Brewery: Lao Brewery
Country of Origin: Laos
City & State: Vientiane, Laos
Style: Euro Pale Lager
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5%
First Brewed: 1973
Darkish yellow in color with a pleasant, uncloying, honey-flavored sweetness, balanced by a light, refreshing bitterness. The alcoholic strength contributes to a long, satisfying finish.
This is our last beer from Lao Brewery. There were only two on the list. I can’t imagine craft brewing is a big business in Laos. I do, however, like beers that use rice in the brewing process. I was curious to learn they serve this warm over ice in Laos. I am drinking it cold from the fridge, but if and when we are in Laos I will order it room temperature. Drink it like the locals do. They also mention the local food, and that would be my favorite part! I don’t have big expectations for this one, but here goes nothing.
In the Glass: It looks like a typical domestic beer. It does have a nice head, and I am seeing a TON of tiny bubbles rushing to the top. It almost looks like champagne below the surface.
Nose: That is what I’m talking about. This smells great. It has a nice creamy aroma and a hint of sweetness coming through from the rice. Speaking of rice, I LOVE the Flying Fish Wild Rice DIPA that recently came out. This isn’t an IPA, but will be (I promise) easy to drink leaving a nice somewhat sweet aftertaste begging for another drink. Let’s try it!
Flavor: There are times I sit in a bar and say, “What should I order?” I did that on Sunday at Papago Brewing Company. I wish I had this flavor on my mind when I was trying to order. They didn’t have any Euro pale lagers on tap, but still. This is a creamy bottle of deliciousness. The sweetness really comes through here, and like I said… it is VERY easy to drink. This would taste great on a hot summer day. See, why don’t golf courses have a Beerlao cart?
Mouthfeel: This is my favorite part of this beer. It is nice, somewhat thick, and creamy. The beer leaves a nice thin layer of sweetness on the palate. That is coming from the rice. I would love to see a brewing company make a batch of beer with rice. I have no idea how they do it… now I must find out. I wonder if Steve McFate at Fate Brewing Company here in Scottsdale would let me work with him on a wild rice beer. Like I have time for that!
Aftertaste: Those same sweet notes carry over, and every time I swallow it begins to dry. (The burp is pretty boring. Tasted more like my lunch than it did the beer I am drinking.) This is a beer, regardless of the ABV, is easy to drink and I can see myself drinking a pitcher of this. I would also like to visit Laos for that food. I am also going to look into other Laos brewing companies. This is good. It’s not great, but I could drink a bunch of this carbonated sweet nectar. Yummy!
Beerlao – The bottle says: “NA”
I don’t have high expectations for this beer. I’m guessing from the name it’s probably an Asian domestic, and I’ve never been impressed by any of those that I’ve tried. It looks like one in the glass too. It didn’t have much head, and what was there was gone really quickly. It’s kind of a golden yellow with a few bubbles floating to the top. It doesn’t smell like much – honestly, about like I expected, just like a domestic. Let’s see if it tastes any better.
The beer is really light, a bit carbonated, and it’s pretty ordinary, but there is a slight honey taste. The honey taste and the fact that it’d make a light, refreshing summer beer are pretty much the only redeeming things about the beer. I pretty much hate American domestics, but in other countries they tend to be better. (Although maybe I just like drinking them while I know I’m in another country.) This beer makes that list, the one of boring domestics, at least for me. I probably wouldn’t buy it again.
I’m not sure why these beers are included on the 1001 list. Maybe because they are iconic beers for the country they’re from? Who knows. Anyway, I’m not that impressed with them, but maybe there’s someone out there who is.