225,0%Lager, Light
1322Bavaria 2.9%Netherlands1,69221  2222,9%Lager, Light
1357Tuborg Pilsner*Denmark1,6021  2   4,2%Lager, Light
1378Eagle Beer, klass IISweden1,48212   212,8%Lager, Light
1395Anker Pilsener BirIndonesia1,39112  1325,0%Lager, Light
1408Egger LeichtAustria1,32211  2123,5%Lager, Light
1421Kopparbergs Fat, klass IISweden1,27121   212,8%Lager, Light
1425Bison Guldöl Extra StrongDenmark1,25211   127,9%Lager, Bock
1447Oranjeboom, klass IINetherlands0,95111  1212,8%Lager, Light
1462BulldozerSweden0,35100   028,0%Lager, Bock
Rated by: Johan Zetterlund, Per Samuelsson, Lars Samuelsson, Cecilia Gårdebäck, Fredrik Huldt, Anna Hultén, Lars Granström and Robert Boström

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Updated 98-04-23 Per Samuelsson